Overwatch’s 1.15 patch is on the PTR, includes reworks for Mercy and D.Va

Overwatch’s 1.15 patch is now on the private test realm (PTR), and brings total reworks of both Mercy and D.Va, in addition to several other small tweaks.

It’s also believed that escort map Junkertown is coming with this patch, although it hasn’t been put into the PTR yet.

Still, with the Mercy and D.Va reworks, there’s plenty to give Overwatch players pause.

Let’s talk about D.Va, my personal favourite. The plucky Starcraft 2 pro /mech pilot Overwatch has been given a new ability: micro missiles. The micro missiles ability allows D.Va to unleash a salvo of tiny missiles that explode on impact and do damage in a small radius around them. The ability can be used at any time, while D.Va is using her other abilities or firing her cannons.

PCGamesN fished out the finer details from elsewhere in the forums. Thanks to the team, there.

-Number of missiles: 18

-Shots per second: 11

-Explosion Damage: 8 (has damage falloff)

-Impact Damage: 4

-Radius: 1.5m (for comparison, Pharah’s rockets are 2.5m radius)

-Cooldown: 8s

-Projectile Speed: 40 m/s (for comparison, Pharah’s rockets are 35 m/s)

-Rockets will fire individually over time – 18 rockets fired at 11 shots per second means the entire salvo fires in 1.64 seconds. They go wherever you’re looking, so if your target is moving, you can adjust your aim somewhat. In the very unlikely case that you land each missile dead on a target, getting the maximum impact and explosion damage, that’s a theoretical max of 216 damage per use, on an eight-second cooldown.

Meanwhile, the energy drain on her Defense Matrix has been doubled, effectively meaning she has half of the uptime on the ability, and she’s been given the ability to fire her shotgun-esque cannons while boosting, making her overall a more aggressive hero, and much less reliable when she’s playing defence, meaning Winston isn’t the only tank that works best played as a guerrilla.

Mercy is getting a more complete rework. Her resurrect ability, formerly her ultimate, is now just a regular old ability with a 30 second cooldown, although it now works on a single ally. This would be a big enough change, but Mercy’s ultimate ability is absolutely unreal. Called Valkyrie, it beefs up everything about Mercy as she powers up her Valkyrie Suit for 20 seconds.

With Valkyrie active, Mercy’s healing and damage boosts now affect all allies near the targeted teammate, and the beams can be fired further. Mercy is also given infinite ammo for his Caduceus Blaster, which also has increased damage and fire-rate for the duration of the ultimate. Guardian Angel also has increased range and movement speed, while Resurrect instantly has its cooldown refreshed upon Valkyrie’s activation, and has a ten second cooldown, while her passive regeneration ability is no longer stopped by taking damage. Also, she can fly with Hover.

It’s a ridiculously powerful ultimate that lets Mercy show very little of her namesake, hulking out to keep her team pushing with damage and healing, or letting her lead the charge herself, flying through the enemy line in a hail of blaster rounds.

Finally, Reinhart is also gaining the ability to rotate the camera while his Barrier Field is active, which will make positioning a little easier.

At the risk of too much opinion, I trust Blizzard to make changes that benefit the game, but getting rid of healing and damage mitigation abilities and emphasising damage dealing in the meta could lead the game to a weird place. Mercy’s new ultimate sounds like a lot of fun, but lacks a lot of the utility of bringing an entire team back to life around a payload. Still, check it out for yourself on the PTR, if you’re interested. 

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