Overwatch update introduces Wrecking Ball, tweaks other heroes


The latest update to Overwatch has introduced a new hero called Wrecking Ball, along with various tweaks to existing heroes and general gameplay.

Blizzard’s patch notes for the update describe Wrecking Ball thus: “Wrecking Ball’s tinkering capabilities and iron-clad mech make him a formidable tank hero, capable of bowling through the front line of the opposition and causing mayhem in the back line. His primary weapon, Quad Cannons, are two sets of twin machine guns that shred enemies caught in their crosshairs. No team is too much for Wrecking Ball to engage against with his Adaptive Shield, which generates more health based on the number of enemies nearby. This shield makes him incredibly difficult to kill when he bulldozes into the fray and, once he starts to get low on health, also provides him the endurance to escape.”

Wrecking Ball also possesses an ability called Rollability, which allows him to withdraw his limbs and roll like a ball, and has a short-range Grappling Claw ability, along with a ground-pound-style Piledriver ability when airborne. Overwatch’s Lead Animator, Ryan Denniston, provided some insight into the hero’s evolution: “Exploration is the key to animation, so we tried many different personality iterations for the hamster. At first, we made him maniacal, but he felt too evil, so we tried instead to highlight the difference between Hammond the critter—cute, cuddly, mischievous—and the Wrecking Ball mech—powerful, imposing, cold, and impersonal. Our eureka moment was nailing his “Relaxed” emote; I feel like it captures Hammond’s character and personality perfectly. He exudes confidence with the way he shifts his weight in the seat to get comfortable, then throws a cheese puff into the air and catches it in his mouth.”

Elsewhere, the new update makes changes to another hero, Sombra, whose Stealth and Translocator abilities now last indefinitely; Blizzard said: “These changes allow Sombra to more easily play as an infiltrator and scout for her team, as well as give her time to pick and choose when to reveal herself to ambush her enemies.” Hanzo’s Storm Arrows ability, meanwhile, has been dialled down to make it less powerful.

Bastion, McCree, Mei, Soldier 76 and Widowmaker have all had their minimum damage at maximum range increased from 30 per cent to 50 per cent. And Blizzard has tweaked gameplay on Assault Maps in Quickplay and the Arcade, reducing the amount of time allowed to capture points from five minutes to four, an adjustment aimed at reducing the play-time of each round.