[PROOF] Projectile Ults blocked by Lag


Hello everyone,

Today do I want to prove to everyone that projectile ultimates can disappear after it being cast. That projectile ultimates can disappear mid-air.

I’m going to use Mei’s ultimate as an example in this thread because that one has the longest cast time among the projectile ultimates.
I will add a TLDR at the bottom of this thread.

Also, If you click on this text with the arrow,will you see a video about it. I've put it in a 'detail' box to have a cleaner post and to save data for some users.

Alright, let’s get started, shall we?

Information about Mei’s ultimate.

Click here for information about Mei's ultimate:

First let’s take a look at how long the cast time is:


  • The cast time is 0.5 seconds.
    This is the window in which it can be cancelled if Mei is stunned.
  • The travel time is around 1.0 seconds.
    This can vary depending how far you have thrown it.

The moment when you see the robot disappear for a brief moments, is the moment it is being spawned as a projectile. This happens when the cast time is finished.

If Mei is stunned IN the cast time (0.5 seconds) will it get interrupted.


If Mei is stunned AFTER the cast time (0.5 seconds) will it get interrupted.


What is the problem?

Getting stunned or killed after casting the projectile can make the projectile to disappear sometimes during it’s flight. This of course leads to confusion and disappointment to the player who casted the projectile.

The following heroes are affected by it:

  • Mei
  • Tracer (You can also get the stuck message and have it disappear)
  • Ana
  • Wrecking Ball
  • Hanzo

Zarya isn’t affected by this because she doesn’t has cast time on her ultimate. It’s being shot like a regular secondary fire.

But this isn’t just limited to projectile ultimates. Cast ultimates with a long cast time like Dva’s Mech Call, Reinahrdt’s Hammer Down and Lucio’s Barrier are also affected by it. It’s just that it’s more noticeable with projectile ultimates because you can see it disappear in front of you. In Tracer’s case can you also see the “stuck” message appear and disappear.

What is causing it?

  • Short answer: Latency.
  • long answer: What happened on the player’s screen hasn’t happened yet on the enemy’s screen or on the server.

Information on the internet isn’t instant and take some time to reach it’s destination. Overwatch is an online game. This means that the information that players send and receive on their screen is also not instant. Ultimates are no exception of this.

In fact, this is what is causing projectile ultimates to disappear mid-air.
Here are some examples of this:

If Mei is stunned after the cast time (0.5 seconds).


If Mei is stunned after the cast time (0.5 seconds) with ~30 ms ping.


If Mei is stunned after the cast time (0.5 seconds) with ~300 ms ping.


As you can see is the travel time of the ultimate longer with the increase of the latency. It should disappear as soon if Mei is stunned, which is in her hand, but it isn’t. Instead will it travel a small distance before it disappear. This is especially noticeable with a higher ping.

The higher the ping, the longer it takes to send and receive information.

Is the cast time increased with a higher ping?

No, the cast time still has the same duration.

It’s just that the cast animation doesn’t match the cast time

Just like how the cast time is delayed, is the starting point also delayed.

This is because the ultimate hasn’t been casted yet on the enemy’s screen or server. The game will correct this on your screen and refund the ultimate as if it hasn’t been used yet, even though you pressed “Q”.

Here is an example of an ultimate being refunded.


How can this be fixed?

Well, it is not a bug.

Latency is normal and happens in all online games.
You will probably never see disappearing projectile ultimate on local servers.

If the developers wants to get rid of disappearing projectile ultimates, then they could changing the rules of projectile ultimates, just like how the rules of transformation ultimates were changed. The cast animation and cast time of transformation ultimates doesn’t get cancelled with stuns. Only with killing.

Have projectile ultimates no longer be cancellable with stunning the player.

The part where Mei is still trying to finish the throwing animation even though the robot has already disappeared when Mei was stunned is probably a bug.


(I really recommend you to read everything and to watch the videos.)

  • The cast animation happens on the player’s screen immediately if the ultimate is being used.
  • Unlike the cast animation, does the cast time not start immediately.
  • To put it simply:
    • The cast animation is client based. (It starts immediately.)
    • The cast time is server based. (It starts later on the enemy’s screen.)
  • This means that projectile ultimates can be cancelled even though the cast animation has already finished on the player’s screen.
    The cast time (and animation) hasn’t been finished on the enemy’s screen (and server) yet.
  • But just like how the cast time is delayed, is the starting point of it also delayed.
    This means the ultimate will be refunded if the cast animation has already started on the player’s screen and not on the enemy’s screen yet and the player is stunned or killed.
  • This is not a bug.
    The only way to fix this is to change the rules of projectile ultimates, just like how the rules of transformation ultimates were changed.

I hope this clears some confusion about disappearing ultimates.
What is your opinion about it? Do you think it should remain the way it is, or should it be changed?

Also, if you like, can I also make videos with timers for other ultimates.

