Overwatch PTR update brings more changes to Roadhog's hook [Updated]

Update: The PTR changes are now live. Let us know what you think!

Original story:

A new update that's headed to the Overwatch PTR brings further refinements to Roadhog's hook, and also makes a couple of small tweaks to Ana and Sombra. Ana's Biotic Grenade duration is being reduced from five seconds to four, and Sombra's hack cooldown will now take eight seconds instead of 12. 

The hook is the focus, though, and from the PTR update announcement, here's what's in store:

  • Added some more line of sight checks towards the left/right of a potential hook target. This means it should be easier to hook someone who is sticking halfway out of a doorway, or behind a thin pole, etc. These checks are also used for the persistent line of sight check, so if a hook target moves behind a slim object like a stump or a lightpole, they won't be released anymore.
  • Hooked targets are now slowed heavily while they are stunned, even if they are in the air. This means if someone is strafe jumping away from you and you land a hook, they are a lot less likely to slide out of line on sight, breaking the hook.
  • Fixed a bug that could allow you to hook someone and pull them behind you if you spun around before the hook landed.

The update comes a week after Blizzard made its first round of changes to the big man's grapple, which were basically a nerf to the effectiveness of the hook, and thus the character. It sounds like this update is intended to modulate some of those changes by making it a little easier to be hooked—although not as easy as it was—and a little harder to get away. 

It's nice to see that Blizzard is using the PTR to actually test out these balance changes and make granular adjustments, taking into account hero power level and community feedback. Either way, it remains to be see if these changes will make it to the live servers or if more tweaks are still in store.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.