Overwatch’s Mercy Problem

Overwatch’s Mercy Problem
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A big controversy within the Overwatch community this year revolved around the healer Mercy. Top players experienced hostility and harassment just for picking the character, and major Overwatch personalities derided the hero for supposedly having a low skill ceiling.

Mercy players, the argument went, weren’t actually good. They were just “one trick ponies” who hid until they could resurrect an entire team, thereby undoing the real work of other characters. And so Blizzard tweaked Mercy a few weeks ago, seemingly addressing many of those complaints.

In the latest episode of Fave This, a new podcast hosted by Gita Jackson and me, we talk about Mercy’s stigma and the (limited) skills people value within shooters. For this discussion, we brought in special guest Nico Deyo, who penned an excellent essay outlining the Mercy kerfuffle earlier this year. And of course, we talk about how Mercy plays now and the Overwatch community’s reception to the rework.

You can listen via the embed above, or find an MP3 of this episode here. Alternatively, we’re on iTunes here (leave us a review!), on Google Play here and/or check out our RSS feed here.

As an added bonus, ~50 minutes in, we also talk about Life is Strange prequel Before The Storm, and how media depicts “realistic” teens.

Prepare for some good, queer feelings during that segment.

As always, if you have comments, responses, or topic suggestions, send us an email to [email protected], subject title “Fave This.”


  • I just laugh when I heard the lack of skill argument. Sure any loon can primary or secondary fire with her and just follow people around. Just like Lucio just needs to stay with the group and occasionally boop people away if they get to close. But if want to play them well and make game changing levels of plays its a whole other story. I find Mercy to be one of the most thoroughly satisfying characters to play, its rarely dull and the different she makes is huge.

    the same people whining about her five person rez will also be the same who cheer when their Mercy does it for them. They didnt need to nerf her, they just needed to find a way so that hiding rezzes didnt count.

    • yeah, nerfing her Ulty so that it loses charge if shes away from battle for a set time is probably all that was needed.

  • The Healers curse…
    No one says thank you for the heals, but they will always thank you for the resurrection.
    Which means if your doing your job properly they will never say thank-you.

    • For sure, never any thanks for the heals.

      Only ever complaints, heal me or why didn’t you heal me. Or Res me etc etc

  • I love there’s so much going on all the time with a character artisticly derived from the Christian ethos, makes me smile every time I see her! Go Mercy!!

  • It’s a different discussion entirely on console, you experience hostility and harassment if you don’t pick her.

    • It’s a different discussion entirely on PC, you experience hostility and harassment no matter what you pick!

  • The whole i am a feminist, and claiming to have only interviewed females who play support is pretty crappy. I play support and i go mercy. not my main now and i am male. It doesn’t matter what gender you are you will always get some flank.
    Last night for example, sombra hacked me i couldn’t res we lost and i got dumped on by everyone.
    Bringing the whole gender thing in is completely unnecessary when it happens to almost all mercy players. Here is the thing, i could not give two craps if you are female or male. All i care about is if you play well and are trying to win in the match.

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