Overwatch 'Junkertown' Map & Mercy, D.Va Changes: First Reaction

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The new Overwatch map “Junkertown” is live now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Earlier today we streamed some footage of our first encounter with the changes to Mercy and D.Va, as well as our thoughts on Junkertown.

Aesthetically and lore-wise, Junkertown’s got a great feel: golden, ramshackle and warm, you can almost see the tumbleweeds rolling across the blighted Australian desert. The escort map takes place on the frontier settlement that’s the closest Junkrat and Roadhog have to home, showcased in the latest Overwatch comic, “Wasted Land.”

There are two distinct parts of the map, one half of which is open desert riddled with ramshackle houses while the other part takes place inside what feels like a series of tubes (hello Internet!). At the end of the map, a massive spinning gear slowly rotates overhead, providing a great vantage point to challenge Pharah players or to snipe from.

The very first point of the payload appears to be difficult, though not impossible to take. I haven’t had the chance to play it on Attack yet but every Attack side struggled to win that first point.

As for the changes to Mercy, they definitely encourage more active and intelligent Mercy play. Mercy should be closely monitoring her teammates to see which will benefit the team most with a quick rez. Her ult allows her to fly freely, increases her damage and healing significantly while chaining it to adjacent targets and also increases her gun’s damage, making her a force to be reckoned with in Valkyrie mode. Also, the vocal delivery of her Ult line is fantastic. Intellectually I love these changes.

However, I had trouble with the new Mercy play because of two things: 1) I didn’t understand how close you need to be to use your new single-target Resurrect (you need to be basically on top of their corpse, which you can still fly to) and 2) somehow Valkyrie’s increased movement speed kept taking me by surprise and I’d forget everything I’ve ever known about how to use a controller (I hear you hold it in your mouth so you can hit all the buttons with your teeth?). I wish the button for Res were grayed out unless you were by a valid target you could actually Res; it would solve my initial confusion, but I guess I’ll get used to it.

D.Va’s changes include a Defense Matrix that drains twice as fast and a new area-of-effect skill called Micro Missiles. The Micro Missiles provide a steady flow of damage in whatever direction you’re firing, enabling players to perform a 360 degree turn and spray everything around them with the missiles. The ability is not hitscan, so until you get used to the timing it does feel a bit off. You can use many of D.Va’s abilities simultaneously, making the most of D.Va’s maneuverability and attack capability. So for example, you can fire D.Va’s Fusion Cannons while using Micro Missiles at the same time.

The effect of these changes on D.Va seems to be to improve gameplay around D.Va and not necessarily for her. The new damage-dealing ability is nice, but mainly D.Va’s Defense Matrix was a must to sop up all those bullets and eat those bullet-based ults. Now that Defense Matrix drains so quickly, it can only really be put up briefly, which is how some players would use it anyway, but it will probably affect ults and barrages a lot less. D.Va is less defensive and more offensive now, but in a game that still struggles to have more than one or two proper tanks, I’m not sure how I feel about this change.

What are your thoughts on the new Junkertown patch? How are you enjoying the D.Va and Mercy changes? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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