Stealth Hammond is the best Overwatch strategy of the decade - Dexerto
Overwatch

Stealth Hammond is the best Overwatch strategy of the decade

Published: 9/Feb/2020 18:54

by Scott Robertson

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Wrecking Ball, operated by Hammond, is a unique hero in Overwatch that roams the battlefield in their mechanical hamster ball. But one player showcased a bizarre and surprisingly effective way to utilize the character on a Payload match.

You would think players would notice a big mechanical ball rolling around the map. Or when that ball starts shooting. Or when the objective they’re supposed to be defending is moving.

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Alas, an Overwatch player used the mobile, destructive Wrecking Ball in a way that would make Solid Snake proud; hiding in plain sight.

Don’t mind me, just gonna go for a drive! (2500 comp ranking new acc) from Overwatch

In a competitive match, allegedly in the Platinum skill tier, Hammond’s team is trying to push forward the cart in a Payload game on Rialto, so Wrecking Ball gets behind the team and above the auto-forklift.

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After hopping down directly into the lift, they align themselves perfectly next to the crate that’s being transported, and go for a relaxing ride with the defending team left completely unaware.

While the trick is indeed clever, the real highlight of this play is the unbelievable negligence of the enemy team. When the payload starts moving, not one of the five players on the other side event turns around to look at it, let alone try and stop it.

After that, Hammond stays perfectly still while passing an Ana that had rotated back. That Ana player did turn around and engage in a fight with Soldier 76, but even after Wrecking Ball went into walker mode to finish her off, they were still left alone.

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It wasn’t until the very last second of the clip when the payload reaches a checkpoint that the enemy team finally turned its attention toward the sneaking tank. Several other users were shocked to see the tunnel vision that was on display, which was unbelievably bad even for Overwatch matchmaking standards.

This maneuver just goes to show that even at the Platinum skill level, silly tricks can still wreak havoc on teams with poor communication.

Between Wrecking Ball’s mobility, health, and damage output, who knew that stealth was their greatest weapon?

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Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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