Symmetra Rework, LFG, and More! - Overwatch PTR Patch 126.96.36.199
Tue 12th Jun 2018 - 8:46pm
A new patch finally hit the PTR and it came with a lot of new features that affect both gameplay and the social aspects of the game. The list of changes is huge and we’ll only be focusing on some of the more notable ones, but here’s a link to the full patch notes if you haven’t seen it yet.
Let’s start off with the Symmetra rework. Those of you who have been playing the game since the beginning probably already know this, but this is actually not the first time she’s been reworked. With that said, the new Symmetra is a far cry from her previous iterations.
First of all, her weapon has been completely overhauled. Her beam no longer locks onto enemy targets and instead works like a Zarya beam that ramps up over time. It also generates ammo when hitting barriers.
Her secondary fire no longer goes through targets, but it now explodes on contact and deals damage in a small radius. To compensate for the lack of piercing, they increased its charge and projectile speed, essentially giving her a spammable projectile that’s a little more reliable than its previous version.
Her turrets are now projectiles, and she can now only hold and deploy up to three turrets max. To compensate for this, they buffed their damage and ability to slow. All of these changes combined make her a little more viable as both an attacker and a defender, especially when compared to before.
Next, her teleporter is now a normal ability that lasts for 10 seconds. It can now be placed several meters in front of Symmetra and can be used for an unlimited number of times until it expires. It also goes both ways, and certain objects (such as a RIP-Tire or her turrets) can teleport through it. This could lead to some cheeky plays, but in general, it’s also just a decent tool to get your team around (especially when you need to get to higher ground).
Finally, they replaced Symmetra’s ultimate with Photon Barrier, a large 5000 HP barrier that cuts straight through the map. The barrier expires after around 15 seconds, and while it may not sound like much at first, it can be a huge pain to deal with in the middle of a fight. It can even be used to block off people in the backline (such as long range DPS heroes) and force them to move to be effective.
Horizon Lunar Colony
Lunar Colony also got a huge makeover that addresses some of the player feedback given since the map was first released. It’s been one of the most hated 2CP maps in the game for a while now, mostly due to how it heavily favors attackers in the first point, while the second point usually ends up in a battle of attrition due to the defenders’ spawn point placement.
The current PTR version of the map sought to fix some of these problems by giving defenders more cover on both points. On point A, the defending team can now easily access the high ground via a newly-added staircase. The catwalk also has cover now, making it a slightly more viable position to hold compared to before.
On point B, the defenders now have to walk a bit further than they used to, essentially making it more inefficient to run back for a full heal. To compensate for this change, they now have more cover around the exits and high ground.
LFG and Endorsements
Overwatch is finally getting a “Looking For Group” feature. How it works is that you can either create or join groups with certain specifications. Most notably, the host can set each slot's preferred roles (Damage, Tank, Support, or All). This allows players to form groups of up to six people based on their preferences, and it’s a great compromise for people that wanted “role queues.”
Along with this, they also added “Endorsements,” which is basically their take on League of Legends’ honor system. Players can endorse each other based on things such as their behavior or ability to lead. These endorsements add up and people who continue to display positive behavior are rewarded over time.
There are a lot of new features being tested right now, and Blizzard seems to be experimenting with ways to crack down on toxicity while also encouraging positivity among players. In terms of gameplay, aside from the Symmetra rework, this latest patch rolled out with a few minor buffs (Doomfist and Orisa) and a whole bunch of fixes that could potentially be somewhat impactful to the meta (e.g. Moira no longer being able to heal people behind enemy barriers).
I think that this new patch will breathe new life into the game. Personally, I think that the changes to Horizon Lunar Colony and Symmetra are a step in the right direction, and the new social features already seem to be creating a friendlier environment overall.
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