Symmetra’s rework in Overwatch has been underway at Blizzard for some time, and Principal Designer Geoff Goodman took to the game’s forums to outline some of the changes that are currently in place in the development build of the game including her move to the Defense category.

The Overwatch developers initially tried a healer version of Symmetra by having her turrets heal allies rather than damaging enemies. However, that didn’t work out very well considering the fast-paced and highly mobile nature of the game. Her turrets have since been changed to a projectile that is fired onto a wall and activates once it lands somewhere. The deployed turrets travel infinitely in a straight line at a slow speed. The maximum number of turrets has been reduced from 6 to 3, but each additional turret deals more damage and applies a greater slow effect as opposed to the ones currently in the game. Additionally, the turrets currently in testing have 30 HP (as opposed to 1), making them slightly more durable. Ultimately, their testing has found that fewer turrets with greater power are more impactful on the game.

Symmetra’s weapon has also undergone some changes. The current “lock-on” primary fire is no more; instead, she fires a straight beam. The overall damage curve and time to ramp up to maximum damage has been changed, meaning that there is greater potential for damage but it takes a bit longer to get there. The new weapon also generates ammo when attacking a barrier (rather than using it), making Symmetra a keen barrier buster. As for the alternate fire, it travels three times as fast but no longer penetrates enemies; it instead explodes on impact dealing area of effect damage (with a large portion of the damage focused on the point of impact).

Her abilities have been tinkered with a good bit, too. The Teleporter is being moved to the E ability and Photon Barrier is currently her new Ultimate. The teleporter can be placed up to 25 meters away from your current position and the entrance is built right in front of you, changing it from a sort of faster respawn into a possible flanking tool. The developers are also experimenting with allowing certain projectiles (like D.Va’s self-destructing mech) to pass through the teleporter, making for some interesting plays unique to Symmetra.

Finally, the Photon Barrier is currently her Ultimate in the development version of the game. This version of Photon Barrier is significantly beefier than the E ability in the live game – it effectively creates a wall of infinite width and height with 5,000 HP that is placed similarly to Mei’s wall. One interesting use of this new Ultimate is the ability to deploy it from spawn and still have an effect on a current team fight since it covers the entire map on a single plane. And if you haven’t noticed, the Shield Generator hasn’t been mentioned yet because it is currently not part of her kit on the development build.

As it stands, all of these changes Mr. Goodman revealed are still in testing and very much subject to change. Which Symmetra changes will ultimately get pushed to the live version of the game (or even the PTR) is still up in the air, but the Overwatch development team is certainly headed down an interesting path.

What do you think of the changes for Symmetra currently being tested by the Overwatch development team? Do they seem like an overall improvement on her current kit? Let us know in the comments below!

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Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!