Resurrect is currently the reason Mercy is overpowered.
How so, you might ask, citing Mercy’s Resurrect statistics from before her rework and now, which are very close in numerical value?
Ignoring the process of elimination that would lead us to Resurrect in the first place, the difference lies within how Resurrect is used.
First is the availability of Resurrect now versus Mercy’s 1.x versions. Today, Resurrect runs on a consistent 30 second cooldown regardless as to the Mercy player’s performance. Killing a Mercy repeatedly does not impede upon their ability to return and use Resurrect; the only thing Mercy needs to have Resurrect available is time, and nothing in the game can deprive her of that. Mercy 1.x, on the other hand, needed to fill a resource meter in order to use Resurrect. Sure, that resource charged passively over time, but at an incredibly slow rate proportional to the requirement. If the player were to just wait for that resource to fill passively, they would be waiting 5 minutes and 25 seconds, which could be half the match by itself.
Anyway, because Mercy needed to fill a resource in order to use Resurrect on an acceptable basis, it was far easier to impede its availability by targeting or eliminating the Mercy. The time respawning and walking back to the fight would otherwise be time spent healing, shooting, or amplifying damage, depriving her of ultimate charge and therefore a use of resurrect.
Second is the optimal usage for the ability. Given Resurrect’s current availability and single-target mechanics, its optimal usage is obvious; it is best used to reverse the first pick in a fight, operating as a 1-up for an ally in every poke-at-choke scenario. This one-up functions as a buffer that disincentivizes an enemy engagement after the enemy gets a pick and therefore a numbers advantage, resulting in a continuation of the poke battle and a second chance for Mercy’s team to get the pick instead. As a result, Resurrect now stops the snowball before it begins, making it much more reliable when it comes to post-rez success. Preventing a snowball is much easier than trying to reverse a snowball after it has already gained velocity.
Mass-Resurrect, on the other hand, had variation in its optimal time of usage due to its inconsistent availability and its variation in numerical value. If it were to be used as a tempo-rez every time, it would simply be outmatched by the post-rework Resurrect because it cannot compete with 2.x’s cooldown rate. Thus, in order to maintain a good numerical value, a balance between tempo and mass-revives needed to be held. Finding that balance and by extension the optimal time and placement for Resurrect was difficult, making the ability harder to use overall.
As mentioned before, however, it is more difficult to reverse a snowball after it has gained velocity. Thus, Mercy 1.x’s Resurrect was far less reliable in post-rez success than Mercy’s 2.x’s Resurrect.
Resurrect is also used much earlier in the fight than it was before, reducing the window to prevent it from what used to be anywhere between the first pick and after the fifth kill to just the first pick. There is a smaller window to stop it.
As though the above advantages weren’t enough to push Resurrect over the edge, Resurrect also no longer occupies one of the team’s six ultimates. An ultimate is not lost upon its expense.
- Availability is consistent and unaffected by performance. It is easier to have resurrect ready to be used now than it was with 1.x.
- Optimal usage is predefined, making it much easier to use Resurrect to its maximum capacity now than with 1.x.
- Now prevents snowballs before they begin, which is much easier than stopping them after they are already in motion. Much more likely to end in success.
- Is now more difficult to prevent through preliminary action, as it is used much earlier now.
- No longer takes up an ultimate slot.
While the number of revived players every match may be nearly identical, the mechanics of the newer Resurrect makes it far more powerful in application.
When the rework first went live, there were already a lot of restrictions on Resurrect. It had the longest ability cooldown in the game by far, a 5 meter range, and a line-of-sight requirement.
And yet, Resurrect, and by extension Mercy, was absurdly overpowered.
Mercy’s ultimate, Valkyrie, provided additional uses of Resurrect; three extra uses, to be exact. In the first post-rework patch to Mercy, that number was dropped to 1. On top of this, Guardian Angel’s cooldown no longer reset upon Resurrect’s activation, making hit-and-run revives more dangerous.
The developers came back to see that once again, Resurrect, and by extension Mercy, was absurdly overpowered.
In response, the developers implemented a 1.75 second cast time and a 75% movement speed reduction to Resurrect. To top it off, Resurrect could now be interrupted not only by CC, but by knockbacks as well. If interrupted, Resurrect would begin its 30 second cooldown.
The developers returned to see that yet again, Resurrect, and by extension Mercy, was absurdly overpowered.
To fix this, the develop- Okay, hold up.
How the hell did the developers not figure out the issue by this time? Were they not paying attention to their own actions?
You took a mess of an ability with a metric [REDACTED]-ton of exceptions, and then you applied even more exceptions to that ability. How have you not seen the issue yet? Have you ever stopped to think about why you need to apply these exceptions, and what these exceptions resemble?
Fast forward to today, and there isn’t much left in Resurrect that can be reasonably nerfed given its current position… and yet, it is still game-breaking. Have you every stopped to think about why that might be?
Have you ever considered why those exceptions are exceptions?
What abilities in the game have a downtime comparable to a 30 second cooldown?
What abilities in the game have a cast time longer than one second, and movement penalties and ability disables beyond that?
Resurrect is an ultimate. Look around at the other abilities in the game. The only ones with comparable downtimes, cast times, and cast penalties are ultimates.
- Resurrect - 1.75 second cast time. 75% movement speed reduction, inability to use attacks and abilities. Ability activates after cast time ends.
- Configuration: Tank - 1.5 second cast time. Inability to move, use attacks, or use abilities. Ability activates after cast time ends.
- Rocket Barrage - 3 second cast time. Frozen movement (including vertical movement). Ability is active during cast time.
- Earthshatter - .6 second cast time (+any time it takes to hit the ground). Ability activates after cast time ends.
- Dragonblade - 1 second cast time. Inability to use attacks and abilities while casting. Ability activates after cast time ends.
- Tactical Visor - 1.4 second cast time. Inability to use attacks and abilities while casting. Ability activates after cast time ends.
- Sound Barrier - .8 second cast time (typically, can be reduced by moving onto a higher surface. Can also be increased by jumping beforehand or moving onto a lower surface). Inability to use attacks and abilities while casting. Ability activates after cast time ends.
When you need to add self-inflicted penalties onto an ability that match or exceed the penalties imposed by ultimates, that’s a pretty clear sign that said ability is an ultimate. Thus, it should not be a basic ability.
Even Jeff Kaplan has outright stated this issue:
“We tried to move Resurrection to a secondary ability, and the ability, right now, in current Overwatch, isn’t playing out as a secondary ability; it’s playing out like another ultimate ability”
January 25th, 2018.
6:10 - 6:23.
This is why Resurrect as a basic ability will not work. Trying to force an ultimate into a basic ability is suicide not only from a balance perspective, but also from a gameplay perspective.