UPDATE: The September 11th patch is now live, bringing these changes off the PTR and into your regular games.
The Overwatch PTR has been updated, giving two of our favorite shield wielders some tweaks. Brigitte’s Shield Bash and Reinhardt’s Earthshatter have been updated. These changes aren’t necessarily straight buffs, although they do have opportunities to make the heroes stronger; there are drawbacks to each change. Let’s start with Brigitte.
Now knocks down and gets knocked down by other charging targets (e.g Reinhardt and Doomfist)
Brigitte now has the ability to knock a Reinhardt charge or Doomfist punch out of trajectory. This is kind of a big deal — she now has the ability to protect squishies and save her Shield Bash for defensive saves. It’s also going to look amazing on the pro stage when someone saves their carry with this maneuver. Of course, the law of gravity works for her, too. She can now get knocked out by hard hitting targets, which means that being on the front lines becomes a touch riskier for her.
What about her mentor, Reinhardt?
Now will consistently hit enemies near walls
No longer will hit enemies that enter the damage cone after the “wave” has passed that area
No longer will damage enemies behind barriers blocking it, even if the barrier is later dropped or destroyed
Will always travel up inclines and around the payload
Developer Comments: We’ve given Earthshatter a complete overhaul to combat inconsistencies with its performance. These changes will make Earthshatter’s behavior more predictable and effective.
Normalizing Reinhardt’s ultimate means that it’ll be a little weaker; it won’t be hitting enemies that are behind barriers or enter the damage zone a little too late. But it should be more reliable, with walls and hills no longer posing a challenge. In the end, Reinhardt’s ultimate should make more sense, and that’s arguably going to make it a little stronger, especially for players who don’t know every trick of the game.
As always, PTR changes are subject to further review and tweaks before they go live. The full PTR patch notes include aim sensitivity changes to snipers and bug fixes.