Torbjorn is just one of the heroes on the list for a rework in Overwatch
With a roster of heroes as big as Overwatch has, and with more being added on a regular basis, balance changes are going to be a natural part of the game’s life cycle. Anyone who’s been keeping even a modicum of attention toward Overwatch knows that Mercy has gone through several such balance changes in the past couple months. But Mercy is not the only one on the Overwatch team’s adjustment list.
Recently, both Jeff from the Overwatch team and Principal Designer Geoff Goodman took to the forums to outline what heroes are on the adjustment list and how some of those heroes might be adjusted. First up, courtesy of Jeff Kaplan, is the list of heroes that are likely to receive changes in the future:
These heroes are on our balance list:
We’re trying different things for all of them. I know you want details but I don’t have them now — we’re experimenting. Some will be ready sooner than others. I’d expect Mei, Sombra and Doomfist first… maybe Hanzo depending on the direction we pick.
And while Jeff didn’t provide a whole lot of specific, Geoff Goodman did. In a couple different threads, Geoff commented on various heroes and mentioned where the team wanted to take them. He didn’t comment on all of the ones on the list, mind you, but he did give some pretty detailed insight on Doomfist, Sombra, and Hanzo.
When it comes to Doomfist, there’s one change coming very soon that’s aimed at his primary firing mechanic. Geoff didn’t comment on his other change(s) except to say that they’ll be on the PTR a little bit later.
The change that is coming soon will help make his primary fire more consistent. We’ve increased the number of bullets that he fires, but lowered their individual damage. The net result is the same damage over time, but there shouldn’t be as much variance from shot to the next. Along the same lines, we’ve changed his spread pattern to help consistency as well.
There is at least one more change we’re testing that wont hit until a little bit later, which you guys still see once we get closer to the next PTR (as Jeff noted)
Sombra, meanwhile, is going to be receiving some pretty sizable buffs on an upcoming PTR build. The buffs make her quite a bit stronger, especially against a selection of heroes who will have specific abilities targeted by Sombra’s hacking. It’s worth noting that these changes were live for a brief period recently, but they were not intended to go live quite yet.
We’re planning on putting up a new PTR soon that has these changes (and more), so consider this a sneak peak.
Here are the complete changes (so far) for Sombra that we are looking to test out soon:
* No longer gains ult from health pack healing
* Weapon Spread decreased by 10%
* Hacking speed increased from 0.8s to 0.65s
* Hacking will disable more abilities. Basically any ability that requires a button press will also be disabled. Here is a list:
Genji – Double Jump/Wall Climb
Pharah – Hover Jets
Hanzo – Wall Climb
Lucio – currently running Crossfade song will be disabled
Mercy – Angelic Descent
The idea here is to take some power out of her ult (and awkwardness of ult gain through health packs), and give her more power and usefulness in the rest of her kit.
When it comes to Hanzo, Geoff has a lot to say… without actually saying what specifically is going to be done to Hanzo. What he does do is talk about changes they’ve tried internally that didn’t ultimately work out. It’s hard to discern a specific direction from the post, save for the fact that it seems like no change has been off-limits (at least internally).
The closest thing we have to a direction is that the team wants Hanzo to be an appealing pick — one that will make your teammates happy, perhaps even excited. That said, the changes they’ve experiemented with are pretty dang interesting… though I’m glad they’ve definitely nixed the first two ideas.
We’re still working on him so it might be a bit early to talk about where we are right now.
What I can do is mention a few things we have tried that haven’t worked so far, that might be interesting.
We tried replacing Scatter Arrow with Piercing Arrow, which was an arrow that had an extremely fast projectile speed and would pierce through enemies and barriers. This was pretty fun as a ‘snipey’ arrow that you could occasionally take a super long-ranged shot at an enemy widow, pharah, or just a support in their back lines. Ultimately though, it was pretty frustrating to be feeling safe behind a barrier and get headshot through it and die.
Another thing we played with was just changing Scatter significantly. The most successful version was one where it had a very fast projectile speed, could only ricochet one time, could no longer split off the floor, and had a much tighter spread. This version removed the floor scatter entirely but added some new options in either using it as a long-range sniper shot or using it more accurately off a single wall (or ceiling). This one was pretty fun but mostly just felt really hard to use consistently. There were some areas of maps where it felt useful and fun but a lot of the time there weren’t any usable surfaces around to cause a split, and using your cooldown to merely increase the projectile speed of your shot didn’t feel great as a common use-case.
Another crazy thing we playtested a few times was a new ability bound to his Reload key (which is currently unused). This ability would have a small animation delay (~2-3 seconds) after which your cooldowns would reset. This meant if you wanted to sacrifice some normal shots you could forcibly reset your special arrows. This was pretty interesting when paired with the Piercing Arrow idea, but felt pretty crazy with Sonic Arrow. This idea overall wasn’t bad but I think its shelved for now.
We’re still narrowing in on what broad direction to take him, and what would make you really glad to have him on your team etc.
We still have no idea what’s in the works for Mei, Symmetra, or Torbjorn. Although, based on all the “Torbjorn main” memes, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the basically-Ironforge-resident saw changes on the same level as Hanzo. For now, we’ll just have to wait until they’re more ready to talk about the changes.
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