The team at Blizzard is tweaking yet another Overwatch hero, with the guardian angel known as Mercy receiving the latest batch of boosts and reworks. As with the recent update to D.Va, these changes feel particularly aimed at making the character more aggressive and thus more viable in the new deathmatch mode.
The above video is a rather detailed look at the hero balance update being tested on Mercy. Game Director Jeff Kaplan talks about the tweaks being made to both D.Va and Mercy, explaining that the aim was to make the characters a bit more well-rounded. While D.Va's changes are more incremental, Mercy is receiving a more extensive makeover, shifting her abilities around, retooling stats and even granting a new Super known as "Valkyrie."
As for her old Super, the Overwatch healer will no longer be able to revive groups of teammates with Resurrect. Instead, that ability is being shifted to a common ability option, will only be able to target one teammate, and will boast a long cooldown.
As for Valkyrie, since Mercy looks like an angel, she's now going to be able to fly like one. On top of that, all of her other abilities will get a boost, too. Along with free-flowing flight (not just hovering around), she'll pack a much meaner punch for a limited time. Here's a rundown of those tweaks that get activated with Valkyrie:
*Caduceus Staff: Mercy's healing and damage boost beams now affect all allies near the targeted teammate, and the staff's effective range has been extended.
*Caduceus Blaster: Granted infinite ammo, while simultaneously increasing damage and fire rate.
*Guardian Angel: Increased range and movement speed.
*Resurrect: Cooldown is instantly reset when Valkyrie is activated and reduced to 10s after the initial cast.
*Hover: Mercy gains the ability to fly freely, at increased movement speed.
*Regeneration (Passive): No longer interrupted when Mercy takes damage.
We're really getting curious what the Overwatch community thinks about these changes at this point. With the game gearing up to go live as a major eSport in a few months, it's kind of surprising Blizzard would be making such drastic changes to several characters. It also seems like this might totally alter the focus of the game.
As I pointed out in a recent post about D.Va's changes, these tweaks seem to be targeted entirely at making the support characters more viable in deathmatch. On the other hand, part of Overwatch's draw is how it emphasizes team composition. Is it really in the best interest of the game to balance the characters more like what we've seen in LawBreakers or Quake? Those games are arena shooters, so having all characters be well-rounded for aggressive play makes sense. There's no huge push for teamwork in those games. Since Overwatch has traditionally been all about teamwork, we're curious if the community will be as open to these changes. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.