Blizzard Confirms the Release Date of New Overwatch Hero Wrecking Ball - Dexerto

Blizzard Confirms the Release Date of New Overwatch Hero Wrecking Ball

Published: 18/Jul/2018 2:22 Updated: 26/Jul/2018 12:07

by Joe O'Brien


Blizzard has confirmed that new hero Wrecking Ball will be released to the live Overwatch servers on July 24.

Wrecking Ball will be the game’s 28th hero, and the seventh added since its release in May of 2016.


A battle-mech piloted by Hammond the hamster, who is a genetically-enhanced former subject of Horizon Lunar Colony, Wrecking Ball is the second new addition to the tank category.

Unlike previous new tank Orisa, however, Wrecking Ball is expected to fall in the role of “flex tank” as opposed to “main tank”, eschewing defensive abilities and barriers in favor of a disruptive, movement-based skillset.


Wrecking Ball has been on the Overwatch Public Test Realm since June 28, giving players plenty of time to try him out and allowing Blizzard to ensure he’s balanced, at least within a reasonable degree.

As well as testing him out functionally, Blizzard recently revealed on the PTR the skins that will be available for Wrecking Ball upon his release, as well as his emotes and highlight intros.

Hammond is a character that players have been aware of for over a year, with his name first appearing alongside the release of the Horizon Lunar Colony map. Hammond was among the most popular candidates as a new hero for every release since then, and is now finally making his way into the game.


At the time, however, most assumed that Hammond, like Winston, was a primate of some sort. The twist – that Hammond is in fact a hamster – came as a surprise to most fans, although some had already suggested the theory.


Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun


Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.

Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016. 


In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports. 

Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology. 

Brigitte stuns Junkrat on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.

As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.

“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.

When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.


It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.

In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.

“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”


While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.

It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.