Artwork of Mercy from Overwatch

After hanging around on the PTR for what feels like forever, Overwatch's first new payload map Junkertown has now finally arrived to the live servers. Besides the usual variety of bug fixes and quality of life improvements, this update has also brought with it the rather controversial Mercy and D.Va reworks.

Mercy's resurrect now only targets one person and has been turned into a basic ability, while D.Va's Defense Matrix has been nerfed in order to make way for a new missile barrage spell. If you're interested in all of the detailed you'll find the full patch notes over at the Overwatch website, but for now here are all of the major hero changes:

D.Va

Micro Missiles (New Ability)

- D.Va fires a barrage of small rockets that detonate on impact, dealing damage in a limited radius around each explosion. These can be fired while D.Va is using any other ability or firing her Fusion Cannons

Defense Matrix

- Defense Matrix's resource meter will now deplete twice as quickly

- Energy regeneration per second has been increased to 12.5% (formerly 10%)

Boosters

- Fusion Cannons can now be fired while flying

Developer Comments: D.Va’s Defense Matrix uptime has proven to be too strong, but simply reducing it without making other changes would make her too weak (and far less interesting to play). Instead, we’re adding a new ability and giving her the ability to fire while flying. These changes give D.Va new options while maintaining Defense Matrix’s ability to shut down big enemy attacks.

Mercy

Resurrect (Formerly Mercy's Ultimate ability)

- Ability now targets a single player, instead of every player within a radius

- Radius reduced to 5 meters

- Ability cooldown is 30 seconds

- Mercy is no longer granted invulnerability while Resurrect is active

Valkyrie (New Ultimate Ability)

- Valkyrie unleashes the full power of Mercy’s Valkyrie suit, enhancing her weapons and abilities for 20 seconds

- Caduceus Staff: Mercy's healing and damage boosts beams now affect all allies near the targeted teammate, and the staff's effective range has been extended

- Caduceus Blaster: Now has infinite ammo and increased projectile speed

- Guardian Angel: Increased range and movement speed

- Resurrect: Cooldown is instantly reset when Valkyrie is activated and reduced to 10s after the initial cast

- Hover: Mercy gains the ability to fly freely, at increased movement speed

- Regeneration (Passive): No longer interrupted when Mercy takes damage

Developer Comments: While resurrecting downed allies is a core part of Mercy’s gameplay, the way her Ultimate functioned was causing a number of problems. It was frustrating to play against, and it incentivized Mercy players to hide away from important battles, instead of taking part in them. This version turns Resurrect into a single target ability. It’s still an important part of Mercy’s kit, but plays much better for both Mercy players and her enemies. Valkyrie, her new Ultimate, gives her the opportunity for big game-making plays and opens a number of new options for her.

Reinhardt

Barrier Field

- Holding primary fire while your shield is active now allows you to rotate the camera

- A new “Movement Relative to Camera During Barrier Free Look” option can be found under Settings > Controls. Simply select “Reinhardt” from the dropdown menu. This allows players to change the way Reinhardt moves when Barrier Shield is active and players are controlling the third-person camera movement

Developer Comments: This change gives Reinhardt more situational awareness while using his shield, allowing him to keep an eye on the battlefield while still protecting his team.

Its going to take a little while before it becomes apparent whether these reworks have been a success or not, but I'm still glad Blizzard decided to go through with them. The old D.Va and Mercy represent some of the least interactive playstyles in the game, so to see more abilities and decisions added to them is a great thing indeed. Maybe they'll need further buffs or nerfs to balance things out, but at least now there's going to be a truly noticeable difference between good and mediocre players.

As a final note, just make sure to give the changes an honest try. They're really not as bad as the official forums would want you to believe, especially when it comes to D.Va, so approach the new playstyles with a bit of an open mind. Have fun, and good luck!

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