The Hooker (2.1)

The time has finally come. The dreaded hook of Roadhog that made the character infamous has finally been given a well-deserved, long awaited patch. The ridiculously frustrating hook has been replaced by what developers call “Hook 2.0”, hoping to bring a change to the notorious and universally hated “Hook 1.0”. The change is huge, but is it any good?

With Hook 1.0, the game ‘sees’ in the perspective of the hook when it detects a hostile object (which in Overwatch coding are square, cylindrical and rectangular ‘hitboxes’ that identify characters on the opposing team), making hooking frustrating for both Roadhog and his targets in many cases. Victims can get hooked in locations beyond Roadhog’s line of sight, and absurd hooks can often occur, sometimes unfairly out of range, or even behind walls. On the flip side, Roadhog players experience stutters in gameplay. Roadhogs who do aim and land a hook would sometimes find their target behind them, which totally breaks gameplay logic. Having to then 180 is frustrating and usually allows targets time to escape when they should easily have been one-shot by the hook combo.

As of patch 1.7.2, the game now sees the hook action from Roadhog’s point of view. This means that hooks land where they should land, and targets appearing in random locations after being hooked no longer occurs… most of the time. Targets that successfully evade Roadhog’s line of sight get to break away from the hook, although they still take the 30 HP damage penalty. These changes have definitely increased the stability of the hook mechanic for both Roadhog players and their victims, making the game fairer and more enjoyable on the whole.

Now with patch 1.8.2, “Hook 2.1” has been introduced, with the hog’s Scrap Gun spread decreasing by 20% for both primary and alternate fire modes, making it easier to concentrate damage within a target’s hitbox and secure a headshot. On the downside though, Blizzard increased the skill ceiling of Roadhog once again, by increasing the distance of pulled targets from 2 meters to 3.5 meters away. The cooldown of the hook has also been increased from 6 seconds to 8.

These recent changes have definitely increased the skill required to play Roadhog as a champion, and introduced new variations of play. Previously, targets hooked are almost definitely killed the closer they end up to Roadhog, but now teammate intervention is possible. By deploying her shield, a D.VA can block her hooked teammate from taking damage. However the downside is that Blizzard has effectively killed off Hog’s dreaded hook-gun-melee combo since effective melee range is 3 meters — 0.5 meters short of hook distance. The cooldown increase also decreases Roadhog’s ability to pick off targets at an astounding 1 per second, making him value duck-and-cover more than before in the field.

The overall impact of these changes can only be seen in the long term, when players get used to the new hook and its interplay potential. Right now, the hook makes for a novel weapon-type, but it still feels bugged and unfair. Overwatch devs, you still have some work to do yet on balancing the Roadhog hook.

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4 thoughts on “The Hooker (2.1)

    • Hi there, great to hear that you still play Roadhog despite the new changes!

      Unfortunately I do not have FB and will not be able to share the article in your group. Thanks for reading my post though. 🙂

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      • Haha I tried playing him last night and failed miserably in a 3v3 but meh! Of course, love your stuff. Well, you may not have FB but maybe you’re be interested in getting more views for you work? I actually work for a platform/publisher called Creators.co. It’s similar to WP but we also have a bigger community of readers and will share your work on various social media like out big FB pages that have millions of subscribers. No biggie if you don’t just figured I’d offer. There’s info on my page here.

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  1. Hi, I’ll have to respectfully decline your offer as I’m unsure if I will be posting further articles on gaming. Thanks for the heads up though. 🙂

    Like

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