Non-Revert Approaches to Mercy

General Discussion
For the sake of exploration, I'd like invite some arm-chair-developer proposals for the current Mercy. That big feedback megathread has made it clear that a lot of people are upset with how she is now, but THIS thread isn't intended for that. This is for directly proposing theoretical changes.

I highly doubt the Overwatch Team is going to take anything from this, but consider it a thought excersize. Maybe it'll show common themes in what people hope for. I'd also like to see DPS mains contribute, just to see how expectations vary.

There is a stipulation though: a revert is off the table. Jeff Kaplan states this himself. He was likely referring to pre-Valkyrie, but it can be assumed by how the team's operated in the past that simply going back to a previous state is not going to happen. There lies the challenge.

An assumption going forward is that current Mercy is 'not fun', which is the problem to be solved. As a support main myself, I believe this is because the current state lacks decision-making and active contribution. I also feel her state before the current patch did require a nerf of some sort to prevent her from being mandatory. If you disagree with these assumptions, your own rationale is likely just as valid.

Here is my own input:

First Proposal
- Valkyrie duration reduced to 10 seconds.
- Valkyrie: No longer affects Regeneration.
- Valkyrie: Reset cooldown on abilities when activated.
- Valkyrie: Resurrect is instant.

Notes: This may be close to a backward step by returning abilities that were stripped away, but I think giving Mercy an early burst of activity for her Ultimate is important. However, this would force Mercy to plan ahead to maximize the impact of Resurrect, and still leaves ample opportunity for her to be countered by watchful opponents.

Second Proposal
- Valkyrie: Grants one free charge for Resurrect (wasted on stun).
- Valkyrie: Resurrect range increased to 30m (requires line of sight).

Notes: Again, this allows for up to two heroes to be revived within an Ultimate with careful coordination, but Resurrect would still retain its cast time and therefore its vulnerability. This would leave opponents with a clear chance to counter Mercy, but still gives Mercy more versatility in Valkyrie than out of it.

Third Proposal
- Resurrect removed outside of Valkyrie.
- Valkyrie: No longer grants flight.
- Valkyrie: No longer affects the range of Caduceus Staff.
- Valkyrie: Resurrect cooldown reduced to 3 seconds.

Notes: This proposal makes risk assessment and resource management the backbone of using Valkyrie. Mercy can spend the duration trying to revive fallen heroes, but is very vulnerable while doing so. She can still boost and heal multiple allies, but has to remain near the fight. It's a whole risk vs reward thing.
If this actually happened, I'm sure there'd be backlash over it, but I figured I'd put it out there. Flight seems unnecessary to me, personally.


Fourth Proposal
- Replace Valkyrie with a new Ultimate (Salvation).
- Salvation: Reduces Mercy’s movement speed by 75% and prevents ability use while channeling.
- Salvation: Charges a meter over fallen allies within a 45m line of sight range at a rate based on their maximum health; activated again to cast Resurrect on all fully-charged targets.

Notes: It’s a range-limited Deadeye for Resurrect. It would be super hard to balance and would be frustrating for everyone, but it would make for an amusing week or two on PTR!

So there’s a handful of hypotheticals for you. I’ve seen plenty of others around, but scattered into various feedback threads (where I think perhaps direct suggestions are considered off-topic), so please do use this thread to share your own!
Cool ideas!
All of your suggestions bring power to Resurrect in a way that her ultimate might as well go back to being Resurrect as it were. That was the whole problem Blizzard was struggling to solve, both with the initial rework and all of its subsequent patches. The fact is, you can't have the ability to revive players be an ultimate ability without it being either totally underpowered, or totally overpowered. If Resurrect is at all enhanced by her ultimate, the incentive to hold your ultimate until you need to cast Resurrect exists. This is why in the most recent patch, Resurrect functions the same regardless of Valkyrie being active or not, because having a better or safer way to cast Resurrect as part on an ultimate will encourage players to use it only when Resurrect is needed.

I think that's an important thing to keep in mind because that's what all these problems were trying to solve, patch to patch. First, Valkyrie was just Resurrect, but better -- way better, unless your team got completely wiped. Even then, still a good ult. Then they limited Valkyrie's res potential to two targets in a couple different fashions, but still, that's really good because tempo ressing teammates is incredibly strong, on top of everything else Valkyrie offered. Even the ability to cast Resurrect instantly is too much because, surely, Mercy would still withhold Valkyrie until she absolutely needs to use Resurrect.

