Blizzard Entertainment has finally elaborated on the changes coming to Overwatch‘s Torbjörn.
In a recent interview with VG 24/7, principle designer Geoff Goodman gave an idea of the direction in which the developer is taking damage hero Torbjörn, after months of unspecified changes promised for the character. According to Goodman, the core intent with balancing the character is to make him less defensively focused and more viable in a wider array of scenarios.
“With Torbjörn, the issues we’re trying to solve are that he’s a little overly defensive focused,” Goodman said. “We need him to be more viable on offense in a non-payload situation. It doesn’t mean he needs to be equal on offense, but we need him at least to not be a troll pick.”
Goodman explained that his current effectiveness is a little too polarized, with the hero getting lost in the shuffle for most of a match, but then dramatically becoming a top playmaker at select moments.
“You don’t get to use some of your abilities, your turret’s not as strong, it’s not as much of a threat without your ultimate ready to go,” Goodman said. “It feels like feast or famine with him a lot of time. That’s a thing we’re trying to solve. It’s cool when characters have their ultimate and there’s a power spike – being able to use your ultimate at the right time is a big part of the game – but it’s a little too much for him. It does everything, basically.”
From here, Goodman went into how Blizzard plans to address this. There are two key changes essentially guaranteed to be coming to the character’s turret: he will be able to throw the turret a short distance- about as far as Tracer throws her Pulse Bomb- instead of placing it right in front of himself, and the turret will automatically upgrade itself after a short time, rather than the player having to do it manually. This will give the player much more time to focus on the fight, and make the turret more of a supplementary tool, as opposed to a mandatory catalyst for Torbjörn’s impact in a match.
Currently, in our internal build, he just tosses it out – not super far, almost like a Tracer Pulse Bomb distance. So you can kind of throw it like that and it deploys itself automatically on level two. It takes a little time to do that but you don’t have to hammer it or anything. This plays a lot better on offense – especially because you can run up, throw it in a flank spot and be immediately shooting again and not feel like you have to sit there hammering it. Being able to use that and have an extra threat shooting from the side feels really powerful. We can obviously tune the turret if it ends up being too strong or anything, but that’s the place we’re starting from.
Another change expected for Torbjörn involves moving his ultimate ability away from Molten Core. Goodman explained that the developer tried out a number of variations of the ability, but while everything is still up in the air, the team is currently looking to get the character an entirely new ultimate. This would mean Molten Core will get moved to a standard ability, or get removed entirely.
We may end up with a completely different ultimate at this point because it ties up too much of his power, but that’s still very much in flux so it’s hard to say. First thing we did was try a lot of different takes on Molten Core – maybe we could make it really cheap and take some stuff away from it, we tried it so it only affects the turret and doesn’t give you any buffs, and we tried the reverse so it only affects you. We definitely tweaked some of the base ability, so you could reload faster as that was frustrating before – you would run out of ammo in the middle of ulting and you can’t shoot anymore. As of now, I think we’ve decided to move away from Molten Core entirely.
There is still no release window for when fans can expect these changes to hit Overwatch‘s test servers. Blizzard has been on something of a rework kick as of late, with the recent Hanzo and Symmetra reworks being followed up by the Sombra rework dropping in next week’s update.
Source: VG 24/7