OverwatchAug 25, 2017 1:00 pm CT

Overwatch developer update details Mercy’s loss of mass resurrect

Big changes are coming to Mercy in Overwatch and Game Director Jeff Kaplan has provided a new developer update to explain them in detail. First and foremost, Mercy’s group Resurrection will no longer be her ultimate ability. Instead, it will become a become a single-target basic ability on a 30-second cooldown. An ability called Valkyrie will become her new ultimate. While using Valkyrie, Mercy gains increased damage with her pistol, her healing and damage boosting beams chain to nearby targets, and she can fly. She has full range of motion flight, rather than rocket boosting like a Pharah.

These changes are a reaction to the prevailing strategy of hiding a Mercy around a corner and keeping her out of the action until a team wipe occurs so she can swoop in and make the most of her mass resurrect. Likewise, it didn’t feel great to be on the team that doled out the team wipe only to see Mercy arrive and undo your work.

Kaplan also discusses the upcoming D.Va changes, the logic behind them, and the developers’ attempts to get away from Defense Matrix’s match-smothering effect.

Mercy changes will undoubtedly be a point of pain for the Overwatch community. As Kaplan says in his video, Mercy is one of the most-played characters in the game. While many hated the hide-and-rez tactic, Mercy was one of the more easily accessible characters for casual (or mobility impaired) players. If Overwatch ramps up the game’s complexity, and makes its accessible characters less-accessible, some long-time players might have something to say about that.

The PTR has only been active for a day, so it’s too early to say exactly how these changes will play out. However, Overwatch Principal Designer Geoff Goodman has already paid the forums a visit to address Valkyrie Mercy’s DPS. As it turns out, in Valkyrie, Mercy is currently a killing machine which isn’t quite what the developers intended. These changes and the balance thereof are certainly a work in progress.

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