Fans of the multiplayer hero shooter “Overwatch” know the character Torbjörn needs a little TLC — and so does developer Blizzard Entertainment. The Swedish engineer is getting a fairly extensive rework, and people can check out the changes now on the game’s public test realm.
The goal of Torb’s makeover is “to increase his effectiveness in a wider range of situations while preserving the identity of the hero,” “Overwatch” developer Geoff Goodman said in a forum post on Friday.
“Torbjörn was initially designed to be a specialized hero, intended to be a strong defensive option due to his armor-generating capabilities and controlling areas with his turret,” Goodman said. “However, the scrap collecting and Armor Pack mechanics have proven to cause problematic gameplay issues through their ‘feast or famine’ nature. For instance, if you were winning with Torbjörn, you were able to gain tons of scrap to keep your team topped off with armor. However, if you weren’t doing it well, it often felt too difficult to gather scrap effectively. This challenge was amplified on offense as he struggled to use either of his abilities to grant armor or set up and upgrade a turret in a useful position.”
So, what’s changed? For starters, Torb’s Rivet Gun now has increased projectile speed, but decreased reload time. The alternate fire is also rebalanced. There’s now less recovery time between shots and damaged was lowered slightly as a result, although Goodman promises it’s still more powerful than it was previously.
Meanwhile, Torb’s turret is now a thrown projectile that automatically builds upon landing. Turret levels are gone, so players don’t need to waste time hammering it unless they’re repairing it. The turret also now assists players by firing at enemies damaged by the Rivet Gun’s primary fire, which gives them a little control over the A.I. targeting.
“The turret now requires much less time commitment to set up, allowing Torbjörn to throw it in position and get going right away,” Goodman said. “With more control over who it targets, Torbjörn can redirect it onto exposed enemies or higher priority targets by tagging them with his Rivet Gun. From the enemy perspective, destroying a turret should feel more rewarding as it will put the ability on cooldown.”
A new ability called Overload replaces Torb’s Armor Pack ability. When activated, it gives him temporary armor and buffed movement, attack, and reload speed similar to his old Molten Core ultimate. This gives the typically defensive hero more offensive capability and flexibility during a match.
Molten Core now lets Torb power up his claw arm and create burning pools of molten slag that continuously damage enemies standing in them. Like Wrecking Ball and his land mines, the slag lets Torb create area denial around choke points and objectives or separate enemies from their teammates.
“The new Molten Core maintains the functionality of zoning enemies from safely entering crucial parts of the battlefield with his ultimate while being more readily useful in situations where you aren’t able to keep a turret up,” Goodman said.
Torbjörn is the second “Overwatch” hero to get a huge makeover in recent months. Blizzard recently tweaked fellow turret builder Symmetra as well. There’s no word yet on when Torb’s changes will make their way into the live game.