Improving the Hamster - My Take


At this point, it’s no secret that Wrecking Ball, AKA Hammond, is severely under powered. He sits in the bottom tier of tanks, across most levels of play. Now that Roadhog has been looked at, I think it is now his and Orisa’s turn. I don’t play enough Orisa, so I can’t say what she needs. (Reloadig not being interrupted by barrier might be a good start).

I’m going to go through each aspect of Wrecking Ball that I feel is holding him back. I’m going to try to obey the mentality Jeff mentioned where the devs want to “Prioritise mitigation or mobility”

Reloading (Main weapon)

Reloading as Wrecking Ball feels REALLY clunky. I actually can’t think of any hero that makes this normal function as annoying to do as Wrecking Ball.
The main problem stems from the fact that the only visual indicator that he has reloaded in ball form is the ammo count in the bottom right, and a small noise that can be easily drowned out.

This brings us to my first proposal. Give us the option to enable a little “reloading circle”, similar to duration circles when Hammond is reloading in ball form.
Furthermore, it is also annoying to pop out of ball form, and still go through the whole reloading animation. So, perhaps when you cancel reload by entering or exiting the ball, allow progress to be saved.

So, as an example: Wrecking Ball’s reload is 2 seconds. If I complete one second of that in the ball, when I pop out, I only have another second to go. This may help Wrecking Ball confirm kills, without outright giving him more ammo or damage, which may make him too good at mid-range dueling. Obviously, both of those are still options.

Adaptive Sheild

I think this ability is fine as is. The only buff I would suggest is letting him stay in ball form when shielding, but Jeff has given us a response on that before, and I do agree with him.

Grappling and Swinging

This I also feel to be fine. However, number tweaks aren’t unwelcome. Attention could be given to the speed and time taken to reach max speed (both could be reduced) or even how stuns act. Perhaps if hit by a “pinning stun” (Bash, Charge, Rocket Punch) Wrecking ball should stop, but the attacker is also knocked down?

Maybe also allow for the player to shorten or extend the hook somehow. (Though this could prove inelegant with OW’s current control set up, especially on console.)


Piledriver is too slow, I feel. It’s too easy for anyone with a mobility option to nope out once they see or hear the cues. Speeding it up could make it more reliable as a fight initiator. It would also reduce the amount of time Hammond is vulnerable.


One of the main issues is how the mines can hang in mid air or even stick to walls too high up. Mines should only become primed after contact with the ground, not walls or just mid-air (which does happen sometimes) Apart from that, I think the ult is fine. It’s area denial, not a screen nuke. Increasing the health could help, but it’s not needed


Hammond is VERY, VERY weak to CC of almost any kind. I don’t want to remove this. He needs counters, especially since he can swing around points for as long as he wants. Stuns stop this.

However, the addition of an anti-CC hero could help him out, and allow him to function as an initiator.


Thank you for reading. I’ve actually had fun writing this. Please respond below. I’ve spent time on this and I’d like to see it gain some traction. Thank you!


as a roadhog main usually when i hook a wrecking ball they get a lot of shields and then rush away fast so i do not want any of those things buffed because they are already pretty ridiculous but the rest of his kit should be free for buffs

1 Like

As a person who pretty much exclusively plays Hamster when he’s playing Overwatch, there’s only one or two minor tweaks I’d like to see to his kit:

  • Slightly increase the length of his clip, OR increase the bullet damage by about 5-10%
  • Provide a visual telegraph for piledriver, so I don’t eff up and land in water half the time, and hit an unwanted ledge the rest of the time.

Aside from that, Hamster’s kit is fun, and balanced. It’s the amount of CC in the game presently that makes him borderline unplayable for anybody but the best.


That’s what I’ve tried to do. Focus more on his ability to fight, than his ability to move, which is leagues above almost all heroes.

How did I not think of that? Good idea!


You clearly do not venerate and love the Hamster enough. Make an offering of burnt carrots at the altar of the One Who Fell From The Sky - no not that one, the other one - and reflect upon your sinful ways. :wink:

Uh. I mean, play him more. Hahaha

1 Like

I really should. Once I fix this dang framerate I’m going to be playing LOTS more Overwatch.