Ressurect in general has been modified to be more like a somewhat traditional revive option in similar games, where reviving a teammate requires buckling down over their body and exposing yourself while you're preoccupied. Making that any stronger, even via ultimate, can't really work without leaving windows for balance problems.

Personally, I find this current iteration of Mercy to be a lot of fun. The impact of her ultimate has certainly changed so there's no more breathtaking moments of Mercy bringing back her entire team, but instead now she has an ultimate that keeps her much more engaged, and whose power only seems less exciting because it's stretched over 15 seconds.

If there was any buff/change I would make to amplify the fun, it would be that Mercy can selectively choose who to provide healing or damage boost to, rather than it being a chain based on the target's two closest allies. If McCree is popping off but D.va needs health, it'd be fun to tether a damage beam and health beam accordingly, even if they're on separate parts of the map. Create separate links rather than just a straight chain and add more versatility so long as Mercy can manage it. I think this would have to be accompanied with a nerf somewhere to Valkyrie, but I wouldn't really know where. Maybe just an increase to her ult charge requirement would do.
These are interesting ideas but I think fail to get to the core issue with Mercy: Her very high skill floor (note this means she's viable in even in less skilled hands).

None of these would really require any more skill, at most they'd just be more risky.

Rez should be tied to the player's effectiveness at playing the hero, i.e. a resource meter (like Torb's armor). Rez is OP as a straight ability or, what they're trying to do is make it a useless ability. There needs to be a middle ground and this is it. You'd need to earn the Rez charge by healing and damage boosting. It should be hard to earn, perhaps even nearly as demanding as her ult. But it would force you to do your job and do it well, even taking risks to heal or boost.

My changes I'd like to see are:
Valk:
-15 sec duration
- Eliminate continous health regen (encourage counterplay)
- Rez is instant during Valk
- No second charge BUT potential to earn a second one during or just after your ult if you use it well

Rez: Charges with healing or boosted damage done. Does not charge passively at all. Max 1 Charge at a time. Keeps cast time but can be canceled mid-cast

This eliminates the problem of Mercy rezzing an early pick, she won't have had time to gain her Rez that quickly AND it will benefit good Mercy players and seriously hinder the bad ones.
02/12/2018 10:13 PMPosted by Heavy
All of your suggestions bring power to Resurrect in a way that her ultimate might as well go back to being Resurrect as it were. That was the whole problem Blizzard was struggling to solve, both with the initial rework and all of its subsequent patches. The fact is, you can't have the ability to revive players be an ultimate ability without it being either totally underpowered, or totally overpowered. If Resurrect is at all enhanced by her ultimate, the incentive to hold your ultimate until you need to cast Resurrect exists.

I focused on Resurrect because, to me, it's the defining feature of Mercy as a Support. I also feel it's the easiest resource to address for the sake of giving the player something to make active decisions with, without going into major overhaul territory.

That said, there's just as much of an argument that Mercy's defining feature is her mobility, or that she's defined as being the purest dedicated healer (which appears to be Blizzard's current view, based on patch notes). My suggestions don't go much in those directions, but hopefully someone with those in mind can offer some.
Well I do think mercy needs help in the sense that while she is fun to play rezzing specifically is really just a chore, my biggest problem with resurrect is that what the dev team calls "counterplay" simply means that if the mercy is bad she will die trying to rez, my main suggestion would be to make rez preventable in other ways the dev team took a really long time to realize that rez should always be preventable, and we are yet to see an iteration that doesn't require as so many people joke about "just kill the mercy" as of now rez has 3 most likely scenarios.
A)You get the rez and people still dislike you for it
B)You get killed and don't get the rez or you do get the rez and die for it anyway
C) You get booped or stunned but live which mean the enemy is bad and can't kill a stand still target.

Seein these problems make me think of several iterations of preventable rez without being a "you get the rez or you die situation"

Make rez more skillful and require more than a button press
As a mercy player I often ask myself why rez has to be a wait why can't they give me something to do while I do so.
This specific suggestion would require massive work on the dev team side since it requires a lot of mechanics to be in place.

