Overwatch’s massive Symmetra rework is now live on the PTR

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After months of teasing and hints, the planned overhaul of Overwatch hero Symmetra has finally rolled out to the game’s PTR servers on PC. We knew about her planned new kit a short while back already, but lacked the finer details. Those have now been revealed by developer Geoff Goodman on the Overwatch forums and damn, there’s a lot of them. This is probably the most significant rework any Overwatch hero has ever undergone!

Firstly, Symmetra has now been moved from the Support class to the Defense class (although, Defense will soon be falling away – more about that later). Her Primary fire no longer locks on to targets but has more range, and ramps up/drops off damage better to make it pretty deadly. Her Secondary fire has been transformed from a slow-moving orb that passes through everything to a fast-moving projectile that explodes for splash damage. Sentry turrets are now fired out as projectiles as well so that Symmetra can place them strategically from range or even in the middle of a fight. You can only hold/place a max of 3 turrets now instead of the past 6, but to compensate for this these turrets are getting big buffs themselves.

Her Photon Barrier and Teleporter have swapped slots, with Teleporter now becoming a standard ability instead of an ultimate. The Teleporter can now be placed up to 25m away from Symmetra with the entrance appearing right in front of her instead of in the spawn room, and for a limited time all teammates can move back and forth between these two points. This allows Symmetra to give her team incredible mobility options to get heroes and even ultimates like Junkrat’s Rip Tyre or D.va’s bomb into locations they could never reach previously.

As for the Photon Barrier, it’s become her new ultimate ability but its bigger… a LOT bigger. Instead of the slow-moving circular barrier she used to cast in front of her, the Photo Barrier is a now a giant wall with limitless size – it can theoretically span the entire map – that can be placed at different angles. This can be used to break up fights or even protect your team from an incoming ultimate as it has a massive health pool. Combining the Photon Barrier with the new Teleporter will even give Symmetra’s team the option of being able to move back and forth between different sides of a deployed Barrier for some very strategic play.

All of this sounds really amazing, and I can’t wait to try it out for myself as I recently found my Symmetra groove again. I actually tried to give her a try on the PTR this morning before writing this, but too many people had quicker trigger fingers (or, more likely, faster internet) on the hero select screen so I never got her. So for now, I will have to make do with the very lengthy patch notes and videos below that Blizzard has officially released.

Hey guys,

As you may have heard, we’re making some changes to Symmetra and you can test her rework on the PTR right now! The goal of these changes is to move Symmetra to her new damage role and make her more flexible across more areas of the game. This means that not only should she be more viable in more team compositions and maps, but she should also be stronger on offense and defense. Here are the changes you can expect to see:

Photon Projector – Primary Fire

What changed?

The biggest change to Symmetra’s primary fire is that it no longer locks onto enemies. This change, in turn, allows the weapon to deal significantly more damage and have increased range. While Photon Projector’s damage ramps up more slowly than previously, it also ramps down more slowly which makes it easier to maintain for the duration of a big fight.

  • Replaces Photon Projector
  • No longer locks onto targets
  • Range increased to 10 meters
  • Damage ramping (both up and down) now takes 2 seconds per damage level instead of 1 second
  • Damage ramp increased from 30/60/120 to 60/120/180
  • Now generates ammo instead of spending it when hitting barriers

Photon Projector – Alternate Fire

What changed?

Photon Projector’s alternate fire has changed significantly as well. It no longer pierces through enemies—it explodes on contact instead. The projectile speed has also significantly increased, making it more reliable to use the weapon at longer ranges. Explosive projectiles are even more powerful when fired above your enemies because they can deal splash damage, which is now more possible for Symmetra due to her Teleporter changes.

  • No longer pierces targets
  • Now explodes on contact
  • Projectile speed increased
  • Charge up speed increased
  • Damage changed to 60 impact / 60 explosive

Overall her weapon maintains its core identity while gaining much needed flexibility with how it can be used. Now that Symmetra is no longer a support hero, she is expected to be able to dish out heavy damage and these changes allow for her to do so.

Ability 1: Sentry Turret

What changed?

By far the most noticeable change to Symmetra’s Sentry Turrets is her new ability to launch them forward as a projectile to place them, rather than having to walk up close to the placed location. In addition, Symmetra will only be able to hold and deploy a max of three turrets, but each one is significantly stronger than her previous Sentry Turrets. This allows her to spend less time trying to keep a large nest of turrets alive, as well as making them a bit more resistant against low damage area attacks.

  • Turret is now placed like a projectile instead of being set in place
  • Can hold a max of 3 now, down from 6
  • Can now deploy a max of 3, down from 6
  • Health increased from 1 to 30
  • Damage increased
  • Amount of slowing effect increased

Symmetra’s turrets are a core part of her identity and now they are stronger than ever. With the new deploy method she can place them in more difficult to reach places, or just throw them down in the middle of combat while fighting with her weapon. 

Ability 2: Teleporter

What changed?

The Teleporter has swapped places with her old Photon Barrier ability. However, the new Teleporter works significantly differently than the original one, and it will be used in very different ways. Now instead of building the exit directly in front of you, players instead can now place the exit far away (up to 25 meters) and the entrance will be built right in front of you automatically. Then, for a limited duration, you or your allies can run to either teleporter and press the Interact/Acknowledge input to be teleported to the opposite portal.

  • Can now place the exit up to 25 meters away from Symmetra
  • The entrance will automatically be built in front of Symmetra, rather than at her team’s spawn point
  • Lasts 10 seconds
  • Health lowered to 300
  • More things can teleport through it, such as Junkrat tire and D.Va’s exploding mech
  • Entrance can now be destroyed
    * If either the entrance or exit dies, the other is removed

This change allows Symmetra to bring unique functionality to her teammates and create super fun and interesting combos and plays. For example, you can now place Bastion,Torbjörn, and other limited mobility heroes in hard-to-reach places where they couldn’t otherwise get to by themselves. In addition, Teleporter can now move new objects such as D.Va’s exploding mech or Torbjörn turrets. In playtests we’ve seen it used for simple things such as giving an escape option to normally mobility-lacking heroes like as Ana or Zenyatta, but also for amazing saves such as dropping it into an enemy Zarya’s Graviton Surge that has caught your allies, allowing them to teleport out to safety.

We’re really excited to see how players use her new Teleporter! 

Ultimate: Photon Barrier

What is it?

Her previous secondary ability has moved to become her new ultimate, with some dramatic changes. Instead of creating a small circular barrier that moves forward, she now creates an immobile wall that spans and cuts through entire maps. She can use this new wall to drop in the middle of a fight and give allies a huge advantage, or use it to block an important enemy ultimate before it triggers such as D.Va’s Self-Destruct or Junkrat’s RIP-Tire. Since the wall is nearly infinite in size, you can throw it down to affect a fight that you aren’t even a part of yet if you aim it well enough. You can also combo your abilities together and place a Teleporter on both sides of your wall, allowing your teammates (or yourself) to quickly switch which side of it they are on.

  • Deploys a barrier that is big enough to span and cut through an entire map
  • Orientation can be changed by pressing the ultimate button again
  • Has 5000 health

We’ve been playtesting these changes for some time now and we’re still finding new and interesting things that can be done with the new Symmetra. Whenever we come out with a new hero or rework abilities, it can take some time to get it right. We’re looking forward to you guys getting a chance to play her and give feedback!

Last Updated: June 6, 2018

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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