Overwatch's Symmetra Revamped With Aggressive Defense Options

Overwatch's Symmetra Revamped With Aggressive Defense Options

In today's Developer Update, game director Jeff Kaplan outlines a more aggressive Symmetra.

In Overwatch, Symmetra is one of the more maligned characters. Her turrets aren't as powerful as Torbjorn's or Bastion and they get destroyed real quick. Symmetra's Teleporter did help offensive pushes in the late game and defensive holds in the early game, but it takes some solid planning to put it in a place it wasn't vulnerable. Her real strength is gumming up specific chokepoints on map, but beyond that, the character has fallen out of favor in the rankings.

In a Developer Update, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has outlined a revamped Symmetra. He noted that the character was "overly situational", with players dropping the character completely outside of those situations. The biggest change for Symmetra is her dual Ultimates.

"Symmetra is going to be the first character in Overwatch to actually have a choice of ultimates," said Kaplan. "She will have two ultimates available to her at all times in the match."

The Teleporter will still be the default option for Symmetra when her Ultimate bar reaches 100 percent. Players can toggle to Symmetra's new ultimate, the Shield Generator, which is an object that you place in the level, like the Teleporter. The Generator puts a powerful shield on all of Symmetra's teammates in a larger radius. Best part? It ignores line-of-sight, meaning you can hide it in some interesting spots.

The Teleporter/Shield Generator object has more health now and part of that health is shield. This means it can take a few hits and if you defend it, it'll regain some of the damage taken.

With the Shield Generator, Symmetra's base Shield ability is gone.

"We felt that the shields were never a really highly interactive, fun, sort of element to playing Symmetra. At times it felt more like a chore. Plate-spinning, but not in a great way," said Kaplan.

Instead, Symmetra gets a new ability called Photon Barrier, which Kaplan likens to Reinhardt's Shield or Winston's Barrier. It's a powerful shield that is projected forward from Symmetra, allowing her team to push if you're missing one of the other two characters.

"It's really effective if you're hanging behind your team and they don't have someone like Reinhardt, you can send this projected barrier out in front of you," said Kaplan. "It signals your whole team. Symmetra can use it for her own devices as well, protecting her nests or using it to be very aggressive."

Symmetra also begins the match now with all six available turrets. Prior to the revamp, she'd start with three and then you'd have to wait on a timer for the rest of the turrets. This makes her initial setup much faster and lets her move between different choke points much faster. The primary fire of her base weapon has been slightly increased as well.

"Maybe you didn't play [Symmetra] before because she wasn't fun or the skill cap wasn't where you wanted to be. Or some other quality-of-life reason. We'd love to hear all your thoughts on Symmetra," added Kaplan.

The new Symmetra is currently available on the Public Test Realms. Blizzard is also adding the new map, Oasis, to the PTR after Symmetra. The studio expects to have Oasis' full launch in early 2017. There's also a new "Stay with Group" feature for solo players. If you like a certain team, you can group up with them automatically and keep the team flow going.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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