Major changes for D.Va and Mercy are now available in Overwatch‘s Public Test Region (PTR) for PC, the testing ground for new heroes and features before official updates are pushed to players’ games.
Jeff Kaplan, the game’s director, announced the adjustments in a developer update video.
“Mercy is one of the top played characters in Overwatch,” he said. “So I know there are many, many of you out there who are Mercy mains who are suddenly worried … we wanted to put a lot of focus and attention into improving the Mercy play experience.”
In the current PTR, Mercy’s Resurrect ultimate ability has been changed to Valkyrie, which “unleashes the full power of Mercy’s Valkyrie Suit.” Kaplan noted players holding out their Resurrect ability was a problem. This new ultimate allows Mercy to be a more offensive hero, with some boosts to her abilities as a supporting hero.
Mercy’s Caduceus Blaster receives unlimited ammo and simultaneous damage and fire rate increases during Valkyrie. Her Caduceus Staff now boosts surrounding allies in addition to the targeted teammate and has a longer range.
Mercy’s other abilities, Regeneration and Guardian Angel, are also reworked in her new ultimate. Regeneration will no longer be interrupted from taking damage, while Guardian Angel will have an increased movement speed and flying range.
Resurrect, Mercy’s old ultimate, is demoted to a single target-reviving ability with a ten second cooldown during Valkyrie and 30 seconds under normal play. The invincibility Mercy had when reviving teammates is now gone. Additionally, the winged healer gains Hover while using her new ultimate, allowing her to fly freely around the map.
The second hero to receive gameplay-changing tweaks is D.Va, although not as dramatic. D.Va’s metered Defense Matrix runs out twice as fast compared to the ability’s previous duration, while gaining the ability to use her Fusion Cannons while flying her mech. A new ability, Micro Missiles, also joins her kit. The mech’s new missiles can be used during any other ability and have a small damage radius after exploding.
Lastly, Reinhardt’s Barrier Field receives a minor change. Now, players can hold the primary fire button while Barrier Field is up to rotate the camera. Overwatch‘s fanbase, particularly its Reddit community, has been vocal on these tweaks. One user, Share-Q, is excited about the overhaul.
“It won’t allow for huge simultaneous [resurrections] but with good timing you can keep the fight going,” they wrote. “I also imagine the timing of this is going to be tricky … which is going to ask more skill and awareness of the Mercy player.”
While most comments in the thread welcome Mercy’s new play style, others are not quite happy.
“This entire way of reworking [Mercy] as a character purely because of player behavior rather than an issue with the hero’s kit just seems silly,” wrote Eridor21.
Mercy, D.Va and Reinhardt’s updates will launch across platforms in an upcoming patch.