Since Overwatch’s release two years ago, we’ve increased from 21 total heroes to a pool of 28. One of those heroes, Torbjörn, has managed to fall out of Blizzard’s good graces until now. The lovable DPS is finally getting the rework he deserves.
Torbjörn, father of Brigette and good friend to Reinhardt, would truly showcase his talents in a defensive role. Much of his skill-set revolved around supplying cover fire and armor for his team. On paper, the build of the character made sense. However, in the evolving meta of Overwatch, Torbjörn was slow, he was clunky, his Critical Hitbox was too large and he didn’t synergise well with other heroes. The community had completely written him off as a usable hero. Now active on the PTR is Blizzard’s long awaited rework. The Torbjörn rework is a complete re-imagination of the Dwarf’s kit. It offers more survivability and impact than ever before.
Covering the Basics
According to Jeff Kaplan in the Overwatch Developer Update, “The goal with all of these changes is to make Torb a more acceptable pick on both attack and defense, and less map or role-dependent than he was previously.” Within the patch notes, you can see all the detailed changes of the update to the PTR, but for now, we we’ll just take a look at Torb’s changes.
According to the patch notes, detailed by Your Overwatch, Torbjörn’s Rivet Gun was “a little unwieldy to deal damage with consistency due to its projectile speed and somewhat unintuitive trajectory.” Because of this, Blizzard increased the primary fire projectile speed and its reload time was reduced. The alternate fire was re-balanced by matching the fire rate of both alternate and primary fire options, while also reducing overall damage dealt and adjusting the spread pattern, allowing the shots to be more predictable.
The weapon feels much more balanced. Even Torb’s turret works more fluidly with his kit now. Turret levels no longer exist. Torb can now toss his turret to hard to reach places. After a short building animation, what we know as a level two turret pops up ready to fire on any attackers. His hammer remains as a secondary weapon option, and a tool to repair his turret.
With Armor Packs and the Scrap mechanic removed, a new ability called Overload replaces the outdated abilities. Overload supplies Torb with five seconds of 150 temporary armor as well as buffs to movement speed, Rivet Gun reload and attack speed and Hammer attack speed. Essentially, many of the characteristics of Torbjörn’s previous ultimate ability are now on a 12 second cooldown, consistently used throughout the match to give Torbjörn offensive and defensive flexibility.
Although Torbjörn’s Ultimate retains its name from its previous form, it has been drastically changed. Torbjörn now powers up his servo-arm to fire up to 10 molten slag balls that, upon hitting the ground, cover the area with pools of slag that will continuously damage any enemy player within the AOE.
Molten Core is similar to Symmetra’s new ultimate ability Photon Barrier. Both Ultimate’s can be used in an assortment of ways in regards to map control. A combination of the two would result in a physical barrier for incoming fire, and for enemies themselves. This combination could have devastating results. Preventing the enemy from engaging both at range and up close is a very easy way to gain the advantage from a distance.
The AOE damage from the piles of slag has an increased damage rate to armored enemies. Jeff and the Blizzard team are making great strides towards helping uncover Torbjörn’s true potential. The excessive use of shielding from both Brigette’s Armor Packs, ultimate ability and of course, the passive armor abilities of Bastion, D.Va, Orisa, Reinhardt, Winston, Wrecking Ball and of course Torbjörn himself, all suffer disadvantages when up against the mighty dwarf Torbjörn.
Featured photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
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