Support characters in Overwatch are perhaps the most grossly under-appreciated and underutilised heroes in the game.
That a bug would actually decrease the amount of SR a Support player earns in Competitive Play is an ironic reminder of how badly Blizzard needs to readdress the game’s rewards system.
Some Mercy players have actually surveyed how SR points are rewarded after matches, and they discovered that Season 4 has a “clear falloff in games” for Mercy players. That’s despite the hero being among the most played in Season 4.
Anyone that’s played as a Support hero would have surely noticed that skill rating drops further after a loss than it rises after a win. That’s at odds with how the game actually treats Support players, particularly heroes like Mercy, who relies on kill assists as the primary fuel for the on fire meter.
Game director, Jeff Kaplan, responded to fan concerns on the Battle.net forums, acknowledging that a bug was detected with Mercy that caused her SR to be affected and devalued more than her Attack, Tank and Defense counterparts.
“We fixed an issue that was causing Mercy’s contributions to be lower as it pertained to skill rating reward at the end of a competitive win,” Kaplan said. “We’re still investigating to make sure the issue is entirely fixed. The fix we put live was integrated on Tuesday but we’re still hearing some reports. We’ll keep working to fix it if it is in fact still broken. We’re trying to verify right now.”
The bug appears to have been related to a weird decrease in on-fire gains Mercy achieves for every kill assist.
Before the recent Orisa patch went live, Mercy would gain 50 fire points for every kill assist.
Once the patch went live, however, that number apparently dropped considerably, which led to significant drops in SR should a Mercy player lose a Competitive Play match.
A similar bug reportedly plagues Ana, who, like Mercy, relies upon kill assists and health boosts for on-fire gains.