Overwatch’s Ana Can Stun You So Hard You Quit Playing

Overwatch’s [official site] newest hero Ana has only been out for about a week, but players have already discovered a way to use her abilities in what is the most creative form of in-game trolling I have yet to see in Overwatch. A video posted to the Overwatch subreddit details the process, in which three characters play Ana and use their sleep darts to keep an opponent knocked unconscious (and therefore unable to move) for so long that the game mistakenly believes them to be inactive and boots them from the game. I wouldn’t even be mad, that’s genius.

The first hero to be added to Overwatch’s roster post-launch, Ana is a powerful support character armed with a sniper rifle that can dole out both health and damage depending on whose head she hits. But it’s her sleep dart that’s causing havoc, as the projectile can knock an opponent unconscious for 5.5 seconds, leaving them completely vulnerable and immobile. Now normally characters would take that opportunity to blast them to hell, but Youtuber Youmuus and two pals discovered that by timing their sleep darts properly, they can keep a hero perma-sleeped until the game decides that they’re obviously AFK and boots them. Because the cooldown on sleep darts is 12 seconds, having three Ana’s is necessary.

Now, before anyone gets too outraged at the potential this has to sabotage a player’s game, it’s worth noting that this strategy is only viable in casual games because ranked play restricts teams from doubling or tripling up on one type of hero. And while the video above demonstrates that it’s possible in theory, keeping an opponent sleeped and alive long enough to be booted would be a huge challenge during a live match when others are trying to kill you. It’s possible, but unlikely, and it’s certainly not something that will win you the game.

Either way, it’s hilarious and I can’t help but smile at this kind of thing. It’s probably not a stretch to say that Blizzard will address the issue somehow as it’s evident that the hidden timer that tracks whether or not you’re actively playing needs to be adjusted to compensate for being knocked out. But if you’re playing Overwatch and you notice the enemy team has three Ana’s, you might want to keep your head down.

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  1. Scelous says:

    That’s another good reason for me to only play competitive mode.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      It’s not actually viable in quickplay, either. You need to dedicate three players to harassing one enemy player, and it only works if no one on the enemy team happens by and no one on your team rolls up and enthusiastically attacks the victim, waking them up. The odds of actually keeping it up long enough to get someone kicked are quite low, and in the meantime, you’ve got one guy locking down half of your team while your buddies get stomped 3v5. It’s basically like giving the enemy a free ult or two.

      It’s a funny gag, and it exposes a bug in the code that I assume will be fixed ASAP, but it’s hardly the new meta.

  2. Antongranis says:

    Her sleep dart sounds like an aggrivating game mechanic. Nobody likes having controll taken away from them.

    • Xocrates says:

      Taking damage while asleep “awakes” you, so Ana’s sleep mechanic isn’t too bad since pretty much the only times you’ll have to wait it out is if you dive her and she uses it to GTFO.

      There are far worse crowd control in the game. And there is certainly too much of it.

      • Cederic says:

        Crowd control is an important element in competitive gameplay but.. I’m playing a game because I want to play a game, not sit there watching other people play a game while I can’t do a thing because I’m permanently being CCed.

        Too many games forget this.

        (Not played Overwatch, consider this a generic rant)

        • Chillicothe says:

          *note to self: CC Cederic constantly if seen on-line*

        • Dariush says:

          Finally someone who shares my viewpoint that there should be an absolute minimum of downtime in a game. You might be interested in a MOBA I am currently developing, which is based on this idea – it has no CC at all. Additionally, I realize how frustrating it is for players to wait for respawn, so respawn is instant. Also, you wouldn’t want to waste time going back from the base to the battle, so respawn happens right where you died. Finally, to decidedly minimize the downtime there are no cooldowns and resource costs. I’m sure you will like this game a lot. :)

      • gunny1993 says:

        Maybe it’s jsut because I’ve played a lot of ‘proper mobas’ but as far as i’ve noticed there’s almost no CC in this game at all.