Even so, I love the post. :slight_smile: It’d be good to see Hammond become a little bit more mainstream. I don’t want to see him in every game, but he should be viable for those of us with the dedication to master him - rather than feeling like a Brig or Sombra can mark him for execution and interrupt his moves with a simple back-hander and zero aim / strategy required. xD

One of my biggest bugbears with the current game, as it happens, is that because I’m so fast, but Sombra’s hack is so fast as well, I can go around a corner and be clean out of her line of sight, and STILL get hacked. Which means I then spend the next 6 seconds meandering around gathering holes. :frowning:

1 Like

Thanks, it means alot.

As you’ve seen, I’ve been going after smaller changes, some of which are more QOL than buff. We’ve seen in the past how small unassuming changes have actually made a hero good, or at least viable. (Look at the upcoming Hog changes for instance).

Exactly. I think Blizzard needs to stop taking a pneumatic drill to the game every time there’s a problem that requires a screw tightening up. Sombra as she used to be was a lot smoother and less frustrating - Mei used to be quite a niche pick but nonetheless a pleasant hero to play around. NOW, both heroes are utter monsters and their anti-fun characteristics have been emphasised, because they’ve been hilariously over-tuned. Small changes to bring heroes back into line runs a much lesser risk of breaking the game.

[EDIT: and Blizzard have openly acknowledged this as well, that smaller QOL changes are now their preferred approach to delivering nerfs / buffs, rather than fiddling too much with the stats on any given ability - much less likely to have unintended side-effects]

1 Like

OH! One last thing - why does Doomfist sever my grappling hook, even if all he does is brush past me at minimum force? It’s been the death of me so many times, and it makes fighting around a Doomfist so frustrating, that he can casually break my hook. Yet I can take a direct hit from a concussion rocket and use the grapple to remain anchored to cover? Blizz plz fix.

Wait it does that? I think CC in general needs to be looked at and made more consistent across the board.

1 Like

Yes it does - on both counts.

Remove the rodent replace with a chimp.

Fix the lore.

I’m actually seriously. The hamster is the size of a small DOG people! Why is this forgiven?!

Nano machines son.

The lore never mentions nano technology. Also that is a 1000 times bigger than a hamster anatomical limits.

So we have a case bigger than “Clifford the big Red Dog” here. Since the thing is bloated beyond what we normally would consider a whale size at this time.

It’s a metal gear joke.

Realistically, if they have the means to make a gorilla talk, I think they have the means to make a Hamster larger.

The Gorilla made sense. And a giant gorilla is a living species.

Not to mention scientific strides could only day engineer a Gorilla with enough of a sophisticated thinking process to match a human’s.

And since we as a species are biologically related to chimpazees it would make sense having Hammond the big brother to Winston is is clued to being smarter and a bugger sucess being a chimp.

Not only would it work lore wise but the earlier number suggest Hammond is an earlier trial case. Meaning he would have to be far more successful than originally anticipated before the evolved procedures were inplimented on a Gorilla who has less brain capacity. Thus less potential.

So this fits into the puzzle every which way.

Which makes a hamster feel like a slap in the face. Because rodents are nowhere near the same evolution or learning process that chimps and humans go through.

They are primal in fact they only survive. Main goals being eat sleep breed and run from danger.

I don’t really think Hammond needs any changes as of right now. He’s not too weak nor is he too strong. IMO his only real issue is that of chain stuns and feeding. You can trust me, I’m a Certified Wrecking Ball Main.

I’d either have ball-form hammond not be body blocked as badly as he’s now, somewhat pushing others aside OR allow him to rapidly change direction on ground regardless of momentum when not in top speed. If he’s going to have inertia, at least let it be so consistently.

Secondly, give top speed state a charge property so that when colliding with Reinhardt’s charge, rocket punch or shield-bash head-on (not from the sides or behind), both get knocked down.

Also a marker for Piledriver impact area would be good. It’s actually strange we don’t have one.

YES! Getting randomly trapped in rooms by enemies wandering around is so frustrating!