The developers at Blizzard have a tough job when it comes to “Overwatch”: They have to manage its 22 characters, all of which have wildly different abilities, making sure they’re balanced and not winning too much or too little. Just one small change can tip the scales too far.
In “Overwatch,” players can choose from one of 22 characters, all of which have entirely unique play styles. Blizzard Entertainment
Since the game’s launch in May, small changes have rolled out for a good chunk of its characters, but there’s one that’s been a bit neglected, ranking consistently at the bottom of the roster in terms of hours played: the Support character Symmetra.
According to comments Jeff Kaplan, the director of “Overwatch,” made in an interview with Business Insider, players shouldn’t have to wait too much longer for her to get some much-needed love.
Symmetra, a Support character who can build turrets and provide small shields to her teammates, is played the least out of any other character. Blizzard Entertainment
Changes to Symmetra are “definitely on our list, but I don’t think we’ll see a change go live until probably some time in November,” said Kaplan.
From the sound of it, Kaplan and the “Overwatch” team are going to make some significant changes, so it will take a while to sort exactly what those changes will be.
“You know, Symmetra’s a really interesting hero to talk about,” Kaplan said. “She’s one of our least-played heroes, [but] you have to read the stats with a little grain of salt there: She’s a hero who’s very situational and she actually gets played a fair bit, but she gets switched off of. What happens commonly is players will play her on defense on the first part of a point, and then when they’ve lost that point, then they’ll switch off of Symmetra. So, that definitely impacts her play time when you’re looking at the stats.”
Kaplan seemed to think that this mid-match swapping was an indication of a specific tactic, but it could also just be a sign that players are trying to use Symmetra and getting frustrated, eventually changing to someone more versatile. Either way, Kaplan said they’re definitely going to make some changes to the way she works.
“Now, 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.”
So, what kinds of changes can players expect? Kaplan didn’t offer any specifics, but it sounds like they’ll be pretty substantial.
“I don’t have anything really specific to talk about right now, other than she is kind of an internal project right now,” said Kaplan. “She is a hero we’d like to make some changes to. 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.”
Just try not to teleport any of your teammates off a ledge in the meantime, please.