Update November 22, 2016: Blizzard are piping the PTR patch through the Overwatch client right now, so that "very soon" Kaplan mentioned a little while ago was very literal.
Fire up Overwatch now and you should be able to try out the newly buffed Symmetra in the PTR. There are also a bunch of other features in the update, as you can see in the notes below.
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First off, Sombra now has a "boop" voice line, putting her in-game personality in line with the character's unveiling in her animated short.
Additionally Custom Games now allow players to select 1v1 Mystery Duel and 3v3 Elimination game modes from the Custom menu. A new post-game feature has also been added, allowing teams with good chemistry to vote to remain as a team for the next match.
Meanwhile, Zarya gets the following small change:
- Particle Barrier/Projected Barrier
- Attacks that deal damage to both a barrier and the target of a barrier (such as Reinhardt's Fire Strike, Hanzo’s Dragonstrike, etc.), no longer deal damage to the barrier twice
And lastly, here are all the full details for Symmetra's buff:
- New Abilities
- Photon Barrier
- Replaces her existing Photon Shield ability
- Generates a large energy barrier in front of Symmetra that blocks enemy fire as it travels forward
- Shield Generator (New Ultimate Ability)
- Symmetra's Ultimate ability now offers a choice between her Teleporter and a new option: Shield Generator
- Shield Generator places a device that grants additional shields to any ally within the its effective radius, regardless of barriers, walls, or obstacles between heroes and the Shield Generator
- Photon Projector (Primary Fire)
- Range has been increased from 5 meters to 7 meters
- Sentry Turret
- Number of turrets that can be carried has been increased from 3 turrets to 6 turrets
- Cooldown has been reduced from 12 seconds to 10 seconds
- Decreased health from 200 to 50
- Increased shields from 0 to 350
- Photon Shield
- Replaced with the new Photon Barrier ability
See all Symmetra's changes in the video embedded above.
Update November 22, 2016: Blizzard are opening up about Symmetra's tweaks and it turns out she's going to be the first Overwatch character to have two Ultimates.
As usual, she'll start with not Ult, but once it's charged you'll have the option of placing either Symmetra's teleporter or the new shield generator. Game director Jeff Kaplan talks us through the changes in the video below:
The shield generator puts a substantial shield on all teammates in a large radius, ignoring lines of sight, allowing you to stash it somewhere hidden, forcing the enemy team to track it down to remove the buffs.
Teleporters and shield generators have also been tweaked so more of their health is shield health, meaning Symmetra players can defend it from solo attackers, while enemy teams must work together to focus their fire and take it out in a concerted effort, or it'll just recharge.
Symmetra's ordinary shields have been replaced with a new ability called Photon Barrier, which is similar to Reinhardt's shield, though it's projected onto a track and moves along a trajectory. Her tiny sentry turrets have also been tweaked so she can place six turrets right away, without waiting for the first cooldown.
Her standard attacks are mostly the same, though her primary fire has a slightly extended range.
The changes are coming "very soon" to the PTR.
Additionally, new Control map Oasis is also coming to the PTR "very soon" too, just after Symmetra. Oasis is planned to go live for everyone at the start of 2017.
Original Story September 26, 2016: Symmetra is a weird one, as far as Overwatch goes. She can turn the tide of an entire game, but only under specific circumstances, and most of the rest of the time she feels slightly underpowered. It's only when she's ferrying a team across the map when she feels at home. Hopefully, this is all going to be addressed this November.
Speaking to Business Insider, game director Jeff Kaplan explained that Symmetra's abilities naturally make her more situational, which is something Blizzard wanted to avoid with its roster of heroes. For this reason, she'll be getting a significant looking at, with the changes going live some time in November.
“A character being that situational is not really desirable to us, so even though I can kind of justify why it happens, that doesn’t mean that I believe that it’s right. So Symmetra is a hero who’s on our list right now to take a good look at and really investigate,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan didn't reveal any specifics, but timing suggests the changes made to the hero will be significant.
“She is a hero we’d like to make some changes to," Kaplan explained. "I think those changes wouldn’t see the light of day until November, though, because we want to do a bunch of internal testing.
“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.”