Overwatch 2 has predictably commanded a consistent player base thanks to the pre-existing prestige of the franchise combining with the free-to-play nature of the title. One of the main ways in which the release is aiming to maintain this player base is via the implementation of in-game seasons, with Season 3 of the game recently releasing on February 7.
Season 3 of Overwatch 2 has predictably brought with it a brand-new map, a fresh battle pass, and a new competitive season. However, the most important aspect of the season is arguably the many balance changes that have been made to some of the title's playable heroes. While many of these changes have been welcomed by Overwatch fans, the tweaks that have been made to the support hero Mercy have left many feeling confused.
Overwatch 2's Season 3 Mercy Nerfs
Mercy is one of the most recognizable support heroes in the Overwatch roster, being one of the original twelve heroes to launch with the original Overwatch in 2016. With Mercy arguably providing the most dedicated support gameplay experience within the franchise, it is no wonder that any potential changes to the hero are met with huge amounts of attention from the game's player base.
Coming with Season 3 of Overwatch 2, Mercy received a rather comprehensive set of nerfs that many fans feel do not address the main issues at hand with the character, and instead focus on areas of Mercy's kit that were not that problematic at all. Mercy's Guardian Angel ability, which allows the character to fly towards teammates for more efficient healing, now has a cooldown of 2.5 seconds up from the original 1.5, while Mercy's Caduceus Staff received a healing-per-second reduction from 55 to 45.
As well as this, Mercy's standard support passive ability has been scrapped, with Mercy now having her own unique passive known as Sympathetic Recovery, which allows Mercy to heal herself for 25% of her healing output with the Caduceus Staff. With this hampering the healing output of Mercy a fair amount in certain situations, there are other pertinent elements of the character's kits that oddly remain unchanged.
The first issue that many fans have with these recent Mercy nerfs concerns the fact that the changes target one of the defining elements of Mercy's in-game experience, with the controlled agile flight of the Guardian Angel ability now being a much less viable prospect. With the new changes, Mercy runs a risk of becoming too predictable and clunky, making her lack of individual offensive ability all the more of an unnecessarily glaring weakness.
As well as this, the recent Mercy nerfs do not focus whatsoever on Mercy's damage boosting capabilities, which arguably create the most overpowered in-game dynamics related to the hero. With Mercy being able to provide consistent unbroken damage boosting to high DPS damage heroes such as the newly introduced Sojourn to great success, many assumed that any potential nerfs for Mercy would primarily focus on the Caduceus Staff's damage boosting as opposed to its healing.
While it remains to be seen just how significantly these recently introduced changes will impact how Mercy plays in-game, it is clear to see why the changes are so controversial. By directly hampering the kind of gameplay that was synonymous with Mercy, while leaving arguably overpowered elements of the character such as her damage boosting unchanged, many fans are perhaps right in feeling that the recent Season 3 Mercy changes have missed the mark.
Overwatch 2 is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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