Symmetra Rework Update

Hey everyone, Syggz here but you can call me Vishkar.

Today, PlayOverwatch released a video discussing a future update to Symmetra on the PTR. I will provide a link for the video, but if you don’t want to sit through 12 minutes of Jeff Kaplan talking I have also summarized the changes below.

Going into the update, Kaplan stated that the main goals were to address the issue of Symmetra being viewed as overly situational, and implementing quality of life improvements.

  • Ultimate Changes
    • Symmetra will be the first hero to have two different ultimates
    • Teleporter
      • Functions as normal, 6 charges
      • Added additional health in the form of regenerating shields to assist teleporter survivability after fights
    • Shield Generator
      • New ultimate, accessed by toggling the ultimate button, similar to how Mei changes direction of the ice wall
      • Symmetra can build a shield generator which will provide all allies with a stronger shield if they are within a radius of the building
        • Shields are given out without the need for players to be in line of sight with the building, allowing you to hide it while still assisting the team
  • New Ability
    • Symmetra no longer provides teammates with a 25-health shield
      • Described as uninteractive and tedious
    • New Barrier Ability
      • Symmetra will be able to create an oval-shaped barrier, similar to Reinhardt’s shield, and send it on a trajectory
        • Allows Symmetra to help the team push forward by using the barrier to cover the team’s entry
  • Turret Changes
    • Symmetra will now be able to store up to 6 turrets as opposed to her current 3
      • Change was made so that the initial setup stage felt like less of a panic rush to the front lines and then juggle turret cooldowns so you can set up 6 turrets before the game begins
    • Turret cooldowns have been reduced from 12 seconds to 10
      • Along with the increase in stored turrets, this change allows Symmetra to better move with the flow of the battle instead of resorting to sporadic turret placements after your first sentry nest has been destroyed
  • Weapon Changes
    • Length of the primary fire beam will be *slightly* increased
  • Other Changes
    • New map “Oasis” will be available on the PTR shortly after the Symmetra changes are implemented
    • New social feature: “Stay with group”
      • Adding a button to the end screen of games which will allow players to be automatically placed into a group with other members of their team who also selected the option
      • Unknown when it will be added to the PTR

The quality of life changes will definitely make Symmetra more fun to play. Not only will the changes to her turret system not only reduce the stress of setting up on defense, but they will also help in more offensive roles, such as king of the hill maps, where Symmetra will now be able to set up quickly instead of waiting on cooldowns before moving on to assist the team. Additionally, giving her teleporter bonus shield health is a huge improvement as you don’t have to worry about defending your teleporter as much during prolonged fights.

The removal of her shield ability is questionable as it makes her even less support-like than she was before. Even if it was tedious, the bonus health offered by Symmetra’s shield helped teammates peek corners or with quick dive in and retreat strategies. This change only further convinces me that Symmetra should be reclassified as a Defensive character to avoid confusion for new players as she plays a defensive/utility role with the barrier ability and does not really fit into a traditional support role, especially when compared to other supports in the game.

As for her ultimates, it is hard to imagine when you wouldn’t want to use her (buffed) teleporter, especially since spawn distance is such a big deal in this game. The shield generator is definitely better in situations where your team’s spawn is right beside the objective (e.g. last point on Temple of Anubis, King’s Row and Eichenwalde) but is it better than just switching to Tracer/Winston/D.Va to quickly contest and defend the objective? My biggest concern about these changes is that they will only make Symmetra better at her current role instead of making her viable in other situations.

Overall these changes seem good for Symmetra, however we will ultimately have to wait to see whether or not they actually allow her to break out of her niche role.


See you guys next time where I will talk about why removing ledge-dashing from the game will make Genji unplayable.

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