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Ask any long-time fan of Overwatch, and they will fondly reminisce about the character Mercy and her abilities prior to the changes she underwent during a game update back in 2017. With the highly anticipated sequel Overwatch 2 set to launch next month, many fans are wondering exactly what changes will be made to the character going forward.
The update five years ago majorly changed gameplay for Mercy, and many players were extremely dissatisfied with the outcome. With the launch of Overwatch 2, Blizzard has the opportunity to fix its past mistakes and make fans happy once again. Will the changes made to Mercy in Overwatch 2 be enough to make up for the blow Mercy suffered previously at the hands of Blizzard's developers?
Mercy has always been one of the strongest support characters in Overwatch when played efficiently, but the changes made in 2017 lowered her usefulness quite a bit, and she's never fully recovered. Her previous Ultimate -- a full team resurrect ability, based on her proximity to the players -- was one of the best in the game. It was the goal and envy of every Mercy player that, when the entire team was down in a critical moment, Mercy would be able to resurrect them, often making the difference between a win and a loss.
As exhilarating as it was to play that version of Mercy, many players complained that it was unfair for Mercy to be able to undo the hard work of an entire team in a single moment. Blizzard listened, and the September 2017 update changed Mercy's Ultimate ability from Resurrection to Valkyrie. Valkyrie lets Mercy fly above her teammates, and her healing or damage-boosting ability is given to all players near her rather than just the one she targets. It was rumored that Valkyrie would make it easier for Mercy to achieve the "play of the game" shout-out, but that has not proven to be true. Many players still wonder why her Ultimate ability seems to hardly make any difference. Blizzard went from giving Mercy a powerful, game-altering Ultimate to the other end of the spectrum.
Blizzard has revealed that in Overwatch 2, Mercy's Guardian Angel ability is getting a re-work. The current ability allows Mercy to look at a player and, when using the ability, glide through the air toward the targeted player. This is especially helpful when Mercy is being attacked and needs a quick getaway or when a far-away player is being attacked and needs healing or resurrecting. What was originally a bug in Overwatch 2 resulted in the addition of a super-jump ability as part of Mercy's Guardian Angel ability, in which Mercy can leap straight into the air and/or choose the direction she flies rather than having to fly to a teammate. For players who prefer not to have to aim or think about the direction they are flying, this may not be a welcome update.
This change in Mercy's abilities is not sufficient to make amends with players who were deeply disappointed by the changes Blizzard made to Mercy years ago. While some players who prefer more autonomy and directional choice may be satisfied with the changes, it's not enough to make up for what they did to Mercy overall.