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|"Do not anger the hamster."|
|Test subject (formerly)|
Mech pilot, mechanic
|Horizon Lunar Colony (formerly)|
|Lucheng Interstellar (formerly)|
|Hammond: Dee Bradley Baker|
Wrecking Ball: Jonathan Lipow
Wrecking Ball rolls across the battlefield, using his arsenal of weapons and his mech’s powerful body to crush his enemies.
As an offense-oriented tank hero, Wrecking Ball's greatest strength lies in his high mobility, which he uses to disrupt the enemy team by forcing them out of position and initiating team fights. A good Wrecking Ball is excellent at establishing area control, knowing when and how to engage and disengage the enemy to create opportunities for his teammates. He can do so at will by switching between walker and ball mode as the situation changes. The dual machine guns deployed in walker mode provide a hitscan-ranged attack in exchange for mobility, while ball mode allows Wrecking Ball to damage enemies up close and quickly transverse the battlefield. Wrecking Ball's grappling hook allows him to tether to a surface to either gain vertical positioning and acceleration to inflect contact damage within an area at top speed. Should he find himself outnumbered, Wrecking Ball can generate temporary shields to block incoming damage, which increase with the number of enemies nearby. Lastly, Wrecking Ball has strong area denial by deploying a mine field, which inflict heavy damage to any enemy that comes into detonation range.
While Wrecking Ball is more mobile tank than Winston, he has no means of directly protecting his teammates from damage, making him a poor choice as a solo tank. His high dependency on his abilities and mobility makes him a sitting target when they are being limited or disabled. Furthermore, his massive size also makes him an easy target for the enemy team to focus fire if he cannot escape.
Weapons & Abilities
- Quad Cannons: Wrecking Ball's primary fire.
- Due to its low damage, fast fire rate, and relatively low ammo, it is meant for short engagements. Target low health enemies such as ones damaged by Piledriver.
- Quick melee can help with the damage.
- Quad Cannons automatically reload if Wrecking Ball is in Roll mode.
- Quad Cannons are for the most part ineffective against barriers and high HP targets.
- Grappling Claw: Wrecking Ball's mobility ability that enables him to swing.
- It allows Wrecking Ball to get to the objective far quicker than any most heroes in the game.
- Its short cooldown means Wrecking Ball can engage with it, and then disengage with it.
- By attaching to a pillar or even the payload, terrain permitting, Wrecking Ball can swing indefinitely.
- Wrecking Ball can contest the objective, damage and knock back enemies, and build ultimate charge while doing this. (However, it can make him vulnerable to stuns or knockback effects.)
- Roll: Wrecking Ball turns into a ball with increased mobility.
- As a ball, Wrecking Ball's default speed is much faster than other heroes. He can use this to disengage a fight.
- While in roll mode, Wrecking Ball has no critical hitbox.
- If Wrecking Ball is being frozen by Mei, use Roll to prevent her (or her teammates) from headshotting.
- Adaptive Shield: Wrecking Ball gains personal shields with additional shields for each nearby enemy.
- These shields do not give the enemy team ultimate charge meaning Wrecking Ball can engage without the fear of charging enemy ultimates.
- Despite more enemies generating more shields, Wrecking Ball is much more susceptible to damage. Adaptive Shield should not be overestimated and disengaging is still necessary.
- Piledriver: If Wrecking Ball is in the air, he can slam downwards and damage all nearby enemies.
- Enemies are launched in the air, making them easy targets for Quad Cannons.
- Piledriver enemies behind an Orisa barrier to make them vulnerable in the air.
- If high ground is nearby (such as a staircase), go on top to use Piledriver so that Grappling Claw can be saved and Wrecking Ball can escape immediately.
- By jumping off the payload, Wrecking Ball gains enough height to use Piledriver.
- If Wrecking Ball rolls into a corner, he gains enough height to use Piledriver.
- Coordinate with your team when using Piledriver, as it can deny friendly ultimates (such as Earthshatter) if mistimed.
- Minefield: Wrecking Ball's ultimate ability.
- It is used to deny area or to distract the enemy team.
- If Wrecking Ball uses Minefield while in the air, the mines become more spread out and more area is covered.
- It takes a short delay for the mines to activate.
