Since release, Overwatch has had 4 Support champions, later supplemented by one more. With the exception of one, Symmetra, all of them can heal their allies. Within the currently most popular meta of 2 Tanks, 2 DPS, 2 Supports, and the dominance of Lucio, Ana, and Zenyatta, Symmetra fell by the wayside. The only times she’s really been played were on first point Defense or some cheesy strat involving her Sentries catching opponents in the back. Noting the problems with the Support that can’t heal, the developers from Blizzard announced some planned changes to this hero. It’s probably the first rework in Overwatch’s history.
Overall, the changes were made with the intention of making Symmetra less situational. While seemingly successful, it’s doubtful whether it will result in the Hero becoming a meta pick outside unusual situations, however. Unless it’s overpowered enough to justify dropping a healer, tank, or DPS, Symmetra will probably remain a niche pick, if simply less of a one. Anyway, Blizzard is going to change the hero’s sentry turret, primary and secondary fire, together with giving her a less situational ultimate to use when the teleporter isn’t called for.
Going with the sentry turrets first, Blizzard adjusted them to make the gameplay less hectic and allow Symmetra to prepare the battlefield more easily instead of getting screwed by the lack of turrets when the fighting moves to another part of the map. Now, you will be able to place six turrets before the ability goes on cooldown, making it easier to set up a place quickly. The limit of turrets you can have up at the same time is still unchanged, however.
Up next, Blizzard is going to change Symmetra’s effective fighting distance by extending the range of her weapons. Jeff Kaplan reassured everyone that Symmetra isn’t about to become a long range sniping Support like Ana, though. Her Photon Shield was replaced by an ability similar to Winston or Reinhardt shields.
Finally, Blizzard decided to introduce another Ultimate ability to Symmetra. No, they aren’t replacing the teleporter. You will be able to toggle between the Teleporter and this new ultimate according to the situation. What does it do? It’s a new buildable object, which is supposed to generate shields on all teammates in a huge area, with no regard for line of sight.
While the ideas proposed by Blizzard are cool, it remains to be seen whether they will be good enough often enough to push Symmetra ahead of the healers. Of course, competitive considerations are not everything Overwatch should be about. With the new changes, many players should enjoy playing the champion more, which, in the end, is all that matters.