(Sorry, this response is super long, but I started typing and had a novel before I realized it.)
At least from what I’ve seen, Ana’s toolkit - although it has the potential to be very powerful - is fairly easily mitigated by other characters right now. Unlike the other supports, Ana doesn’t really have an “Oh snap!” ult. Even though this might seem like an interesting alternative use for her ult, I’m not sure that it would be used all that differently; even worse, I feel like it might end up enabling toxic behavior.
Consider QP or matches played without comms (at various skill levels): as it is, people have a preconceived idea of who should be the recipient. In the few cases that it’s used defensively on live (or when it’s used on heroes not generally perceived as nano-worthy for damage), it’s not unusual to see people get upset. Heck, when there aren’t those heroes on the team, it’s not unusual to see people get upset about even choosing Ana over other supports.
When it’s used, the target becomes the shiniest person on the screen, and usually the biggest threat. If it’s used defensively with the new heal, chances are, that player will become the primary target for the enemy team; meanwhile, if the player’s team doesn’t see that the target was low health, or if they’re not one of the “chosen ones” preconceived as a worthy recipient of a damage boost, flaming /tilting will probably ensue. (As it already stands for supports, dps/tanks often don’t pay attention to who is being healed, or whether or not they are in LOS of their healers in the first place. Imagine if suddenly, the team suddenly sees something like a non-ulting Mercy or off-meta hero get nano: cue Ana flaming.)
Or perhaps it will cause players to become more reckless when Ana has nano available, because suddenly, they think “Ana’s got nano, she can just insta-heal me up if I get in trouble, also I can pew-pew more.” Sure this line of thinking works when there is a support (i.e. Brigitte) who is essentially built around insta-healing someone for a large amount, but Ana isn’t really designed for that kind of playstyle - at least not as the game (or meta) currently stands. (Yes, a nano-ed target also receives other benefits, but in many cases, players don’t consider the before - they just consider the after. Realistically, this change would essentially just tack a slightly beefed-up version of one of Brigitte’s normal CD’s onto her nano.)
Ultimately, I’m just not convinced that Ana’s single-target burst healing is enough of an issue to necessitate this type of change to her. Further, the change wouldn’t address many of Ana’s problems within the current state of the game.
Off the top of my head:
Ana probably has the worst potential regenerative capacity of any of the supports. (Only biotic grenade, which using for self-heals means that she won’t have it available for use on her team or for offensive pressure.)
Sleep dart isn’t particularly reliable due to being a fairly small projectile, in a game with high mobility heroes or heroes with small character models, it’s easily broken, and can miss due to non-reg bugs.
She’s the only support in the game that generally requires a fairly high level of accuracy in order to provide throughput/burst that is on par with the other two supports generally considered main healers (i.e. Mercy and Moira).
She’s the only support whose main source of healing often misses completely. (Moira’s can miss too, but Moira’s healing is also a frontal spray, which lessens the impact.)
Her base mobility, though on par with Zenyatta, functionally makes her healing less reliable due to being projectile shots; consequently, the best way of improving the reliability of her heals landing is to make her less mobile (i.e. slowing her movement speed), so that they are hitscan. Even then, her heals can often miss.
She provides unreliable group heals.
She has to reload her main source of healing. (Technically, Moira does too, but it’s fairly easy to avoid the need to wait for healing regen by damage-weaving.)
Biotic grenade and nano can hit unexpected/unanticipated targets if one of her teammates is standing too close to her, runs between her and her target, or even if they are close but behind her.
I think some alternatives changes to Ana could be things like:
- Nano can be used on an enemy target, increasing the amount of damage they receive and decreasing the damage output of the target. (Essentially, give it the same type of potential for dual application as biotic rifle/biotic grenade, where it can help your team or hurt your enemy.) Goes through barriers.
- Ana can use nano on herself, increasing the amount of damage done by the player, as well as causing her scoped and unscoped shots to splash heals onto nearby allies.
- Ana can use nano on herself, increasing her damage and healing done, and lowering the CD’s, and improves the effects of biotic grenade and sleep dart. During a self-nano, biotic grenade provides even more benefit to healing received (i.e. the percent modifier goes up), and provides a healing over time effect. Sleep dart’s accuracy is increased (maybe pierce barriers?), and the target of sleep dart receives a DOT and/or slow upon awakening; however, the sleep effect can still only be on one enemy at a time.
- Nano is still only usable on a friendly target that isn’t Ana herself. Through the duration, the nano-ed target now provides healing to nearby allies, in addition to decreasing the amount of damage the allies receive.
Nevertheless, some of the baseline changes that Ana (arguably) needs are some kind of aim assist for things like sleep dart and scoped/unscoped shots, fixes to nano and biotic grenade proccing off unexpected/unanticipated targets (specifically, proccing off allies next to or behind you), some kind of increase to her mobility, a buff to self-sustain, etc.
tl;dr Ana’s biggest issues wouldn’t be solved by tacking what is functionally a beefed-up version of a normal Brigitte CD onto Ana’s ult. Other problems should be addressed first. If Blizz still wants to adjust her ult by providing additional utility to it, there are ways of doing so other than just “here’s a bunch of upfront heals too”.