When mercy uses resurrect over an dead ally (at the same range as it is today) it activates a timer, 10 sec or until the target respawns, during this time mercy's damage boost gets changed into a "life suction thingy" that can gather energy to make rez possible, this can only gather from allies above 50% health and she can switch between this and her heal beam like she usually does with the damage boost, she will be required to gather the targets health, so 200 to rez a Mcree, 500 for a rein, she can also "over gather" up to 25% over the targets health if she chooses to do so. After this she needs to return to the same target and rez will be instant(No other allies of the same health can be rezzed), the catch is that if she gets hurt she looses that same amount of rez energy and won't be able to rez if she has less than the targets health. Likewise if she gets stunned rez will go into cooldown. Booping would only slow her down.
This would make rez require skills that mercy players already posses like decision making and situational awareness, give them more engagement, more ways to make rez happen and most importantly rez would be preventable which needs to be a rule of rez. Of course valk would have no effect on rez other than making mercy more mobile and survivable.

second suggestion
Just make rez preventable without having to punish the player for using an ability.
As of now rezzing is a chore, when you know you're going to get it it's boring and when you know you're not going to get it you just don't try because you being alive is better than using your abilitys.
This suggestion is less intensive in the way of changes.
Mercy has to start rez at the current range but it no longer slows mercy down (for the sake of looks imagine it as a rezzing beam instead of the normal animation), after resurrect is active the range increases to the normal beam range and requires line of sight, if mercy is stunned or killed the rez cancels and goes into cooldown. The way this iteration of rez would be preventable would be in the form of a silhouette, once mercy starts resurrect the yellow model of your teammate would immediately pop up and be able to be damaged, if the health of the target ran out rez would be canceled, if by the time the cast time of .4 sec for every 100hp passes the target has any health left they get rezzed with at least 100 of their health depending on how much damage they recieved (this to prevent immediately dying, making tanks harder to rez but also easier to kill right after rez)
This would make rez have more counterplay even if you get it, while giving mercy more freedom of movement and less chances of dying. It would also make CC abilitys more valuable since they could turn a canceled rez into a dead mercy unlike the current iteration where using those abilitys in a rezzing mercy is a waste since you can get the kill just as easily without it (even if she does the disco turning super fast thing).

So those are my suggestions, remember that rez always has to be preventable but also that mercy players should have some say in the matter as to whether or not rez is possible instead of being entirely circumstantial.
To be fair, we have given the devs a billion different options and they choose to pick the ones that keep making Mercy less and less fun to play. They need to start taking some of these options into consideration and start nerfing her that keeps her enjoyable. Not JUST efficient to play against.

Resurrect is, as everybody states, a chore. And Blizzard physically cannot remove it because that is who Mercy is, let's face it. Plus the possible backlash.

Below is an iteration that can be changed or adjusted as needed. None of it is set in stone. If you feel there should be less or more resses on her ult, so be it. Think there should be counterplay, let me have it. This is just a fleshy iteration to give both the Mercy 1.0 and 2.0 feel for both parties:

Long ago, I proposed a more toned down version of the Resurrect ultimate, while keeping a Mercy 2.0 vibe. I claimed that we could have a resurrect that only brings 3 or less targets back, but put Valkyrie as a 3-6s E ability that does not offer any of the Valk buffs it has now. Just flight and a longer beam range. This could also have a long CD timer to punish using it at a poor time. This would keep Mercy engaged in the fight at all times, but if a large amount of targets go down, she still feels game-changing, but not resurrecting the entire team. This forces her to remain active or her ultimate is useless, depending on the situation. Plus, resurrect is an ultimate again (as it should be). The 3 targets resurrected are closest to her, so you need to position yourself properly or you may resurrect the wrong target(s). This allows decision making again (which Mercy basically doesn't have anymore) and the use of Valkyrie to position herself for the most optimal ultimate. Another decision. It also allows the enemy to counter her in time before she can truly decide when she needs to use her ultimate. Mercy would not get invulnerability while resurrecting as she used to either. Meaning, she can be countered. Resurrecting targets and losing the healer is pretty much a guaranteed lost fight in most cases, which is why they gave her the invuln. in the first place. Valkyrie would solve that issue of lack of mobility or escape while resurrecting and her dying immediately, hindering your counter-fight.

