Blizzard has outlined a new set of balance changes for Overwatch, focusing on support heroes. Yes Mercy mains, it’s that time again. Don’t blame us, blame Blizzard. They’re the real enemy.
As expected, Brigitte is the biggest casualty of the nerf hammer. The cooldown of Shield Bash has been increased from 6 to 7 seconds, allowing her opponents to play around it a little more. This is no great surprise, as Shield Bash is Brigitte’s strongest ability and a great counter to fast moving heroes; this tweak should reduce her overall power level slightly.
While this is Brigitte’s only nerf, don’t be surprised to see more in future. According to the developer notes, Blizzard was toying with the idea of reducing her barrier health too, as Brigitte currently possesses the highest win-rate of all support heroes, despite being the weakest at healing. If a Shield Bash nerf doesn’t change things up, Brigitte changes could be a common theme.
Mercy nerfs are also a common theme in patches, and this one is no exception. Her staff will now heal at a reduced rate, lowering 17% from 60HP/s to 50HP/s. Again, it’s not a major tweak, but her overall healing output is sure to take a hit. It’s a great change when it comes to balancing the support class as a whole, but here’s hoping poor Mercy gets a break from the nerfs soon.
On a more positive note, three support heroes are getting buffed slightly. Lucio is the biggest recipient, thanks to a 20% range increase on his Crossfade aura and a 50% boost to his Sound Barrier Ultimate, which will now provide 750 shields instead of 500. As a result, the rollerblading healer will now be able to support his team far more efficiently, keeping them alive through most attacks.
Meanwhile, Moira’s healing resource will regen at a faster rate (by 20%), and Ana’s Nano Boost Ultimate will also heal the target for 300HP instantly. Moira’s buff should limit the amount of time she spends standing around waiting for her healing to recharge, while Ana can now use Nano Boost as a last ditch heal on heroes in critical health.
What about Zenyatta? Well, he’s sitting this patch out as Blizzard is fairly happy with him currently. That may change in future, but for now, the floating orb throwing wonder is staying exactly as he is.
All the above changes are expected to hit the Overwatch PTR in the very near future, and could even be ready in time for the Hammond/Wrecking Ball launch patch next week (24/7/18). Happy with the changes? Let us know in the comments below!