And that, IMO, is a bad philosophy. If you want to adjust any character, you need to listen for their playerbase. It’s a bad idea to alienate their current fans (no matter how small) in the hopes of getting new fans with the New Improved Thing™.
I have said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: Any of the proposed changes to Symmetra, individually, are not bad on their own. Some of them are very exciting and interesting. The biggest issue is that they are changing all her kit at once, and most of them are not a straight buff, they are lateral changes (ie, around the same power, but with different design and purpose).
For a long time I believe that Symmetra kit is not in a bad place, power-wise. Her reputation amongst the player base hurts her a lot more than her kit on itself. It’s not like she can’t benefit from a little QoL changes here and there, but the fact that there is a good amount of Symmetra players in the high tiers of competitive (compared to her pickrate), despite lots of players actually throwing matches and tilting themselves to death on the sight of a Symmetra in their team, is a sign that once you learn how to use her kit, she is powerful enough to hold her own.
Blizzard being extremely cautious with her kit, to the point that most of her changes don’t really sound like a “buff” when you compare pros and cons with her current kit is also another sign of that. I think the devs are trying to change her so drastically that the playerbase will “forget” their hatred of Symmetra and start her from a clean tab. And I honestly doubt that will happen, unless she is Valkyrie 1.0 levels of broken.
The main issue with that number is all conditions that come attached to it. What we know from Geoff:
- She will need 2 seconds of hitting before the weapon level up.
- The damage is increased to 65/130/195. Ie, its a linear progression instead of a exponential progression like she have currently (30/60/120).
- Symmetra will have a “thick beam” (ie, it will be easier to track with it)
- It will recover ammo if it damages a barrier, while still simultaneously charging her beam
- We do not know:
- The rate of decay of the new beam (will it remain at 1 second or also enlarged to 2 seconds?)
- The actual range of the new beam (can be anything between current 7 meters to Zarya’s 16 meters)
- The ammo amount/consumption of the new beam (maybe the devs over/underestimate the shield ammo recover)
Adding this all together, we can see that they are trying to cater to the playerbase that is not that good at aiming, but probably are not seeing far enough in the future to visualize that people who can track well with heroes like Zarya, Moira, Sombra or Tracer will have extremely good hit % with a thick beam. But that leaves them into a even worse conundrum than just balancing the autoaim with the ramp-up damage: If they balance the gun around the people who can aim (eg, reducing thickness or damage), it will make her useless for the playerbase that can’t aim. And if they balance around the average hit% of the general playerbase, her damage will be extremely powerful in the hands of players that can track.
While it would be nice to see Symmetra being played in the OWL, that is not the proper path to place her there. Especially because, unlike Moth Mercy, this don’t enable diverse gameplay, for the fact that she will be in a DPS slot. Ie, the slot with the most options available. That will just be switching 70% Tracer to 70% Symmetra, and that is just as unhealthy.