Blizzard's new Ultimate charge rules may be doing more harm than good.



▲ Sorry Lucio, it is even harder to land your ultimate now.

Chances are if you follow Overwatch regularly, you remember this comical moment from EFFECT's stream:

It was posted everywhere and many players took a lot of enjoyment seeing Genji suffer over and over again. Although EFFECT may have been frustrated, perhaps a Blizzard developer saw this same clip and saw it from the perspective of his opponents. Is it fair that Genji's ultimate is effectively impossible to prevent? After all, four direct interrupts only stalled the inevitable katana rampage instead of properly shutting it down.

Fast forward to October and Blizzard releases a patch with the following bullet point catching everyone's attention:

- Ultimate charge is now immediately expended when a hero's ultimate ability is activated, instead of depleting over a short period of time

Blizzard cited player frustrations at "preventing an enemy from using an ultimate, only to see that same enemy use it again immediately after respawning" and explained that their original design of allowing players more chances to use their ultimates caused "too much frustration without adding many benefits".

Seems like a good change, right?

Now that the community has had over a month to play with the changes, some of the most vocal members have taken to Reddit to share their disappointment in the new Ultimate system. Lucio, D.Va and Mei mains coming together in combined misery, each sharing their stories of how the newest patch is causing some extremely un-fun interactions involving their ultimates.

Sorry, Mei. your Ultimate is null and void now. No refunds.

Back to Ultimate farming for this poor Pilot D.Va

Lucio inexplicably bounces twice when trying to cast his Ultimate and his charge drops to 0 after the first cast. Only lucky caused him to survive and not lose all ultimate charge.

With 19.5k upvotes and 1643 comments in only 7 hours, this Reddit thread clearly struck a nerve with the Overwatch community. The change to Ultimate charge was designed to lower player frustration but it appears to have accidentally created a new problem.

Which feels worse; being the player that has their ultimate denied completely because of a single stun or being the player to not have their timely stun rewarded enough? Maybe it is hindsight at work, but it seems a little obvious that denying players their full ultimate charge would eventually ruffle a lot of players and lead to moments that are perceived as very unfair.

Salt in the wound

But perhaps the most frustrating aspect of these changes is that the one hero the community wanted to see made weaker by it, is actually stronger. On paper, players thought these changes would make Genji's Dragon Blade easier to stop, but in an ironic twist, the new global change to ultimate charge helps Genji in a nuanced way.

When Genji starts the cast time for Dragonblade, he used to have a re-cast it whenever he was stunned. This made moments like the EFFECT clip possible and at least made it possible to stall Dragonblade. Now, when Genji starts his cast animation and is stunned in the middle of it, he doesn't have to cast it again when the stun fades away-- he exits the stun in Dragonblade form and ready to swing his blade immediately. This is a new change brought on in the October 11th patch.

▲ I'm not saying Blizzard is playing favorites but...

This doesn't feel fair considering a hero like Mei, who is much less popular and less powerful than Genji, now has to contend with her ultimate being denied completely while also losing all charge when killed. Sure, the changes have affected all heroes globally, but why did Genji have to somehow come out on top again?

What do you think?

Are the changes to how ultimates work in Overwatch making the game more fun to play, or is this just another case of a vocal minority complaining about something that is perfectly fine? Let us know in the comments below!



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