Patch notes for September 22, 2017, Overwatch PTR patch are out on Blizztrack. Among the handful of documented changes is a change to how Ultimate charge is expended: pressing Q will now immediately drain the Ultimate meter to 0.

Currently, activating your Ultimate in Overwatch will drain the meter from 100 to 0 rapidly. Inexperienced players may think that this is an instant expenditure on some characters, but that is not necessarily the case. For example, if Roadhog were killed after getting a single shot of his Whole Hog Ultimate off he would still have some portion of his Ultimate charge remaining after respawning. Some characters such as Lúcio will not expend their charge until the windup animation has successfully completed, and characters such as Zenyatta activate their Ultimate practically instantly so it’s not very likely for their Ultimate to be interrupted.

What is perhaps the most major change in this Overwatch PTR patch is the way that Ultimate charge is expended: it will be completely drained on pressing Q. In terms of characters with channeled Ultimates like Roadhog or Pharah, this means that it would be possible to activate your ability and lose all of your charge without getting a single shot off. Similarly, characters with a significant windup such as Lúcio and Genji could find that they lose all of their charge if they’re killed before they get to use it.

There are, of course, other changes in this patch aside from the new way that Ultimate charge expenditure is being handled. D.Va has a new control option for boosting that allows players to hold down a button to boost rather than using a toggle. Redditor /u/NestorNotabilis5 found that a new Inactivity warning screen was put in the game, possibly related to the fact that too many kicks for inactivity from Competitive could result in a Seasonal Ban and eventually a permanent ban from the mode. A number of UI additions, bug fixes, and other small changes are documented in the patch notes; go ahead and have a gander if you’d like all of the details. These changes are now live on the Overwatch PTR.

What do you think of how Overwatch is changing the way Ultimate charge is expended? Do you think this is a good overall change for the game or should it be handled differently on a hero-by-hero basis? Let us know in the comments below!

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Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!