Overwatch’s rework of Symmetra sounds fantastic

She has two ultimates and completely redesigned shielding

As someone who had a lot of early success with Symmetra in Overwatch but eventually felt forced into taking more generally valued roles like Mercy or Lúcio, I have been eager to hear specifics about Blizzard’s promised rework of the shield-granting, teleporter-laying support character. And here they are, as detailed by game director Jeff Kaplan in this 12-minute developer update.

A patch is available now for testing on the PC version’s PTR ahead of a wider release, and with it, Symmetra has become less of a “situational” pick. For starters, she’s gained a new ultimate ability, one that allows her to build a shield generator that gives off area-of-affect shielding to teammates without needing line of sight. After filling her ultimate meter, you’ll simply be able to toggle between choosing this new buildable item and the existing teleporter ultimate. That’s a big deal for last-point defense.

Instead of manually placing shields on teammates one by one, which wasn’t fun and often led to a “panicked rush” at the start of rounds, Symmetra has a photon barrier ability as a replacement. It’s similar to Winston’s barrier, except it’s an elliptical projectile that moves along a trajectory. If that sounds like encouragement for Symmetra players to be even more aggressive and bold, I’m inclined to agree, and I’m frightened knowing how skilled some people already are with her. Yikes!

There are also tweaks to her sentry turrets. Symmetra is able to instantly place all six at the start of the match and then stock up to six turrets (rather than just three) for later use on a slightly-faster-than-before cooldown. Additionally, her teleporter has better survivability overall and the range on her primary fire is a little bit extended. Again, I am excited and scared for her new role in the meta.

The last feature mentioned in the video sounds terrific. At the end of a match, you’ll be able to hit a new stay-with-group vote button to party up with your teammates and hopefully carry your hot streak into the next game. There have definitely been times when I wished such an option existed.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.