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PTR Patch Notes: Junkrat and Mercy Ult Nerfs Jan 4

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As Jeff Kaplan confirmed earlier today, it's the Ult nerf round on the PTR this time around, as Mercy get her strongest ability tuned and its power reduced, with Junkrat getting a similar treatment for his mine! And there's dev comments on the matter to go with the notes! 

Blizzard LogoJanuary 4, PTR (source)



  • Concussion Mine
    • Will now deal less damage to targets farther away from the explosion’s center


  • Valkyrie
    • No longer makes Resurrect instant
    • No longer grants a bonus charge of Resurrect
    • The speed boost that Guardian Angel receives has been decreased by 50%
    • Duration reduced from 20 seconds to 15 seconds

Developer Comment: Junkrat has been enjoying the flexibility his double-charge Concussion Mine provides, but it has now become a bit too easy to throw out huge bursts damage in a large area. With this change he can still dish out similar damage but he must now be more accurate with his tosses.

Mercy’s recent Resurrect changes have helped in allowing enemies to have more counter play in dealing with her, but she was able to use Resurrect through Valkyrie enough to largely mitigate the impact of the previous changes. Additionally, we’re toning back the amount of mobility Valkyrie provides through Guardian Angel and reducing its duration to overall reduce the power of this ability.

We will likely be iterating on these changes in the coming weeks.

Header art by Rioxnation.

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2 hours ago, Oxygen said:

That's the most Blizzard-like nerf I've ever seen. Hit it hard and everywhere. Take no prisoners.

And also the most necessary. She's been broken for like, what, 6 months now? This compared to other ults finally brings it along the same power level with the flexibility and flight you get during it.

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3 hours ago, leapingshadow said:

She's been broken for like, what, 6 months now?

That's the problem. Rather than doing gradual nerfs to find the sweet spot, they let obviously broken things exist for an excessive amount of time without acting upon them, then turn them into a wet noodle. They don't usually buff things, especially when they've caused a stigma. Now, I'm sure Mercy will be fine, but this approach is all too typical and tends to affect Hearthstone and Heroes much more than Overwatch.

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Mercy is already terrible this nerf is just to make her unplayable, nobody let you already resurrect normally since you instantly die doing so because you stand still for enough time that even the guy with the worst aim in the world will kill you, now you can't resurrect in Valkyrie either why don't remove that resurrection and replace it with something else like a self-destruct command that you explode like DVa mech, since it seems appropriate for what they are trying to make that hero.

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Hey guys. Jeff from the Overwatch Team here, we've got some new Mercy changes in PTR. We've decided to completely remove all of her abilities, and now her only function is to emote and say voice lines. Mercy mains now exist solely for supportive messages in team chat, thanks so much

source: twitter 

Edited by Plergoth

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I will also say that Mercy when had Resurrect ultimate was invincible when resurrected someone now she is immobile and isn't invincible for an atrocious amount of time that means if someone throw you a exploding mech you're still here resurrecting and the mech already exploded.

Those changes are not to balance but to kill a hero that isn't even playable especially after Moira release.

Mercy unique ability was to resurrect now she pratically can't do that anymore why would someone will play Mercy over Moira or Lucio that are much better than her in this pityful state.

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3 hours ago, Oxygen said:

That's the problem. Rather than doing gradual nerfs to find the sweet spot, they let obviously broken things exist for an excessive amount of time without acting upon them, then turn them into a wet noodle. They don't usually buff things, especially when they've caused a stigma. Now, I'm sure Mercy will be fine, but this approach is all too typical and tends to affect Hearthstone and Heroes much more than Overwatch.

Except that the current iteration of Mercy is broken even after the rework and even after one round of nerfs. It's not like they haven't made changes before and are suddenly acting - more like they've dropped the hammer on her twice and it still needs to be dropped again. Imho, the ability to resurrect is just an inherently broken ability in a game like Overwatch. Though I will agree that the other changes to Valk seem unnecessary. 

Since you chose to bring up other games, I think that's a situation of people seeing what they want to see. Obviously there's not one team making balancing decisions for all three of these games and I highly doubt there's some kind of "Game Balance Overlord" at Blizzard who dictates the attitude for the entire company. I can't speak to Heroes, but for Hearthstone specifically, recent nerfs seem to be quite even-handed especially with the implementation of the Hall of Fame. 

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There's only a handful of healing supports in OW, even with the recent addition of Moira, it's a very small pool to be choosing something from, particularly when the meta pretty much demands something like Resurrect because of how much damage there is and how quickly something can go from healthy to dead real quick. 

With this in mind, I am fine with Valkyrie's duration being reduced and I am also okay with the speed being cut down, but Valkyrie not at least resetting the cooldown on Resurrect is extremely inconsistent with many other ults in the game, but okay, I will work with it. Just allow me and other Mercy players to be able to res someone in Valk mode at our location away from their corpse. No more multiple Rez, fine. No more cdr on Rez, fine. But let us retain some kind of playmaking  outside of bringing numpties back from the grave or be able to use our own gamesense and awareness to rez a team mate who got murdered in an exposed spot by not having to fly into said exposed spot to get murdered. 

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I feel that's a bit wrong way of nerfing. Imo Mercy's ult problem was not in immediate rez or additional rez, but in her "invincibility" at that moment - only something like Widowmaker could counterplay her ult. While i feel satisfied with movement speed reduction i belive they could just disable her "always on" passive and nerf her shift while ult is on.

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I understood what they were doing beforehand but taking off the Valk advantage to Rez seems like the wrong way of doing it. Like the ult enhances Mercy, so the enhancement to Rez made sense. The thing that always seemed off with Mercy was her autoheal and I'm surprised they haven't even looked at that.

Personally, I'd say let her have Rez only in Valk mode and keep it as is (Bump to 3 charges and no punishment for using it). Instead of Rez as a normal ability, let her throw her staff at the ground or something and turn it into a heal spot; I dunno (then again I'm not a character designer)

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