Blizzard Is Finally Nerfing Overwatch’s Roadhog

Illustration for article titled Blizzard Is Finally Nerfing iOverwatch/i’s Roadhog

Blizzard is finally nerfing the best thing in Overwatch: Roadhog’s hook. It’s about time—despite the hook’s awesome power, it is most definitely broken. On Blizzard’s forums, Overwatch principal designer Geoff Goodman announced the details of “Hook 2.0,” soon to be released on the PTR.

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Players have complained for months that Roadhog’s hook defies known laws of physics. It hooks players through walls. It hooks players through the payload. It hooks players through several walls. It hooks players through other players. Sometimes, those hooked players land behind or to the side of Roadhog instead of in front of him. It’s just a mess.

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In October, Blizzard told Kotaku that “Roadhog’s hook is basically a sphere that he throws out and searches for targets as it moves. If the hook finds a target, it will pull them back to you.” A representative added that the Overwatch team was considering various changes so Roadhog’s hook wouldn’t grab players “out of line of sight or unable to reasonably be moved back to Roadhog.”

Those changes are finally coming to the PTR, potentially this week. Goodman’s post yesterday explains that Blizzard first tackled the issue of where Roadhog pulls his hook victims. Goodman said they’ll now land in front of Roadhog, “rather than just a straight line towards him,” adding that there’s now “a cap on how far ‘to the side’ you can be pulled, so you can’t just hook someone, spin 180, and dump someone off a cliff.” That’s good—when I played Overwatch last night, hook victims landed behind me twice.

Goodman continued:

Secondly, the line-of-sight check to see if a hook should connect or not is now checked from Roadhog’s position, instead of the hook’s position. This basically means the hook can’t connect to targets that Roadhog himself can’t see.

Lastly, there is a new persistent line-of-sight check back to Roadhog once the hook has landed. If this check fails, the hook breaks off and returns to Roadhog. This means if you get hooked and move out of LOS quickly (either you dashed, were falling, were pushed, etc), the hook will now break early and not pull the target.

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Unfortunately for me and other insane Roadhog mains, Goodman claims that Roadhog will likely be weaker now. If that’s the case, the Overwatch team, as they do, and may continue to do until the end of days, will make adjustments.

Senior reporter at Kotaku.

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DISCUSSION

The nerf to the Chain Hook is actually significant for two reasons: Competitive, where Roadhog is a cornerstone of the Triple Tank Meta and less importantly, but still a hot button, 3v3.

Roadhog can one shot a non-tank reliably, which means the opposing team is down a player, which upsets the entire dynamic. And the reason is the Hook. Making that (hopefully) much harder to land allows more room for non-tanks to be played.

3v3, he can also one shot, as well as self-heal (which is a separate balance issue). Roadhog landing a hook means the enemy team is down 1/3 of their players in an elimination mode, which is exponentially more problematic than in a team respawn.

Making the Chain Hook less reliable is a definite nerf.