Human Torch has always been one of the most well-received heroes, so our goals were to improve any powers that hadn’t found places in his builds, improve his passives, do a full tuning review, address any bugs that exist and perform general quality of life upgrades wherever possible.
Since Human Torch was launched with a full progression of powers, VFX and animations in place for his level 52 review, he was able to have his design review completed much more efficiently than other heroes who need extensive new animations, VFX and powers designed.
We kept the core of Torch’s playstyle the same and concentrated on cleanup more than major changes. As with any design review, a huge amount of time was spent reviewing feedback from the Human Torch community through the official forum threads and in-game.
Bouncing Fireballs / Scattering Blaze
Design Note: Bouncing Fireballs, a fun concept with randomized angles of attack, needed to be renovated for both gameplay and visual performance reasons. We’ve shifted the lingering fire from Bouncing Fireballs onto a more reliable power, so that layered-DoT gameplay rotations can be more responsive and accurate. This also allows Bouncing Fireballs to be more defined in its position in his tree, and have the chaotic, random, explosive gameplay it was intended to have.
Scattering Blaze: Now leaves lingering fire along the ground as it travels, burning any enemies standing inside. No longer consumes burning effects to deal additional damage.
Bouncing Fireballs: No longer costs spirit. The fireballs now deal aoe splash damage per bounce or explode if they hit a target. They no longer leave lingering fire on the ground.
All pre-existing items that gave bonuses to Bouncing Fireballs will now give bonuses to Scattering Blaze, since Scattering Blaze is now replacing Bouncing Fireballs in rotations as a ‘create a damage-over-time burning area’ power.
Homing Flares / Pyrotechnic Burst
Design Note: We wanted to spice up these two powers with fun, unique affixes and make them more attractive in player builds. Homing Flares will now be a powerful single target spirit spender, and Pyrotechnic Burst will have new purpose as a power we expect players will create entire builds around.
Homing Flares: Now fires between 1 and 5 flares per cast.
Pyrotechnic Burst: The longer the hotkey is held to cast Pyrotechnic Burst, the damage and spirit cost will increase, stacking infinitely but resetting when the hotkey is released. The power no longer stuns enemies (this effect has been migrated to Fallback Blast), and no longer causes weaken (this effect has been migrated to Scorching Wall). ** Pyrotechnic Charge / Consume the Flames**
Design Note: To improve Human Torch’s quality of life, we’ve merged the benefits of these two powers into other powers within his kit while ensuring that they are tuned correctly for the current enemy levels.
Pyrotechnic Charge: The healing component from this power has been migrated to Blazing Charge, and no longer consumes burning effects to perform the heal. As a result of this change, Pyrotechnic Charge has been removed from Torch.
Consume the Flames: Fiery Rejuvenation has been redesigned to restore both health and spirit. As a result, Consume the Flames has been removed from Torch.
Fiery Rejuvenation / Passive Powers
Design Note: Human Torch’s passives have gained a little extra potency to make them more attractive for power points and use in player builds. Fiery Rejuvenation we wanted to rework in a manner that made it more reliable, while retaining the gameplay of using it at the ideal time - when the world is on fire.
Fiery Rejuvenation: Now restores a flat amount of health and spirit, then consumes all burning conditions and areas to reduce the cooldown of the power. A defense component has been tuned properly and migrated to Protective Flames as part of the toggled effect of that power.
Thermal Intensity: Now increases Torch’s damage rating if he is standing in one of his burning area effects instead of providing damage rating to close targets. In addition, it now gives you and your allies bonus damage rating against burning enemies.
Blazing Speed: Now increases attack speed in addition to movement speed.
Fuel for the Flame: Now increases Torch’s maximum spirit.
Signature Power - Flame On
Design Note: Torch was one of the first heroes to have what we now call a ‘signature’ power, which is defined as ‘a potent power with a long cooldown that is flavorful to the hero’. Now officially a signature power, Flame On received a little extra punch and polish.
Flame On is now officially Human Torch’s signature power. Upon activation, Torch releases an expanding nova of fire, damaging nearby enemies.
Ultimate Power - Nova Ignition
Design Note: Nova Ignition is a blazing spectacle of fire, and we wanted to take that even further with a little extra flair to make it even more Ultimate.
Nova Ignition: Torch now flies into the air in a circular pattern, creating a massive column of fire, before crashing into the earth to create a huge explosion.
Human Torch did not require much tuning changes, since his clear times were already well above the standard curve and he was one of the tankiest heroes by far (well above the range of melee heroes, in fact).
The tuning team did do a pass to make sure he was within correct ranges for the various kill times and live time tests, but focused more on making sure each power has a place in his kit. The most significant tuning change was changing his Protective Flames damage reduction to 20% from 25%. Human Torch has a combination of high mobility, a dodge buff, a defense buff, built-in healing and doesn’t need a massive shield on top of that. We considered removing this damage reduction entirely and allow Torch players to rely on their built-in healing, defense and dodge, but wanted to test it at this level as an incremental change for now and not make too many tuning changes at once.
Like most new heroes and heroes who’ve received their design review, Human Torch now enjoys a valuable group buff. Human Torch players who want challenging group content can now opt to provide a team-wide damage rating buff to burning targets for their allies.
Additional Powers Notes
Burning Volley - Projectile speed increased for this power, which will make it more responsive.
Scorching Pyre - Cast speed slightly increased. The power now causes vulnerability (which has been moved from Incinerating Blast to be easier to use at range).
Fiery Uppercut - Now deals bonus damage to burning enemies without consuming the burning effect.
Extreme Combustion - Now deals an additional mini-explosion to burning enemies without consuming the burning effect. The secondary explosion is now slightly delayed so the floating damage numbers do not overlap each other.
Cleansing Fire: Now has a cooldown instead of a spirit cost, similar to changes to other recently revised heroes.
Human Torch has some of the best unique items in the game, but we did a pass to ensure they covered each need appropriately, with these changes as a result:
Added Health to his Stellar Flare (slot 5)
Added +rank (4-8) to Bouncing Fireball to his Gloves of the Light Brigade (weapon slot)
GazillionLocation Serious BusinessPosts: 4,990 Staff
Awesome, thank you MichaelMayhem.
I'm sure there will be various animation / VFX / tuning issues, so please report anything you find in a detailed post in the Hero and Power Bug Report forum and we'll work on it immediately so it's fixed in the small patch next week.