A 3-man resurrect seems reasonable to me while having the E Valk because she is now a bit harder to kill while she resurrects, an issue the original version of Mercy without her 3 buffs encountered, making her an F-tier hero and a "don't pick". Yes, even with 5-man res potential. GASP. She died every time she resurrected, making her a useless hero in comparison to the rest. With the rendition, she could still be killed and countered before/during/after resurrect, making her have counterplay. The issue that invulnerability received.
I made a suggestion thread once with this line of thought: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20761716382

Basically the idea was that Mass Ressurect should come back as an ult that consumed Valkyrie to be performed. The more duration you had left the more people could be revived.

So you had to make a choice between the benefits of Valkyrie, the mobility and chain effects, and getting people back up. Casting Mass Res would result in Mercy going back to her base state.
My idea, I’ll keep it concise:

Ultimate:
Now has 2 charges, requires 1000 healing (average on overbuff is around 12000 healing per match and res isn’t used as soon as it available so it won’t be ridiculous)
Each charge counts as an instant ressurect but can’t be used within 15 seconds of each Rez.

Alternately, a charge also includes a 15 second Valkyrie, healing done during Valkyrie will go towards ult charge for 1 resurrect/Valkyrie with a 20% reduction. So if mercy is active enough in Valkyrie she could get another res charge for afterwards. As I believe one of the problems with 2.0 was that she was able to get 2 consecutive instant res’s.

This would encourage people to use Valkyrie rather than solely focus on resurrect when ignoring Valkyrie. Skilled players might not use Valkyrie instead and stay alive during the fight to use the second resurrect charge. Therefore she is nolonger ‘invunerable’ while resurrecting during Valkyrie as she was. This also allows her to have a real impact on the fight as she’s has the possibility of 2 resurrects and at least one instant res. Valkyrie is still powerful with group healing/damage boost and mobility, which could be more useful so that the fight continues when a mercy is pressured. Plus the opportunity to earn another res charge after 15 seconds.

Right now I feel like mercy has such little impact on the team fight, and that her ‘problem’ before was that she got 2 consecutive instant res’s but now she would have to wait 15 seconds and be proactive with Valkyrie to get another res.
Instant Rez/free Rez is just a complete no go. That's something that everyone just needs to understand.
Every single one of your suggestions revolve around letting Mercy more or less Rez something for free. Believe it or not, Rez on a cooldown is far better than Rez as an ultimate and the whole reason why Mercy was so god damn OP was because Rez, a basic ability, got buffed during Valk. It essentially made Valk 3 ults in one.

I understand that Mercy players don't think that Mercy is fun or impactful anymore, but I have also noticed that the fun/impact factor that they miss is the ability to completely swing a fight in their teams favour. So far the way that has been done has really not been anything that requires any kind of mechanical skill or felt like was a hard earned ability. Just a 1 button input game changer.

If Mercy mains want something similar they are going to have to think of ways that increase the skill required to pull it off that at the same time has nothing to do with Rez.
instant and double rez is cancer
A small way to make Valkyrie more fun would be if our choice of primary beam target was more important than it currently is. Apart from making Valkyrie more engaging to use, it would help reward players with good reflexes and judgement.

Plus I'm pretty sure her beam is easier to tweak and balance than Rez is.
Where's that weird guy that signs his name with that cringy "fair and fun balance, #revertmercy" thing in his comments
I would actually really like if rez was a sort of proactive skill since a lot of problems seem to have come from Mercy becoming a mistake fixer who gives people a reason to have bad positioning more often.

The idea would be that rez as a cooldown ability would be almost like a Zarya bubble in that you put it on your ally, perhaps in the form of a halo. Both teams would be able to see it. Cooldown and the amount of time an ally can be tweaked, but for now I would just say that the halo itself lasts for 8 seconds and will disappear if not used. When an ally is killed while the ability is on them, they'll instantly rez. If they were using their ult and they die, their ult will still be gone so they don't get a second chance at that though. Mercy also cannot use it on herself.

This way, Mercy can proactively judge when an ally needs to have protection and her gameplay will become more engaged and "skillful." It plays more on a Mercy players' game sense. Plus, it will take away that moment of suddenly just standing still to rez.

