Overwatch Symmetra Nerf Arrives on PTR

Overwatch Symmetra nerf has been issued on the Public Test Region. However, the nerf she received might not be completely justified.

Overwatch Symmetra Nerf

The recent update to the PTR made some balance changes for a few heroes. One of the heroes who was hit with nerfs on the PTR was Symmetra. Specifically, Symmetra received two changes to her primary fire. The first change was to her beam width, which was reduced from 0.3 meters to 0.15 meters. The second change was to her beam damage per second, which was lowered from the scaling effect of 65/130/195, to 60/120/180.

The reasoning behind her first change is due to a recent bug being fixed with beam type damage, where certain damage ticks would not register if the enemy managed to walk outside of the beam radius. This bug fix cause Symmetra and Zarya to deal too much damage with the wider radii for their beams that they were initially given. As such, their new beam radius is now lower. However, it is the second nerf that is a bit more concerning for Symmetra players.

Symmetra's damage per second for her primary fire being lowered is the main cause for concern. One of the main reasons why this is the case is due to the prevalence of double shield compositions in competitive play. Some of the most common tank compositions in competitive matchmaking are Orisa/Sigma and Reinhardt/Sigma. Essentially, these compositions allow teams to have so much uptime on their shields, that it takes lots of heavy, focus fire to actually push through this composition.

Many heroes actually struggle to even do this. Symmetra, however is perfect for this scenario. Not only does she deal tremendous damage to shields, thanks to damage ramp up capability, but shooting shields with primary fire also gives Symmetra ammo. If a Symmetra player has only 10 ammo left in her clip, if she shoots at a shield, she will not only deal damage to the shield, but she will also steadily increase her primary fire ammo count for as long as she is shooting it. In fact, by the the time she destroys the shield, she will have essentially reloaded her entire clip.

However, with her damage getting nerfed, Symmetra no longer becomes a viable solution to this oppressive composition, and it leaves Blizzard in a bit of a balancing conundrum, as there have been few changes to the shield tanks recently. Moreover, Symmetra has never been viewed as a strong pick by the community, especially the professional players. Having her get nerfed in a new meta where she is finally a viable option definitely is discouraging for players who enjoy Symmetra as a hero. However, this change is only available on the PTR, and if the community dislikes the change, Blizzard may not implement it to the live servers.

Photo courtesy of Blizzard