Before we begin discussing Torvald specifically, let’s first examine Assaults in general.
An assault’s weapons are typically comprised of the following:
- A powerful close-range weapon
- A reliable weapon that has less damage, but can be used at longer ranges
- A special ability or weapon
For the first three tiers of assaults (Markov, Hyde, Parnell), their weapons correspond to the typical loadout quite nicely:
- Lightning Gun, Flamethrower, Combat Shotgun
- Assault Rifle, Minigun, Auto-fire Rocket Launcher
- Arc Mines, Toxic Grenade, Super Soldier
Now, let’s look at Torvald’s weapons:
- Auto-fire shotgun, which excels at close-range. Deals good damage, which is boosted by weakspots.
- Mortars, which deal great deal great damage but have travel time & a minimum range.
- Shrapnel grenade, which covers a target in weakspots.
Torvald is the first Assault not to fit this mold. Is this a problem?
Actually, no. The fact that Torvald is ‘different’ from the other assaults is not itself an issue. In fact, we should be embracing the diversity in equipment, playstyles, and gameplay across hunters (even across hunters of the same class).
So if Torvald being different form other assaults is not the issue, then what is?
Torvald breaks the mold by having a powerful long-range weapon. So, does this mean that having a powerful long-range weapon is the problem?
Again, no. A powerful long-range weapon, by itself, is not an issue. In fact, some people have been hoping for a long-range assault - one who deals the majority of their damage at a distance. This would offer a different playstyle than the current assaults, while having an obvious weakness - he’d be weaker at close-range, so monsters could close the distance and take advantage of that.
And therein lies the problem: Torvald isn’t weaker at close-range. His mortars don’t have a true minimum range (you can aim up to hit areas close to you), and his shotgun - combined with the weakspots - deal great damage.
THAT is the problem: Torvald is both a close-range and long-range assault. To be even more precise, he’s a close-range and long-range assault with utility (he’s the only assault that can create weakspots for the team). So while Parnell’s damage is fine with his lack of utility (and even his self-inflicted harm), Torvald has no such weakness; he has close-range damage, long-range damage, and utility, and he hasn’t had to give anything up for it.
So if that’s the problem, what is the solution?
The solution, I feel, is for TRS to decide what they want out of Torvald. From the way I see it, they can have Torvald be 1 of 3 things.
Jack of All Trades
This would be achieved by TRS continuing what the micropatch has started. By nerfing both his long-range and close-range damage, you can give him decent access to both. That, combined with his utility, would make him a jack of all trades - one who can provide close-range damage, long-range damage, and utility, but excels at none of them. I feel that to fully achieve this, the damage of his shotguns and mortars need to be reduced even further.
This would bring Torvald more inline with the other current assaults. Making his shotgun (enhanced by weakspots) his main focus would make keeping near the monster doing damage his main goal, with his mortars being his fall-back weapon for when the monster is out of range for his shotgun. I feel that to fully achieve this, the mortars need to be nerfed - if not in damage, than in other ways (such as having a longer travel time, being more visible/obvious to the monster, the noise of them firing being more obvious to the monster, etc). Or perhaps a damage decrease and some of the options I mentioned might be necessary; the point is that if this role is chosen, his mortars shouldn’t be his go-to weapon - they should be his fall-back weapon.
This would make Torvald unique among the assaults. It is very much the long-range assault playstyle I described before, with powerful mortars being his main focus. His weaker shotgun would mainly be for taking down wildlife and hurting the monster when it decides to focus on him. I feel that to achieve this, further shotgun nerfs are needed.
In all three roles, I feel that completely eliminating the mortar’s close-range dead zone (i.e. no firing up to hit areas close to him) is necessary. For Jack of All Trades, it enforces the distinction between close-range and long-range damage (just as the shotgun’s spread naturally deters long-range use, so too should the mortar’s dead zone deter close-range use). For Close-range Assault, it allows him to put even more focus on the shotgun at close-range (just as this role should be doing), as well as giving Torvald a weakness for his strength (the same as other assaults - they do their best damage up close). For Long-range Assault, it allows him to put more focus on ranged combat (which is what this role should be doing), as well as giving Torvald a weakness for this strength (i.e. the monster can close the distance).
So once TRS decides what they want out of Torvald, they can begin making the necessary changes to have him fulfill that role. Until then, it seems to me that we are left with a Jack of All Trades who is simply too strong compared to his peers.