Brigitte, the new hero many Overwatch fans have been looking forward to, will be added to the live server on March 20th.
Brigitte is the daughter of Torbjörn and apprentice to Reinhardt, the first heroes of Overwatch, and appeared in both the short comic Dragon Slayer and the animated short, Honor and Glory. She soon gained a lot of attention from fans after she was announced to be the 27th hero in Overwatch.
We had the opportunity to interview the Overwatch devs, Geoff Goodman, the Lead Designer, and Michael Chu, the Lead Writer, about Brigitte.
It is nice to be able to talk to you two. Could you please introduce yourselves to the Overwatch fans on Inven?
Geoff Goodman: I am Geoff Goodman, the Lead Hero Designer for Overwatch. I work on balancing the heroes in Overwatch and have participated in creating the 27th hero, Brigitte.
Michael Chu: I am Michael Chu. I am the Lead Writer for Overwatch and the person responsible for the game’s lore and story.
Since the latest hero added to Overwatch was Moira, a support hero, few expected that another support hero would be the next. Is there any story behind why you’re adding another support?
Geoff: We thought it would be helpful for players to have more choices with healers in the current situation, considering the overall balance of the game. The pick rate for healer will go up if there are more healers available to choose from, and we thought this would help. At the time, the prototype for the 27th hero happened to be a ‘paladin’, and we ended up making it into a support hero based on the idea that a paladin would be a tanky yet hybrid support; we thought it would be fun.
Brigitte’s weapon, Rocket Flail, seems fairly unique in an FPS game. What was the part you considered most important when designing Brigitte’s weapon? Was there anything you found difficult in developing it in-game?
Geoff: Working on the weapon mechanisms for melee heroes was originally a process with many difficulties. We had the same problem back when we were working on Reinhardt, the very first hero we worked on, and Genji, the next melee hero, formerly had his Dragonblade drawn out all the time. But then we had Genji changed to what he is now since there were many difficulties in making him that way.
Brigitte is one of the cases where we thought we wanted to make a melee hero. We wanted Brigitte to give off a similar yet different vibe compared to Reinhardt, so we created the Rocket Flail with more range than Reinhardt’s Rocket Hammer does.
There are many discussions about Brigitte’s overall appearance being similar to Johanna, the Crusader from Diablo III. Did Johanna actually have any influence on Brigitte’s design?
Geoff: As we mentioned before, we wanted a paladin for our next hero. I think it just seems similar because we meant to make a hero wearing an armor with that paladin vibe rather than referring to Johanna from Diablo on purpose.
Michael: The most important part was that the ‘new hero holds a shield’. We wanted to come up with a hero holding a barrier and this might have made people see the similarity between the two.
Could you please go into details on the concept of legendary skins for Brigitte?
Michael: First, although this isn’t a legendary skin, we wanted Ironclad, Brigitte’s epic skin, to make Brigitte look like Torbjörn.
As for Engineer/Mechanic, the legendary skins, those are the armor sets that Brigitte wore for the first time when she decided to fight side by side with Reinhardt. You can actually see it in Brigitte’s backstory video which was released along with the announcement of Brigitte.
Máni/Sól were the skins that the Overwatch design team came up with when they gathered for a team meeting. There were several ideas, and the idea that got the most support was Brigitte dressed in magnificent armor. This is how we came to making two legendary skins, each based on the moon and sun.
Geoff: The collaboration skins we introduced before were the ones we came up with when we were making Blizzard World, the latest map added to Overwatch. We are still thinking about making Brigitte’s collab skin.
Brigitte appeared for the first time as Reinhardt’s squire in ‘Dragon Slayer’, the short comic on Reinhardt. Reinhardt has made appearances in the game since the release of Overwatch; was Brigitte planned in this stage as well?
Michael: Actually, Brigitte wasn’t a character we planned to make into a hero from the start; we wanted Reinhardt to be like Don Quixote when we were coming up with the game lore for Reinhardt. However, we needed a character playing the role of Sancho Panza, his squire, and that was when Brigitte, a character that fixes Reinhardt’s armor, came to birth in the process. For your reference, the van these two ride is named after Don Quixote’s horse, Rocinante.
