Hello, I should preface this by saying that this is a thread in support of the #ReworkMercy movement. After seeing various other movements, with some being better than others (#deletebrig) in terms of their actual cause, I think it’s a great thing that people are coming together with a goal on making a hero better, and in a positive light, rather than on toxicity and making heroes that we hate worse, simply because we find them “unfun to play against”. This is an opinion thread, and it’s quite a read, so feel free to sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Mercy is one of the few heroes who have been on both spectrums of the tier list, being both a troll pick in some parts of her existence and a must pick at other parts.
Regardless, whether or not we agree on what we personally think Mercy is currently, I think it’s fair to say that a lot of the problems we as a community have faced, both playing with, or against the hero, have been most in part, due to her current and past ultimates: Valkyrie and Mass Ressurect.
Mass Rez, while it never existed when Mercy was a Must pick, had it’s own share of glaring problems that were never addressed - specifically the version with invincibility.
- Was instantly cast and invincible, making it very difficult to react to and counter, once the Mercy initiated the rez. Teams had to think proactively and kill the Mercy first, in order to prevent Mercy from swooping in and undoing kills, as well as hampering her ultimate charge through staggering.
- Was able to be used through large obstructions like walls, as well as through floors and ceilings. This encouraged bad Mercies to “hide” while rezzing.
- Before invincibility, with Mercy’s Utimate, when she was killed before rezzing (that is she dies right as she pressed Q), her ult didn’t expire, but was merely “delayed” until she respawned. This meant that if a team did successfully stop the mercy first and take out the team, Mercy still could walk out of spawn and be able to pull it off, without needing to build it again. From what I understand there are other heroes that had this “glitch” as well with their ultimates, and some may argue that it made sense, as she has one of the longest building ultimates in the game, but still, it’s just a point to make with such a powerful ability.
Valkyrie, supposedly designed to fix these issues, turned out to be a monster of it’s own, turning Mercy into a literal S-tier hero, a must pick, and introducing what we know as the Mercy Meta / Moth Meta. With Rez on E and a 30 second cooldown that reset when she built her ult, the effect this version of her had on the community can be described as… contraversial and mixed, to say the least - with the first iteration being the greatest example.
- Faster self healing, greater mobility during flight, longer GA range, and more damage / infinite bullets with her pistol over the course of a long 12 second duration made Mercy one of the hardest heroes to kill on a 1v1.
- Res charges were instant, allowing for tempo resses (due to the res reset), but Mercy was still invincible when doing so, meaning that on top of her defensive dominance, offensively, her resses were even harder to stop.
- From a balance standpoint, it was apparently a lot more difficult to put under control, requiring roughly 14 nerfs, to get Mercy back to a balancable state, making it one of the most unbalanced ultimates that have ever existed, and making Mercy one of the most nerfed heroes (if not the most nerfed hero) in the entire game. Post nerfs, it ended up being arguably the least impactful / rewarding / engaging ults in the game, due to it’s lower healing .
While these cons of both ultimates have caused a lot of grief in their own ways from the opposing party. I believe it’s good to also point out the positives of each.
- One of the only ults that directly checked Ult Economy on a global scale, and punished things like “Q spamming” / “Most Qs Win” (which besides being unfun to play against, is a huge problem that exists even today) in order to win games.
- Was engaging, rewarding, and impactful. So much so that most teams had to strategize around it, and take it seriously during the match, and messing up a mass res put the team at a huge disadvantage.
- High risk / high reward for an otherwise vulnerable and safe hero playstyle. It gave Mercy players a clear goal, and made working around her huge offensive weaknesses, being focused down, and targeted for most of the game, worth the struggle.
- Flight and infinite ammo allowed “Battle Mercy” to be a more viable strategy. It gives more security to an otherwise vulnerable hero, which is great when your hero is one of the weakest heroes offensively on a 1v1.
- It being low risk / low reward, and along with rez on E having more counterplay (LoS, and a 1.75s cast time) means that it’s a lot more fun to play against. When Mercy is Valking, your initial strategies won’t require too much alteration to accommodate for the ultimate.
- Valkyrie’s ease of use also makes her more accessible to new players who may want a hero that doesn’t demand to much from them in terms of proper timing, when compared to Mass Rez where it’s usage can make or break you in a push.
To solve these issues, while taking elements from the positives of both ultimates, I believe that the best solution for the hero, cutting dev time with using previously existing assets, and working from an already tested platform of existing abilities without risking another unprepared for “OP Mercy Meta”, would be a Revert of Mass Rez + Tweaks, and Valkyrie as the E move which is once again, tweaked to spec.
Mercy Rework (2 versions):
Ver 1. Ultimate: Ressurect - Now with Line of Sight, a 30% damage reduction instead of invincibility, a fixed 1.25s cast time, in line with her “Heroes Never Die!” voiceline, (the time of each cast time are obviously subject to change, AKA. please don’t get caught up on these numbers, these are just placeholder values).
