With the Anniversary ongoing to celebrate the two years OverWatch has been out, one can’t help but reflect on how far the game has come (and how far it still needs to go). While we’ve talked about a variety of topics on OverWatch such as upcoming heroes and where the story goes, today we turn our attention to a simpler subject. When OverWatch’s Anniversary event ends, we will see the start of three things. Two of them are the start of the OverWatch League Finals, and new teasers leading up to whoever Hero 28 will be (since Doomfist got into the game back in July last year)
The other thing of note will be the rework of Symmetra. She has the least amount of playtime out of any hero in the game, including not being used once in the OverWatch League. She needs the rework considering how her current kit is unfeasible in OverWatch as she’s the only “Support” that couldn’t support her team, and her kit doesn’t contribute to her being much of a DPS either. When her new kit comes out, it may turn her into a hero that players will enjoy using instead of being considered a liability. Plus, she will be a defensive character now instead of a support. These changes include ranged turret deployment, primary attacks that gain power over time, and an ultimate that can shut down snipers, thus forcing a close-range fight.
As great as these changes will be when they hit the PTR, it begs to question something: Where does that leave the other builder? For as mobile as OverWatch can be, builders face an uphill battle as they depend too much on setting up their turrets. Something to which is made even harder if you have enemies breathing down your neck before you can have the chance to rebuild your defenses. At least in Symmetra’s case, she can launch her turrets while fighting now, while Torbjorn would have to spend a few more seconds trying to rebuild his turret before it can at least get back up to working order.
So for today’s discussion, let’s turn our attention to everyone’s favorite, not a dwarf, Swedish Engineer. With how much his daughter has shaken the Meta in OverWatch since her release a few months ago, her papa has long since been left in the dust. He had playtime in the League, but it wasn’t much better than Symmetra. Often seen as a “One-Trick Pony,” Torbjorn needs something else to his name so he can be just as useful as anyone else. So with Symmetra’s rework almost done, let’s look at Torbjorn’s build and what can be updated so he can be a better overall character. We will also talk more about how we can rework the turret to be more effective, but let’s quickly talk about why it is problematic for Torbjorn.
The Biggest Issue: Heavy Reliance On Turret.
Unlike all other heroes in the game that have their weapons and skills to showcase their usefulness, Torbjorn is defined on one thing: His Turret. As mentioned before, players call Torbjorn a “One Trick” as many players only see his feasibility stretch as far as the turret’s firing range. The problem is that no matter how good of a Torbjorn player someone can be, the turret dictates his usefulness in fights. What makes it worse is that you have no control over it after you deploy it, so players can manipulate the turret into attacking Tanks while DPS can take it down.
Either players will heal the turret during a team fight to no avail or try to bring a turret up to level 2 after the other one goes down during a fight. The best way one can explain the how “Turret = Skill Level” is a chart created by BTC: Blame The Controller. On his video talking about the rework, he posted this chart.
This is an accurate representation of his current standing. Something where his turret is useful at lower levels of play, but when you get to diamond or higher, its usefulness ends. While you would think to make the turret stronger may work, that could lead to the same situation as what we saw with Mercy where if you boost his abilities too far, you make him a “must have” that won’t fix his issues but rather only make them worse. To make a long story short, to fix Torbjorn, he needs to not be so reliant on his turret. As for how we do that, we have several ideas in mind.
Idea One: Meeting The Engineer and his Sentry Gun
So for those of you who played Team Fortress 2, you know there are a few similarities one can make. While Scout and Tracer, or Demoman and Junkrat are fun comparisons, there’s no denying that many players compare Torbjorn to the Engineer more. Much like our Swedish Engineer, Team Fortress 2’s Texas Engineer fancies himself a “Solver of Practical Problems.” Unlike Torbjorn though, the Engineer can build three kinds of devices: Sentry Gun, Dispenser, and Teleporter. The Engineer needs metal to build, and he can use his dispenser to drop off ammo, health, and metal for him. Not to say Torbjorn should have access to his own dispenser to heal teammates and generate scrap, but let’s put that on the back burner for another time. Instead, let’s look at the Sentry Gun itself.
Like Torbjorn’s, the sentry gun has the same function for levels one and two. From there though, Engineer can move it up one more level to hook up rockets and be an absolute monster with it. At the present time, Torbjorn can only get his turret to level 3 through Molten Core, which makes the turret near unstoppable for the duration of the attack. However, one thing that could happen might be to let Torb use (we’ll say 100) scrap to build the turret to level 3. It wouldn’t have as much health, but it would let him have a stronger turret to use. Then if he uses Molten Core, the sentry gun could go ” Level 3.5″ with the extra health. Hard work would pay off allowing Torbjorn to work towards the best turret he can make, thus allowing his teammates to rely on and trust him more.
Idea Two: Mini-Turrets vs Regular Turret
If you watched Blame The Controller’s video, you saw he mentioned The Engineer’s Gunslinger item. As you can see in the picture above, it allows the Engineer to set up mini-sentries rather than a normal sentry. The way he describes it though is something that could split people. Rather than build and upgrade, you can just set the turret out and it will build itself up overtime to level two either through eliminations or by letting it do it’s own thing for a couple of seconds. While the turret should be an additional and disposal source of damage, doing something like this might go too far. Torbjorn himself needs buffs of his own, but if the turret is just a throwaway ability, it takes away part of what makes Torbjorn special.
