The Overwatch Symmetra changes have been rolled out, with a brand new PTR update revealing how the much-maligned hero will operate from here on out. With Symmetra having been one of the least popular hero picks in Blizzard's FPS, the developer noted some time ago that it was looking to completely rework the character, and that it would make her more useful in the near future. That time has now come, with a significant Overwatch update launching on the PTR server that completely overhauls Symmetra, making her much more useful in the process.
Symmetra was previously blighted by low damage output at close range, coupled with a squishy health pool that ensured she struggled when getting up close and personal with her targets. While her turrets have always proven to be a nuisance for enemies, they're easily destroyed and rarely cause too much of a hassle. However, now Symmetra has received an output similar to Mercy updates in the past, with her ultimate teleporter ability moving to a standard ability, while a brand new ult is set to completely change how she is played.
Overwatch Symmetra Rework 2018: The New Symmetra Changes
Symmetra now sits in the extensive "Damage" category in the hero select screen, which is now divided between damage-dealers, tanks, and support heroes. Symmetra's teleporter is now her secondary ability, allowing her to place two teleporters nearby one another in order to either get her team into the action quicker, or give them room to breathe from an enemy attack. Her turrets can now be fired in the direction she's aiming, with them sticking to walls after doing so. Meanwhile, her Photon Projector primary attack no longer has lock-on, though the range has been increased to 10 meters. It also has a secondary fire which shoots out energy balls that explode on contact. The Photon Projector's damage output has been increased from 30/60/120 to 60/120/180.
The number of sentry turrets Symmetra can now carry has been reduced from 6 down to 3, though she can fire them from long-range and stick them to walls. This allows her to plant them behind enemies, meaning that she doesn't need to spend the time preparing a defensive bunker, and can instead play much more aggressively. The damage of these turrets has been increased, as has the slowing effect they have on enemies.
The biggest change to her standard abilities, though, is the teleporter no longer being her ultimate. Now Symmetra can place a teleporter down up to 25 meters away from her, with the entrance teleporter spawning directly ahead of her. Though this means that teammates can no longer enter this teleporter through the spawn point and effectively negate their own deaths, it does mean that it can get players directly into the action with much more immediacy. Struggling to get on a control point or payload? Plop a teleporter down and send all of your teammates to it without having to worry about being taken down by the enemy first.
Symmetra Photon Barrier: How the New Ultimate Ability Works
Now that the teleporter is no longer an ultimate ability, this means that Symmetra is in need of a brand-new game-changing ult. This brings us to the Photon Barrier, a giant energy wall that completely divides the map and forms the biggest shield in the entire game.
With 5000 health, this is a hefty shield that can force opponents to get much closer to you than they had any intention of doing, and can shut down their attack for a period of time. With Pharah now being a popular pick for Overwatch heroes thanks to other recent changes, the sheer size of the barrier means that her missiles can't pass through it, rendering attacks useless for a period of time.
Blizzard noted that these changes will "make her more flexible and viable across more areas of the game than she was previously," and that "she should be more powerful and interesting in more team compositions and maps, and she should also be stronger on offense and defense."
It's interesting that Blizzard is doing away with the defense category of heroes altogether, though with so many of them now being used for damage output, Symmetra has always stuck out like a sore thumb. Initially being pitched as a support hero, she's never really had much to do in any solid team composition. Hopefully, these changes will rectify the issues players have had with her, and we'll see many more Symmetra mains in the future.
In related news, this latest Overwatch social changes that now allow players to look for groups to play withupdate brought with it . If you're routinely a solo player who wants to mingle with others, then Blizzard now has your back.