Ver 2. Ultimate: Ressurect - Now with Line of Sight, a 40% damage reduction instead of invincibility, a dynamic cast time, with larger resses taking longer to pull off than smaller ones: 1 teammate = 1s cast, 2 teammates = 1.25s cast, 3 teammates = 1.50s cast, 4 teammates = 1.75s cast, and 5 teammates = 2s cast (the time of each cast time are obviously subject to change, AKA. please don’t get caught up on these numbers, these are just placeholder values).
Optional variations: Having it work similar to McCree’s Ultmate where filling up crosshairs = number of people ressed, giving allies and herself burst healing upon the res but with the same 1.0 charge time, or having it function in a wave radius. Keep in mind as well, that Versions 1 and 2 are merely suggestions, can be changed to suit the balance of the game. The point is to get them in a place where they have counterplay, but are still engaging, rewarding, and impactful.
Notable Differences vs Mercy 1.0:
- Mercy now loses all Ultimate charge if she dies before the Rez is completed. Very important, as this prevents the cheeky “ult resets” that has happened in the past. As a compensation for this, Mercy players now have the ability to cancel their ult (like McCree). This resets her ult charge back to zero, deletes all of the souls within her radius (setting those team mates respawn timers to zero immediately) and also allows her to boost forward 20m, in any direction, without the need for GA. More on how that would work can be explained here.
In short, this will allow for more complexity in not only how to use Rez offensively, but also how to use it defensively, while introducing new mechanics such as soul cancelling, which prevents team mates who died from staggering on respawn and managing death timers, among other things, while still allowing for counter-play.
- Variable cast times with Rez that is built through ult charge, instead of one fixed cast every 30 seconds, will allow for more appropriately weighted risks per reward. In effect, building your ult just to pull of 1 rez is safer, but it shouldn’t be as rewarding as if 3 team mates were rezzed. This will put high stakes of more team mates into perspective, prevent “hide and rezzing” with more susceptibility to fail on riskier rewards, with smaller rewards having lesser impact on the game, and also allow for bigger payoffs for higher skilled Mercy players, for risks that are taken and succeed, despite the heavier drawbacks.
Along with this would be Valkyrie on E.
- New E ability: Valkyrie - 25 second cooldown and a 6 second duration. Keep the same aspects as before (flight / inf bullets)
- Half it’s previous GA range, a single target beam, and a boost of her healing to 75hps and damage boost to 35%.
- This ability will also give Mercy some ult charge (I’d say a 10% increase over her standard healing and damage boost, but again, numbers can change where needed).
Notable Differences vs Current Valkyrie:
- Valkyrie being an E move will mean that Mercy will have more opportunities to be more of an individual hero in playstyle, and less of a “pocket healer”. This will allow for more opportunities of big plays, instead of standing on the sidelines.
- A single stronger beam allows her burst healing, while also staying true to her original “switching between team mates” design.
- Half it’s range and duration would mean less time in the skybox, and being more engaged with the fight.
Optional: To encourage Mercy players to change targets even more and to compensate for the removal of her chain heals, her single target healing in this form jumps to 80hp/s or a 40% damage boost whenever she switches targets for 1.12s, before decaying back down to 75hp/s and 35% dmg boost. Allowing for Mercy players to be rewarded for helping the rest of her team mates, instead of idly standing next to one of them the entirety of the match.
The key here would be to give Valkyrie more value and make it feel better than how it does currently. I feel that due to it’s more casual gameplay, having an already short ult charge, and already being her best escape move, having it on a fixed timer makes more sense while opening the doors to more variety in it’s usage.
I talk more about Swapping the two in my other thread Swap E-Rez with Valkyrie | Make Rez an Ultimate Again which goes into detail between the two a little bit more, and shares my view on why I feel that Valk works a lot better as an ability than Rez, not only from a player standpoint, but from a balance standpoint as well. Do feel free to give it a look.
Mercy’s Current state is balanced statistically - albeit a bit under-powered, but can use some improvement in the engagement, impact, and reward department. I believe that a rework could solve these issues. Namely, Mass Rez + The Tweaks, and Valkyrie as an E move. Whatever we think about Mercy currently, with movements like #ReworkMercy, we should strive to focus on improving heroes in a positive way, rather than simply gutting them because we hate playing against them.
Regardless, these are just some of my own solutions, and (just to make it clear) my own opinion regarding Mercy’s current state, her issues, and my view of a Rework that can fix her most common problems both to play with and against. Do you agree with the changes? Maybe you don’t and / or think she doesn’t need any changes. Any other suggestions? Whatever the case, feel free to post below, keep it civil and respectful, and let’s strive to make Mercy a hero that is engaging, rewarding, and impactful, while also being balanced, fun, and fair for everyone.
Thanks for reading!
~Sincerely Yours xoxo,
a Lover of True, Fair, and Fun Balance.