I think a lot of frustration has been made with the new change from 60hps to 50hps. Frustration that could have been avoided.
At the time of this post. Mercy’s winrate has dropped to around 51.15% and 53.50% in Masters and GM respectively, making her worse than Ana (52.34% and 54.64% respectively) for what seems to be the first time in a long time.
-Source taken from
Looking at this data, I think it’s fair to say that this was what we call a “top down” nerf. That is, a nerf that most affects the top 1% of players.
However, was it a good idea? In all of the other elos, Mercy still outshines her, and now, Brigitte has the highest winrate in pretty much every other elo, followed by Moira, Lucio, and Zenyatta (who swap places every now and then). Just about every other support has a better winrate than Mercy in the lower tiers.
Normally, I would say that this has been a good thing, in that Mercy no longer has the highest winrate of the other heroes, but there’s still a problem. Her Rez is still on E. Thus defeating the purpose of making her weaker in the first place. Allow me to explain…
Back in 1.0, when she had mass ressurrect on Q, it was expected that in return, her kit was nothing to scream home about in terms of power. The trade off for such an ultimate, was weak healing. This meant that Mercy players still had some value in the healer, and thus, gave them a reason as to why they should play her. The ultimate, Mass res, gave Mercy a rewarding kit.
If you were destroyed the majority of the match, you atleast had one moment to shine that made up for all the suffering you’ve endured with having to run away from everyone and hope that you weren’t killed off by any other hero in the game - That right there, is just as unfun to play against as “having people you’ve killed come back”. No one wants to be spending 99% of the round just trying to survive without some sort of goal - Mass res, made sense in that respect.
Now, let’s look at her rework. She has Valkyrie. What does the ultimate specialize in? Expanding her Healing and Damage buff (oh, and flight - yippie). Unlike Mass resurrect, which could still be powerful even with her heals nerfed, Valkyrie NEEDS to have her healing to at least keep her team alive long enough to make it through the push. She has barely been able to do so at 60hps (Valkyrie currently is well known for being arguably one of the weakest ultimates in the game), and with her healing nerfed, keeping her team mates alive is even more difficult (nearly impossible if the enemy team blows all their ultimate loads at once.)
Is this fun to play? Is this intended to be rewarding? Is this a reason as to why you would play Mercy? Looking from the outside, I would throw my hands in the air and go… “What’s the point of the ult?”
And res on cooldown… Let’s dive into this quickly. Before when she had rez on Q, she averaged out at about 3 team mates in her ultimate. That is if the enemy was incompetent enough to allowed her to survive and pull it off successfully. Now, with her res on E, plus the cast time, and the vulnerability, and the ability to be cancelled out of it, plus the LOS and the fixed cooldown, I think we can agree that her new ressurect is… less impactful, to say the least.
No matter what happens, there is no real “risk” on using res, since it gives you another res every 30 seconds, whether you did a good job or not.
So let’s see what we have now with Current Mercy.
- You have no real risk with Res on cooldown, but it’s still frustrating to pull off due to all the balance checks.
- You have an Ultimate than expands your healing stream, but is still frustrating to use due to the healing nerfs (the damage buff could arguably be seen as nerfed as well since the hanzo + grav combo patch).
- The rework was given due to complaints about “Hide and Res”, yet Mercy players still need to hide in order to res successfully, even now.
- You can fly with infinite bullets for 12 seconds!
I would ask. At this point, what is the purpose of keeping Valkyrie if she can no longer reliably keep her team alive?
If I had an opinion on how she is currently I would say that she isn’t at all as engaging as she was back in 1.0. I know there’s some people who may still enjoy her, which is great! However I feel that without any sort of QOL fixes to her kit that makes her less clunky, there isn’t much point in playing the hero, other than of course, being a 30 second rez bot.
If the point is to force everyone playing Mercy to switch to another healer, then I ask this. Is making a hero in your roster purposely worse good game design? Or is it a lazy way of “quick fixing” a long term problem, just to save face of the mistake that was made prior? I don’t believe in making heroes objectively worse without compromises to their kit, or at least a QOL change that still makes playing the hero fun, despite their weaker state.
No one wants to play something that’s “worse” unless it’s fun, because that “fun factor” makes up for the bad elements of that certain thing. If something is both worse to play and weaker than the rest, why bother?
What I worry in the end, is that these nerfs are making Mercy a worse hero, without any compromises to her kit - without addressing the real problem. That is, they are still keeping Rez on E. That means that she still has a chance to rise back up in pickrate. Which means that they will continue nerfing her and making her worse, while Valkyrie in turn becomes worse.
I don’t see this cycle ending any time soon, unless they do one of two things.
- Remove res, and receive even more backlash from it from one of the largest communities in the game, risk a rework that makes Mercy OP and a must pick once again, and put in even more work to “rebrand” Mercy as a hero without res (change her highlight intros, voicelines, etc.) without a guarantee that it will be successful. If it is successful, it would be once again, another kit that people who have played Mercy previously would have to yet again relearn.
- Revert Mercy, and start back from a place where she had low winrates, but was also engaging to play, and tweak her from there (1.0 Mercy when she was vulnerable with mass res). This can be as simple of a change as making her res exclusively on Q, with additional res charges, or giving her some sort of resource meter that makes multiple resses earned instead of given every 30 seconds. Having it on Q means that it is easier to suggest, as people are familiar with how she was in 1.0, and may potentially be even more well received, as even some of the pros are beginning to vouch for a revert at this point. It will also be easier to do, since her previous assets already exist, and thus, would exponentially cut down on dev time. Hell, they could even try putting Valk on E on a 30 sec cooldown and tweaking it to balance her out, if they still want to keep it instead of removing it from the game.
But this is just an opinion. Let’s see how this all pans out in the coming weeks.