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It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Overwatch‘s Jeff Kaplan host his long-running Developer Update series. This newest episode details the highly anticipated Torbjörn rework, new colorblind options, some slight hero balance changes, and more as well as vaguely touching on the game’s future. The changes will go live on the PTR in the “next couple of hours.” [Update: It is now live.]
Torbjörn’s ability to throw armor and collect scrap has been, well, scrapped. Overload takes its place and ups his movement speed by 30 percent and fire his weapon 30 percent faster along with equipping him with 150 armor. This Kaplan said this change was to make him “more viable as a damage dealer” and similar to what Blizzard did to Symmetra in June.
His new ultimate is still called Molten Core to keep the World of Warcraft brand in tact, but it is slightly different now. Instead of powering up himself and his turret, his claw arm shoots molten lava that bounces around until it hits the ground. It creates a deadly zone the enemy team can’t safely traverse and does more damage to armor, countering most tank heroes, Bastion, and Brigitte.
Turrets have also been changed. They can now be thrown and no longer have levels. Each turret takes three seconds to spawn at level two and can be destroyed at the player’s will. His rivet gun also fires and reloads a bit more quickly now but if you want detailed breakdown with the exact numbers, you can read the full breakdown here. Kaplan stated that all of these changes were to make him more “acceptable on offense and defense.”
After cryptically talking about balance changes coming to Solider 76, Pharah, McCree, and Orisa, Kaplan also briefly spoke about the game’s new accessibility features. Overwatch was often criticized for its lackluster colorblind options and the team has taken the steps to deliver a better, more accessible product. By learning from their work with the Overwatch League, Blizzard has added new color silhouettes to the characters and interface elements, which are customizable. It’s not the end of Blizzard’s colorblind support, but Kaplan said that this was a “great next step” in developing better colorblindness tools.
Kaplan was also transparent in the studio’s approach to creating content. As the annual Halloween event nears, he said that the team isn’t adding or changing much to the event aside from putting in more skins and spookifying some of the maps. This is so they have more time to add in more quality-of-life features and balance changes.
In part of this move to transparency, Blizzard had said it would add a third social feature around this time. But, due to unforeseen technical issues, the mystery feature had to be pushed out of this year. Kaplan explained that this is why they “try not to talk about stuff too early.” You can watch the full Developer Update below.