Mercy’s getting a big rework, according to Overwatch’s Game Director Jeff Kaplan.
The rework, which is already live on the PTR, removes Mercy’s mass resurrection ultimate ability, and replaces it with an ability called Valkyrie. Additionally, her resurrection ability isn’t going away completely, and is being reworked to a single target move that will be added to her kit, finally giving the winged healer an ‘E’ ability. According to Kaplan, the resurrection will be on a “fairly long cooldown,” but will at least still allow Mercy to retain her class fantasy that players have come to know over the past year.
While players may mourn the loss of such a game-changing ability, Valkyrie will certainly give Mercy players a better in-combat experience. Valkyrie, first and foremost, allows Mercy to fly completely uninhibited. Free movement, no limitations a la Pharah, just pure, unadulterated flying. And while that’s probably the coolest part of her ultimate, it’s by no means the most powerful. Upon activating her ultimate, Mercy’s new single-target resurrection cooldown is immediately refreshed, and has a lowered cooldown. This is subject to change as the PTR plays out, but as it stands, seems insanely powerful.
Valkyrie also effects two other parts of Mercy’s kit. Her heal and damage-buffing beams will fork to other players that are nearby, allowing her to become the most potent area-of-effect healer in the game for the ultimate’s duration. Both her damage boost and her healing beam also have their effects enhanced, causing them to heal or boost for more. Also, while under the effects of Valkyrie, Mercy’s gun fires faster, does more damage, and has unlimited ammo. This is reportedly being toned down a bit, as it seemed that most players felt the gun was the strongest part of her ultimate, transforming her from a healer to a highly mobile, incredibly strong DPS under its effect.
Previously, Mercy’s gameplay felt fairly dichotomous. Once your ultimate was charged, you went from backline healing, to purely hiding and yelling in coms for your team to go die on the point. Kaplan admits that this isn’t very fun or dynamic gameplay, and from this stems the idea behind her rework. Mercy has come and gone from the meta, essentially relegating her to an ult-bot that only sees play when dive comps are the hot item. Gone are the days of 5-man resurrects being play of the match, but perhaps a more combat-centric Mercy can find her place in the metagame.