Back in December last year, Activision Blizzard teased several new playable Heroes for their MOBA, Heroes of the Storm. Among these upcoming arrivals was the spunky, time-jumping heroine from Blizzard’s upcoming first-person shooter, Overwatch: Tracer. Overwatch’s May 24 Release date draws ever nearer, and Blizzard hasn’t been shy about steadily revealing more information on what kinds of futuristic ordnance Tracer will bring to the Nexus.
As per Heroes of the Storm standard, the zenith of these reveals is a Hero Spotlight video, which gives players a rundown of Tracer’s abilities and what kind of tactics she can employ on the battlefield. You can watch the Hero Spotlight below:
Tracer (real name: Lena Oxton) was formerly a member of the prestigious Overwatch organization, where she served as a pilot. After the prototype time-warping airplane she was piloting malfunctioned, Tracer was left phased out from the flow of time. Thankfully, one of Overwatch’s most brilliant scientists, Winston, designed a “chronal accelerator” that, when attached to Tracer’s body, gave the young pilot the ability to briefly manipulate her own flow of time while remaining in the present.
Tracer’s intended goal is to flit about the battlefield, harassing her opponents with sequential teleports. Her trusty Pulse Pistols, which fire continuously, can rack up sustained damage on her foes and quickly wear them down if she is left unattended.
The burning question on the minds of MOBA fans and Shooter fans alike is: how do a Shooter’s gunplay mechanics translate to the MOBA, a genre that traces its roots to Real Time Strategy games like Warcraft 3 and StarCraft?
Blizzard’s answer was to give Tracer the Trait (passive ability) Reload. All of Tracer’s auto attacks lock onto the target and allow her to continuously fire her pistols while moving. This continues until she either cancels the attack or when an ammo meter, which replaces the standard mana bar, is completely spent. Once her ammo is depleted, Tracer will reload her pistols on a 0.75 second delay. Players can also press the Trait key to manually reload her pistols at any time.
Since Tracer’s pistols expend ammo so quickly, skilled players will have to balance topping themselves off on ammo while reducing the amount of downtime they spend reloading their pistols. Mounting and Recalling fully refill her ammo.
Tracer’s Q ability is Blink. Its premise is simple: using Blink allows Tracer to immediately teleport to a specified location. The ability stores up to three charges that can be used before the ability goes on cooldown.
Her W ability is named Melee. This attack causes Tracer to pistol whip a single nearby target for a moderate amount of damage, and prioritizes Heroes.
Tracer’s E ability is Recall. Recall allows Tracer to teleport back to wherever she was a few seconds ago. Recalling also clears almost any status effects (roots, slows, poisons, etc.) that she may have incurred before using it, but it does not restore any health she may have lost before the Recall. The ability seems to have a rather lengthy cast animation, and it is highly telegraphed. Smart Tracer players, as well as smart teammates, will likely have to protect her Recall lest she gets disabled again.
Unlike the rest of the cast, Tracer only possesses one Ultimate ability: Pulse Bomb. It’s available at Level 1, and deals AoE damage to a targeted area after a short delay. Enemies caught in the center of the blast take extra damage. Pulse Bomb can stick to targets and cause the AoE to radiate outward from the target, similar to Kael’thas’ Living Bomb.
As in Overwatch, Tracer charges this ultimate by delivering consecutive auto attacks onto enemy heroes. Her W, Melee, builds a large number of Charge stacks, which encourages Tracer players to dive into the heat of battle and dash back out before she is targeted.
At Level 10, Pulse Bomb can be upgraded in three different ways that change how the Ultimate functions. You can view the talents in the Talent list below:
Pulse Strike: Increases Melee’s Pulse Bomb charges from 10% to 15% against Heroes.
Slipstream: Reduces Recall’s cooldown by 4 seconds and increases the amount of time Recalled by 1 second.
Tracer Rounds: Your Basic Attacks reveal enemies for 4 seconds.
Parting Gift: Recall leaves behind 3 bombs that deal 250 damage each to different targets.
Is That a Health Pack?!: Increases Regeneration Globe and Healing Fountain healing by 100%.
Untouchable: Takedowns increase your Basic Attack damage by 2% up to 30%. These bonuses are lost on death.
Jumper: Increases Blink’s charges by 1.
Bullet Time: Basic Attacks lower the cooldown of Blink by 0.1 seconds.
Spatial Echo: Using Recall grants 2 charges of Blink.
LEVEL 10 (Heroic Upgrades)
Sticky Bomb: Increases Pulse Bomb’s radius by 50% and enemies hit are slowed by 60% for 3 seconds.
Quantum Spike: Pulse Bomb deals an additional 10% of the primary target’s maximum Health.
Pulse Rounds: Increases Pulse Bomb’s range and charge rate from Basic Attacks against Heroes by 100%.
Bullet Spray: Increases Melee’s radius by 50%, and causes it to damage all enemies in range.
Ricochet: Your Basic Attacks have a 50% chance to hit another nearby enemy, prioritizing Heroes.
Leeching Rounds: Your Basic Attacks against Heroes heal you for 20% of their damage dealt.
Sleight of Hand: Reduces Reload time by 50%. This equals 20% more damage per second.
Focus Fire: If an entire ammo magazine is unloaded on an enemy, the last bullet will deal 90 bonus damage. This is equal to 30% of the total magazine.
Locked and Loaded: Reactivate Reload within the last 50% of its cast time to increase your Basic Attack damage by 35% for that magazine.
Get Stuffed!: Reduces Melee’s cooldown by 3 seconds. Hitting an enemy with Melee who is stuck with a Pulse Bomb causes the bomb to instantly explode and knocks the target away from you.
Total Recall: Recall also heals you equal to the amount of Health lost during that time.
Composition B: If you successfully stick a Pulse bomb to an enemy Hero, you also drop another one at their feet that deals 50% damage and explodes slightly earlier
Are you prepared to be a hero?
Tracer will be available starting April 19 for those who pre-purchase a digital copy of Overwatch: Origins Edition for Windows PC. She’ll become available for sale to everyone in Heroes of the Storm starting April 26.