Blizzard Reveals New Tank Hero for Overwatch 2: Meet Mauga
Blizzard unveiled its latest addition to the ever-expanding roster of Overwatch 2 at Blizzcon 2023. In a recent interview with Polygon at the convention, lead hero designer Alec Dawson shared more insights into Mauga, the newest hero, and the process behind creating a damage-focused tank.
Mauga is designed to sustain himself and his team through damage. His abilities revolve around maximizing damage potential, making him particularly appealing to new players. The development team aimed for his abilities to feel satisfying while using both chain guns, without allowing him to instantly wipe out opponents. To balance this, Mauga’s guns have a wide spread, making him a formidable threat in close quarters.
Mauga possesses a unique charging ability called Overrun, which allows him to move freely and renders him virtually unstoppable, even against disabling effects such as sleep darts. Additionally, Mauga’s charging ability grants him the ability to slam opponents to the ground, stunning them while sending nearby enemies flying.
His ultimate ability, Cage Fight, creates a zone that traps opponents and prevents healing from outside it. Notably, the ultimate remains active even if Mauga dies. While support hero Lifeweaver can rescue Mauga from the ultimate zone, enemy players will remain trapped until the ability expires.
Dawson emphasized that Mauga, despite being a tank, can deal more damage than some DPS heroes. However, opposing teams can take advantage of his reload time or depleted abilities to retaliate. He also highlighted the importance of high healing output and support to sustain Mauga due to his large size and potential vulnerability.
Regarding the cultural representation of Mauga, the development team collaborated closely with a traditional tattoo artist from the Samoan community to ensure authenticity. They aimed to depict Mauga in the most respectful and realistic manner possible.
During the testing phase, the team explored different iterations for Mauga’s weapon mechanics, including a version where his right gun dealt critical damage to airborne enemies, specifically targeting flying-based heroes. Ultimately, they settled on the current design, where the right gun inflicts critical damage on enemies set on fire by the left gun. The intention was for both guns to be equally important and useful.
One of the challenges the development team faced was effectively conveying visual cues for Mauga’s Cardiac Overdrive ability. To address this, they revisited an old idea used for Roadhog, where his ability healed nearby teammates. This provided a solution to striking a balance between informative visuals and avoiding overwhelming the player with excessive on-screen information.
Mauga’s ultimate ability was originally D.va’s, involving a dome of lasers. However, the team decided to repurpose the ultimate for Mauga as they believed it suit his character better.
Although initially planned for release in season 2, Mauga was pushed back to allow the development team to refine his kit and ensure seamless gameplay with his abilities. This additional time enabled them to polish Mauga and achieve their vision for the hero.