Everyone’s favorite wall-riding Support in Overwatch once had a completely different effect in battle. A new blog post from Blizzard revealed how Lucio’s previous Ultimate was simply too powerful for the game.
Lucio has long been one of the most popular Support picks in Overwatch. His versatility allows him to set up team fights, defend allies in the heat of the moment, and of course, glide through any given map with his own unique flair.
As one of the original members of the hero lineup, having been revealed back in 2015, Lucio has been around for as long as anyone. However, his Ultimate wasn’t always the Sound Barrier that we know today.
Instead of boosting health across his team, Lucio’s Ultimate used to be far more impactful. In a March 30 interview with Overwatch developer Geoff Goodman, Lucio’s original effect was revealed.
“Lucio’s current Ultimate was actually his third ultimate we tried for him,” Goodman outlined. While it’s fair to assume most heroes go through a number of iterations before making it to the game, Lucio’s old form was actually playable for a brief period.
The very first Ultimate for Lucio provided a “time stop effect.” Upon casting the ability, “everyone on the map” was slowed down to roughly “5% of [their] normal speed.”
Loosely titled ‘Tempo Shift,’ this Ultimate slowed down just about everything. Even projectiles already in the air would come to a screeching halt. All the while, Lucio was able to move at his regular speed.
This allowed him to dash around the map without any consequence. Lucio could boop enemies into new positions, and even boop projectiles away from teammates. Say Zarya’s Graviton Surge is in the air, the old Lucio could have used his own Ult, booped it into the enemy team, and reaped all the benefits.
The only major setback with this Ultimate was that he couldn’t deal any damage first-hand. Even with this disadvantage, however, the development team still “hated being slowed like that.”
Another iteration had Lucio boosting allied Ult-meters, though that was soon scrapped as well.
Having been relatively unchanged for the past few years now, it’s clear the devs finally reached a spot they were happy with for the character. Lucio’s Sound Barrier has been a staple Ultimate throughout a number of metas over the years.
It is always fascinating, though, to consider what might have been if earlier iterations like the ‘Quicksilver’ ultimate made it into the full release.