Wrecking Ball

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Wrecking Ball
Wrecking Ball.png
"Do not anger the hamster."

Real Name
Hammond
Status
Active
Age
14
Occupation
Test subject (formerly)
Mech pilot, mechanic
Base
Horizon Lunar Colony (formerly)
Junkertown (formerly)
Affiliation
Lucheng Interstellar (formerly)
Voice
Hammond: Dee Bradley Baker
Wrecking Ball: Jonathan Lipow[1]
Cosmetics
Cosmetic page
Quotes
Quotation page
Role
Tank
Health
500
Armor
100

Wrecking Ball is a Tank hero in Overwatch.

Overview

Wrecking Ball’s tinkering capabilities and iron-clad mech make him a formidable tank hero, capable of bowling through the front line of the opposition and causing mayhem in the back line. His primary weapon, Quad Cannons, are two sets of twin machine guns that shred enemies caught in their crosshairs. No team is too much for Wrecking Ball to engage against with his Adaptive Shield, which generates more health based on the number of enemies nearby. This shield makes him incredibly difficult to kill when he bulldozes into the fray and, once he starts to get low on health, also provides him the endurance to escape. The Rollability allows Wrecking Ball to withdraw the mech’s robotic limbs, transforming it into a ball with increased movement speed. No obstacle can stand in Wrecking Ball’s way when he uses Grappling Claw, a short-range ability that grips the environment, letting him swing across terrain gaps or around corners to smash enemies. Grappling Claw also allows Wrecking Ball to reach top speed and ram into foes, dealing destructive damage and knocking them back. While airborne, the mech’s Piledriver ability causes Wrecking Ball to slam down from the air and knock his enemies off their feet.

When Wrecking Ball is at his strongest, he can use Minefield which flings mines onto the ground that deal a considerable amount of damage to enemies unfortunate enough to trigger them.

Abilities

Quad Cannons

Weapon (Primary Fire)

Icon Stats Official Description
Quad cannons.png

Type
Hitscan
Damage
2.5-5 per shot
Falloff range
15-25 meters
Spread angle
~2 degrees
Rate of fire
25 shots per second
Ammo
80
Headshot


Automatic assault weapons.

Details





Grappling Claw

Secondary Fire

Icon Stats Official Description
Grappling claw.png

Damage
50 (maximum speed)
Move. speed
20 meters per second
Max. range
18 meters
Area of effect
6 meters
Duration
1.5 seconds (after release)
Cooldown
5 seconds


Launch a grappling claw to rapidly swing around the area. Enables high speed collisions to damage and knockback enemies.

Details

  • Attaches to a surface, allowing Wrecking Ball to swing around the point of contact.
  • Grappling Claw's radius is capped at 6 meters when rolling away from the point of tethering. However, it is possible to exceed this limit by grappling to the surface from further than 6 meters away.
  • If cast in Quadruped mode, Wrecking Ball enters Roll.
  • Max Speed knocks enemies backwards up to 10 meters.




Roll

Ability

Icon Stats Official Description
Roll.png

Move. speed
10 meters per second
Cooldown
1 second


Transform into a ball and increase maximum movement speed.

Details

  • Can be cast while in midair.
  • Can reload while in Roll.




Piledriver

Ability

Icon Stats Official Description
Piledriver.png

Type
Melee Area of Effect
Damage
100
Falloff range
10 damage per meter
Area of effect
10 meters
Cooldown
10 seconds


Slam into the ground below to damage and launch enemies upward.

Details

  • Bound to Crouch/Toggle Crouch.
  • 10 meter minimum cast height.
  • Knocks enemies 10 meters into the air if within impact radius.




Adaptive Shield

Ability

Icon Stats Official Description
Adaptive shield.png

Health
+100 barriers, +100 per enemy within radius
Area of effect
7 meters
Duration
7 seconds
Cooldown
15 seconds


Create temporary personal shields. Amount increases with more enemies nearby.

Details

  • If cast during Roll, Wrecking Ball is forced into Quadruped mode.
  • The shields do not give ult charge to the enemy team when they shoot it.




Minefield

Ultimate Ability

Icon Stats Official Description
Minefield.png

Health
~50 per mine
Damage
130 per mine
Area of effect
6 meters
Duration
20 seconds
Charge required
1400 points


Deploy a massive field of proximity mines.

Details

  • Deploys 15 proximity mines around him, each exploding on contact with an enemy.
  • The mines are arranged in a circular pattern of 1/6/8 mines per circle.
  • Wrecking Ball can regain ult charge while Minefield is deployed.
  • The radius of the mines scales with the height they are deployed from, with 6 meters being the minimum.



