Overwatch: see how the next update buffs D.Va, Mercy and Zenyatta

By Brenna Hillier, Wednesday, 13 July 2016 04:44 GMT

Overwatch players will need to adjust their expectations a little.


An Overwatch patch has gone live on Blizzard’s PTR, giving us a preview of what the developer is working on for the next big update.

While the biggest news is of course new Overwatch character Ana Amari (what a badass), there’s some pretty interesting stuff in the patch notes for existing characters, too.

While these balance adjustments are in testing and may well be altered before going live in the public build, you can get a feel for what Blizzard has planned for Overwatch. Right now it looks like the developer wants to give three characters a bit of a boost. As promised, D.Va has been made more powerful and Zenyatta has received some love, too; Mercy is more of a surprise, but quite welcome.

Before we dive into the full Overwatch patch notes, here’s what Blizzard had to say about the balance changes:


D.Va isn’t being selected as often as our other tanks, and we feel a lot of that stems from the underperformance of her damage absorption abilities. So, we’ve reconfigured her Defensive Matrix, making it more flexible and giving players the ability to use it more often. We’ve also given Self-Destruct a little more oomph, because it felt slightly underwhelming when compared to many of Overwatch’s other ultimate abilities.


Mercy’s ultimate is one of the most powerful abilities in the game; however, players would often fly into the fray and die while using it. With this update, Resurrect will now take a bit longer to charge, but Mercy will be a lot safer when activating the ability in the middle of combat. In addition, we always intended Mercy’s Damage Boost beam to be her primary method for dealing damage, but it often felt so weak that you were better off pulling out your blaster. To help address this, we’ve slightly increased its potency.


While Zenyatta has never had the healing abilities of Lúcio or Mercy, he made up for it by dealing more damage. However, his lack of mobility and low health has meant he’s struggled to find a place in many games. To increase his effectiveness, we’ve made several changes, the biggest of which is an increased shield pool. This will allow him to go head-to-head with more enemies. The Orb of Harmony and Discord changes are also a quality of life change, helping Zenyatta move his orbs around and apply their effects more quickly. And lastly, we’ve increased Transcendence’s healing throughput. This ultimate was designed to be the most effective against sustained, high-damage fire and least effective against short, high-damage bursts (like D.Va’s or Junkrat’s ultimates). But, due to the amount of healing it provided, there were times when it was possible for even sustained fire to overcome Transcendence’s output. We’ve made the heal powerful and also allowed Zenyatta to move around more quickly while it’s active.

As well as these three overhauls, Blizzard has also adjusted McCree’s long-range damage upwards after the previous Overwatch update took things too far, and allowed self-heal abilities to charge ultimates – that’s why you’ll see some ultimate costs have increased.

Anyway, here’s all the character-specific info from the latest Overwatch beta patch:


  • Self-healing abilities now charge ultimate abilities. As a result, some heroes’ ultimate costs have been adjusted (see below).
  • Configuration: Tank
    • Ultimate cost increased by 10%
    • Defense Matrix
      • Cooldown decreased from 10 seconds to 1 second
        A new resource meter has been added. This meter will deplete while Defense Matrix is active and then recharge when it’s not in use.
        – Defense Matrix takes 10 seconds to reach full charge from empty
        – At a full charge, Defense Matrix will last for 4 seconds
        – Defense Matrix will now remain active as long as its assigned hotkey is held
      • Defense Matrix has been reclassified as an alternate fire and is now bound to RMB (by default). An option to “Toggle Defense Matrix” has been added under Options > Controls > D.Va
    • Self-Destruct
      • Ultimate cost decreased by 15%
      • Explosion delay reduced from 4 seconds to 3 seconds
      • Explosion no longer damages D.Va (the player who activates it)
    • Sound Barrier
      • Ultimate cost increased by 10%
    • Peacekeeper
      • Now maintains full damage at longer distances, but will deal less damage at extreme ranges
    • Caduceus Staff
    • Damage Boost
      • Bonus damage increased from 30% to 50%
      • Effect will no longer stacks with bonus damage provided by another Mercy
    • Resurrect
      • Ultimate charge cost increased by 30%
      • Movement is no longer prevented during activation
      • Guardian Angel instantly resets upon use
    • Whole Hog
      • Ultimate cost increased by 45%
      Soldier: 76
    • Heavy Pulse Rifle
      • Spread recovery will begin after a short delay (rather than instantly)
    • Tactical Visor
      • Ultimate cost increased by 10%
    • Base shields increased by 50 (now 50 Health/150 Shield)
    • Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony
      • Projectile speed has been increased from 30 to 120
    • Transcendence
      • Movement speed is now doubled upon activation
      • Healing amount increased from 200 to 300 health per second

    The beta Overwatch patch also makes changes to to the UI and fixes a bunch of bugs; visit the Overwatch blog for details.

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