Meet Lifeweaver, ‘Overwatch 2’s New ‘Plant-Based Pansexual’ Support Hero
A new support blossoms.
As Overwatch 2 season 3 ends, we’re already getting our first glimpses of what to expect from season 4, and after much speculation, we’ve finally gotten our first major bombshell: a new hero! Though we’ve previously known that the next two new Overwatch 2 heroes would both be supports, the exact nature of the heroes has been shrouded in mystery—until now. Just days before the official season 4 trailer dropped, Blizzard surprised fans by suddenly announcing the name, backstory, and kit for their latest hero: Lifeweaver.
Who is Lifeweaver in Overwatch 2?
According to Blizzard, Lifeweaver is “witty, kind, and always looking to lift those in need—sometimes literally … Hailing from Thailand, Lifeweaver is characterized by his love and respect for nature as well as his advanced biolight technology.” If the phrase “biolight technology” rings any bells, that’s because Lifeweaver isn’t the first Overwatch character whose kit is built around constructs of hard light. Former support/current DPS hero Symmetra uses the hard-light technology she developed at the Vishkar Corporation to build shields and teleports in-game. Lifeweaver’s fellow support hero Lucio also utilizes hard-light—though from the sound of things, it looks like Lifeweaver’s narrative ties are much more closely aligned with Symmetra and Vishkar than Lucio and his anti-corporation attitude.
In a video shared to Twitter, lead narrative designer Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie, game producer Kenny Hudson, lead character concept artist Daryl Tan, and senior technical artist Takki Thammawan explained the rich history behind the development of Lifeweaver as a character, from style inspirations to character backstory and gameplay strategy. According to Thammawan and Tan, Lifeweaver was originally envisioned as an exploration of a plant-type character, which then developed into a “sci-fi druid” that could heal with plants, channeling the healing properties of nature into hard-light flowers.
The duo also noted that the pink, floral elements of his character design (including his gauntlet, lifting platform, and tree ultimate) were inspired by mandalas frequently found as symbols in countless Asian cultures.
Tan also noted that it was Thammawan’s Thai skin ideas that gave way to Lifeweaver himself being a Thai hero—a first for Overwatch 2, which has previously featured Asian characters hailing from Japan (Hanzo, Genji, and Kiriko), India (Symmetra), China (Mei), and South Korea (D.Va). Thammawan emphasized his excitement about being able to bring the first Thai Overwatch 2 hero to life, and noted that Lifeweaver will be released in-game on April 11 to commemorate Thai New Year (which starts on April 13), as well have a Thai-language nickname: “บัว or Bua,” which means Lotus.
In terms of specific character Lore, Jurgens-Fyhrie revealed that Lifeweaver was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and that his full name is Niran Pruksamanee. Lifeweaver grew up going fascinated by the sprawling botanic gardens in his family compound, and could often be found tending to the flowers alongside his family’s gardeners. He was sent by his parents to the prestigious Vishkar Academy, which was where he met Symmetra. Using his family’s wealth, Lifeweaver traveled the world on holidays from school, where he was shocked by the global pain and turmoil he saw. Determine to fix the pain he witnessed, Niran combined Vishkar’s hard light technology with his own fascination for botany, developing a radical new bio-light technology that could create organic material and heal wounds.
Though Lifeweaver wanted to make his miraculous new technology free to anyone who needed it, the Vishkar corporation insisted that, because it was built with their resources and on their time, it belonged to the company. Refusing to hand his invention over for profit, Lifeweaver took his technology and fled, which prompted Vishkar to send lawyers (and some shadier figures) after him in an attempt to recover the bio-light inventions.
Jurgens-Fyhrie also emphasized that Lifeweaver is proud and openly pansexual, which is reflected in his voice lines and in-game interactions with other Overwatch 2 characters.
What are Lifeweaver’s abilities?
In terms of kit, Lifeweaver is, of course, a support hero. Producer Kenny Hudson describes him as a ranged support hero who’s closer to a main support as opposed to an off healer. Like Mercy and Torbjorn, Lifeweaver has a primary fire and an alternate weapon: His first primary fire is Healing Blossom, which heals allies to various degrees depending on how long Lifeweaver charges it before it’s released. His alternate fire method (think Mercy’s pistol) is Thorn Volley, a rapid-fire projectile weapon which requires the player to swap off of the Healing Blossom, and which Hudson calls a means of “emergency self-defense.”
Lifeweaver also has a secondary fire, Petal Platform, a pod that blossoms into a flower on the ground when thrown. The platform is pressure-sensitive, and will lift into the air when an ally (or enemy!) steps on it before eventually fizzling out. In addition to his forms of fire, Lifeweaver also has two other abilities: rejuvenating dash and life grip. Rejuvenating Dash gives Lifeweaver a burst of speed and healing in whatever direction he’s traveling when used, while Life Grip is an (already controversial) ability which allows Lifeweaver to pull his allies towards him, making them briefly invulnerable in the process. His ultimate is called “Tree of Life,” and generates a massive pink tree in the middle of the map which gives all allies 150 healing upon placement, and which will release eight pulses of 50-hp supporting before dissolving.
Last but certainly not least, Lifeweaver has one more ability: a passive called “Parting Gift,” which releases a pseudo health pack on the field whenever he’s killed. The parting gift can be picked up by allies OR enemies, and will provide either 250 healing or 75 healing, depending on which player picks it up (teammates get more than enemies).
With a kit full of potentially game-altering abilities that will no doubt shake up player interactions and ultimate use, Lifeweaver is gearing up to be one of Overwatch 2‘s most exciting heroes yet, and players can look forward to meeting him when season 4 drops on April 11.
(featured image: Blizzard)
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