        The only really annoying bits of CC I can think of are Junkrats trap (cos it lasts forever) and Mei, who is fairly well balanced imo

        • Xocrates says:

          Compared to a moba that’s true, compared to other shooters it has a lot.

          Pacing and time to kill also matter a lot here. A moba match usually lasts in the vicinity of 20-60 minutes. An overwatch match lasts usually 5-10 and there are very few CCs in the game that do not generally end with you dead.

        • GAmbrose says:

          It’s not a MOBA and blizzard doesn’t even describe it as that.

          It’s a competitive team first person shooter.

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      Oakreef says:

      McCree, Reinhardt and Mei already have different types of stuns and unlike those Ana’s one instantly wears off if you take damage so it’s hardly a newly uniquely invasive thing in the mechanics.

      • Monggerel says:

        Nothing I’ve ever seen in any FPS is even remotely close to what it feels like to get a Flashbang in your face in Counter-Strike.
        I’m pretty sure it’s the reason I can’t cry anymore.

  3. Banks says:

    That’s funny as hell.

  4. BooleanBob says:

    I have this sudden urge to play Aghs + Bloodstone Meepo..

  5. LennyLeonardo says:

    Does it still think you’re AFK if you mash buttons, or use chat and stuff?

    • Kitsunin says:

      There’s a very short AFK timer which is postponed by moving your character or doing things other than looking around. Then there’s a longer AFK timer which is only postponed by dealing damage to enemy players. So nah, it doesn’t care about anything you can still do while stunned.

  6. preshrunk_cyberpunk says:

    If only I could cc people like this in real life, my coworkers for example. Without going to jail that is ;)

  7. chiablo says:

    Seems like a competent team could easily finish the round while half of the opposing team are busy trolling one person.

  8. bad_cluster says:

    This video with its title in all CAPS is borderline clickbait.

    Theoretically this is possible, but you’ll never be able to pull it off in an actual quick play game (hero limit of one per team in competitive makes it impossible).
    You are taking 3 players to disable one, for over a minute, during that time you need other 3 players to defend you from 5 enemy players who can just charge straight to your stunlocking Anas and kill one or two of them.
    Too much effort for a questionable gain, even if you do pull that off, so what? Enemy team got 5 players temporarily, but you got 3 Anas, not gonna get far with that.
    So no, I don’t see this as a balance issue that needs to be fixed, AFK kick trigger mechanics it exposes however, that deserves attention.

    Ha, I think I just TLDRed the actual article in the most boring and straight way possible! That’s why I’m not a game journalist I guess.

  9. Uberwolfe says:

    Still not as annoying as Mei’s array of abilities.

  10. geldonyetich says:

    Admittedly, most characters played in Overwatch by competent players can stun me so hard I quit playing.

  11. Kitsunin says:

    The AFK timer is annoying as hell. Mostly because sometimes the game itself decides to take so long to load I get kicked before I even get in sometimes. And yet other times I can load in 5 seconds, I don’t know wtf is up with that.

    This? This is clever.

    • Lamb Chop says:

      I nearly laughed out loud at this.

      I don’t understand why you would ever preserve afk and rejoin timers in a competitive match where the person can’t be replaced. If they come back, they can’t rejoin because it stops rejoining after 60 seconds, and it allows leavers to move on to a new match. How does this benefit anyone? Just lock a person to a match for its entire duration and if they get d’c’ed you place them back in the match regardless of how long it takes to reload/reconnect. Penalize them proportional to the time they participated in the match to prevent rejoining near the end to avoid penalties.

  12. Winstons says:

    Ha brilliant! I now look forward to the usual RPS fun-sucking comment-bores saying things like a.) this isn’t fun and I’m off to Ranked mode to be srs and b.) tiresome counterpoints explaining how this is actually v. difficult to do and not likely to happen.

    EDIT – Oh look it’s already happened.

  13. Wakey says:

    I would indeed be mad.
    Blizzard seems to have forgotten the ooold rule of “Don’t take control away from the player”
    There’s just too much stun and crowd control in Overwatch. Stopped playing a long time ago because of that. TF2 is still the top of this genre of gameplay.