Story

Described as "witty and conniving," Hammond is capable of speech, just not in any human language. His mech (named "Wrecking Ball") translates his comments into English,[2] via a soundboard.[3] The mech itself is equipped with a minor AI.[4] Winston is the one individual Hammond can converse with normally as they're both animals.[3]

Horizon Lunar Colony

Journal Entry 1963-4. Harold Winston. Status update on Specimen 8. By now, we're all used to our super-intelligent gorillas on the colony. But the hamster...we've named him Hammond...continues to be one of our biggest surprises. Even though he's grown from the genetic modification, we have more trouble keeping track of him than any of the other animals. Somehow, he managed to get out of his cage again. It took us days to find him. I can't help but wonder what it is he's looking for when he gets out there. He's shown impressive problem solving skills and adaptability to new situations. And he's overcome all the challenges that have been placed in front of him. I for one can't wait to see what trouble the little guy gets up to next.
~ Doctor Harold Winston

In one of the many experiments carried out at Horizon Lunar Colony, animals were given genetic therapy to assess their adaptation to extended periods of habitation on the moon. As an unexpected side effect, several of them exhibited exceptional growth in physical size and brain function. While most of the test subjects were gorillas or other primates, there were some exceptions, including a hamster the staff named Hammond,[4] designated "Specimen 8."[5] He was contained in a large cage in his own room.[6][7]

Like the others, Hammond's intelligence grew.[4] He demonstrated impressive problem solving skills and adaptability,[7] and he became more curious about the world around him. Much to the puzzlement and amusement of the scientists, Hammond would frequently escape into different parts of the moon base.[4] The staff had more trouble keeping track of Hammond than any of the other test subjects, and in at least one case, it was days before he was returned to his holding area.[5] Though they'd always find him and return him to his cell, they never figured out the true purpose behind his nightly escapades. What they didn't know was that Hammond was busy teaching himself the skills of a mechanic, which would soon come in handy.[4]

In time, Hammond became good friends with one of the gorillas, Specimen 28.[5]

Hammond plans his escape

Before the base's fall, Hammond escaped from his cage. Dr. Zhang noted his absence, but few within the base gave it much heed. Hammond possibly escaped into the base's ventilation system, as in the same timeframe, Flores noted strange noises coming from the system.[8] The colony was eventually thrown into chaos when some of the gorillas rose up against the human scientists and took control. Not all of the animals participated, however, and Specimen 28, taking the name "Winston", was making a plan to escape to Earth. Hammond sensed his opportunity, prototyped a basic build plan using toys in his room, then finalized his build onto a blueprint with sticky notes.[7] Ignored in the uprising,[7] he converted an empty fuel pod into a makeshift escape capsule with a claw arm and tether,[9] and secretly hitched it to the bottom Winston's craft as the gorilla blasted off from Launch Bay 14. As the two entered Earth's atmosphere, the tether broke;[7] while Winston landed at Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Hammond landed in a different location: the wasteland of the Australian Outback, on the outskirts of Junkertown.[4][5]

One of the primates would eventually break down the door of Hammond's room for whatever reason, but by that time the hamster was already gone.[7][10]

The Junkers

Hammond modified his escape pod to become the cockpit of his own mech, which he built around it,[7] to enter the lucrative mech battle arena of the Scrapyard. Working his way up the ranks amongst the Junkers, the competitor known as "Wrecking Ball" went from contender to champion and had fun winning numerous times,[11][12][5] though the pilot's identity remained a mystery to all. As much fun as he had, Hammond never considered himself to be a Junker. Gathering his winnings, Hammond was able to upgrade his mech enough to survive the dangerous trek out of the Junker-controlled Outback.

Hammond leaves Junkertown

Now free to travel and do as he pleases, Hammond is exploring the world and finding new adventures along the way.[4]

Present

Years later, Lucheng Interstellar was able to retrieve information from Horizon's still-operating monitoring system. Hammond was noted to be missing from the base.[8]

Trivia

  • "Wrecking Ball" is the name that he chose for himself as a competitor in the Scrapyard, whereas Hammond was a name given to him by the scientists on the Lunar Horizon Colony. As such, Wrecking Ball is the primary name used in-game, rather than Hammond.[9]
  • Hammond's name and species can be a joke related to Top Gear/ The Grand Tour's Richard Hammond, who is sometimes referred to as "the Hamster". It's also notable that both drive fast vehicles.
  • The number 8 is painted on the Wrecking Ball chassis, referencing Hammond's official designation: Specimen 8.
  • Hammond doesn't speak English or any other human language as, according to Jeff Kaplan, that would be "completely ridiculous."[4] Winston can understand Hammond "because, of course, they're animals, and all animals can communicate with one another." Hammond communicates with humans via a soundboard in his mech.[3]
  • Hammond has the same eyebrow shape as Torbjörn, which Ben Zhang considers to be his favorite feature of the design, noting their many similarities as short statured engineers.[9]
  • Arnold Tsang took some inspiration for Hammond's design and coloration from the pet hamster he owned in college, Zug-Zug.[9]
  • Hammond is "Pikachu-sized."[3] In the Pokémon universe, Pikachus are 0.4 m/40 cm (1'04") high and weigh 6 kg (13.2 lbs).