So how do we work around this? One thing that Blizzard can do is allow players to choose between having his regular turret or setting up two weaker, non-upgradeable turrets. If players choose the latter, it can let Torbjorn provide cover fire from different areas while misleading opponents as to where the turrets are located. The drawback to this though would be that the turrets would have less health, allowing enemies to destroy them easier. While that wouldn’t sound like a good trade-off, if the player places the turrets in key positions, it can go a long way to distract the enemy for Torbjorn’s teammates to take them down. You could even give Torbjorn the chance to do his own dirty work rather than expecting the turret to do everything for him.
Idea Three: Scrap used For Emergency Repairs and Deployments.
Torbjorn’s passive ability allows him to collect something from eliminated enemies called Scrap. While Scrap sounds like a fun game mechanic, it is only used to build armor packs for teammates. Having extra armor can help, but that’s banking on long-lasting fights. If your team falls early in the fight, your scrap won’t generate fast enough to help stop the enemy in time. Torbjorn has no alternative abilities than being able to build a turret. Perhaps one idea to consider is if the scrap you collect could be used for something other than just building turrets.
What if there was a situation where a turret needs to be built immediately? Torbjorn could use the scrap to help deploy his turrets much quicker. Maybe allow him to provide additional firepower during the fight while also ensuring that the turret doesn’t immediately blow up if he tries to throw it out. Another idea would be that Torbjorn can use the scrap to double healing to his turret or build on “additional armor” for it (not too much, but enough to where it won’t blow up in a second). You can even allow the option to drop a level 2 turret right away rather than having to rebuild it. Either way, scrap needs more options available than just building additional armor.
Idea Four: Choice of Damage Output
This idea came from the “Your Overwatch” video talking about likely new abilities for Torbjorn and it is one worth exploring. While Torbjorn’s turret can deal out harsh damage to anyone who stands in the open, it doesn’t do much against shields. With the variety of characters that can set up shields to protect their team, it would make sense to not waste your time with turrets if they are blocking them. So what would be the best way to work around this? Perhaps we can take a page out of Symmetra’s two ultimates and give Torbjorn the ability to choose which kind of turret he deploys in fights.
The turret itself would remain unchanged in terms of deployment and leveling. What would change instead would be the damage it would deal out. For example, if you are against a team with more armor than shields, use the regular turret to tear them to shreds. However, if the team has shields or barriers, allow Torbjorn to use the ability to build a turret that fires EMP-like rounds. While these shots won’t do as much damage as regular shots, they do bonus damage against shields. Now characters with shields up realize that trying to tank their way past a turret might not be the best course of action, and may need a different strategy in mind.
Idea Five: THE CLAW TRAP!
Back during the early stages of development in OverWatch, Torbjorn had one other tool than just a Turret. As a defensive hero, he had an ability he could set up called the “Claw Trap.” The Claw Trap would wait in hiding so that should a character walk past it, it will latch onto the enemy and hold them in place. You can say Blizzard removed the trap idea for a reason, but perhaps it’s time to bring it back. If his daughter can stun people that get too close to her, why not let Papa restrain enemies too?
By doing this, you can either force Tanks or Flankers out of position and either turn them into an open target or force them out of an opening fight. It wouldn’t be to say the ability would be too overpowered as enemies caught in the trap can still fight back. You can make it where enemies caught in the trap can’t free themselves until a few seconds pass or a teammate destroys the trap. Whether they didn’t think Torbjorn could use it or they are saving it for another hero, it could definitely be something to compliment his kit.
Other Scrapped Ideas (No pun Intended)
While the web had other small ideas here and there, they ranged from the good but not great, or otherwise were too far out there. One example is to let Torbjorn build his turrets on any surface like walls or the roof. An interesting idea, but the problem is that Symmetra already does this with her turrets. So it would be nonsensical to let both builders build on any surface; one is enough. Another idea would be to let Torb throw out his turret and let it build itself. Again, Symmetra will be able to do this soon with her rework, but this could work for Torbjorn. The problem is, why do this if you’re just going to upgrade the turret anyway?
If Torbjorn needs one thing more than anything else, it is for him to be workable without the turret. As stated many times, if the Turret goes down, his usefulness in a fight gets cut in half. He either needs a different attack or a different ability that would help improve his survivability. Make it where Molten Core has unlimited ammo. If Torbjorn’s turret is destroyed, he flies away from it. Let him wall climb (sarcasm). Something to help the guy out. It is in this regard, that we’ll end our discussion. If Torbjorn is to finally be a worthwhile team member, he needs to be more than just the guy who throws out the turret. Let’s just hope that we will see that rework soon enough.
So what do you think?
What changes need to come to Torbjorn’s setup in order for him to be a choice pick? Is there still hope for him? Be sure to leave your thoughts down below and be sure to follow on our assorted social media down below.