It seems like just yesterday Papa Jeff was announcing our new hero, and many fans were excited to learn we may have a new support healer to knock Mercy off her angelic throne. Even Jeff Kaplan’s statement regarding the spelling of her name? O.P.A.F.
But are we really getting a new “main” healer? A lot of people don’t think so- let us take a look at why.
First, to know what we are talking about, let us run through her abilities. I’m not going to dig too deep into her damage abilities as I’m really just examining if she really is the new support hero she is being touted as.
Her primary and secondary fires are much like Doomfist’s in that they originate from her hands- there isn’t really a weapon / device involved. Her left click is her heal Ability, while her right click is a damage ability. She also has a health meter which is required to have juice in order to heal your teammates- a meter you fill by damaging enemies. There are a lot of people who think this disqualifies her right away. How are you expected to main heal your team if you have to take a break every now and again to refill. Neither Mercy or Lucio need this. Yes, you can switch to an alternate ability, Mercy’s damage boost and Lucio’s speed, but those are voluntary. Yes, the meter will charge on its own, but very slowly. The good news, however, is her heal ability works like Mei’s ice gun, so your accuracy can be less than perfect. A much-needed improvement for console players who have Ana envy. It will also heal any/all teammates within range, and the meter drains at the same rate, regardless of the amount healed. It will also create a somewhat of a heal over time effect. Her damage ability is less forgiving, but it does have a pretty massive range.
The stats given on the PTR seem to show her HPS (heal per second) as about 70/pps. As a comparison, Mercy’s staff lets off 60pps and can’t be used on multiple people at once unless she in ulting. Lucio’s AOE does a little less than 20/pps and about 50/pps when amped. Sounds to me like she has Lucio beat for sure, and with a little skill, can wipe the floor with Mercy as well.
Unlike Mercy and Lucio, but very much like Ana, she has a secondary healing ability, which allows you to shoot out an orb that bounces around the room (think Hanzo’s scatter shot except a little less chaotic). The orb will track down and heal your teammates until the health pool is gone, or the duration is up, whichever comes first. The health pool on the orb is 300 points, giving more than enough healing to most of the squishy characters, but being more of a “oh shit” button when it comes to tanks. Meaning you fire it off to keep your tanks alive until you can either A) Reach them or B) fill your healing meter back up. The cooldown on the orb is pretty long, which again makes me feel like it will be used more as a last ditch effort to keep your team mates alive rather than an ability that is used every cool down much like Ana’s grenade (see a pattern here?
Giving her mobility similar to Mercy and UNLINKE Zenyatta and Ana, next up is fade. Fade feels like a mix between Reaper’s wraith form and Tracer’s blink. She is fully controlled, and it will even clear any effects (except Junkrat’s trap) currently bombarding you- even Zarya’s surge. Having an escape move definitely puts her above Ana in terms of leeway when it comes to mistakes in positioning, also protecting you (sort of) against dive comps.
Ultimate Ability: Coalescence
Her ultimate ability is a neat one. She fires a massive mixed beam in front of her that both heals AND does damage. The damage it does it pretty strong- along the lines of a fully charged Zaraya cannon. It also gives about 100/pps in healing (50/pps self healing) and will hit any friendly in front of you, which gives it an advantage of Mercy’s ult. I’m pretty excited to see all the craziness that comes with this new ult, especially in close to the end chokes like Eichenwald and Junkertown.
Moira is coming quickly, a lot quicker than I expected- that’s for sure. But all of this is subject to change before being released on live servers.
As for the question; is she the main healer, or not? Well… I think so. First of all, her abilities seem to be stronger overall than Mercy’s, they just take a little more skill to execute. I think that is what the goal is here: making high skill cap heroes that reward you for learning how to play /practising, rather than just attaching a beam and flying around.
This is pretty evident in heroes like Doomfist and Ana. They both have pretty high skill caps. Ana especially, and even more so on consoles. Combined with their completely rework of Mercy, it feels like they are trying to make being a support/healer just as skill intensive as a DPS hero (well, except for Soldier At the end of the day, they want players to be EXCITED about playing healers, instead of the normal reaction most people give of ‘Ugh, fine. I guess I’ll heal”. They may have… overshot it a little bit with Ana, but perhaps this is the time they get it right.
When Doomfist was released, pretty much no one knew how to play him and he was a regular easy pick for me in Quick Play. Most of the time, I didn’t even register him as a threat. Hear his charge up? Move out of the way… It wasn’t until I got caught up with a decent Doomfist player that I got wrecked, and because of that, terrified any time I heard that charge.
Now, as Doomfist has been live for a while now, I see a lot more talented Doomfist players. The rate is still pretty low considering his high skill cap, but I don’t register him as a non-threat as easily anymore. I feel like they trying the same thing with Moira.
Yes, it will be difficult at first, but after a while, people will be getting frustrated because even when they try to kill Moira, her abilities allow her to skamper away.
I’m going to keep up with this, and I look forward to the day she is released on live servers. I consider myself among those desperately wanting an alternative to Mercy when/if I want to heal.
Being a console player, I struggle with playing Ana. I wish I could, she seems really fun, but sometimes it feels just too difficult, especially in comp.
One day, hopefully, I’ll ditch the controller and rejoin the PC master race, but until then, hopefully Moira does the job.