Overwatch

Overwatch dev confirms fix coming for Hammond's multiple boop exploit

by Theo Salaun

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A popular Wrecking Ball player has discovered an absurd multi-boop tech, but Overwatch’s developers have quickly jumped in to confirm that it is a exploit, and will soon be patched out.

Hammond is the MacGyver’s choice of Overwatch heroes, crafty and weird to use—but incredibly potent when his unique abilities are put in the right person’s hands. One such person is ‘ball_ow,’ a Wrecking Ball main who plays for Avoided in Open Division.

This week, ball shared an overpowered multi-boop tech he discovered for the hamster hero, which enable the character to barrel into opponents and continuously boop them, effectively treating opponents to the experience of getting hit by the game’s insta-kill cars or trains.

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Understandably, this sent the Overwatch community into an uproar. While ball only tried these out in Quick Play, the possibility of this being replicated in Competitive or OWL play is concerning.

Even aside from Redditors clamoring to investigate Ball for the potential usage of third-party software to accomplish this and beckoning for Blizzard to address it, tons of the game’s professional players also chimed in with concern—and one, fittingly, with excitement.

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A slew of professional Overwatch players respond to ball's multi-boop tech.

As seen from just some of the replies to Ball’s original Tweet, OWL players like the Houston Outlaws’ Jiri 'LiNkzr' Masalin and the Paris Eternal’s Brice 'FDGod' Monscavoir are worried about the implications of this tech.

The former simply replied “delete” while the latter claimed he was “actually scared.” Conversely, sending shivers across the league, OWL’s very own Hammond innovator, the Chengdu Hunters’ Ding “Ameng” Menghan, responded with a succinct, excited “gosu.”

Unfortunately for overeager Wrecking Ball prodigies, but most fortunately for everyone who wants a balanced game, Blizzard’s lead software engineer, Bill Warnecke, commented on Reddit to explain that the “tech” is an exploitable bug and that the team will be getting “a fix out quickly.”

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As summarized by Warnecke, Blizzard does “consider this an exploit” and the game’s developers would like to “caution people not to abuse this bug.”

This helps put to rest some speculation that the tech was accomplished through hacking, something that ball tried to disprove by showing a scuffed hand cam and that his teammate, Lightbringer, tried to prove was replicable sans script by diving into the hero’s speed data

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While it appears incredibly difficult to reproduce without illegal third-party software, the multi-boop essentially capitalizes on split-second acceleration and decelerations to continuously boop enemies.

Ignoring the controversy surrounding ball’s discovery and whether or not the exploit is feasible manually, Overwatch players can take solace in knowing that this is unintended, should soon be patched out, and that those who take advantage of it in the meantime are likely to receive punishment by Blizzard.