Fans were elated when the adorable little hamster and his giant mechball was announced. What’s not to love? A genetically mutated and super-intelligent hamster piloting an upgraded escape pod he used to travel from the moon to Australia – it doesn’t get much better than that.
Or so we say, because it could have in fact been slightly better than that. Fans were quite upset when the official profile for the little guy was revealed… and Hammond wasn’t actually called Hammond. No, instead he was given the codename Wrecking Ball.
While codenames are far from unusual in Overwatch, Wrecking Ball isn’t exactly a great choice, at least if, well, roughly half of all the Overwatch forums and reddit are to be believed. In fact, for a community that so often disagrees on things, fans are surprisingly pretty much in agreement that Blizzard made a mistake here, and many are asking them to change the name, or at least for players to call him Hammond anyway.
Hammond is a rebel
Why don’t people like it? Well, there is a long list of reasons. First of all, it’s about as un-creative as it gets. A big ball that wrecks things? However did they come up with the name? Secondly, as far as in-game call-outs go, Wrecking Ball is pretty terrible. Ham or Hamster or even Hammond make for a far better and easier call-out, especially to non-English-speaking players.
In fact, some people have written what are essentially essays analysing the words Wrecking Ball and precisely how and why they are so unpleasant to pronounce, including analysing the movements of mouth and tongue when forming the letters and words. That’s some real dedication, folks!
Others have also complained that the name is too impersonal. We agree – after all, Blizzard gives us an adorable hamster piloting a giant hunk of metal with some pretty rad skills…and then names the hamster after the ball? That hardly does the little guy justice. After all, this adorable rodent managed to teach himself the skills needed to build an escape pod and flee another planet!
The other side of the ball
Fans feel that the name should focus more on the little hero. After all, D.Va isn’t called Mech and Reaper isn’t called Shotgun either. Now that said, there are a few sporadic voices that are defending the name choice.
While most players are in agreement, there are a few that are not. They argue that the reason for his codename can be found in his backstory, and that Wrecking Ball is a better fit for him because of it. We know that Hammond used to be a gladiator in the Scrapyard. That is where he adopted the moniker and it’s easy to see why – after all, Hammond isn’t exactly the most fearsome of names. In order to succeed in a gladiator type environment, it’s easy to see why he would take a more appropriate name.
Despite this, we agree with the majority here – Hammond should be Hammond and not Wrecking Ball. It will be interesting to see whether Blizzard will relent and change the name, or whether fans will just end up using Hammond anyway in protest.