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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Overwatch 2 is about to make playing support easier, except for Mercy

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After heated debates about the role of support in Overwatch 2, particularly the strength of Mercy’s ability to damage boost DPS heroes, Blizzard has taken a stance with an upcoming balance patch.

When Overwatch 2’s third season starts tomorrow, Mercy will lose her prominence in the game’s high-skill meta: the patch effectively reduces how much time she can spend with her staff’s beam connected to a single target by promoting triage above all else.

The Mercy changes : 

  • Guardian Angel cooldown increased from 1.5 to 2.5 seconds
  • Holding the backwards directional input and canceling the ability with Jump now moves 20% slower
  • Caduceus Staff healing-per-second reduced from 55 to 45
  • Healing is increased by 50% for allies under half health
  • Regeneration Passive removed (she retains the support one though)
  • New Passive: “Sympathetic Recovery” where she heals herself for 25% of healing done with the Caduceus Staff

While none of the nerfs directly target her ability to damage boost allies, the developer comments in the patch notes say the changes will “empower Mercy even more as a triage healer and enable her to more often save low health allies.”

In a fast-paced game like Overwatch 2, where your health can fluctuate a lot, the Mercy changes incentivize her to stay in orbit of her team instead of partnering with a single DPS hero. The changes double down on healing as Mercy’s primary role, and it’ll be crucial for keeping yourself alive with the new passive.

Other than a slight nerf to the duration of Ana’s healing and anti-healing grenade, supports are on the rise: Lucio, Zen, and Brigitte got slight buffs. Lucio and Moira will have their ults up faster to save their allies more often, Zen will have five more shots to fling at enemies, and Brigitte’s Repair Pack will instantly heal allies for 25 health in addition to its HoT component. Combined with all of the other changes, I expect playing support should be a little easier than before.

Season 3 continues to target heroes who can get near-instant kills. Junkrat’s Concussion Mine has had its damage dropped by 20 to make one-shot combos with his grenade harder to pull off. Reinhardt’s Earthshatter ult has had its damage reduced and stun duration increased. And Widowmaker is back down to 175 health (from 200), which should make the sniper easier to squish.

The amount of ultimate charge you retain when you swap heroes has been reduced from 30% to 25%, and almost every tank will now take longer to charge their ults. This change is a response to high-level tank strategies where players would benefit from changing heroes early in a match, resulting in a convoluted game of rock-paper-scissors. For most players, this will likely result in more battles without fight-winning tank ultimates.

Ramattra, the game’s newest tank, won’t have an unlimited ult anymore. His massive AoE ult will still continue as long as an enemy is within it, but will cap out at 20 seconds. And Wrecking Ball might finally get some use with the addition of permanent, regenerating shields in place of some of his health, as well as a lower cooldown on his Pile Driver to slam into enemies.

Overwatch 2 season 3 will include an Asian mythology-themed battle pass, a dating sim, and a bunch of quality of life changes when it launches on February 7.

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