The latest Overwatch PTR patch has completely broken many of Wrecking Ball’s grappling hook spots, ruining the unique hero’s rollouts and infuriating Hammond mains.
Hammond has long been one of Overwatch’s most interesting heroes, as gaining value from his suite of abilities requires a high degree of skill and practice. When he’s in his exposed shooting form, he’s pretty slow, but when he turns into ball form, he not only moves faster, but can take advantage of a grappling hook to propel himself into being one of the game’s most mobile characters.
Unfortunately, after two years of learning the nuances of his movement techs and discovering the different niches and angles that can be taken advantage of for unique rollouts, an Overwatch PTR patch seems to have broken his Grappling Hook. The September 23 patch was exciting, particularly for its adjustments to in-game elevator platforms, but Hammond mains have discovered that a subtle change is ruining their effectiveness.
As shown by the self-titled “ball specialist,” ‘ball_gdh’ on Twitter, many of the hamster hero’s unique rollouts no longer work as his grappling claw seems to attach in a more finicky manner.
This actually goes against what the patch notes describe, so it’s an interesting situation that will likely and fittingly require more experimentation. In Blizzard’s blog, they indicate that “Grappling Hook now has improved target detection to help connecting to walls be more consistent.”
The issue is inherently multifaceted. On the one hand, Blizzard might be hoping that making Wrecking Ball’s hook easier to use for everyone is worth wide scale changes to how it performs. On the other hand, they may not realize how damaging this is for players who have poured in enough hours to become comfortable with his unique inconsistencies.
As shown by ball, even some of the more basic hooks no longer seem to work, though, making this feel like a net negative for a hero so dependent on crafty escape and flanking routes. With the Overwatch League Chengdu Hunters’ Ding ‘Ameng’ Menghan expressing sadness in a reply to ball’s tweets, it’s obvious that these changes are disappointing for Hammond mains.
Still, it remains to be seen what advantages to consistency have emerged despite the seeming nerfs to rollouts that some had become fond of. This remains in the experimental PTR patch, so it would be reasonable for Blizzard to scrap the adjustment altogether should Hammond mains not find newer, more consistent rollouts that they enjoy.