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Overwatch Symmetra rework will give her a barrier that's "infinite in size"

Sym-better-tra

Life isn't great for Overwatch's Symmetra at the moment. Her auto-aiming default attack and Do-It-Themselves turrets can make her a good pick for newer players, but conventional wisdom holds that she doesn't have a place when things get competitive: she's the only hero that's never been picked in an Overwatch League game.

So, how do you solve a problem like Symmetra? According to lead designer Geoff Goodman, you attach rockets to her turrets and turn her teleporter ult into a normal ability that can transport Torbjorn turrets and D.VA ults. You also make her left-click beam attack much more powerful, and transform photon barrier into an ultimate that creates a wall which is "INFINITE in size" (my over-excited emphasis). None of these changes to Symmetra's upcoming rework are set in stone, but they sound WILD.

We've known a Symmetra overhaul was in the (re)works for a while, and these new details come from Goodman's responses to questions on the Overwatch forums. Someone's written a handy summary of his responses just underneath that post, which goes into more specifics than I will here.

Even better, here's a video that not only explains all of the planned changes, but mocks up what they might look like.

Cover image for YouTube video

Those rocket-propelled turrets, which now slow more and deal more damage, sound like a nightmare to deal with. As someone who spends most of their time in Overwatch trying to flank people as Genji, I don't relish the idea of running into horrible laser-based traps in unexpected places.

What I do relish, though, is the idea of ambushing people myself with Symmetra's new teleporter. You throw down the exit up to 25 metres away from you, and the entrance appears at your feet. It lasts for "only a short time", but lets you get up to sneaky plays like sending an ulting D.VA right behind the enemy team, or giving hard-hitting characters access to high vantage points that they wouldn't normally have. Of all the new abilities, this is the one that sounds like it's most likely to get toned down to me - the words "teleporting Torb turrets" just sound too OP.

That's saying something, because the barrier ult of INFINITE SIZE also sounds like a pretty big deal. It'll be cast and placed like Mei's icewall, and have 5,000 health. Goodman expands: “Its actually been super interesting in playtests. There are a lot of different ways to use it and exactly where you place it is super important. You can do stuff like throw it into a fight from spawn like a Hanzo ult, because it spans across entire maps.”

Barriers stop enemy bullets rather than bodies, so it won't technically prevent a defending team from being dived - but it will cut off any diver from their allies. Seen as the main goal of would be divers is often to distract from the rest of their team's attacks though, that almost amounts to the same thing. I can also imagine the barrier being devastating when placed on the middle of a point, forcing defenders out of their entrenched positions.

My only slight concern with the rework is that they're losing the auto-aim on Symmetra's left-click beam, which I know some people who don't normally play FPSs really valued. I say slight, though, because it's now got a longer range and deals nearly twice as much damage, although the speed at which damage escalates when you keep targeting someone has been halved.

Things are going to be miserable for Genji mains, aren't they?

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About the Author
Matt Cox avatar

Matt Cox

Former Staff Writer

Once the leader of Rock Paper Shotgun's Youth Contingent, Matt is an expert in multiplayer games, deckbuilders and battle royales. He occasionally pops back into the Treehouse to write some news for us from time to time, but he mostly spends his days teaching small children how to speak different languages in warmer climates.

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