Alternatively and way more simple, I would like that Valk was more interesting and impactful. Maybe more dmg or healing output for a shorter duration than just healing/dmg boosting the same amount as always but in the air for 15 seconds. Maybe she does +40% dmg boost and 75 healing/sec for a 10 second duration or something. Because as of right now, I know I personally rarely use Valk for anything but shooting down an enemy Pharah or flying away from Genji ult since I can just do the exact same healing/dmg boost without my ult.
Wait... who the hell is unhappy with the recent Mercy changes, aside from Mercy Mains?

I say aside from them because they're not, strictly speaking, human, and plant life shouldn't be given voice in game design issues.
To be perfectly honest I only really wanted to play Mercy (and overwatch basically) because resurrect was such an interesting ability never seen in an FPS before. In 1.0 it was much more (nearly completely) balanced, people just were annoyed that she could swoop in and undo their ults and the whole ‘hide and rez’ thing that a few people used to abuse the MMR system. I’m just saying that it’s really part of her identity as a character and a hero. Right now she doesn’t feel like a hero at all and more like a healbot. There were a million different ways to make her and resurrect balanced rather than these changes. Yes they did make her balanced which I’m not mad about but they made her incredibly unfun to play. She is such a great opening character for new players and those who are uninterested in kill kill kill FPS games and gives her a game-changing ability like the 25 other heroes in the game. But they really just stripped her of everything that made her a hero, now she’s kinda just a background character and never has a moment to shine.
Giving Mercy a 50% damage boost instead of 30%, but a resource meter to limit her damage boost to 8 seconds or so before recharge would make Mercy significantly more dynamic at high level without affecting her gameplay much at low level.
02/13/2018 02:43 AMPosted by Orion
Giving Mercy a 50% damage boost instead of 30%, but a resource meter to limit her damage boost to 8 seconds or so before recharge would make Mercy significantly more dynamic at high level without affecting her gameplay much at low level.


I'm pretty sure they tried this, and that was one of the few PTR changes to not make it to live. Specifically they did the 50% damage boost, no resource on it, but it was horrible because McCree was dealing 210 damage per headshot. That's not healthy, and having it be an 8 second boost doesn't do anything to stop that. If anything that just makes Mercy a lot more boring to play, having an ability that becomes very precious in how it's used yet strictly tied to an 8 second window of another player's performance. Either it feels wasted because your ally did nothing, or it feels far too oppressive for the enemy team to be taking as much damage as can be potentially dished out. (If I am mistaken here, then the 50% damage thing was for Zenyatta's Discord, not in the position to fact check right now.)

And Mercy really doesn't need straight buffs to her core kit when she already performs well there. I mean, she performs well in all places now, but if we're looking for ways to specifically make her more engaging, you have to be wary of suggesting things that are just straight power boosts. Mercy remains viable right now on this patch, it's just that people (apparently) aren't having fun with her kit.

02/12/2018 10:49 PMPosted by Heartless
I focused on Resurrect because, to me, it's the defining feature of Mercy as a Support. I also feel it's the easiest resource to address for the sake of giving the player something to make active decisions with, without going into major overhaul territory.


Resurrect is defining for Mercy and that power is still there, if not actually more present in gameplay now that it's no longer restricted to an unhealthy ultimate ability that incentivized contradictory play. I really think Mercy's defining feature, as you said, is her healing and the way she can pair up with allies individually, flying back and forth to watch over people.

Trying to make Resurrect more of Mercy's key feature just isn't going to work, unless you want Mercy to be a res bot. I'm sure people will find that more fun though, somehow, since it seems apparent here that Mercy was only fun when she could res consistently and easily. Everything else, which has remained unchanged since Mercy 1.0, apparently just isn't engaging enough.
Mercy remains viable right now on this patch


Not at all tiers of play. Mercy's pick rate and relative win rate vary inversely with skill rating, and that's not healthy. She is almost exclusively used alongside Pharah in high rank games since the nerf.
I like the first the most. I'd rather not have res if I can't get one instant one.

I think they should make res only available during Valkyrie and have it be instant with a 10 second cool down on that first res. That way you can get two off, but it has to be timed right. They can also have Valkyrie charge slower if its too powerful.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum