Up until now, it’s been understood that heroes in Overwatch were only capable of deploying a single ultimate ability. This all changed this morning when Blizzard released their new Developer Update, confirming that the character is about to undergo a substantial redesign.
Overwatch lead designer Jeff Kaplan used his frequent YouTube video update to talk about the ways in which Symmetra was about to change. You can check it out below. Almost every part of the way Symmetra currently plays is being tweaked.
“Symmetra is going to be the first character in Overwatch to actually have a choice of ultimates,” says Kaplan in the video. The idea is that once Symmetra charges her ultimate, the icon will light up the same way it always has but now it will offer the choice of throwing down her current ult, the Teleporter, or a brand new Shield Generator. This Shield Generator will allow Symmetra to protect her team with a layer of extra energy armour.
She’s also getting a wholly new move outside of her ultimates. The Photon Barrier is explained by Kaplan has being like the shields created by Reinhart or Winston. Symmetra’s Photon Barrier will be an elliptical projectile and will move along a certain trajectory, allowing it to be deployed in either a defensive or offensive manner.
“It’s really effective if you’re hanging behind your time and they don’t have somebody like a Reinhardt,” Kaplan says. “Maybe they have a Roadhog and Zarya as their tanks up front, you can send this projected barrier out in front of you and it sort of signals your whole team to … follow with it.”
The range of Symmetra’s main weapon will also be increased and she will also be able to hold up to six turrets at any one time, finally allowing her to become more viable when attacking.
“Maybe you didn’t play her (Symmetra) before because she wasn’t fun or the skill set wasn’t where you wanted to be,” says Kaplan, before going on to say that his hope is that players will give her a go and see how they feel about her on attack and Control now that she’s been tweaked.
Symmetra will hit the Public Test Realm for the Windows PC version of Overwatch in all her reworked glory “soon,” according to Kaplan. She will arrive along with the new map called Oasis which was shown at BlizzCon earlier in the month and a new feature for the post-game carnage report that will allow you to party up with a team you feel is working well together. Oasis is still due for free, wide release in early 2017. There are no confirmed dates on any other changes.