No character in Overwatch has ever had as strong a public reaction as the latest hero: Wrecking Ball aka Hammond.
There certainly aren’t many video game characters which are hamsters riding around in a giant, round mech. His gameplay is even more ridiculous as he flies around with a grappling hook.
There’s still plenty to unearth about the cute little guy with new details have emerged during an interview Dallas Fuel’s DPS player Seagull and Overwatch developers. Here’s are five Hammond facts you didn’t know about before.
Overwatch players were understandably shocked that the next hero will be a genius hamster
Hammond was one of Overwatch’s earliest concepts
Wrecking Ball was one of the earliest Blizzard concepts and originally was based on magnets
The crazy idea of Hammond is actually one Blizzard have been sitting on for a while. However, originally he was just a robot whose kit revolved around magnets. He was able to pull in enemy bullets and could either tank them or reflect them back.
Until one day, assistant art director Arnold Tsang (who created Wrecking Ball’s concept) sent out a mailing list with a picture of a little hamster poking out of the ball.
That changed everything and the entire team knew that Hammond had to stay. Although, Blizzard haven’t given up on the magnet concept yet and it’s a theme we could see in the future.
Hammond is the game’s most mobile character
Thanks to his grappling hook, Hammond can traverse across most of a map in just one swing
Moving on from his early magnet concept, Wrecking Ball’s grappling hook has become the core part of his kit but that was actually a fairly recent addition.
Before Hammond just rolled around which is fast but rather tame in all honesty. He gains more speed rolling down slopes but you won’t have to use that much thanks to his hook.
With the use of the hook, Wrecking Ball can fling himself halfway across the map with relative ease. The abililty gives him unbelievable vertical mobility which can even match Pharah.
Judging from the video below, it’s going to be frightening what future Hammond mains will be able to accomplish.
Wrecking Ball has the saddest death animation
Hammond is very similar to D.Va, he even pops out of his mech at death but it’s a sad sight
Moving around in a giant robot, Hammond was always going to draw comparisons to D.Va – Blizzard even acknowledged that themselves by giving him one of her victory poses.
Simarly to D.Va, Hammond will hop out of his mech upon death however, unlike her the hamster cannot defend himself and simply ragdolls to the floor.
It’s a sad sight that really pulls out at the heartstrings. His mobillity already makes him difficult to kill but now knowing this, we’ll be reluctant to even shoot him at first.
He’s the most controversial Overwatch hero ever
While Overwatch’s playerbase had a massive reaction to Wrecking Ball’s reveal, it turns out the hero is just a polarising for the dev team.
Half of Overwatch’s team absolutely adore the hero and think he’s one of the funnest characters to play as. Meanwhile, the other half are concerned by the controversial hamster and believe he will ruin the game.
To figure out if he is a game-breaking hero or not, Blizzard scheduled a meeting 10 years in advance where they will all meet and discuss whether he ruined the game or not. That was made four years ago so there’s only another six until we get a full diagnosis.
While his mobility is certainly ridiculous, and Seagull believes his shields are currently too strong, Hammond should be easy to nerf. Plus, he has a clear counter of heroes with a focus on crowd control such as Mei.
His ultimate mines spread out more with height
Hammond’s ultimate, Minefield, launches at an angle. The higher you are the bigger the spread
In typical Overwatch fashion, Wrecking Ball has very powerful ultimate ability which can have a massive impact on a match. With enough charge, the hamster will launch out a minefield, zoning opponents out of the area unless they’re on a suicide mission.
Each mine deals out a lot of damage so you’ll want to avoid them at all costs but that could be difficult if you face a Hammond who knows this neat little trick. The mines fire out at an angle so the higher up he is, the wider a spread he’ll get on his minefield.
With Wrecking Ball’s ridiculous mobility, he’ll easily be able to gain a lot of height so you’ll want to time your crowd control (such as a McCree flashbang) to successfully cancel the ult.Otherwise, each mine can be destroyed by just simply shooting them but there’s a lot to get through and in a fight, you won’t always have the time.
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