Just as we named Overwatch‘s most popular characters and discovered that Torbjörn has an unfair win-rate on consoles compared to PC, Blizzard has confirmed that the jerk-off is finally getting the nerf he deserves.
I must admit: I love playing as Torbjörn on certain maps. Hanamura’s centralised entry points to the objective make turret placement almost too easy, while Hollywood’s moving platform at the first capture point makes it tough for attacking characters to aim their fire at the turret. From a defensive standpoint, he’s a fantastic Hero that, if used correctly, can lead your team to an overwhelming victory.
In an upcoming patch, we will reduce the damage done by Torbjörn’s turret by 30% on Xbox One and PS4. PC will remain unchanged.
ETA – Mid to late July depending on 1st party certification times.” – Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan
The problem, however, is that his turret is just that little bit too overpowered. Where Bastion’s sentry form is impossible to beat in a one-on-one shoot-off, at least he lacks mobility and speed to move around fast enough to counter a flank. Torbjörn on the other hand has a solid shotgun that if on target can shred through most classes, and his alt boosts both his fire rate and turret damage rate to unbeatable levels. He even gets an armor boost at this point, making his alt one of the more powerful — and infuriating — in the game.
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The major problem, however, is the gap between his effectiveness on console and PC. The experience on PC is far more balanced probably due to hit registration and more efficient responsiveness. It’s harder to track targets on console, making it tough to take down a turret fast enough to move forward towards the objective at an efficient rate. His winrate on PS4 and Xbox One is 69.1% and 68.6% respectively, compared to 59.8% on PC. That’s a shocking difference.
The good news is that any Overwatch updates will happen separately between the platforms. Blizzard will understandable focus on console separately from PC, because the reality is that the two experiences are considerably different. I haven’t played Overwatch much on PC, but I’ve played it enough to know that the controls on console suffer from slight imprecision, which, as I mentioned above, make it hard to track enemies. This makes a powerful, mid-range fire rate turret a real game changer.
Also consider that in Quick Play on consoles, unless you’re in a party it’s incredibly difficult to coordinate an attack on a Torbjörn turret. I’ve seen players constantly run directly into the line of fire, trying to take it down from a distance without releasing how accurate the turret can be. This probably won’t be an issue in competitive play, as players will probably be more inclined to change characters and adjust play style in response to an opponent’s defensive or attacking strategies. But in Quick Play, it’s a futile exercise most of the time.
Then there’s his ultimate. This is an alt that reboots faster than any other characters’. His ultimate meter gets a boost with hits from both his hand weapon and his turret, so three to four ultimates a game at the minimum is fairly common.
I’ve managed to deal with Torbjörn’s turrets in a more efficient way now, generally keeping my distance and always trying to take them out from outside their shooting range (there’s a sweet spot where even when in the turret’s line of sight, it won’t shoot at you). The problem however is that often there is a skilled Torbjörn player who places the turret in a position with no direct long-range line of sight, making it difficult to take out the turret from distance. And then if they set up behind the turret and just keeping hammering away at it, unless you get four or five consecutive shots, it’s just going to keep getting repaired.
Blizzard has a number of challenges on its hands in balancing Overwatch. McCree’s fan the hammer needs major tweaking, while D.Va is a walking contradiction and is one of the few characters that needs a buff. It’ll be interesting to see how Blizzard addresses these issues, starting with the Torbjörn nerf this July.