Reinhardt has gotten some love in the past few patches, including a bunch of fixes to Earthshatter and his melee attacks. The shield heavy tank just got another new buff on the current PTR patch. It’s being a little overshadowed by the D.Va rework and Micro Missiles, or Mercy’s entirely new ult, and the text doesn’t look fancy at first glance, but Reinhardt players are likely going to fall in love with this new change. Let’s take a look:
Barrier Field: Holding primary fire while your shield is active now allows you to rotate the camera
Developer Comments: This change gives Reinhardt more situational awareness while using his shield, allowing him to keep an eye on the battlefield while still protecting his team.
This is one of those subtle changes that can massively change a character’s strength. Right now, if your average player puts up a Reinhardt shield, they’re forced into a tunnel vision scenario where they plod up, protecting their team... who is probably behind them? It’s always hard to tell, and it’s even harder to spot a sneaky Reaper who’s Shadow Stepped to a ledge behind you.
The new camera rotation will give Reinhardt the ability to constantly survey the battlefield from all angles while he’s holding down a chokepoint with his shield, which means he can spot that blinking Tracer or flanking Genji much easier. The previous buffs to his melee attacks and Earthshatter are going to help him even more when he turns around to squash that pesky Offense character so he can get back to tanking.
Reinhardt is also going to be much better at peeking around corners that other characters can’t glimpse, which fits in well with his whole theme of a protective crusader with decades of experience.
All PTR changes are a work in progress and may not make it to live, but this particular Reinhardt tweak seems like it could be a slam dunk.