Friday, February 10, 2017

Damn right they're nerfin' Roadhog.


If you listen to the best video game podcast there's ever been (and you darned well should!), you're aware that the recent fix to Roadhog's hook is a goddamned affront to all that is good and holy - hateful, in the eyes of God, and shitty.  

Frankly, Hook 2.0 works perfectly - or at least, it works how Roadhog's hook was intended to work all along.  That is, it only pulls targets towards Roadhog that are currently in his line-of-sight *1, will no longer pull enemies around objects and through walls *2, and once an enemy is pulled, they are always deposited perfectly and squarely 2.0 meters in front of Roadhog *3, ready to get primary-fired out of the game by simply holding down the button.  

*1,2&3: 
None of this was true before the last patch. 

What it has also done, though, is reveal that Roadhog's Hook not working properly was balanced - and the thing working as intended is actually quite overpowered when compared to comparable abilities from any other hero.  McCree's flashbang - also a brief stun that doesn't yank a target away from their team and put them right in place for a Reaper shotgun blast - is on a ten second cooldown. Ana's Sleep Dart - inarguably the most powerful crowd control ability in the game outside of an ultimate ability - takes twelve seconds to refresh.  And McCree's stun and Ana's sleep don't guarantee a kill!  They just give it a lot of potential.  

If you have less than 450 HP and a Hook is tossed at you (it will hit, by the way - it has a hurtbox the size of Symmetra's alt-fire orb.  See: yuuuge), you will die unless the Roadhog is lagging.  If the Roadhog has a fine connection, you're dead. 

And he can currently do this every six seconds.  That's fucked.  I've been saying this for weeks, and today, finally, Blizzard has agreed.  (With me, personally.)


These are the changes that went up on the PTR today: 
Roadhog
Scrap Gun

  • Spread decreased by 20%
Chain Hook
  • Targets are now pulled to a location 3.5 meters away, up from 2 meters.
  • Cooldown increased from 6 to 8
Winston
Critical hit volume reduced by 15%

The Roadhog changes overall reduce the power of his hook a bit, but his gun is now more effective when not using the hook. 
Winston's head hit volume was just abnormally big, making him take more damage than he otherwise should. This change brings it more in line with other heroes.

Yay for Winston - they've just decreased the hitbox of his head, basically, so you can't headshot him from behind or from the side as easily, which is a nice if small buff for an under-appreciated hero, but HOOK COOLDOWN INCREASED FROM 6 TO 8 SECONDS.  That's all I wanted.  


It remains to be seen how these changes will play out in-game, but - just theorycrafting, here - it looks to me like the fact that a hooked target will land a bit further away from Hog (almost twice as far, actually!) and the fact that the spread on his scrap gun has been reduced by 20% means that - like a McCree who Flashbangs you - getting hooked is no longer a guaranteed death sentence.  Instead, I believe and hope it means the Roadhog player who has hooked you will have to employ some actual skill and game knowledge after the hook lands, to properly aim his post-hook primary fire blast.  

He will still, absolutely, be able to kill most squishies - but he won't be able to do it by just holding down primary fire, I hope.  He'l have to fucking aim.  Imagine that.  

As for me, I'll get a whole two seconds more to tear into a Hog before I have to worry about juking his hook again.  Sounds like fun. 

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