Hammond, the Wrecking Ball, has officially exited PTR and joined the roster of Overwatch heroes. Game’s new tank was revealed first on Jun. 28 and spent the next month on the test servers, rolling, piledriving and laying mines before his welcome on the live servers last night. Currently, the new hero is not available for Competitive Play, however, and will only be unlocked for it in two weeks’ time.
But Hammond isn’t the only change arriving with the latest patch. Several heroes have received adjustments, most notably on the sniper duo of Widowmaker and Hanzo. Widowmaker, alongside heroes such as Solider 76, Mei, and Bastion, has had her damage-to-range ratios adjusted while Hanzo’s Storm Arrows now last a shorter time and recharge longer.
“Hanzo’s new kit has proven to be a bit too powerful, especially his new Storm Arrows ability,” the developers wrote. “We’re lowering the frequency that he can have this ability available to make it more reasonable to play around.”
Sombra, on the other hand, is one hero that has received a buff, and an interesting one at that. The hero can now remain in stealth indefinitely (yes, that’s correct) and her translocator also has no duration, although it is now destroyable. This should allow Sombra to play more “as an infiltrator and scout for her team”, as Blizzard put it, and introduce a more tactical component to when the player should break stealth.
Changes to assault and non-control maps have also been introduced. For the latter, Blizzard are making the attackers advantage on the final objectives stronger, as extended periods of sieging the objective will further increase defenders’ respawn time.
“In a previous patch we added a system to adjust the respawn rate of defenders in situations where attackers have a prolonged advantage in fights on final objectives. We’re just making this system a bit more aggressive to further reduce the duration of the long, drawn out fights that can occur when the defender spawns are so close to the action.”
Wrecking Ball introduced
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. The Roll ability allows Wrecking Ball to withdraw the mech’s robotic limbs, transforming it into a ball with increased movement speed. No obstacle can stand in Wrecking Ball’s way when he uses Grappling Claw, a short-range ability that grips the environment, letting him swing across terrain gaps or around corners to smash enemies. Grappling Claw also allows Wrecking Ball to reach top speed and ram into foes, dealing destructive damage and knocking them back. While airborne, the mech’s Piledriver ability causes Wrecking Ball to slam down from the air and knock his enemies off their feet.
When Wrecking Ball is at his strongest, he can use Minefield which flings mines onto the ground that deal a considerable amount of damage to enemies unfortunate enough to trigger them.
- Configuration: Sentry and Configuration: Recon - Minimum damage at max range increased from 30% to 50%.
- Peacekeeper - Minimum damage at max range increased from 30% to 50%
- Endothermic Blaster - Removed all damage falloff from her secondary fire projectile
- Heavy Pulse Rifle - Minimum damage at max range increased from 30% to 50%
- Widow's Kiss - Now has damage falloff applied on her automatic primary fire (50% at max range)
- Storm Arrows
- Duration reduced from 6 to 5 seconds
- Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds
- Now lasts indefinitely
- No longer can contest objectives while invisible
- Movement speed buff decreased from +70% to +50%
- Now lasts indefinitely
- Can now be destroyed (has 5 health)
- Radius reduced
- When final objectives on non-control maps are contested for extended amounts of time and attackers have an advantage in numbers, the respawn time for defenders now increases even faster
- Objective time reduced from 5 minutes to 4 minutes per control point in Quick Play and Arcade modes