The Problem With Mercy & New Hero: Moira

I mean the Overwatch character, of course.

So, I play a fair amount of Overwatch and in particular the Competitive mode and I have noticed more recently that if you don’t have a Mercy in your lineup your team loose their minds. Her Resurrect ability is very powerful, probably too powerful in fact. Of course, the Overwatch team know this and they are continually trying different things to try and balance her out after her re-work a few patches ago.

Mercy, in my honest opinion is, even after her recent re-work still the easiest healer to play. However, I should state that being the easiest healer to play is not a bad thing at all. She’s great fun to play, more so after her re-work however, giving her the ability to bring people back to full health from death is a major turning point in team fights.

In a team fight if the enemy has a Mercy they are still generally a priority target, once she goes down they don’t get any Resurrections for a while which makes the task of cleaning up the rest of the team that much easier. Of course, that statement could be said for any of the healers however, the other healers don’t have an ability to bring dead team mates back to the fight.

On the PTR at the moment they are testing her Resurrect ability with a cast time as well as slowing down her movement speed by 75%. A cast time could help the situation but the current cast time is 1.75 seconds. That seems a little too much especially when her move speed is reduced so harshly. I think maybe slow her down by 50% and have a cast time of 1.5 seconds instead. I think that would be better than what is currently being tested.

It can sometimes get so bad, especially in Competitive that you will have someone throw the game or just leave all together if one of your healers does not choose Mercy, at the very least they’ll treat you like garbage until you play Mercy.

Now, a story!

I was playing on Ilios on Competitive and I chose to play Ana as I had been playing her a fair amount that day and I felt I could do work as her. I ended up being the only healer on the first round and a player in my team wanted me to switch to Mercy, I did not and we won the first round.

This chat was after we won the first round. I ignored their request for me to play Mercy because “we only have one healer”. I certainly proved them wrong in the first round, which I made a point of after the fact. The team composition was me as Ana solo healing, a Roadhog and D.VA as tanks with three DPS, Junkrat, Reaper and a Soldier 76.

When we entered the second round we lost, what changed? One of the DPS switched to Mercy. I generally had all the healing under control on my own the addition of a Mercy threw things off, because with the two tanks, and three DPS we were wiping the floor with the enemy, the moment a Mercy was introduced we lost one of the tanks for it which meant there wasn’t enough space being created for the three DPS and not enough cover for me or the newly added Mercy. I do believe we could have won the second round if we had kept our line up. The enemy never changed to deal with our damage heavy lineup so we just steamrolled them hard on the first point.

As we continued onto the third round the Mercy continued to be within our lineup and people started switching, to no avail. We lost after such a strong first round and yes, I do blame the Mercy. This Mercy player would dart into the middle of the enemy in an attempt to res someone and normally died before doing anything of use. If they had stayed as the Roadhog we would have been able to hold the points much more effectively due to Hog’s ability to self sustain for long periods of time and I only really had to focus on the Junkrat and the D.VA as the Soldier could help keep the team up with his Biotic field, Roadhog heals himself so I only ever needed to keep him topped up, and the Reaper was doing work the enemy tanks so was able to keep himself up with only occasional top ups from me.

The moment the Mercy came into play we lost the Roadhog and we all of a sudden lost a major part of our sustainability. I could have swapped to Roadhog to offset this change, that I accept. However, the Mercy was very bad at healing people mostly because they kept charging around like a madman not doing anything particularly useful so me swapping to Roadhog could have damaged us further and gave us less of a chance to win simply because our only main healer would then have been a Mercy who wasn’t really doing a lot of healing.

Conclusion 

Moira will be released soon since she is on the PTR now. Do¬†I think that she will replace Mercy as a primary healer? No. She seems fun to play but I can’t put my finger on it, there’s something about her which makes me think she is more of the secondary healer within a team with Ana or Mercy still being the primary healers. Moira seems to have the highest healing per second output of any of the other support heroes which is good but her healing is put back by the fact that she needs to do damage to keep up the healing. She can’t do both at once unless using her ultimate. Her ultimate doesn’t seem as powerful as it was thought to be based on the trailer for her so you’ll be disappointed when it comes to using it I think. She does however, have the highest survivability of all the support heroes which does make her a strong healer in terms of amount of healing possible, but still not a primary one.

Ana is also getting a buff which means her healing output and damage output is back to roughly where it was when she was released. Heck, she can kill 200HP heroes in 3 shots again which is good to know! I guess we’ll see what the Overwatch Team do to finally fix Mercy’s balancing issues and get rid of the “need” for a Mercy within a team.

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