Overwatch's Symmetra Is Getting A 'Dramatic' Overhaul

I love how unique Symmetra is as both a hero and a character, but... I'm a total trainwreck with her. Given that she's one of Overwatch's least-played characters, I'm guessing that a lot of people share my sentiment. As part of a wide-ranging developer update, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan shed some light on Symmetra's evolution. He explained that this won't be as simple as, say, a tweak to Widowmaker's scope speed. The undisputed queen of sitting emotes is going back to the drawing board.

"It could be changes to some of her mechanics and just changing her overall feel through things like numbers and cooldowns," explained Kaplan. "That's always a possibility. But we're going to look at some other changes and explore some other things as well that might be a little more dramatic in terms of design vision for her."

However, Kaplan and co aren't planning to turn Symmetra into something that she's not. While players have requested things like turrets that heal teammates or healing based on proximity to Symmetra's portal, those sorts of things simply aren't in the cards. She's not a healer, and she will not become one. Kaplan said Blizzard would sooner move her out of the support category than alter the philosophy behind her design.

"What we are looking to do," Kaplan added, "is make her more viable in more situations. I think right now she's perceived as being OK or acceptable if you're playing on defence on a first point, or early in a match. Other than that, we really don't see Symmetra as being super viable in a lot of other situations."

Changes could be coming as soon as mid-November, but the team doesn't want to rush.

In the developer update, Kaplan also covered a whole host of other topics, though he didn't reveal anything too surprising. Spectator mode continues to receive improvements, and esports features are definitely a focus. New maps, modes and heroes are (of course) in development, and one hero in particular "will see the light of day sooner rather than later". Another hero prototype is quickly taking shape and could be in the game early next year.

One of the maps, meanwhile, is already getting transformed from a series of boxy lumps into a series of boxy lumps covered in art, so it's probably not too far out. It uses a preexisting game mode, as does another map that's showing promise. New game modes, on the other hand, are still very experimental. Blizzard doesn't want to pull the trigger on anything that isn't fun and balanced for all heroes.


    Symmetra could be fixed by having the ability to choose what her ultimate does. A teleport or something more useful (maybe a fuck off turret or something). That'd cement her as a defensive pick rather than a 1st point support pick.

    I thought she was a nice stand-in for a Mei or Winston, with an up-close-and-personal LMB attack that can take down a tank or something.

      I can't think of a situation where having a Symmetra INSTEAD of Mei or Winston is a good idea. IMO the best use for her is when you want to have a teleporter for your flankers/team to come back to the fight quickly if they die.

    I have her Legendary blue goddess skin, actually bought it with coins just before the nerfcannon smashed her into oblivion. I hope the changes are made sooner rather than later.

    If they could make her a bit faster she would have more time to set up her turrents and it would make it easer to run rings round enemies with her primary attack.
    I don't know why she has to be usefull in every map and every game mode though.

    Last edited 06/10/16 2:58 pm

      The Overwatch dev team have always said they have been striving to make all characters relevant as much as possible. She wont ever be effective 100% of the time, like most characters, but she definitely needs fixing because at the moment she's really not worth the trouble unless it's first capture point.

        at the moment she's really not worth the trouble unless it's first capture point.

        Not only that, I feel like the team needs to defend her until she gets the teleporter up. If she dies (even once) before she gets the tele up she is a huge burden.

    I always wanted the Turrets to be teleportable or throwable to locations. Think the turrets could use a priximity buff if she is close, durability or damage boost.

    The problem I have with Symmetra at the moment is she seems so half arsed at everything she does. The shields she gives out dont really help too much, and I'd prefer Torb's armour over the shields at the moment. Her turrets are great in some situations, but they are way too squishy, whereas Torb's turret can at least survive for a bit, and can be fixed! Unless you create a Microwave room (which is only possible in some areas), Symmetra turrets are more of a mild distraction than anything.

    Her main gun is fantastic at close range, but really unless you can ambush people, she doesnt have the survivability to make use of it. She's also not particularly fast, so running back from spawn is a bit of a chore. Torb on the other hand can hang back and pick off people with his gun, so can survive a lot longer in a team fight. Then, there's the Ultimate. The Teleporter is really great, but it's basically broadcast to everyone that it's there, and unless you either find an amazing new hiding spot, or the other team are complete derpfaces, it's getting knocked over. The fact that it appears in the kill cam is the ultimate hiderance. Torb on the other hand has a great Ult that buffs him and the turret and can easily wipe a team if they arent paying attention.

