The next Overwatch 2 hero is Lifeweaver, a ranged healer with a massive amount of utility under his belt. Otherwise known as Niran Pruksamanee, the plant-based pansexual is the first Thai hero to enter the multiplayer game. Blizzard has been teasing a support hero for Overwatch 2 season 4 for some time, and PCGamesN had the opportunity to learn more about Lifeweaver in an interview with the Overwatch team ahead of his dazzling debut.
Lifeweaver has a number of inspirations behind his design, including WoW’s ever-popular druid. “The bigger inspiration of this character is the mandala shape,” says senior character technical artist Chonlawat Thammawan, who had initially pitched a Thai hero to the character concept team. From his clothes to his iconography, Lifeweaver’s design is a stunning celebration of Thai culture, and his debut in the FPS game even coincides with Thai New Year.
“He’s truly a support character in personality,” remarks lead narrative designer Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie, pointing to Lifeweaver’s warm and personable nature that naturally promotes team inclusivity. The source of his healing powers is his own invention: Biolight, a miraculous, regenerative technology he developed in order to help the sick and wounded he met on his travels.
According to lead hero designer Alec Dawson, designing new heroes in Overwatch 2 comes down to one question: “Does this kit bring something refreshing that is going to engage players in a different way than any other hero has before?” Lifeweaver’s kit does exactly that, including abilities that manipulate the positions of both enemies and allies in clutch moments. His Petal Platform ability generates a pressure-sensitive platform that ascends when stepped on by heroes on both teams, while his Life Grip ability shields a targeted ally and pulls them to his position.
Lifeweaver’s control abilities open up a whole host of new strategies when you’re in the thick of it, but the core of his kit remains his regenerative Healing Blossom. “The aim was to create another support hero that didn’t rely on aim skill,” Alec Dawson clarifies. “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.”
While Lifeweaver is a main healer at heart, his Thorn Volley serves as an alternate primary fire that can kick out a respectable amount of damage to ward off aggressors. His Rejuvenating Dash also provides a small burst of passive healing to keep you alive while falling back or repositioning. “We want our supports to be able to fight back a little bit,” says Alec Dawson, pointing to Overwatch 2 changes made to legacy support heroes to account for the sequel’s fast pace and 5v5 team structure. We’ve also seen this sentiment reflected in Overwatch 2’s first support hero, Kiriko, whose own kit promotes survivability alongside dedicated healing.
As for Lifeweaver’s passive ability, Parting Gift triggers upon death and causes him to drop a healing item that can be picked up by heroes on both teams. “Lifeweaver’s very supportive, very caring, lifts everyone up,” Dawson says with a smile, “sometimes even your enemy gets a little benefit there, too.” Thankfully, this doesn’t extend to his ultimate – Tree of Life – which heals allies within its perimeter for as long as it remains active, and can be placed anywhere on the map to disrupt sightlines and block chokepoints.
The complexity of Lifeweaver’s kit means there’s a learning curve when it comes to taking full advantage of its use – like maintaining Healing Blossom’s charge during downtime or jumping at the apex of Petal Platform’s ascent to reach new heights. “Throughout all of our testing, [Lifeweaver] is one of the harder heroes to really get the hang of,” remarks Alec Dawson. However, he’s also quick to confirm that Lifeweaver’s skill floor remains accessible to beginners: “I will say Lifeweaver is actually very approachable, but it will take some time to master Lifeweaver.”
As fellow alumni of the Vishkar Architect Academy, Lifeweaver’s connection to Symmetra in Overwatch 2’s lore is reflected in the gameplay as much as it is in voice lines. “They’re both light architects, so they can both spawn constructs,” teases Thammawan. “Their kit tends to work well together.” Symmetra’s strength typically lies in her team synergy, and we anticipate that this blossoming friendship will help both heroes climb our Overwatch 2 tier list.
On the subject of team composition, Dawson points to Lifeweaver’s ability to quickly reposition aggressive flankers like Genji or Reaper, while fellow burst healers like Ana or Baptiste can pick up the slack for Healing Blossom while it’s charging or on cooldown. True to nature, we can also expect Lifeweaver to work well in pocket tactics (no, not that one).
Lifeweaver will be available to unlock via the Overwatch 2 battle pass over the course of the upcoming season. We’ve got a more detailed breakdown of the Overwatch 2 Lifeweaver abilities, as well as some useful tips to get him performing at his best. Lifeweaver’s kit has the potential to grant the most grounded of heroes a chance at verticality, so be sure to brush up on Overwatch 2 maps ahead of his debut. While you’re here, we have all the latest news on the Overwatch 2 PvE release date if you’re hungry for lore.