With a healthy 22 characters in its roster, keeping everything fair in Overwatch is one hell of a balancing act. Blizzard have done a sterling job thus far I reckon, but with a game of this nature, there’s always room for improvement.
Nerf one hero, and suddenly, a handful of others are too strong. Buff somebody else, and hey presto, you’ve now got characters that nobody wants to even touch.
Symmetra interestingly, doesn’t fall into either camp. She sits somewhere in middle, not because she’s too strong or too weak, but because she’s just situational. Jeff Kaplan explained her issues in an interview over on Business Insider (via PC Gamer):
“You know, Symmetra’s a really interesting hero to talk about. She’s one of our least-played heroes, [but] you have to read the stats with a little grain of salt there: She’s a hero who’s very situational and she actually gets played a fair bit, but she gets switched off of. What happens commonly is players will play her on defense on the first part of a point, and then when they’ve lost that point, then they’ll switch off of Symmetra. So, that definitely impacts her play time when you’re looking at the stats.”
Jeff hits the nail on the head. The moment that first point falls, people switch out Symmetra for somebody else, basically 100% of the time.
But that’s often not by choice truth be told. In my experience, the swapping takes place mainly because teammates do not believe Symmetra has any use past the first point of defence. If you’re playing her, and don’t change to somebody else immediately when it falls, well, you’re going to have a bad time. Let’s just say that people can be pretty nasty.
Thankfully, Blizzard are looking to address this issue (Symmetra, not awful teammates). The turret and teleport builder is getting a buff in future:
“Now, a character being that situational is not really desirable to us, so even though I can kind of justify why it happens, that doesn’t mean that I believe that it’s right. So Symmetra is a hero who’s on our list right now to take a good look at and really investigate.
I don’t have anything really specific to talk about right now, other than she is kind of an internal project right now. She is a hero we’d like to make some changes to. I think those changes wouldn’t see the light of day until November, though, because we want to do a bunch of internal testing. It’s one thing when we do something [minor] — like, we have a change to Junkrat on the [Public Test Realm] where his Ultimate activates faster, but it’s a very incremental, safe change — whereas the type of changes we think need to happen to Symmetra require a lot more internal testing and discussion.”
Off the top of my head, I’d like to see Symmetra’s weapon have a longer beam, and a faster charge rate at the very least. I wonder what sort of changes Blizzard have in mind though?
Last Updated: September 27, 2016