Roadhog’s hook in Overwatch can be a powerful weapon in the hands of a skilled player, and there have long been complaints about its ability to hook its target through walls. It’s a situation Blizzard will be adjusting, and the fixes may appear on the public test region as soon as this week before being adopted across the board.
“Firstly, the hook victim will now move in to the position directly in front of Roadhog, rather than just a straight line towards him,” Geoff Goodman, Overwatch’s principal designer, wrote in a forum post. “There is a cap on how far 'to the side' you can be pulled, so you can't just hook someone, spin 180, and dump someone off a cliff. This part (along with some other bug fixes) should generally make the hook feel more consistent as to where the victims get pulled.”
Fans have also claimed the hook was hitscan weapon, which means the game draws a straight line from where you’re aiming, and if the line intersects the target, it’s hit. No physical object is being modeled flying through the air with hitscan attacks.
This is a claim Blizzard shot down last October.
“Under the hood of the Overwatch engine, Roadhog’s hook is basically a sphere that he throws out and searches for targets as it moves,” Blizzard explained to Kotaku in an email. “If the hook finds a target, it will pull them back to you. We’re talking about various improvements to the hook to help solve odd edge cases, especially where the target is out of line of sight or unable to reasonable be moved back to Roadhog. It is not a hitscan attack.”
Other videos make the same case:
The fixes coming to the game will adjust how the hook acts, and they’re changes that wouldn’t be possible with a hitscan weapon.
“Secondly, the line-of-sight check to see if a hook should connect or not is now checked from Roadhog's position, instead of the hook's position,” Goodman explained. “This basically means the hook can't connect to targets that Roadhog himself can't see.”
The final change will make it possible for players with quick reflexes or already in motion to break the chain.
“Lastly, there is a new persistent line-of-sight check back to Roadhog once the hook has landed,” Goodman said. “If this check fails, the hook breaks off and returns to Roadhog. This means if you get hooked and move out of [line of sight] quickly (either you dashed, were falling, were pushed, etc), the hook will now break early and not pull the target.”
Fan reaction ranges from relief to fear that the ability to break the hook’s connection will move things too far in the other direction.
“Not really sure I like the idea of making the hook break once it's connected,” one player wrote on the forum. “They should have just made it harder to connect period. Oh well. We'll see what happens.”
As always, this is an ongoing process. “We'll evaluate his performance once we get people playing him and make adjustments as necessary,” Goodman said.