Overwatch Changes Mercy Yet Again On PTR
Here's what's new with Mercy.
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Blizzard continues to experiment with Overwatch's Mercy following her overhaul in September. The latest batch of changes on the Public Test Realm affects her ability to fly and, more importantly, exactly how her ability to revive other players works.
An update in September gave Mercy a new Ultimate, Valkyrie, which provides her and her abilities with a variety of buffs. Her previous Ultimate, Resurrect, was made into a regular ability that can only revive a single player, rather than all nearby allies. Since those changes were made, Blizzard has been looking to tweak her further. A recent PTR update made it so that Valkyrie didn't reduce Resurrect's cooldown, but instead doubled its range. An even newer update is now trying something different, doing away with the cooldown reduction in favor of a new perk.
With the latest update on the PTR, Mercy gains a free Resurrect charge when she uses Valkyrie. This is only available for the duration of Valkyrie; if you don't use it by then, it's lost.
"Valkyrie still no longer affects Resurrect's cooldown directly now, but this method preserves some amount of 'burst ressing' when needed, while making it more flexible to use," principal designer Geoff Goodman said on the Overwatch forums. "For example, in the past if you want to res two targets with Valkyrie, you had to first res one target, then Ult (causing the cooldown to reset), then res the other target. With this new change you can now hit Valkyrie first, fly in quickly, and res two targets instantly."
According to Goodman, this change "still reduces the overall numbers of Resurrects Mercy can provide since Valkyrie no longer reduces its cooldown."
The other change to Mercy involves Guardian Angel, which is the ability that allows her to fly to the ally she's healing or buffing. This PTR change provides her with an "unlock boost" by using the jump key. "This unlocks you from your target and lets you fly past them for a little bit, and sort of use your target like a slingshot," Goodman explained. "This somewhat replicates some of the behavior the recent Mercy zero-air resistance bug caused, but in a way that is more consistent and with less buggy side effects." However, using Resurrect no longer resets the cooldown on Guardian Angel.
This PTR patch also features some tweaks for Lucio. "We have also made some changes to Lucio's speed boost when jumping off a wall to try to compensate for the super-boost bug fix that just went out," Goodman said. "He now gets a more significant boost off a wall."
These changes are live now on the PTR, which you can check out if you own Overwatch on PC. However, be aware that the changes to Mercy are not on the verge of being released in the live game, as Blizzard wants to continue experimenting before implementing anything.
There is, however, plenty to check out in the live version of Overwatch. This year's Halloween Terror event is now live, and it brings back last year's co-op Brawl mode and new cosmetics. You can check out all of the Overwatch Halloween skins and weapons in our gallery.