Overwatch is constantly updating and reworking its heroes in order to keep the game as balanced as possible. Recently, defense hero Hanzo had a few of his abilities reworked and support hero Symmetra is about to receive an overhaul that will go so far as to reclassify her as a defense hero. Next up: Torbjorn, but not for a while.
According to Overwatch developer Geoff Goodman, Symmetra is the short-term priority, but defense hero and machinery extradordinaire Torbjorn will also get a rework “down the line a bit more.”
“It’s not an explicit goal to be constantly reworking older heroes to keep up with the current game, but sometimes when we look at these heroes we can see that they would fit much better into the current game with more significant gameplay changes, rather than just balance tweaks,” Goodman told PCGamesN.
Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan made a post on the game’s forum last month that was of a similar vein. There he said that Torbjorn is not “on the immediate horizon,” but is at least on the horizon. He went on to emphasize the team’s focus on Symmetra, and teased that the team was also working on someone else.
Kaplan could’ve been hinting at a completely new hero or could’ve just been alluding to some of the tweaks Hanzo has gotten. The archer’s Scatter Arrow has now been replaced with an ability called Storm Arrows, which boosts Hanzo’s firing speed and allows him to rapidly fire six arrows that deal reduced damage. Hanzo is also now capable of leaping horizontally through the air, via his new double jump ability. His arrows will now fly faster as well.
These are positive changes for Hanzo, so the community can hope to see similar changes to Torbjorn. Goodman’s interview with PCGamesN depicted a character rework philosophy similar to that of the Hearthstone team. Goodman said it is always a goal for his team to provide players with tools to counter powerful heroes, rather than simply nerfing the powerful heroes themselves.
“Ideally there are many options within the game that allow players to counter strategies or play a map in different ways. That said, sometimes some things need to be nerfed to open up the viability of already existing heroes or strategies.”
This really illustrates the Overwatch team’s willingness to make adjustments that will change heroes in ways that will benefit the game as a whole. Though this may not please everyone (few things ever do) it is encouraging to see that the developers are constantly working to improve the game and aren’t afraid to make the necessary changes to do so.
The interview also touched on the rise of hybrid heroes in Overwatch, such as the newest hero, Brigitte, who is a support-tank.
“The most important thing is that we always want to have lots of different options for players to play with. Sometimes that means more hybrid heroes such as Brigitte (Tank/Healer), Zenyatta (Damage/Healer), or Roadhog (Damage/Tank) or sometimes that might mean heroes with more of a ‘pure’ role, such as Mercy, Reinhardt, or McCree. So I think it is likely we’ll see more hybrid heroes but also more pure heroes as well!”
Whether you love or hate the changes Goodman and his team bring to the Overwatch heroes, you’ve got to hand it to them for keeping the game fresh and trying their best to help all players have the best experience possible. Keep an eye out for some Torbjorn changes down the road!