Overwatch Is Changing Mercy, Again

Overwatch Mercy Update
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Blizzard Entertainment isn't content with the sort of gameplay output that surrounds Mercy in the healing meta-game of Overwatch. She's been one of the most contentious characters in the game when it comes to her gameplay, and now Blizzard is trying to find that perfect balance by making some strong tweaks to one of her most powerful abilities.

The news was made over on the official Overwatch website, in the patch notes section for the PTR update there's a list of modifications made to the heroes in the changelog. Mercy has her own section that details how her Resurrect skill now has a cast time that has been increased from 0 seconds to 1.75 seconds. Additionally, players who are casting Resurrect will now suffer a 75% movement reduction penalty, so you won't be able to zip by a teammate and perform a drive-by resurrection. You'll nearly come to a crawl as you perform the action, and there's also an added caveat as well: you can now be interrupted when performing Resurrect.

Previously you had no incremental casting time and no interruption when it came to performing Resurrect. You just pulled off the move and your teammate was back up and running around. Adding casting time to the move and allowing opponents on the other team to interrupt Mercy has not gone down well with some of the Overwatch community.

Blizzard commented about the rework, however, stating that after the initial rework of Mercy the team found that her Resurrect was still too strong and "frustrating to play against". So the designers decided to add a cast time to the move and enable players on the opposing team to counter the ability.

Alternative, the patch notes makes it known that when Mercy transfers into Valkyrie, there is no casting time for Resurrect.

In a way, Blizzard explains that Mercy no longer having casting time when transformed into Valkyrie it balances out the effectiveness of the Resurrect ability and means that there's now an ebb and flow when playing as the character and a bit more caution required while attempting to revive a downed teammate.

The reactions to Mercy's changes (which are limited to the PTR for now) have not been pretty, and even with Blizzard's explanation as to why the change was made to the resident healer, the community feels as if blunders are being made with Mercy and making it difficult to play and enjoy the character for any extended amount of time.

Blizzard, meanwhile, is playing both sides of the table when it comes to attempting to balance the game for the burgeoning eSports scene while also attempting to placate the casual fans who still play Overwatch.

The thing is, there really is no easy approach to this, and unless Blizzard opens Overwatch up to modding the way Valve did with games like Counter-Strike and Dota 2, there's always going to be a dichotomy between what fans of Mercy want and what opponents going against Mercy want. Blizzard is attempting to tread that fine line between keeping the fans happy while also attempting to keep the game as even and as fair as possible, but it seems like it's a lot easier said than done.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.