Those of you who play Overwatch regularly have probably had many encounters with Symmetra. When you’re on the attack, a Symmetra on the enemy team can single-handedly foil your whole strategy. Even if you manage to corner her, the auto-tracker and incredible damage output on her beam make her a dangerous foe. It’s no secret to anyone that Symmetra could use some balancing – not to mention a possible recategorizing. So what’s the best way to go about this?
Symmetra is a bit of an oddball when it comes to classification. She doesn’t exactly fit in with the support heroes, who can “heal allies, enhance their team’s abilities, and debuff enemies. They are poor duelists and perform best with their team around them.” If you notice, Symmetra is the only support hero who doesn’t heal or provide any kind of stat boost to her teammates. Hell, the closest Symmetra comes to being classified as a support is through her Teleporter ability. This could be seen as a stat-boost of sorts by allowing teammates to reach the point faster; however, with it being an ultimate and not a primary ability it’s a bit of a stretch to call it that. Rather than being support, which implies constancy, it’s more of an assist, since it has limited uses and duration.
So with Symmetra being sort of a class wild card, the best thing to do would be to tweak her to fit better into the frame of a class. In my opinion, there are two ways to do this.
The first is to make her into a proper support hero.
- Keep auto tracking on her beam but drastically reduce its damage. This would help Symmetra defend herself and hold off enemies while also not making her too powerful for the support category (which she is now)
- Add the ability to stat boost teammates (possibly by attaching a familiar to them similar to Zenyatta’s orb, except instead of healing them it could give HP armor)
- Reduce the amount of turrets she can use, probably to 3. As a support hero Symmetra wouldn’t be focused on defense, she would really only need turrets to keep her teleporter or a stationary teammate safe.
The other option is to go the complete opposite direction and make her into a defense hero. Defense heroes “are good at guarding locations, creating choke points, and preventing objectives from being taken. They are skilled at area denial and generally form the back line of their team.” This is closer to what her current role is. The way to achieve this would also be pretty simple.
- Remove the auto tracker on her beam. Since Symmetra’s role will now be defense which includes damaging enemies, there’s no reason to make her easier to play than is necessary. No other hero’s offense has an auto tracker, so there’s no reason for Symmetra to have one.
- Add 50 HP to her. Since she’ll be closer to the line of fire as defense, she could use a little extra armor to keep her from dying too often.
- Her shield (E) ability could get an extended duration, but with a longer cool-down as well. This fits in better to the role of defense, which is protecting a point as opposed to the support role of protecting teammates.
Blizzard may not implement any changes like either of these or even any changes at all. However, with the new feature of custom games, I feel it could be interesting to test out these changes (to the extent that is possible with the provided tools) to see how things pan out. For the moment though, Symmetra is an extremely powerful hero when playing on defense or capture – and she will continue to be unless she gets re-balanced and firmly placed in a role that suits her abilities.