Fresh off the upcoming release of an all-new hero, Overwatch is about to make a handful of tweaks to an entire sector of the game's existing characters. Those who mainly utilize Support heroes may want to pay close attention to these changes that are currently on the Public Test Realm and are on the verge of hitting the main game.
The first thing to note is that there's going to be yet another nerf for Mercy. For Mercy players that have watched their character endure not one, but two major nerfs, it's a song that's starting to become a bit comical.
- Primary fire healing beam reduced 17% from 60 HP/s to 50 HP/s.
Blizzard Explanation: "Mercy is intended to be able to consistently pump out more healing than any other healer over the course of a match. While this is currently true, the difference in healing is so significant that it makes it very difficult for other healers to compete with her for a spot on a team. Reducing her healing output will close this gap a little, but she will still maintain her status as the go-to pick for raw healing power. We'll keep an eye on her to make sure she is still a strong pick."
Mercy isn't the only getting a nerf. Following her own nerfs, Brigitte is about to get brought down another notch, with Blizzard citing her continued elevated win rate.
- Shield Bash cooldown increased from 6 to 7 seconds.
Blizzard Explanation: "Shield Bash is Brigitte's strongest ability, and its short cooldown makes it very difficult to play around. We'd like to keep her Shield Bash and subsequent melee combos powerful and effective, while just allowing a little more counter-play against it. We've talked about possibly reducing her defense somewhere, such as reducing her barrier health. However, her tank-hybrid nature is a core part of her kit and we want to make sure she maintains that feeling of being a difficult target to take down. Overall Brigitte's win rate is still the highest of any support, despite dishing out the lowest amount of raw healing per second. This speaks volumes to how powerful her kit can be outside of her direct healing numbers."
The rest of the game's Support characters are getting some noteworthy buffs. Ana's Nano Boost ability will now heal her target for an immediate 300HP boost. Moira's healing resource base regen rate will now be upped by 20 percent. Then there's Lucio, who might be the biggest beneficiary of this new update.
- Sound Barrier effect increased 50% from 500 to 750 shields.
- Crossfade aura radius increased 20% from 10m to 12m.
Blizzard Explanation: "Lucio's Crossfade aura can be an invaluable addition for any team, but it can sometimes be difficult to keep your whole team boosted. We're increasing the radius of Lucio's Crossfade aura to allow more flexibility in how he moves while still maintaining his powerful support songs to help out his team. His ultimate is also being increased to help counter large spikes of damage. For example, Junkrat's ultimate can deal a maximum of 600 damage, which Sound Barrier can now potentially negate completely. It is worth noting that even though the initial shield he provides is larger, it still takes the same amount of time to destroy itself."
Details on Blizzard's vision for Support heroes can be found on the Overwatch website. However, the latest PTR patch goes a little deeper than that. Other changes include certain channeled/transformation Ultimates restoring ammo, along with some tweaks for other heroes, like Hanzo. Find the full PTR patch notes on the Overwatch forums.