We don’t play Overwatch’s eclectic cast of characters equally. Symmetra usually holds the bottom spot for hours played. And it’s an issue Blizzard wants to fix.
Game director Jeff Kaplan admits Symmetra is “very situational” and the team intends to fix that. “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 stats,” Kaplan tells Business Insider.
This fix won’t happen quick. Kaplan says they want to take a good hard look at how to make Symmetra a hero Overwatch players will want to use for the entirety of a match. Don’t expect any significant changes until November.
How Blizzard can fix Symmetra
Let’s take a stab at what changes could be made to make Symmetra a better option. These will be changes that can make Symmetra viable for an entire match. She works great in certain situations. Kaplan admits as much.
Also, let me know what you would do. Here’s an overview of her abilities for those who haven’t played Overwatch much recently.
Symmetra needs a heal. Badly. The Photon Shield just isn’t enough. Every other Support hero can heal. It’s hard to pick Symmetra and stick with her an entire match when she doesn’t have a heal. You would be better off sticking with any of the other four Support heroes. I would incorporate it into her Photon Shield. Add a slight heal-over-time while the shield is active, or a small heal when first applying the shield to a teammate.
Faster long-range projectile. Symmetra’s offensive options are tied to her Photon Projector. She has two fire modes. A short-range beam that deals constant damage as it locks onto nearby enemies. And a charged energy ball for mid and long ranges. Her short range is fine, but Blizzard should look to Mei to improve Symmetra’s mid-to-long-range attack options. Trade the slow-moving ball for a faster moving projectile.
Leave the teleporter. This is one of Symmetra’s greatest strengths. Blizzard shouldn’t tweak her ultimate at all. Hell, getting teammates into the fight quicker (especially on Defense) is one of the main reasons we play as her at the beginning of matches.
The biggest problem right now is every other support player is a better option. Buffing Symmetra with a heal and better mid and long range options would go a long way. Kaplan and the rest of the Overwatch team know any change is going to require a ton of testing. That’s why we won’t see anything until at least November.
“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,” said Kaplan.