As we prepare to move into the Halloween season, Jeff Kaplan of the Overwatch team gave us a brand-new Developer Update for September. While Jeff did talk about upcoming changes for heroes, colorblind updates and their third social feature pushed out of 2018, the bigger focus was the long-awaited rework of Torbjorn.
Back in June, I had written up a small outline of things that could happen to help Torbjorn be a more workable hero. The ideas I thought of were fun choices, but none of them were a part of what happened with his rework. I will say this though: Blizzard did address the biggest issue I said previously: Torbjorn is no longer having to be so reliant on his turret.
With these new changes, hopefully Torbjorn will have a better chance in fights as he can now be a more effective character on defense and much better on offense. Let’s recap his upcoming changes.
#1 – Scrapping the Scrap and Armor Packs
In my speculation thread, I talked about how the scrap system needed changes. Considering that you only use scrap for armor packs and that was it, I proposed a few ideas of how else you can use scrap so you aren’t sitting on a resource that has limited usage. Instead, they went with the option to remove the scrap system altogether. This means that not only will you no longer collect scrap but Torbjorn will no longer toss out armor packs for teammates to pick up either.
Geoff Goodman called the scrap collecting system a “Feast or Famine” issue. If Torbjorn was on the winning side, he would get tons of scrap he can use to constantly keep his team armored. On the flip side though, should Torbjorn be on the losing side, he isn’t generating enough scrap and thus he isn’t contributing to fights as he should be. Especially considering that if Torbjorn is on Offense, you can really make use of scrap as effectively as if you are on defense.
So, with all that gone, that leaves plenty of space for Torbjorn to grow as a character. How much exactly? Well, before we get to that, let’s cover his weapon first.
#2 – Rivet Gun Changes
When you compare Torbjorn’s Rivet Gun with other hero’s weapons, it felt lackluster. Not that it was Torbjorn’s fault but if you fire his projectile, it looks like the shots float longer than other projectiles from other characters. With this rework, the Rivet Gun show be more effective as the primary fire speed of the projectile has increased from 60 to 70 and reload is slightly faster going from 22 seconds to 2 seconds.
As for its Alternate fire, it also saw it getting rebalanced by fixing a few of its issues too. One of the biggest being that its spread pattern got adjustments and random spread reduced by 50%. To go with this new change, they lowered the recovery between shots from .8 seconds to.6 seconds and the damage per shot was lowered from 150 to 125.
Overall, the way the Rivet Gun will now work isn’t too different from how it works now, but it will be a more effective weapon than ever before.
#3 – Literally throwing your Turret out
So, the Turret itself saw a vast number of changes too and will be a fairer and balance tool of destruction for Torbjorn to use.
To start, you can now throw out the turret as opposed to placing it at your feet. This means you can now place the turret in places you previously couldn’t, and it will build itself automatically so you won’t need to hammer away at it to build it up. Speaking of “Building up,” the turret itself will no longer have levels. After you throw the turret out, it will build itself for three seconds and will remain at its level 2 state for now on. No more “Level 1” or “Level 3.” No longer do you need to hammer away on a turret to build it up. Also, in case if you bite it while the turret is building, the turret will go on without you and build itself and help the team while you get to run back into the fight.
Also, for those of you concerned that a turret will pointlessly try to attack someone, the turret will now assist you by firing at enemies you attack. It will attack the first thing it sees, but if you want it to attack something else, damage that character and it will turn its attention towards them instead. Finally, the turret will have 250 health and will have a half cooldown when you deploy it and a full cooldown if it gets destroyed. With this in place, the turret will still have more feasibility in fights while also not being Torbjorn’s only redeeming trait.
#4 – Another Ultimate turned Ability: Overload
Once again, a hero’s previous Ultimate has got downgrades and turned into one of their standard abilities. While it isn’t to say this is a bad thing, you could say Molten Core was one of those “In case of emergency” ultimates you pop to extend out in case if things went south.
For this new ability, it has a new name called Overload and will work in the same way it does for Torbjorn’s previous Ultimate. Upon activation, Torbjorn will temporarily gain 150 armor and will only have access to the form for five seconds before it goes into a 12 second cooldown. While the sounds like a significant debuff, the trade off is that all stats for Torbjorn get a temporary boost. Movement speed goes up by 30%, an increase for the Rivet gun and reload and attack speed by 30% and even the Hammer attack speed goes up 30%.
With this change, this gives Torbjorn a major boost in what he can do for a short time as this can be utilized perfectly for both offensive and defensive fights. They also made note it that while the mode is active, Turrets do not go up to level 3. So, don’t pop out Overload thinking you get a more powerful turret every time; we want the focus on Torbjorn to be on him and not his turret.
So, if Molten Core is no longer his Ultimate, what is his new Ultimate?
#5 – The New and Improved Molten Core!
So, let’s be honest people: Torbjorn yelling “Molten Core!” is still one of the coolest things about him, and Blizzard wasn’t about to change that. What they changed though was how Molten Core would work.
Torbjorn’s claw arm provides Torbjorn tons of molten slag for him to use as ammo to fire. When Torbjorn uses his new ultimate, Torbjorn will use his claw arm to launch molten projectiles! While this sounds like an even scarier flamethrower, the use of the molten slag works as an area denial rather than a projectile. When entering this new mode, Torbjorn has six seconds to lie out 10 molten projectiles to make a pool of molten slag. The Base damage of the slag is 130 but get bumped up to 190 when damaging heroes with armor. These heroes include Bastion, Brigitte, D.Va, Orisa, Reinhardt, Torbjorn, Winston and Wrecking Ball. Also considering that Brigitte is the only hero now that can grant armor to her allies, Daddy is now her counter as he can melt the armor his daughter put on her allies like butter.
So much like Wrecking Ball, we now have another hero with area denial abilities. you can use it to help control choke points, objectives or even cut off escape routes or help allies escape from enemies. In case if you’re worried that the slag could get stuck on a wall or ceiling, fret not. The Molten Projectiles will bounce off walls and ceilings until it hits the ground.
Conclusion: Will these changes help make Torbjorn a better character?
I had my fingers crossed that when we got the rework, Blizzard would put more emphasis on Torbjorn and not the Turret as it has been. With these changes, it seems like we have gotten our wish and Torbjorn could get his time in the spotlight soon. Now as for it we will see this happen that is something that time will tell. Still, if Symmetra got benefits with her rework and more playtime to her name, the same could happen with Torbjorn. We’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out for our engineer and see if this could be the work of a new meta we could call: The Lindholm Meta! I don’t know why, but having Torbjorn and Brigitte working together could be a fun to watch. Torbjorn’s rework will drop on the PTR soon.
But what do you guys think? Are these the changes Torbjorn needs to be a better character? Or did Blizzard miss a few details that will leave him as unusable as he is now? Leave your thoughts down below and be sure to follow us here at Culture of Gaming for more editorials on Overwatch and other games.