Blizzard Overhauling Overwatch’s Mercy With New Ultimate

Overwatch’s Mercy has two roles on the battlefield: 1) stalwart, reliable healer of your team and 2) stalwart, reliable infuriator of the other team every time she nails a massive resurrection ult, canceling out all their hard work in a single, blinding flash. Blizzard’s decided to change the latter.

“It’s pretty disheartening to have Mercy just erase [a team wipe] with a full team res,” said Jeff “JKap” Kaplan in a new video. As a result, her resurrection ability is getting demoted. Soon, it will be single-target-only (as opposed to potentially being able to bring back the full team), and it won’t even be an ult anymore. Instead, it’ll be a secondary ability on a cooldown that Kaplan described as “rather long.” So it’ll be less powerful, but perhaps a bit more versatile.

Mercy will not, however, become Overwatch’s first ult-less hero. The Overwatch team isn’t that mean. Her new ult will be called “Valkyrie,” and upon activation, it’ll do multiple things. First, it’ll give her the gift of full-on flight. No jetpacks or whatever. She’ll have full freedom of airborne mobility. Second, it’ll make her better at everything, meaning she’ll be able to soar to allies who are further away, resurrect quicker, and her healing and damage beams will reach further, too. In addition, beams will chain to multiple allies at once.

Addressing Battle Mercys (“I know that you exist,” Kaplan said), he noted that even Mercy’s gun will shoot faster and hit harder while she’s in Valkyrie mode. So basically, prepare to get owned by flocks of flying Battle Mercys blasting Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” over voice chat.

“We feel like Mercy will feel a lot more engaging to play than standing around the corner, hiding and waiting for that moment to press the ultimate,” said Kaplan.

The Mercy changes should now be playable on Overwatch’s PC public test realm.

In addition, the Overwatch team is “experimenting” with some big changes to D.Va. The main target of their tinkering is her Defense Matrix, which Kaplan said feels “smothering” to both D.Va players and her opponents—the former because you’re basically expected to use it all the time, and the latter because, well, they’re literally getting smothered. The visual language of it is also muddier than, say, Reinhardt’s shield, which starts cracking when it’s about to go down. The plan, then, is to alter Defense Matrix but somehow maintain D.Va’s ability to tank. The Overwatch team also wants to give her more offensive options so you’re not just holding down a single button and spamming cannon fire all the time.

 

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