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Overwatch Developer update with Symmetra redesign, new social feature [UPDATED]

Update: A new PTR has just been released featuring all the new Symmetra changes. See below for PTR patch notes.

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan released a new video discussing upcoming changes to Symmetra. The Symmetra overhaul includes a brand-new Ultimate ability, with a twist. For the first time in Overwatch history, Symmetra is going to have a choice between two Ultimate abilities. Symmetra’s standard teleporter ability will still be available to use as always. But if you’d rather not use that, you can toggle to choose her new Ultimate, a shield generator. The shield generator is an object on the field just like her teleporter, but rather than teleport allies, it instead puts a powerful shield on all of her teammates in a large radius — and it ignores line of sight.

Also mentioned is the new Oasis map — the Control map announced at BlizzCon. The Oasis map will be coming to the PTR very soon, with a goal of an early 2017 release of the map in-game. In addition, a new social feature will be coming soon — Stay With Group, which allows you to choose to stick with a group you’ve been randomly assigned with, if you think you worked well together, even if the random players aren’t on your friends list.

For more details on the Symmetra revamp and the new Stay With Group feature, check out the video below.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

GENERAL UPDATES

General

  • Added a new “Boop” unlockable voice line for Sombra
  • Players can now select the 1v1 Mystery Duel and 3v3 Elimination game modes from the Custom Game menu
  • Added a “Stay as Team” feature, which allows players to remain grouped with their teammates after the match has ended

HERO BALANCE UPDATES

Symmetra

  • 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
  • Teleporter
    • Decreased health from 200 to 50
    • Increased shields from 0 to 350
  • Photon Shield
    • Replaced with the new Photon Barrier ability

Developer Comments: When looking into changes for Symmetra, we wanted to address two main issues: she didn’t feel active enough, and she often felt weak in certain situations on different maps and game modes, due to her Teleporter.

To address the first point, we removed her more passive Photon Shield ability, and replaced it with a much more active ability: Photon Barrier. Now, Symmetra can help lead the charge on offense or help shut down a big push on defense by actively blocking damage for your team.

For the second point, we noticed players would often switch off of her when they felt like her Teleporter wasn’t as useful. For example, when playing her on defense on an Assault map, players often only used her to defend the first capture point, then quickly changed if that point fell. To help her feel more useful in more situations, we’ve given her an alternate to her Teleporter. The Shield Generator is just as important for the enemy to deal with, but is useful in more situations than her Teleporter.

The turret changes allow her to rebuild her turret nests faster. Even if all her turrets are wiped out, it’s now easier for players to build them all back up before the next push.

The last change increases the range on her Arc Welder to make it easier for her to build up and keep a powerful charge on her weapon.

Zarya

  • 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

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