Overwatch‘s diminutive Swedish engineer Torbjörn is set to get a few whacks from Blizzard’s tuning wrench. Similar to Symmetra’s massive rework recently, Overwatch lead designer Geoff Goodman told VG247 of tentative plans to rebuild the stubborn Swede into a more aggressive character capable of deploying self-upgrading turrets on the go. It also seems likely that his ultimate ability – Molten Core – is to be replaced entirely.
Reasoning that Torbjörn “feels like feast or famine” a lot of the time, Goodman reckons the solution is to make the character more flexible and more reliable on the offensive. The main change supporting this is a rework of his turrets. In Blizzard’s current internal test build, turrets are thrown a short distance instead of placed via blueprint, and (after a brief delay) deploy themselves at what was formerly level 2, upgrading itself from there without the need to hammer anything. This gives Torbjörn time to do more than babysit machinery.
While not 100% confirmed at this point, Goodman thinks that his ultimate ability, Molten Core, “ties up too much of his power”, making what would normally be suicidal plays viable for a time. Despite a lot of internal testing on possible reworks, the developers seem likely to axe it entirely and replace it with an all-new ability. What that could be is still unknown, and the art team haven’t begun work on it yet.
It’s still early days for this particular character rework, and anything could change between now and when the redesign finds itself onto the Public Test Realm, but from what Blizzard are saying, Torbjörn’s role is set to radically change. The thought of Torb going on the offensive is strange and alien to me, but exciting. In another chat with VG247, Goodman confirms that Sombra is also due for some tweaks, though nothing quite as dramatic – just making her permanently invisible.
Blizzard also announced an Overwatch free weekend running from July 26th to July 30th. This follows shortly after the July 24th launch of new character Wrecking Ball; a hamster piloting a transforming spherical robot.