    TL:DR She cant heal so she's not a support. There are much better characters at defending a point/payload. Her ultimate is handy but flawed, and she's too squishy for offence. Her turrets are very situational. I'm not sure how you would do it but she needs fixing.

    A couple of suggestions (although obviously putting too many of them would overpower her):

    - A bit more range (still relatively short though) for her left-click would be good
    - Remove or significantly lessen the cooldown for turrets to become available
    - Flat increase to the amount of shields she provides (50 is a reasonable amount)
    - Increased movement speed to increase survivability at close range (where she needs to be for her left-click)
    - Be able to de-spawn/re-place teleporter
    - Generate ult charge (maybe up to a max 50% or something?) while tele is up

      Love some of these. Rather than a faster cooldown on the turrets though, I'd give them a bit more HP. That way she can play zone control a bit more effectively, and potentially leave her turrets alone.

      Definitely need to fix the tele though. Moving it is a great idea.

        The turrets having health is a pretty decent idea. It's annoying to take 30-40 secs setting up a trap room or choke, only to have Winston jump in and take them all out in < 1 sec without aiming haha.

    I think symmetras main issue is her ultimate is easily destroyed. Nobody else's ultimate can be destroyed. Move Teleporter to E and have cooldown activate once it's destroyed/used.
    Then make her ultimate like Torbs. It gives her and her turrets extra shields. this way they're less susceptible to splash damage, but only for a short period. during the ultimates duration, a 6 stack of turrets is available.
    The E atm is next to useless.

      I think symmetras main issue is her ultimate is easily destroyed

      Plenty of ultimates are easily shutdown. McCree, Pharah and Reaper are easily killed when they pop theirs, DVa you can hide from/shield/ice wall, most of the the damage ones can be negated by a Zen or Lucio ult, lots of people can be slept or stunned to interrupt, etc.

      I'm definitely not saying that her ult is too strong (lol) but to say that other ults are more difficult to disrupt isn't *really* true.

        It's not that they can't be disrupted. I just feel it's a little out of place, is probably the best way to describe it. It's like, everyone's Ult does amazing things and symmetra's doesn't really require her to do anything.

    As someone who's primarily had Symmetra in the top 4 most played heroes (currently over level 150), I think that most people just don't understand how best to play her. There are very limited times when you should set up a microwave room immediately (the only one I can think of is the room at the attacking spawn end of Anubis), and only a few more where you should set one up as a secondary position (Anubis point B, Hanumura point A (only after they've pushed past your gate turrets), Hollywood point A (only after they've pushed past the first archway). For the rest of the time, she's best played by spreading turrets all around the point (Volskoya points A and B, Numbani point A for example) and on approaching pathways. Anyone who passes your line of defence and tries to get straight on the point often needs to think twice when they find they can't take the point without taking damage.
    Her primary fire is amazing and I've lost count of the number of times I've circle-strafed D.Va and Bastions to death.

    What solutions would be good for a buff? Personally I'd like to see her secondary fire changed. It's got its uses, but is too slow to rely on for anything but Rein advancing behind a shield at a medium distance. Maybe something which fits in her theme of constructing items she could have something like a tripwire. It would work by placing two objects the same way we currently place her turrets. This would cause a direct line to be created between them and breaking this beam would cause a slow effect and remove the ability to jump for 5 seconds for the first 2 people to break the beam. Cooldown would be high (12-15 seconds). Another option would be for her to be able to place a shield turret somewhere that automatically provides shields to any ally nearby. The shields would decay when not near the turret and would therefore mean she'd have a reason to push to the front line. Her shield ability could be replaced with this though and it would be balanced by having only 1hp.

    I dunno, I'm really just spitballing here. I think she's plenty powerful and I'd love for her just to get her turret dps back as there was no real problem to start with.

    I'm not a fan of having unlimited range on placing turrets (it would be too easily abused and make her way overpowered). A slight movement speed upgrade, increase in shield amount and the ability to move her teleporter are all good ideas.

    Play stats, play shmats, the most important metric of popularity is how much tumblr fanart they have. And symmetra is bombing, my friends. Bombing.

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