When we were discussing the 27th hero, we wanted to make the latest hero a paladin, but we couldn’t decide what kind of character that hero should be. Then there was this idea that Brigitte would join the battle as a hero, and the paladin concept fit perfectly with Brigitte’s backstory so we had Brigitte added as a new hero.
Does Brigitte have any relations with heroes in Overwatch other than Reinhardt and Torbjörn?
Michael: First, the biggest relations Brigitte has would be with Reinhardt, her godfather, and Torbjörn, her father. The time period Brigitte appears in the world of Overwatch is after Overwatch has been disbanded, and she admired the heroes of Overwatch since she heard about their achievements from Reinhardt ever since she was a child.
That is why you will see many interactions in which Brigitte shows her respect for other heroes in Overwatch once she is released. For example, she has an interaction with Mercy, who has been friendly with the Lindholm family since way back. There will be more connections with many heroes for Brigitte so you can look forward to it.
From the animated short, ‘Honor and Glory’, revealed in BlizzCon, Brigitte seemed to be against Reinhardt going back to Overwatch. How does she feel about Overwatch? How much does she know about the backstory of Overwatch and Blackwatch?
Michael: She has heard to some extent since her father is Torbjörn and Reinhardt is her godfather. But you could say that she knows a little bit more than any civilian would and knows nothing about the truth behind Overwatch’s disbandment.
Also, Brigitte hadn’t thought of wanting to become a hero from the start; instead she wanted to be an engineer, just like her father. However, as previously shown in her backstory, she started to think that patching Reinhardt up and fixing his armor wasn’t enough and so decides to fight by Reinhardt’s side. Likewise, it can be said that Reinhardt is Brigitte’s biggest concern. She meant it when she was against Reinhardt going back to Overwatch.
Before Brigitte was revealed, the names of Ana, Reinhardt, Torbjörn, and Private First Class Emre Sarioglu appeared on Ana’s report on Operation White Dome, the backstory revealed on the official Overwatch website. At that, many Overwatch fans had speculated back then: is Emre Sarioglu the 27th hero in Overwatch; can you tell us more about him?
Michael: Operation White Dome is a fairly important event in the story of Overwatch. We have nothing certain for Emre Sarioglu but are considering coming up with a backstory for him.
Brigitte g is a hero with a lot of health, a shield, and a special mechanism which she lets her heal allies by attacking enemies with her flail. What role did you design Brigitte to play in-game?
Geoff: Basically, Brigitte is a support with high survivability. For example, Zenyatta feels like a very aggressive support with his high DPS and Orb of Discord; Brigitte feels tanky in overall with a lot of health and her ability to protect herself. That is why she is great to use when you’re on a defending team holding out against enemy attacks.
When playing Brigitte on defense, the most important skill is her Shield Bash. Since you can dash forward and stun an enemy with this skill, it’s good when you are initiating a fight, but it’s also great when countering enemies trying to flank allies. Being able to use Barrier Shield at the right time is also the core play of Brigitte.
The way Brigitte instantly killed a Tracer with her Shield Bash - Rocket Flail - Whip Shot combo shocked some fans. There is this strong feeling that Brigitte was released to counter Tracer and Genji, two heroes who are mainly picked for dive comp in Overwatch; how is she actually in-game?
Geoff: You could see it like that. Right now, dive comp has become the main strategy in Overwatch where you dive right into enemies using mobility, and we believe that Brigitte will be a counter-pick to Genji, Tracer, Sombra, Winston, etc. the core heroes of the dive comp.
She can use her Shield Bash to push Genji or Tracer flaking from behind or save an ally being focused by enemies with her Repair Pack and ult, Rally.
Who are the heroes that go with Brigitte as a team composition?
Geoff: Brigitte will work well with the heroes that lack mobility or have short range, like Reinhardt. When Moira came out, the triple tank + Moira comp became the meta. Brigitte can also work as a sub-tank in the triple tanks meta. Brigitte is a tank-support, which is a new type of hero. I’m expecting that a new meta or team comp might come out with the addition of Brigitte.
Any last words for all the Overwatch fans out there?
Geoff: First, I would like to thank all of you. When we are developing, we listen to the community more than anything else. The community helps us a lot with how to improve the game, the concept of the hero, and how to play the hero. I would like to hear from the community in the future as well.
Michael: The Overwatch community is such an enthusiastic community that truly loves the game. We hope you like Brigitte!