Is Mei Balanced?
A list of Mei bugs. (Some are pretty bad.)
Disappearing Pulse Bombs, Blizzards, etc
A list of Tracer problems that I’m sick of
A list of Tracer problems that I’m sick of
An update on ult casts
Projectile ultimates disappearing if you die is dumb
Mei is the most bugged hero in the game
A list of Mei bugs
Where do my projectiles ago?
Projectile Ultimates Balance Suggestion
Mei's ult disappears
Disappearing Pulse Bombs, Blizzards, etc

That’s why is reccomended to play with a ping <50ms, otherwise this problem is more frequent (when i had 80-300ms lag spikes it happened very often).

BTW i don’t understand why Zarya hasn’t cast time while instead mentioned heroes are. This makes ultimates pretty inconsistent and punish twice a bad use of the ultimate, because you use it but maybe it could have missed the enemies, but if you lose it you have to rebuild the ultimate.
For example with Tracer i throw a bomb that could kill an enemy, but i get killed and the enemy stays alive; with Mei i throw the perfect blizzard that could zone enemies and give free picks to my team but i get stunned and i die, losing a fight


EDIT: Oh, you actually explained why it happens.

Thank you. I was getting sick of people complaining even if it was just ping.


therefore Overwatch is 3rd wave Pay 2 Win


Sorta, because in this case is something with netcode that makes some ultimates unreliable, so a global change could fix this.
144hz monitors unfortunally still costs 200€ or more (unless you pick a Trinitron/Diamondtron and you play with that at high frequency and lower resolution), FTTH/FTTC is becoming more accessible


One of the most obvious things that show this are rockets from pharah that just disappear mid flight.


You’re right. It’s not just limited to projectile ultimates. All projectiles are affected by it. It’s just that it’s more noticeable with projectile ultimates because of the cast time.


This is a really good post, and I’m really digging that timer. Which shows how much more than 0.5sec it is.

Cast time isn’t necessarily bad, but they really should create a “favor the projectile Ult” rule, that gives priority to syncing with the Ult users client timings.

That or just lower the cast time by 0.2-0.3sec.



But would this not make the time window in which the player can be stunned shorter on the enemy’s end?

Right now is the cast time delayed, but is it still 0.5 seconds. If the delay already is 0.2 seconds, then the time window Mei can be stunned to cancel her ultimate would be 0.3 seconds instead of the 0.5 seconds for the enemy.

This would be a good fix as well. Having a shorter cast time than the animation time could solve the disappearing ultimates after it has been thrown on the player’s screen.

But how would this work with projectile ultimates that already has a very small cast time? Ultimates like Tracer’s Pulse Bomb and Ana’s Nano boost?

I rather have projectile ultimates to have the same rules as transformation ultimates and have it not cancellable with stuns anymore.


Well, I think both abilities working “ult and stun” is a lot more fair than only having one ability work.

If that means shortening the stun window, in the case of lag, so be it.


I think Heroes should have 0 cast time with ultimates. Heroes should instead use their projectiles instantly, but glow or flash bright for the “cast time” timers in order to give players the same window of reaction time.

This is a game where you need to react to audio information before visual information sometimes. This is also a game where cast time windows can be shorter than human reaction times so the cast times feel arbitrary. If this were a top-down view game where everything is visible then it would be a different story, but this game is First Person. Your view is already so limited that the chances of you seeing a cast animation are just as limited.

This game also “Favors the shooter,” so instant ultimate casting should be a thing for all heroes and not just some with arbitrary cast times for the sake of having a pretty first person animation.

All ultimates should function like Brigitte where you instantly activate the ability and starts performing immediately despite the lengthy animations and shouts.

I feel like all of these “cast time windows” stem from Reinhardt balance decisions. It feels like Reinhardt is deliberately sluggish to give opponents plenty of time to react to him. Tanks can be sluggish, but that doesn’t mean everyone else has to incorporate sluggish elements to their hero design.


Btw, the title is too long and not catchy.

Maybe something like this:

[PROOF] Projectile Ults blocked by Lag


[Proof] OW could be P2W!!!


Projectiles in general more like, but I agree, it’s gotten old.


Done :grinning:

Thank you. I wasn’t very happy with the title and the one you suggested is way better.


I play Tracer and I’m always losing bombs or getting rolled back from my recall.

Now I do pre-emptive recalls where ideally I would have stayed .5 sec longer.



You mean that you doesn’t teleport when you use recall if you are stunned at the right moment?

Does the ability still goes on cooldown?


This can’t be hearted enough. This problem sucks so much even when I have 40 ms. It makes little sense to see pulse bomb or EMP disappear.

I also hate blink rubber banding. I get stunned and it teleports me back a position from two blinks in the past. I saw the thing coming and got out of the way from my perspective and then their perspective overrides it and I die.


Definitely on cooldown. Usually just got killed by whatever beat my recall to the punch on the server. It’s latency I always though.

If I can get 60 ping or lower ping and NOT have that little lightning symbol flashing up in the corner it feels so good to play on.

I have played on lan a few times and it’s hard to come back to internet after that.