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'Overwatch' introduces some enormous changes for Mercy and D.Va

Developer Update | Hero Balance Updates | Overwatch
Overwatch support character Mercy has remained relatively consistent over the course of the game’s lifespan thus far, not undergoing the radical changes of Symmetra or D.Va, but that is about to change. Blizzard announced a new update for Mercy — now available on the PC’s Public Test Region — that not only changes her ultimate ability, but also how she will be used throughout the course of each match.

Mercy’s “Resurrect” ability, which allowed her to revive her entire team at once if timed properly, is no longer her ultimate ability. Instead, it’s now one of her standard abilities and can only be used to revive one character at a time. This was done to discourage teams from intentionally dying as a group so that they could all be resurrected together, according to game director Jeff Kaplan.

Resurrect will now run on a 30-second cooldown and will only be usable if Mercy’s target is fewer than five meters away from her. She will no longer be invulnerable while using the ability, either.

Mercy will also receive a new ultimate ability, “Valkyrie,” to take Resurrect’s place. When using Valkyrie, Mercy’s weapons become more powerful, as are her healing and damage boosts for teammates and her Resurrect cooldown is reduced to 10 seconds. She also has the ability to fly at an increased speed during the duration of Valkyrie, and her blaster has infinite ammunition along with “simultaneously increasing the damage and fire rate.”

These changes look like they could transform Mercy from a standard healer into a much more versatile character, but it remains to be seen if the Overwatch community will warm up to them.

Another character is also getting some big changes in the next update. D.Va, who has already undergone a substantial revision, will get a new ability: Micro Missiles. These rockets do a limited amount of area-of-effect damage and can be fired while D.Va is using any of her other abilities. D.Va can also now use her primary cannons while she is using her suit’s booster ability. But with all of these enhancements comes a cost — her Defense Matrix “will now deplete twice as quickly.” It appears that Blizzard wants to ensure players are using the character as a mobile tank.

Overwatch is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC right now.

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Gabe Gurwin
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Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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