Development

"Ball Guy" concept art.

The concept for Wrecking Ball actually originated early in Overwatch's development, during the game's original character design phase, as "Ball Guy," a spherical robot Arnold Tsang created while exploring circular robot designs, which stemmed from an early unused concept of Junkrat wearing a bomb-shaped suit. Geoff Goodman began designing this version of the hero as a "junkyard magnet bot," a robotic tank hero with a kit themed around magnetism, including abilities that allowed him to attract and repel bullets.[3] At around the same time, the concept artists were doing preliminary ideation for a "cute hero," which included several prototype designs of robots, rodents, and a robotic monkey, as well as precursors to D.Va; this same ideation phase would eventually produce Jetpack Cat. Eventually, these two lines of ideation would converge on the idea of a hamster in a hamster ball, and Arnold Tsang illustrated the first iteration of Wrecking Ball, as a robotic hamster piloting a quadrupedal robot that could transform into a sphere.[9]

The first iteration of Wrecking Ball.

The illustration was emailed out and clicked with the designers, but this new direction proved to be controversial within the Overwatch development team, with some loving the idea and others believing it would ruin the game. In 2014, Jeff Kaplan, Jeffrey Brill, and Randal Dumoret had a disagreement over the hero's inclusion, with Dumoret falling into the latter camp. The discussion resulted in Brill scheduling a meeting in 2024 to determine whether or not Wrecking Ball had ruined the game, and that if he had, he would be removed from the game at that point.[3] Though the team fully intended to eventually release the hero, they didn't feel it was the right time, and so Wrecking Ball remained shelved until some time in 2017, when he was brought back up and they started seriously discussing his implementation.[9]

Revisiting the concept, they decided that a mechanical hamster couldn't be as cute as an actual hamster. Using Tracer as a reference point they produced a number of hamster concepts to hone in on a specific style that suited Overwatch's "East meets West" aesthetic, ultimately deciding on a design that fell in between Hamtaro and Zootopia.[9] According to Kaplan, they also deliberated over Hammond's size, eventually deciding that he should be "Pikachu-sized."[3]

From there Wrecking Ball went through various design iterations with mechanics that focused on rolling around on the ground and down slopes to gain momentum and smash into enemies. Eventually, the grappling hook was incorporated into his kit, which fit into his wrecking ball theme, and his final design began to take shape with the Piledriver, Adaptive Shield, and Minefield abilities pulling everything together.[3]

While designing Wrecking Ball's legendary skins, because the hero concept was already quite different from the other heroes in the game, they decided to ground his default legendary skins in the existing Overwatch story, with his Junker skin reflecting his time as the Champion of the Scrapyard and his Lunar skin reflecting his time as an experimental test subject on the Horizon Lunar Colony.[9]

Prior to his release, an Overwatch tweet was released containing a video that featured several posters on a wall, one of which was a Horizon commercial displaying most likely a chimpanzee or a similar specimen flying in space.[13] This led to speculation that this was teasing Hammond as a playable hero.[14] With the release of the Patch 1.25, a new room was added to Horizon Lunar Colony neighboring Winston's room with the text "Specimen 8" written on the door, confirming that this was Hammond's room.

Videos

References

  1. 2018-06-28, Michael Chu. Twitter. Accessed on 2018-06-28
  2. 2018-06-29, Overwatch's Latest Hero Is Wrecking Ball, A Hamster In A Mech. Kotaku, accessed on 2018-06-30
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 2018-06-29, Seagull Interview with Geoff Goodman, Scott Mercer, and Jeff Kaplan. Twitch, accessed on 2018-07-12
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 NEW HERO FIRST LOOK: WRECKING BALL, Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2018-06-28
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 2018-06-29, Developer Update | Introducing Wrecking Ball | Overwatch. YouTube, accessed on 2018-06-29
  6. Specimen 8's room, Horizon Lunar Colony
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 2018-06-29, [NEW HERO – COMING SOON Wrecking Ball Origin Story | Overwatch]. YouTube, accessed on 2018-06-29
  8. 8.0 8.1 2017-05-30, NEW DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT POSSIBLE FATE OF HORIZON LUNAR COLONY. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-06-18
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Wrecking Ball Live-Drawing & Art Discussion
  10. Specimen 8's room, Horizon Lunar Colony
  11. Junkertown posters
  12. The champion revealed.
  13. 2018-06-21, Overwatch Twitter. Twitter, accessed on 2018-06-22
  14. 2018-06-21, IS OVERWATCH TEASING HERO 28?. IGN, accessed on 2018-06-22


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