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Symmetra rework, more social features headed to Overwatch

The long-awaited Symmetra hero revamp, two new social features and a hero class restructuring are all slated to make their official Overwatch debut soon, as the game’s director, Jeff Kaplan announced Tuesday afternoon during a developer update video.

Symmetra, who has already been reworked once, will receive her kit overhaul in the game’s next patch. The hero’s new kit gives her a fresh ultimate (Photon Barrier), new primary and tweaked secondary fires, projectile turrets (and reducing total turrets from six to three) and a teleporter ability. Now, the hard light architect can create a large wall to shield her team, which will be the largest shield among any heroes.

A more general change is the merging of the offense and defense hero categories into the damage class. Moving forward, heroes like Mei and Junkrat, will share the same category as Tracer and Genji. Support and Tank will remain the same however.

“We often talk about ways to punish players who are behaving poorly and it’s not very exciting to a lot of us,” said Kaplan. “I think, more often than not, players are behaving in an awesome way in Overwatch and we just don’t recognize them enough.” Kaplan introduced the new functions, Endorsements and Looking for Group, that give players additional tools to create a better social environment.

There are three types of Endorsements players can award each other for their sportsmanship, being a good teammate or being the team’s shot caller. Endorsements, which can be publicly viewed, will work on a decay system to encourage players to maintain their positive reputations. Accounts with a high level of endorsements will periodically receive rewards for their effort.

The other feature, Looking for Group, will let players set restrictions for being part of their group, such as locking team compositions for specific roles. “You can even force the people playing those roles to only play those roles,” Kaplan noted. Other group-related additions include group names or requiring voice chat.

Profiles also have a small change incoming, as players can choose who they want to see their stats. All profiles will be defaulted to private when the feature becomes available, but can be changed to private or visible to friends only.

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