In a move that shouldn’t come as a surprise, Blizzard Entertainment has announced the first Thai and openly pansexual hero, Lifeweaver, for Overwatch 2.
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The first Overwatch 2 hero from Thailand, Blizzard Entertainment states Lifeweaver is “characterized by his love and respect for nature as well as his advanced biolight technology. This groundbreaking technology is woven throughout his abilities, and it plays a pivotal role in the healing and utility aspects of his kit.”
In short, he is a healer that can shoot allies with healing energy or pepper foes with shots, and create a floating platform allies can stand on. He can also pull allies closer to himself while shielding them, heal himself while dashing, drop health pick-ups on death, and has an Ultimate that creates an area where nearby allies are healed over time.
Blizzard Entertainment state Lifeweaver’s design “is the result of a culmination of many different teams, including various concept art, hero design, and narrative. One of these pieces features an older physician who drew healing energy into his hands and blasted it into his allies, a bit like Moira’s Coalescence.”
This was built upon until we got the character as described by Lead Narrative Designer Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie (starting 3:39). Niran Pruksamanee grew up visiting botanical festivals, and cared for his compound’s garden alongside the family gardeners. His family sought to reign in this free spirit by sending him to Vishkar Corporation’s prestigious academy, where he would meet Symmetra.
Take a deep dive on how our newest Support Hero came to life 🌸
The team behind Lifeweaver explores his beautiful design, his botanical background in Thailand, his time at the Vishkar Architech Academy where he met Symmetra, and how he came to develop biolight! pic.twitter.com/W9fpVgFI1H
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) April 4, 2023
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Using his family’s wealth to travel, he learned more of the pains and illnesses the people of the world suffered, and objected to Vishkar’s regimented ways. He turned to biotechnology to help others, developing “Bio-Light” to create organic material to heal wounds. While he wanted to give this technology freely, Vishkar felt it was their property, as it was developed on their time and money.
Lifeweaver fled and was hunted by Vishkar’s lawyers and “other more dangerous forces.” Along with being described as “confident, brilliant, warm, and witty,” Jurgens-Fyhrie explains, “We aimed for players to feel comfortable, and supported around him. To feel included in the circle he’s creating, and learning how he sees the world.”
Unremarkably, and in fairly predictable fashion, Blizzard has introduced Lifeweaver as pansexual — almost reducing this new character to his sexuality, from the get-go.
“We’re also excited because he’s an openly pansexual character,” Jurgens-Fyhrie reveals, “and you’ll see this reflected in his voice lines, conversations, and other content.” Lifeweaver is described by Lead Character Concept Artist Daryl Tan as “a beautiful character who also endeavors to find beauty in the rest of the world.
Returning to Blizzard Entertainment’s blog post, they describe him as “cool, confident, and he has the best intentions for anyone he encounters.” The character being Thai was born of Senior Technical Artist Takki Thammawan pitching “many Thai-skin ideas” for Lifeweaver’s design.
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Lifeweaver was designed to be “an accessible support hero who is viable in many different scenarios and skill levels.” This includes his Healing Blossom ability being soft target-based, as Blizzard Entertainment felt “this ability enables players across the board to find value in his kit and playstyle.”
Speaking to PCGamesN, Lead Hero Designer Alec Dawson explains, “The aim was to create another support hero that didn’t rely on aim skill.” He then adds, “Lifeweaver is designed for players that care a bit more about their own positioning, their game sense – those are the skills they check on more than necessarily aim skill.”
Dawson also emphasized, “Throughout all of our testing, [Lifeweaver] is one of the harder heroes to really get the hang of,” and that “Lifeweaver is actually very approachable, but it will take some time to master Lifeweaver.” For example, his platform and dropped health pick-up can be used by enemies, and he cannot use Healing Blossom while shooting foes with Thorn Volley.
Lifeweaver will launch April 11th, coinciding with the start of Season 4, and even close to the Thai New Year (Songkran, April 13th). Players can unlock him instantly with a Premium Battle Pass, or test him in the training room, custom games, and a limited-time game mode dubbed “B.O.B. and Weave.”
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