written by SleepyBeyond
Symmetra has been the bane of many players’ game play since the beginning. She’s gone through updates before, one was in an attempt to make her a non-niche hero. Personally, I despised it. At lower levels of play, *cough cough* bronze, her lock on ability coupled with her range was infuriating. Unlike higher level games, the mechanical skill that was required to take her out was rare. When I was climbing out of bronze a few seasons ago I just remember losing game after game to her. At times it was just a game of which Symmetra was more of a team player.
The new update of Symmetra’s abilities on PTR has a lot of promises associated with it. Not only has she been revamped as a hero, the category she and the other defense heroes fall under has changed. No longer are they defense heroes, now they are “damage” heroes. In reference to Symmetra’s changes, Kaplan says: “The goal of these changes is to move Symmetra to her new damage role and make her more flexible and viable across more areas of the game than she was previously.” Which means that these changes are being put in place for the same reasons as the first round of changes.
From watching videos, getting second-hand experience in Reforged pick up games (PUGs), and studying some of the nuances through different forms of media I’ve come to some conclusions about Symmetra. To begin, I’d like to state that she’s not overpowered, not even at lower levels. If anything, especially not at lower levels. Her primary fire beam no longer locks on to targets. Similar to how Zarya acts at low levels, players at lower mechanical skill will have difficulty using Symmetra to her full protentional.
At higher levels, in coordinated teams, I expect to see her utilized more due to her new mobility. Her teleporter can now get her and her team to places that were once unreachable. It allows for a little creativity that wasn’t available before. D.Va Teammates can send bombs through the teleporter letting them catch the enemy team off guard and Bastion team mates can utilize the teleporters to set up in previously unrealistic locations. Like behind the enemy team. These things however, require a different level of coordination and I wouldn’t expect them to be very well executed at lower levels.
The turrets now are thrown instead of placed which allows for a more creativity in their placement, but they remain fundamentally the same. However, you can only deploy 3 now which is a big change from 6, but their damage and slowing speed have been increased. I don’t expect them to change the game in a major way though aside from continuing to be annoying. The alternate fire no longer pierces shields which hypes me up as Reinhardt player. It also moves faster and explodes on contact, dealing about 60 explosive/ 60 contact damage. While I don’t see crazy changes with this, I think it allows her to really fit into the new “damage” role that she’s now meant to play.
The final big Symmetra change was her ultimate. No longer does she build a shield generator or a teleporter (at least in reference to her ultimate), but instead she builds a map wide photon barrier with 5000 health. The barrier defends from all damage based attacks, but can be moved through. A well-coordinated push can still break the line. Still, for maps with a lot of long range it can stall the game and allow less poke damage. On attack this can lead to moving forward without worrying about taking damage on the way and on defense this allows for a clever use of the barrier to avoid damage. Similar to how Winston can do his ‘bubble dancing’.
The end state of my Symmetra review is simple. She’s not where she was and she’s not who she used to be. She can be utilized in death ball compositions and allow for team mobility to increase. Her damage output is increased, but you need more mechanical skill to wield it effectively which balances it all out. From my personal perspective she’s more balanced now than she previously was and I look forward to seeing her utilized at higher level game play.