With the new Overwatch update today on the PC Public Test Region, Blizzard has made some big changes to D.Va and Mercy – so big that Game Director Jeff Kaplan issued a 10-minute Developer Update all about hero balancing.
Mercy, who is one of the top played characters in Overwatch, is undergoing changes because “one of the problems we see with Mercy right now is there’s a weird behavior that’s encouraged by the core fundamental design of the Hero, which is that if you are a Mercy player and you’re healing your team and your Ultimate is up or close to being up, you have this weird moment where you stop healing your team, you go into hiding, and you start to tell your team, ‘Everybody die together! Die on the point! Die on the point! I have Rez!’
Kaplan continued, “There are people who might not be listening to you on your team who are now yelling at you, ‘Why aren’t you healing?! Why aren’t you healing?!’ and they go off and die somewhere else… the team eventually wipes, and then Mercy swoops in and does her big resurrect.”
There’s a couple of things Blizzard doesn’t like about this – including telling a main Hero character to go hide somewhere – so they decided to address Resurrect and make it her second ability. As a result, Valkyrie is her new Ultimate Ability.
Here’s the changes coming to Mercy, complete with developer comments:
Resurrect (formerly Mercy’s Ultimate ability)
- Ability now targets a single player, instead of every player within a radius
- Radius reduced to 5 meters
- Ability cooldown is 30 seconds
- Mercy is no longer granted invulnerability while Resurrect is active
Valkyrie (New Ultimate Ability)
Valkyrie unleashes the full power of Mercy’s Valkyrie Suit, enhancing her weapons and abilities for 20 seconds:
- 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
While resurrecting downed allies is a core part of Mercy’s gameplay, the way her Ultimate functioned was causing a number of problems. It was frustrating to play against, and it incentivized Mercy players to hide away from important battles, instead of taking part in them. This version turns Resurrect into a single target ability. It’s still an important part of Mercy’s kit, but plays much better for both Mercy players and her enemies. Valkyrie, her new Ultimate, gives her the opportunity to make big game-making plays and opens a number of new options for her.
And here’s the changes coming to D.Va:
Micro Missiles (New Ability)
- D.Va fires a barrage of small rockets that detonate on impact, dealing damage in a limited radius around each explosion. These can be fired while D.Va is using any other ability or firing her Fusion Cannons
- Defense Matrix’s resource meter will now deplete twice as quickly
- Fusion Cannons can now be fired while flying
D.Va’s Defense Matrix uptime has proven to be too strong, but simply reducing it without making other changes would make her too weak (and far less interesting to play). Instead, we’re adding a new ability, and giving her the ability to fire while flying. These changes give D.Va a lot of new options while maintaining Defense Matrix’s ability to shut down big enemy attacks.
Expect most, if not all, of these changes to come to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a future update.
What do you think of the D.Va and Mercy changes?
[Source: Play Overwatch]