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Overwatch PTR Patch Reveals New Symmetra, Social Changes

Gaming article by Robert N. Adams on June 6, 2018 at 8:03 PM
News

The latest patch on the Overwatch PTR finally has the long-awaited changes to Symmetra according to patch notes posted on the game's official forums.

Overwatch has been working on improving its heroes as of late, and Symmetra was one of the characters that was slated for a major rework. Additionally, Horizon Lunar Colony has had a bit of a facelift and several new social features are in testing on the Overwatch PTR. Game Director Jeff Kaplan hosted yet another Developer Update video where he laid out the broad strokes of what's happening right now:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_pnpZK_oYM

Two new core social features are being tested on the PTR. The first is an "Endorsements" system where you can reward other players for good sportsmanship, being a good teammate, or being a good shot-caller. Players who maintain a consistent level of good endorsements will periodically receive rewards for their efforts. A new Looking For Group system will allow players to form a tea prior to joining a match in a way that best matches what they're looking to get out of the game.

 

The handful of players who can qualify as one of the Top 500 in a region must now have Blizzard SMS Protect enabled. This essentially ties individual accounts to a specific cell phone number and is probably being instituted to try to cut down on the number of alt accounts in the Top 500. The last big bit of social news is that player profiles can now be public, restricted to friends, or completely hidden. Soon enough, you'll no longer have to worry about people complaining that you're throwing a game for not playing your main.

Symmetra's rework keeps the spirit of the character in place but fundamentally changes how her abilities function. Her Photon Projector primary weapon no longer locks onto targets; it instead fires a straight beam that ramps up in damage and recovers ammo when it attacks barriers. Her right-click alternate fire no longer penetrates shields, but it explodes on impact and moves somewhat faster now. Her turrets have been reduced in number from 6 to 3, but they are now shot as a projectile and deploy when they come into contact with a wall.

 

As for Symmetra's Ultimate, both the Shield Generator and Teleporter are no longer her Ultimate abilities. Her teleporter has been relegated to a regular ability that can be deployed at a distance and used to help teammates close the distance or flank the enemy. Interestingly, certain abilities like D.Va's self-destruct can move through the teleporter and maintain momentum, creating the opportunity for some very interesting combos.

Finally, Symmetra's new Ultimate is Photon Barrier, a gigantic shield wall with 5,000 health that covers the entirety of the map on a single plane for a short period of time. Much like any other barrier, it blocks enemy fire but allows friendly fire to pass through it with no problem.

Horizon Lunar Colony has had a bit of a facelift, Doomfist & Orisa have had minor changes, and a whole bunch of other bug fixes and minor changes have made their way into the latest PTR patch - be sure to read the patch notes for all the details. If you've been looking for a reason to play Overwatch lately, a Double XP weekend will be taking place on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One from June 8, 2018, through June 11, 2018.

What do you think of the Symmetra changes deployed in the latest Overwatch patch? Which character do you feel needs a similar rework? Do you think the new Endorsements & Looking For Group systems will have a positive effect on the game? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author

A photograph of Robert N Adams

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!