For those of you who have been calling out for Blizzard to reclassify support character Symmetra as a defense hero, we have bad news: Blizzard is not intending to change things up any time soon.
During an interview with members of the Overwatch subreddit at BlizzCon 2016, lead designer Geoff Goodman was questioned on the possibility of recategorising the game’s characters. In a detailed response, he stated: “The roles don’t actually mean anything. Originally we weren’t even going to have that, but as we started to plan for 20+ heroes, we’re just going to have this line of faces. It’s like reading a block of text; I need paragraphs here!
“Symmetra is the only sort of support hero that doesn’t have any healing, is that right? Yeah that’s right, so like ‘why are you in the healer role? She should be in defense.’ We could do it, but the game wouldn’t really change for it, she could just move over there. Part of the reason we’re kind of holding on to the idea of the support role instead of just renaming it healer is because I think there’s a broader category there, that’s potentially a lot more interesting.
“Sombra originally started as a support character, but she wasn’t healing at all, she was just kind of debuffing everybody and wasn’t doing a lot of damage and that had its own problems – we couldn’t really go through with that. Conceptually, that could still work, where support characters as a role are intended to sort of magnify your team’s damage and effectiveness as opposed to presenting their own. I think that is a much nicer broader category to play with than just healers. Certainly, you need healing in the game, we’ll do that a lot more but kind of holding out for that reason.”
Later, Goodman was asked directly about what timeframe the company was looking at for new hero releases. He replied: “We’re trying to produce a lot of different kinds of content – the Junkenstein’s Revenge event was really different, and completely different – and that takes a lot of artists to make that kind of content. If we just dropped everything and just started work on heroes, we’d probably produce them a lot faster, but I think a lot of people have different interests. Some people want more events, some people want more maps, some people want more heroes – so we’re just kind of trying to spread out the attention as much as possible.”
It’s probably best not to expect Doomfist any time soon, then.