Overwatch 2 beta kicks off with controversial Mercy changes

Blizzard has marked Overwatch 2’s latest beta with a raft of hero changes (opens in new tab), leaving Mercy players feeling particularly hard done by. 

One of the main parts of Mercy’s kit targeted was her Guardian Angel ability, which allows her to fly over 30 metres to a companion swiftly. Now, you’ll automatically be launched upwards if you float the entire distance, and an animation cancel that you could use for a big vertical boost has been canned.

Blizzard has also tweaked Angelic Descent, so you’ll now be able to slow your speed down by holding down the move input. “This means you can dampen vertical knockbacks (such as Junkrat’s Concussive Mine) but also reduce the amount of height that the GA vert boost gives you,” the developer explains.

Looking at social media, it’s the first change causing a stir among fans. You’ll find multiple posts (opens in new tab) discussing the changes over on the Overwatch (opens in new tab) and Mercy Mains (opens in new tab) subreddits, though the common theme is that the healer feels clunky and awkward to play now, losing some of the character she had before. One fan does point out that the change is likely to aid accessibility (opens in new tab), though they still suggest the change be an option rather than a mandatory part of the healer’s kit.

It remains to be seen if the change sticks, though, as players point out, Blizzard has spoken about (opens in new tab) its balancing ethos in the past. Back in May, the developer explained that the “process of change, discovery, analysis, and change is a never-ending cycle of balance,” and that, when a change is made, the team is “constantly evaluating whether those changes were effective or need more punch behind them”. 

“Game balance is a marathon, not a sprint, and many more hero changes await us on the horizon,” Blizzard concluded. 

Fancy getting involved? Here’s how to get into the Overwatch 2 beta.

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