Blizzard is aware of Overwatch 2 players’ concerns regarding its newest hero’s tether skill and its ability to sabotage fellow teeamdmates.
After an initial leak, yesterday saw Blizzard formerly debut Overwatch 2’s next playable hero – a Taiwanese support character named Lifeweaver.
However, a demonstration of his skills quickly attracted concerns from players. With his Life Grip ability, Lifeweaver can grab and reposition allies and enemies alike, meaning a nasty player could send their own teammates off the map if they wanted to.
The team at Blizzard is obviously hoping that players will know better than to troll one another, but also believes that they have enough fail-safes in place to mitigate such behaviour.
Lifeweaver isn’t in the game yet, as he’s scheduled to arrive next week on April 11 as part of season 4’s battle pass.
However, footage from test servers and an official gameplay trailer highlight his rather worrying potential, and hero design producer Kenny Hudson admits there was some apprehension during the Life Grip’s conception.
‘Internally, when we were coming up with this ability, there was a little bit of apprehensiveness,’ he tells PC Gamer. ‘But what we found as we were playtesting was that we actually saw a lot of heroic saves with Life Grip, especially if you have an over-extending tank or something like that.’
Expecting players not to succumb to their worst impulses, and sabotage others, seems a little naïve, but it sounds like the development team is keenly aware of its trolling potential.
‘In terms of trolling, we do have some controls over where Life Grip can be cast from, and it’s doing some detection to make sure that you’re not doing something really bad like dragging someone into a death plane off the side of the map or something like that,’ Hudson explains.
You’ll have to wait and see if these fail-safes are enough. After all, flinging other players into pits isn’t the only issue; one player was able to figure out how to circumvent the Life Grip ability’s long recharge time and use it to keep another player in the spawn point, effectively preventing them from playing the game.
Should Lifeweaver become too much of a problem, be it in casual or competitive play, Blizzard will likely be prompted to seriously nerf or rework his abilities.
The likes of Mei and Bastion proved to be too powerful during Overwatch 2’s first month after launch and were temporarily disabled. Although those were instances of bugs rather than deliberate design choices.
Overwatch 2 is available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
My favorite part about Lifeweaver is that heâs able to keep teammates in spawn forever pic.twitter.com/9fFP1m7ctj
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