Earlier today, Geoff Goodman from the Overwatch Development team revealed the reworks set to happen to our favorite support character, Symmetra. Discussing the changes on the Blizzard Forum, Goodman revealed several new features that will change how the character is played. We condensed everything in an easy-to-read format for your reading pleasure. Our thoughts about the new changes are in Italics, red.
Regarding Turret Placements
“…We’ve lowered the max number to 3 (both that she can hold and that can be deployed)”
“That said, we are playing with a new way her turrets deploy. Instead of having to stick them directly onto a wall herself, she can now fire an un-deployed version like a projectile, which sticks to walls/ceilings/etc. Once it sticks, it will unfold like it does on the wall currently when she builds them.”
“This helps for a bunch of reasons but one of the big ones is that it makes it a lot easier to play her on offense or just be able to preposition her turrets much more easily/quickly”
We imagine something akin to Pharah’s rockets that latches on to walls, transforming into turrets. It puts Symmetra in less precarious situations in setting up her turrets and while the number have been reduced from six to three, we anticipate a much faster cooldown allowing more unique placements of the turrets. As of now, it cannot be shot down by enemies while traveling.
Health of Turrets: 30HP (vs 1HP)
“…primary fire changed to no longer lock on but works as a straight beam that is fairly thick and has increased range. It still has the potential to gain extra damage by dealing damage like it does now, but instead of going 30/60/120 dps it is currently 65/130/195 dps. However, it now takes a combined 2 seconds of damage to ‘level up’ to the next tier of damage instead of 1 second. This means the weapon has significantly more potential but it is more difficult to get it to max power.”
This move increases the skill ceiling for Symmetra mains who now will have to aim to put out decent amount of damage. But good aim is rewarded with a destructive beam similar to Zarya’s laser or Moira’s Coalescence ult.
“Also, when hitting a barrier it currently generates ammo instead of consuming it. This means not only is she good at taking down barriers themselves, but she is good at just generating charge off barriers and using that charge to take down enemies as well.”
This will change how barrier-heavy comps deal against Symmetra. Her ability to really affect barriers will make life more difficult for the likes of Reinhardt, Orisa, Winston and most recently, Brigette.
“Her alternate fire is still a charge-up large projectile, but it has a bunch of important changes as well. First off, it charges to max charge in 1 second, down from 2 seconds. Next, the projectile speed has increased significantly, currently it has changed from 10 m/s to 30 m/s. Lastly, instead of piercing enemies, it now impacts enemies/environments and explodes, dealing area damage around it. We’ve been heavily iterating on how much damage this ball deals now, but a direct shot has been hovering in the area of 130ish, with a large % of the damage coming from a direct impact (rather then the explosion).”
While classified as a Defense hero now, Symmetra can deal significant damage to clumped-up defenses if this rework does come to fruition. Her primary weapon destroys barriers while alternate fire deals splash damage does make her appear like a perfect pick to whittle down entrenched defenses such as on Anubis and Junkertown.
“Her teleporter is moving to her E ability and the Photon Barrier is moving to her ult, but these have massive changes as well.
The teleporter now works as follows: You place the exit like you normally do, except that you can place it up to 25 meters away, instead of only right in front of you. When you place the exit, the entrance automatically gets built right in front of you instead of at your spawn.
It lasts only a short time but allies can use it freely as they normally do, but there are some new things that can teleport as well. We’re experimenting with what works and what doesn’t but currently you can teleport things such as Torbjorn turrets, D.Va’s exploding mech, Junkrat tire, etc.”
“The health has been lowered to 300 and the entrance is now attackable as well. If either die, the other is destroyed as well.”
Just imagine launching your Rip Tyre all the way from spawn for a surprise drop onto the enemies. Also, the fact that there will be a 25m distance between you and the teleporter placement allows near unlimited possibilities of its location and new ways to set up defenses.
More Defensive Ult
“Her Photon Barrier has moved to her ultimate and is now very different as well. Instead of placing a moving barrier, she places a static barrier wall that effectively is infinite in size and has 5000 health.”
We feel that this new rework is the main reason she’s placed into the Defense category. By putting up the Photon Barrier, she forces enemies to take the fight right at her doorstep instead of spamming from afar. How many Pharah rockets does it take to whittle down 5000 HP? Only way is to dive in. And we are pretty sure Symmetra & Co are more than ready for it.
And yes. Say bye bye to the Shield Generator.
So what do we think of the new rework? We feel it is a much needed change for the hero which has been so misunderstood since day one. Symmetra is a devastating hero in the right hands, yet the perceived low skill ceiling led to many unskilled players picking her up, thus ruining it for everyone else. The meta will definitely shift to accommodate these changes and we can’t wait to see how the pros use it in the Overwatch League – if ever.