Overwatch 2’s next hero is Lifeweaver, a ranged healer with a massive amount of utility under his belt. Also known as Niran Pruksamanee, the herbal pansexual is the first Thai hero to enter the multiplayer game. Blizzard has been teasing a supporting hero for Overwatch 2 Season 4 for some time, and – Game News got a chance to find out more about Lifeweaver in an interview with the Overwatch team ahead of its dazzling debut.

Lifeweaver has a number of inspirations behind its design, including WoW’s ever-popular Druid. “The biggest inspiration for this character is the shape of the mandala,” says lead technical character artist Chonlawat Thammawan, who originally pitched a Thai hero to the character design team. From its clothing to its iconography, Lifeweaver’s design is a stunning celebration of Thai culture, and its FPS gaming debut even coincides with Thai New Year.

“He’s definitely a supporting character in personality,” comments lead narrative designer Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie, noting Lifeweaver’s warm and personable nature that naturally fosters team inclusion. The source of his healing powers is his own invention: Biolight, a miraculous regenerative technology he developed to help the sick and injured he encountered on his travels.

According to lead hero designer Alec Dawson, designing new heroes in Overwatch 2 comes down to one question: “Does this kit bring something refreshing that will appeal to players in a way that no one else would? what hero before him? Lifeweaver’s kit does just that, including abilities that manipulate enemy and ally positions at key times. His Petal Platform ability spawns a pressure-sensitive platform that rises when heroes from both teams step on it, while his Life Grip ability shields a targeted ally and puts them into position.

Lifeweaver’s control abilities open up a whole host of new strategies when you’re in the middle, but his team’s heart remains his regenerative healing bloom. “The goal was to create another support hero that wasn’t dependent on aiming,” says Alec Dawson. “Lifeweaver is designed for players who care a little more about their own positioning, their sense of the game; these are the skills that more than necessarily check the ability to aim.

While Lifeweaver is a primary healer at heart, his Thorn Volley serves as an alternate primary fire that can deal a respectable amount of damage to ward off attackers. His Rejuvenating Rush also provides a short burst of passive healing to keep you alive while you back up or reposition. “We want our supports to be able to hold their own a bit,” says Alec Dawson, noting Overwatch 2’s changes to legacy support heroes to account for the sequel’s fast pace and 5v5 team structure. We’ve also seen this sentiment reflected in Overwatch 2’s first support hero, Kiriko, whose own kit promotes survivability alongside dedicated healing.

As for Lifeweaver’s passive, Parting Gift triggers on death and causes him to drop a healing item that can be picked up by heroes on both teams. “Lifeweaver is very supportive, very affectionate, encourages everyone,” Dawson says with a laugh, “sometimes even your enemy benefits too.” Luckily, that doesn’t extend to his ultimate, Tree of Life, which heals allies within its perimeter while it remains active and can be placed anywhere on the map to disrupt lines of sight and block points. of strangulation. .

The complexity of Lifeweaver’s kit means there’s a learning curve when it comes to getting the most out of its use, like keeping Healing Blossom charged during downtime or jumping to the top of the ascent of Petal Platform to reach new heights. “In all of our testing, (Lifeweaver) is one of the hardest heroes to master,” says Alec Dawson. However, he is also quick to confirm that Lifeweaver’s skill floor is still accessible to beginners: “I will say that Lifeweaver is actually very accessible, but it will take some time to maestro Weaver of life.

Overwatch 2 Lifeweaver – Lifeweaver and Symmetra stand side by side, both pondering their respective light particle technologies in clear parallel with each other.

As alumni of the Vishkar Academy of Architects, Lifeweaver’s connection to Symmetra in Overwatch 2 lore is reflected in both gameplay and voice lines. “They are both architects of light, so they can both generate constructions,” Thammawan quips. “His team tends to work well together.” Symmetra’s strength usually lies in the synergy of her team, and we anticipate this blossoming friendship will help both heroes climb our Overwatch 2 tier list.

On team composition, Dawson points to Lifeweaver’s ability to quickly reposition aggressive flankers like Genji or Reaper, while other explosive healers like Ana or Baptiste can take over for Healing Blossom while he’s on his way. charging or recharging. True to nature, we can expect Lifeweaver to perform well in pocket tactics as well (no, not that one).

Lifeweaver will be unlockable through the Overwatch 2 Battle Pass in the upcoming season. His kit has the potential to give even more grounded heroes a shot at verticality, so be sure to refresh Overwatch 2’s maps before its debut. While you’re here, we’ve got the latest news on the Overwatch 2 PvE release date if you’re hungry to know.

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