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.
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!