Overwatch’s New Developer Update Details New Changes and Tweaks for Symmetra

on November 22, 2016 5:16 PM

Overwatch has been out for over six months and many of its characters have seen tweaks and refinements both big and small since then, while one of the game’s lesser-played characters, Symmetra, is seeing more drastic changes and tweaks.

In a new Developer Update video from Blizzard, game director Jeff Kaplan detailed a variety of changes that will be coming for Symmetra in the near future. As previously explained by Blizzard and Kaplan, the development team felt that changes to Symmetra have been needed because of her “overly situational” nature, resulting in her being one of the lesser-played characters in the roster of Heroes in Overwatch.

Specifically, Kaplan explained that Symmetra’s “redesign” will feature her having two Ultimate abilities instead of one, making her the first Overwatch character with multiple Ultimate abilities. Once charged, players will have the option of using either her original Ultimate ability – the Teleporter – to quickly transport players between locations from the spawn point, or a new “shield generator” ability that will give team members their own individual shields.

Symmetra’s previous shield ability will instead be replaced by the ability “Photon Barrier.” Where Symmetra’s previous ability gave team members a small shield bonus, Photon Barrier will instead provide a projected shield barrier that moves along a set trajectory for players to go behind and avoid fire, making her more useful for offense/pushing for objectives, or to get teams past tough chokepoints on a map.

Kaplan also noted some smaller adjustments to Symmetra’s abilities, such as her being able to place and rebuild turrets more quickly than before, along with adjustments to the distance of her primary beam weapon that will now be able to hit from farther away.

Symmetra’s latest balance changes are now available in the Public Test Region of the PC version, while final updates for her on PC and consoles should be coming in the near future.

Overwatch is available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC – in the meantime, you can check out the full Developer Update from Blizzard below, and patch notes for the latest PTR update:

GENERAL UPDATES

General

  • Added a new “Boop” unlockable voice line for Sombra
  • Players can now select the 1v1 Mystery Duel and 3v3 Elimination game modes from the Custom Game menu
  • Added a “Stay as Team” feature, which allows players to remain grouped with their teammates after the match has ended

HERO BALANCE UPDATES

Symmetra

  • New Abilities
    • Photon Barrier
      • Replaces her existing Photon Shield ability
      • Generates a large energy barrier in front of Symmetra that blocks enemy fire as it travels forward
    • Shield Generator (New Ultimate Ability)
      • Symmetra’s Ultimate ability now offers a choice between her Teleporter and a new option: Shield Generator
      • Shield Generator places a device that grants additional shields to any ally within the its effective radius, regardless of barriers, walls, or obstacles between heroes and the Shield Generator
  • Photon Projector (Primary Fire)
    • Range has been increased from 5 meters to 7 meters
  • Sentry Turret
    • Number of turrets that can be carried has been increased from 3 turrets to 6 turrets
    • Cooldown has been reduced from 12 seconds to 10 seconds
  • Teleporter
    • Decreased health from 200 to 50
    • Increased shields from 0 to 350
  • Photon Shield
    • Replaced with the new Photon Barrier ability

Developer Comments: When looking into changes for Symmetra, we wanted to address two main issues: she didn’t feel active enough, and she often felt weak in certain situations on different maps and game modes, due to her Teleporter.

To address the first point, we removed her more passive Photon Shield ability, and replaced it with a much more active ability: Photon Barrier. Now, Symmetra can help lead the charge on offense or help shut down a big push on defense by actively blocking damage for your team.

For the second point, we noticed players would often switch off of her when they felt like her Teleporter wasn’t as useful. For example, when playing her on defense on an Assault map, players often only used her to defend the first capture point, then quickly changed if that point fell. To help her feel more useful in more situations, we’ve given her an alternate to her Teleporter. The Shield Generator is just as important for the enemy to deal with, but is useful in more situations than her Teleporter.

The turret changes allow her to rebuild her turret nests faster. Even if all her turrets are wiped out, it’s now easier for players to build them all back up before the next push.

The last change increases the range on her Arc Welder to make it easier for her to build up and keep a powerful charge on her weapon.

Zarya

  • Particle Barrier/Projected Barrier
    • Attacks that deal damage to both a barrier and the target of a barrier (such as Reinhardt’s Fire Strike, Hanzo’s Dragonstrike, etc.), no longer deal damage to the barrier twice
 /  Features Editor
Ryan is the Features Editor at DualShockers, with over five years' experience in the world of video games culture and writing. He holds a BA in English & Cinema from Binghamton University, and lives in New York City.