Meta
    Articles
   
 
Using Data-Driven Analysis to Understand Competitive Overwatch

October 13, 2017

Live Patch 1.16a: Ultimate Charge Drains Instantly


This patch is the current Live patch as of October 10, 2017. You can read the full patch notes on the Overwatch Website.

Summary: Ultimate Charge is now spent immediately after activation.  Pratically, this means that after pressing Q, the meter goes from 100% to 0% instantly.  This change fixes kill Genji, Soldier, and other heroes that had a cast time on activation, where previously the ultimate charge would not drain - leading to heroes sometimes retaining 100% ultimate charge after being kill while activating the ultimate - such as a Genji dying while unsheathing Dragonblade.  The new changes also fix some inconsistencies related with heroes being stunned while ulting, and also gives a buff to Sombra so that she can hack enemies while they cast their ultimate.

HERO UPDATES
General
  • Ultimate charge is now immediately expended when a hero's ultimate ability is activated, instead of depleting over a short period of time
Developer Comments: One of the most common pieces of feedback we receive revolves around the way Overwatch handles ultimate interruptions. Players often feel frustrated when they’re able to prevent an enemy from using an ultimate, only to see that same enemy use it again immediately after respawning
Until now, many ultimates drained the meter quickly over time, instead of instantly setting the meter to zero when the button was pressed. We originally designed it this way to ensure that players had the chance to use (at the very least) a little of their ultimate every time. However, we now feel that it causes too much frustration without adding many benefits.
With this patch, ultimate abilities will instantly set a hero’s meter to zero when the button is pressed, which means stopping an enemy ultimate at any point after it’s activated will ensure that it has been spent.
Another piece of feedback we often hear is that it’s difficult to understand which abilities are interruptible and which are not. For clarity, most of Overwatch’s ultimates fall into three basic categories:
  • Transformation Ultimates:

    These add significant passive benefits to your heroes, while allowing the use of weapons and abilities.

    Ultimates in this category: Bastion's Configuration: Tank, Genji's Dragonblade, Mercy's Valkyrie, Soldier: 76's Tactical Visor, Torbjörn's Molten Core, and Widowmaker's Infra-Sight.

     
  • Channeled Ultimates: These force your hero into a new mode and render your other abilities unusable while active. In most cases, these abilities can be interrupted at any point to cancel them.

    Ultimates in this category: Doomfist’s Meteor Strike, McCree's Deadeye, Pharah’s Barrage, Reaper’s Death Blossom, Roadhog’s Whole Hog, and Zenyatta's Transcendence (though, Zenyatta’s ultimate renders him immune to interruptions).
     
  • Cast-Time Ultimates: These abilities require a small window of time to pass before they become effective. If they’re interrupted during this window, they are canceled.

    Ultimates in this category: Ana's Nano Boost, D.Va’s Call Mech and Self-Destruct, Hanzo's Dragonstrike, Junkrat's Rip-Tire, Lúcio’s Sound Barrier, Mei's Blizzard, Orisa's Supercharger, Reinhardt's Earthshatter, Sombra's EMP, Symmetra's Shield Generator and Teleporter, Tracer's Pulse Bomb, and Zarya's Graviton Surge.
Most abilities fit neatly within these categories but we did make some changes to outliers such as Genji's Dragonblade and Orisa's Supercharger to make them more consistent. Additionally, any ultimate that can be interrupted by a stun (Channeled ultimates and Cast-Time ultimates) can now be interrupted by Sombra’s Hack as well. Overall these changes should make it much easier to understand the ultimate mechanics and how they interact in combat.

D.Va
  • Boosters
    • An option to manually hold down D.Va’s boosters rather than toggling them has been added under Options > Controls > D.Va
Genji
  • Dragonblade
    • No longer interrupted when Genji is stunned or hacked
Developer Comments: See the above developer comment on ultimate interruptions

Orisa
  • Supercharger
    • Can now be interrupted when Orisa is stunned or hacked
Developer Comments: See the above developer comment on ultimate interruptions

Sombra
  • Hack
    • Now interrupts the following ultimate abilities during their cast time: Ana's Nano Boost, Orisa's Supercharger, Mei's Blizzard, Reinhardt's Earthshatter, and D.Va's Call Mech
Developer Comments: See the above developer comment on ultimate interruptions