Ever since Overwatch released in May 2016, Blizzard has actively worked to improve the balance between each of the game’s heroes. With over 20 unique kits available, it’s proven to be no easy task, resulting in continuous buffs, nerfs, and, in some cases, complete overhauls. That said, a few specific heroes have remained at the top since launch. One is Roadhog, the apocalyptic Australian hooking machine, who has finally been hit with a few changes in Patch 1.7 that looks to solve many of the problems players have with him.
Right now, Roadhog is one of the most frustrating heroes to go up against in Overwatch. When in the hands of a skilled player, his massive damage output and self-healing capabilities allow him to consistently harass and eliminate unsuspecting opponents in a few hits. His ultimate ability, Whole Hog, further increases his effectiveness by allowing him to clear entire rooms of players if timed properly. But the true culprit, the bane of many player’s existence, is his Chain Hook ability. Chain Hook tosses out a hook that pulls an enemy back to Roadhog, stunning them for a brief period to give him time to finish them off with his Scrap Gun.
Roadhog’s hook is supposed to be stopped by solid surfaces and barriers, which gives players an opportunity to step out of his line-of-sight to avoid his most devastating ability. No matter how you try to explain it though, that just simply isn’t the case. Since launch, Roadhog players have been able to pull opponents through floors, walls, corners, and payloads consistently with their hook magic, but change is finally on the horizon.
Now available on the PTR for Overwatch on PC, Patch 1.7 brings a few changes to the way Roadhog’s hook operates on the field. Here’s what Blizzard has altered as of January 10:
Targets are now pulled directly in front of Roadhog (rather than straight to him), except in cases where Roadhog drastically rotates.
Hooked targets are now released if they leave Roadhog’s line-of-sight before being pulled.
Line-of-sight checks (which detect if targets should be initially hit by the hook) are now done from Roadhogs position, rather than the hook’s position.
The goal here is to make Roadhog’s hook feel more reliant on how a player positions him in relation to his target, rather than the hook’s position to the target itself. In theory, this makes Roadhog feel a little more consistent to players who use him to hook opponents, while also making hook-based kills seem fair to opponents.
After spending a few hours in the PTR, it seems like Blizzard’s making headway. I’ve noticed that Roadhog’s hook feels much more effective consistently, meaning that players now have a much more sensible understanding of what the hook can and cannot accomplish. Now, you absolutely must have a clear line-of-sight connection with your target to hit and pull them back.
Patch 1.7 is still just in the early stages of testing on PTR, which means Blizzard will probably revisit the changes made to Roadhog’s hook before they send the build to live servers in the coming weeks. Regardless of the outcome, Roadhog is finally feeling like a more consistent hero in play. The magical hooks are not long for this world, and that’s a good thing.Photos via Nicholas Bashore