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After playing Sombra for a bit on the PTR branch of Overwatch it still feels like even after fully hacking some players they can still use their abilities after being hacked.

For example, on a match I managed to hack a Mei, who then, after being hacked, promptly transformed into Ice Block mode, preventing me from damaging her. Similarly, I hacked a Soldier:76 who was still able to sprint away from me, even though I'm sure sprinting is considered an ability on Soldier:76.

So I'm curious -- does hacking REALLY disable all enemy abilities? Or are some abilities "immune" to being hacked, meaning they can be used after being hacked by Sombra? Does hacking only disable "Active" abilities, while Passives (like Genji/Hanzo's wall climb, Sombra's low health visual) are unaffected?

  • If Mei used Ice block or Soldier: 76 used Sprint, it means you didn't finish hacking them. – Wrigglenite Nov 11 '16 at 23:34
  • @DanmakuGrazer So I didn't finish hacking them even if the orange Sombra icon appears over their head, and Sombra says the appropriate voice line? – senpai Nov 11 '16 at 23:37
  • Yeah, I'd say so. – Wrigglenite Nov 11 '16 at 23:48
  • Well, that's not true, because I even confirmed with the enemy players that they had a flashing screen with the words "Hacked" appearing over their heads. – senpai Nov 12 '16 at 0:10
  • You didn't finish hacking them until after they used their ability. You can't activate an ability while hacked. – Wrigglenite Nov 12 '16 at 0:20
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Blizzard net code in conjugaison with a bit of ping allows people to use abilities a split second after you finished hacking them. So in the case of Mei and 76, they had the time to enable these abilities just before/while you were finishing hacking them.

On the other hand, some "abilities" will stay active even after hacking. The basic rule of thumb is : If it stops from a stun, it will stop from a hack. In the case of 76, he was sprinting but the running is a status. So the stun part is stopping his movement and since he's not moving, the ability stops (from McCree's stun).

Passives and statuses are "immune" because they are not directly abilities, but triggered by abilities. Flagrant examples would be Genji's Dragonblade, Bastion's Tank Configuration and 76's sprint.

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So contrary to the way the ability actually presents itself, not all abilities are actually disabled when being hacked by Sombra. According to this video, there are a few guidelines:

  • Some enemy ults, like Roadhog's Whole Hog, are completely ended when hacked, while some others are not affected (Like Bastion's Ultimate: Tank Configuration)
  • Some abilities can still be used for a very short amount of time after being hacked, which explains the Mei able to hop into Ice Block form right after a hack.
  • If abilities were toggled on before the hack for some heroes, they will still persist after the hack completes, such as Soldier's sprint (where apparently he can still run around, but if he turns off Sprint, he will not be able to re-enable it until the hack is over) and Lucio's Amp It Up.

So abilities that seem to not be affected:

  • Bastion's Ultimate: Configuration: Tank
  • Lucio's heal/speed aura
  • Symmetra's Sentry Turrets and Teleporters (but not placement)
  • Soldier: 76's Ultimate: Tactical Visor
  • Torbjorn's Ultimate: Molten Core
  • Widowmaker's Ultimate: Infra-sight
  • Nanoboosted targets

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