- A combo to ensure the mines hit something is to have Wrecking Ball launch himself in the air, use Minefield while in the air, and then use Piledriver. Nearby enemies will be launched into the air by Piledriver, and they will fall down to the now active mines.
- Minefield is extremely valuable while in overtime since it can deny access to the objective. For example, Wrecking Ball can go on top of the payload and then use Minefield to deny the entire area around the payload.
Wrecking Ball is all about disruption, quick engagements and disengagements, and denying area. Use Grappling Claw and Piledriver to roll through masses of enemies to quickly gain ultimate charge and scattering the enemy team. For example, Wrecking Ball can smack a Reinhardt away from his team, leaving them vulnerable. Roll and Adaptive Shield help to survive and disengage. Once Minefield is ready, Wrecking Ball can combo it with Piledriver to prevent or even end team fights. Wrecking Ball can also target specific enemies by slamming down with Piledriver, shooting them with Quad Cannons, and hitting a quick melee.
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, via a soundboard. The mech itself is equipped with a minor AI. Winston is the one individual Hammond can converse with normally as they're both animals.
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 designated Specimen 8, but whom the staff named "Hammond". He was contained in a large cage in his own room.
Like the others, Hammond's intelligence grew. He demonstrated impressive problem solving skills and adaptability, 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. Ignored in the uprising, he converted an empty fuel pod into a makeshift escape capsule with a claw arm and tether, 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; while Winston landed at Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Hammond landed in a different location: the wasteland of the Australian Outback, on the outskirts of Junkertown.
Hammond modified his escape pod to become the cockpit of his own mech, which he built around it, 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, 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.
Now free to travel and do as he pleases, Hammond is exploring the world and finding new adventures along the way.
|Absorb 1500 damage with Wrecking Ball's Adaptive Shield without dying in Quick or Competitive play.|
|Roll through 4 enemies within 2 seconds as Wrecking Ball in Quick or Competitive play.|
- Wrecking Ball is Hero 28 and the seventh new hero added to the game.
- "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.
- 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 can't speak English or any other human language as, according to Jeff Kaplan, that would be "completely ridiculous." 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.
- Hammond did not create the AI in his mech. 
- 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.
- Arnold Tsang took some inspiration for Hammond's design and coloration from the pet hamster he owned in college, Zug-Zug.
- Hammond is "Pikachu-sized." In the Pokémon universe, Pikachus are 0.4 m/40 cm (1'04") high and weigh 6 kg (13.2 lbs).
- In the Attacker spawn of Dorado, if the bells are rung in the tune of the Overwatch theme song, Hammond will sing it shortly after.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. According to Kaplan, they also deliberated over Hammond's size, eventually deciding that he should be "Pikachu-sized."
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.
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.
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. This led to speculation that this was teasing Hammond as a playable hero. 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.
- 2018-06-28, Michael Chu. Twitter. Accessed on 2018-06-28
- 2018-06-29, Overwatch's Latest Hero Is Wrecking Ball, A Hamster In A Mech. Kotaku, accessed on 2018-06-30
- 2018-06-29, Seagull Interview with Geoff Goodman, Scott Mercer, and Jeff Kaplan. Twitch, accessed on 2018-07-12
- NEW HERO FIRST LOOK: WRECKING BALL, Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2018-06-28
- 2018-06-29, Developer Update | Introducing Wrecking Ball | Overwatch. YouTube, accessed on 2018-06-29
- Specimen 8's room, Horizon Lunar Colony
- 2018-06-29, [NEW HERO – COMING SOON Wrecking Ball Origin Story | Overwatch]. YouTube, accessed on 2018-06-29
- 2017-05-30, NEW DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT POSSIBLE FATE OF HORIZON LUNAR COLONY. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-06-18
- Wrecking Ball Live-Drawing & Art Discussion
- Specimen 8's room, Horizon Lunar Colony
- Junkertown posters
- The champion revealed.
- 2019-02-16, Michael Chu. Overwatch Forums, accessed on 2019-02-16
- 2018-06-21, Overwatch Twitter. Twitter, accessed on 2018-06-22
- 2018-06-21, IS OVERWATCH TEASING HERO 28?. IGN, accessed on 2018-06-22