Overwatch isn't the same game you bought when it first came out a little over a year ago. The changes Blizzard made to the various characters and how they play, along with the numerous additions to the roster and play modes, are just some of the ways video games no longer remain static after release. However, this also means that some of your favorite characters who've you've grown accustomed to can undergo drastic changes. That's what happened this week to two popular characters: Mercy and D.Va.
As Caty wrote yesterday, every week Overwatch feels like a different game, but for the most part the changes are made for the sake of refining Overwatch into a fairer game. However, she's also right when she points out that when changes are made in Overwatch—especially with changes as drastic as the ones made to Mercy and D.Va—fans are quick to voice their opinions. Some in support of the changes, others vehemently opposed to them.
For Mercy, Blizzard relegated her revive ultimate to a secondary skill that no longer revives an entire team. Instead, it's now a single-use, single-target skill with an exceptionally long cooldown. In its stead is a new ultimate attack called "Valkyrie" which allows Mercy to fly, boosts her attack considerably, and lets her chain her healing and attack boost beams. It's very powerful.
As for D.Va, her Defense Matrix, deemed nearly impenetrable after a buff, is getting reworked so that it runs out faster. Instead, she'll be receiving a new missile special attack, while also getting the ability to fly and shoot at the same time. The changes are meant to make D.Va a more offensively viable hero no longer relegated to defense duty. Funny enough, most players are complaining that D.Va's new missile attacks aren't "anime" enough like in shows like Macross, or Pharah's ultimate attack for example.
When changes are made to Overwatch characters, it actually tends to affect the whole roter. New abilities shake-up the game's strategies and meta, making some characters more viable in situations they weren't before, or dangerous to characters they were previously harmless to. It also makes other characters more powerful against the newly changed heroes. Players for instance are mourning Pharah's usefulness, while considering Orisa or Widowmaker as suggested counters to the new Battle Mercy.
Mercy rework! How to potentially have 4 rezzes in a 30 second period!! I'm super optimistic about these changes pic.twitter.com/ymbB568yNB— jebby (@puptum) August 25, 2017
It's fascinating to see how Overwatch changes with each major balance update. As Blizzard continues to tinker with the game, there's a sense that certain developing strategies will only prove useful until the next major update. As such, players are starting to view the game in more variable terms. And while it freaks out some players, it's also cool to see the gears turning in the community, and analyze what these new changes mean to the game.