“The Junkertown map showcases her tough, almost brutal personality, and we wanted her abilities and playstyle to match that energy,” says Blizzard of its new Overwatch 2 hero Junker Queen’s abilities. The new tank character is ready to hitch the FPS game’s roster in time for the second Overwatch 2 public beta, and a fast glimpse at her equipment reveals that she’s adopting a number of tips often related to the assist function.

Now, a developer weblog from Blizzard digs into the design choices that went into creating her brawling-oriented loadout. The developer says Junker Queen’s pre-existing function in Overwatch’s lore meant that “she had big community expectations resting on her stately shoulders.” As such, they leant into her model as a scrappy, harmful fighter – “a berserker tank whose survivability is directly connected to how many enemies she’s wounding.”

This is mirrored in her passive means, Adrenaline Rush, which causes Junker Queen to heal from all injury over time dealt by wounds. Wounds will be attributable to her Jagged Blade melee, which applies each on her fast melee assault or when utilizing an lively means to throw the knife at an opponent, in addition to together with her Carnage means and Rampage final. Wounding causes enemy well being to slowly drain, which feeds into Junker Queen’s lifesteal.

Her axe, generally known as Carnage, was “the starting point for her design,” says Blizzard – it’s one of many defining options of how the character has beforehand been depicted within the narrative of Overwatch. The staff determined to not make her a melee-first hero, nonetheless, limiting Carnage’s use to abilities. “Historically, making a melee hero in Overwatch has come with its own set of challenges.” The staff cites Genji’s Dragonblade, which was initially his main weapon earlier than turning into an final means within the ultimate launch as a result of it “didn’t translate well in-game.” Rather than giving Junker Queen the same final, they determined to make it a cooldown-based means.

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Originally, the axe was going to be thrown, but it surely made for too inflexible a playstyle. Instead, the staff allowed Junker Queen to hurl her melee weapon, a knife known as Gracie, as her secondary fireplace. Landing it in an enemy wounds them, after which recalling it drags the opponent in the direction of Junker Queen. “When Reinhardt was first prototyped,” Blizzard explains, “he was able to throw his hammer – an ability that was cool in theory, but awkward in practice.” This was as a result of Reinhardt needed to go over and choose up his hammer manually, whereas Junker Queen has a magnetic gauntlet that she makes use of to drag her weapons to her.

As talked about earlier, the wound impact on Gracie additionally applies to her fast melee means so long as Junker Queen is holding her knife, additionally making use of the lifesteal passive. This extra impact follows on from the implementation of a snap kick melee for Zenyatta, which suggests the staff is extra keen to experiment with distinctive melee tips for the game’s sequel.

Commanding Shout, Junker Queen’s ultimate common means, quickly will increase her personal well being by 200 and that of any close by allies by 100, making everybody briefly rather more survivable – excellent for diving into the fray head-first. Crucially, it additionally applies a 30% motion pace buff throughout the identical AoE – the game’s first staff motion pace buff since Lucio. The staff says this was designed to replicate her aggressive, confrontal nature: “She brute forces her way through her opposition with a relentless aggression that demands space.”

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Similarly, Junker Queen’s final means, named Rampage, additionally drives her straight into battle. Spinning Carnage and Gracie round her magnetic gauntlet, Junker Queen fees ahead in a straight line, making use of a wound to anybody in the way in which and stopping them from being healed for a brief interval. Once once more, Junker Queen dips into the assist means pool, turning into solely the second hero with a therapeutic prevention means after Ana’s Biotic Grenade.

Blizzard explains Rampage’s design, saying, “We didn’t want it to feel elegant or magic-influenced, because it didn’t align well conceptually with [her] character. It’s a display of the raw, visceral power she possesses as Queen.” The means to wound a number of enemies, thus offering passive therapeutic to Junker Queen herself whereas concurrently blocking the enemy from doing the identical, actually reads as significantly potent.

As famous by Blizzard, Junker Queen is the primary tank to be constructed with Overwatch 2’s new 5v5 staff composition in thoughts. “Tanks play more aggressively in Overwatch 2, and Junker Queen is certainly no exception – in fact, she’d consider herself the rule.”