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Like all gamers, Overwatch players have to contend with bugs, patches, changes, balance, and meta shifts. We see heroes go from top tier to bottom and back again all the time. The devs squash one bug and another pops up. That’s just the nature of gaming.

When those changes affect your main hero, you notice them more. But not everyone is as meticulous about testing and tracking those ups and downs as Death Blossoms member Raedimus, known affectionately among the community as “Budget Fragi” for her aggressive style of Reinhardt play. She was kind enough to talk to us about the most recent Reinhardt changes and about playing main tank in general.

How long have you been playing Reinhardt, and why Reinhardt in particular?

I’ve actually only had the game for about eight or nine months now. When I first started, my friend took me into a lot of custom games to get me used to the ebb and flow of the characters and put me on Reinhardt almost immediately. It was just super fun! I’ve stuck with him ever since.

As far as why I like him so much, I think it’s because he can do it all. He can be aggressive, he can be defensive. He can protect his team, he can take hits. It’s a good way to play all around, so you if need more DPS, you can play aggressively, but if your DPS are doing a good job, you can stay back and defend your healers. It’s nice to have that kind of flex with one character.

So, bugs. Reinhardt has always been buggy.

Oh, my gosh, it is a nightmare! Apparently, most of them have been there since the game launched!

There are so many videos just showcasing Reinhardt bugs. One of my favorites is this one, which is a montage of Reinhardt bugs set to “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”

There’s always been interesting bugs. Recently, when a Junkrat mine launched you into midair, your ult would go off before you hit the ground again. There’s also the one where the Philadelphia Fusion Away skin, the shield wouldn’t show any cracks. It’d be full health and if you weren’t watching the shield’s health bar at the bottom, you’d have no idea it was breaking until it broke, and obviously the cracks are the only way your team can tell it’s breaking!

Then his pin has been buggy forever. There’s one where if somebody was standing behind you and you charged, you’d catch the person behind you instead of whoever you were aiming for, and it wraps around walls sometimes. Sometimes you flip 180 degrees when you try to firestrike after dropping your shield. The list goes on! Why do I play this character?!

Then when Hammond came out, it just got funnier and funnier. There are even more videos that are, you know, kind of meme-y, but they’re also seriously trying to ask for help with this character.

What did this patch fix and what didn’t work as intended?

Well, they didn’t fix the bug where you’d spin around after dropping your shield. They tried, and it didn’t work. It feels like it’s happening less, though. It’s like it comes and goes as they patch other things, it’s a little weird.

From what I’ve seen, though, they’ve touched up the charge a lot. You don’t tend to “suck up” enemies as much as you used to, so you’re more likely to hit who you were aiming for.

The Earthshatter rework is phenomenal. I tested it for two and a half hours the night it came out on all the maps, and it landed where I wanted it to something like 90%-95% of the time. I took tons of notes on where enemy Reinhardts need to stand on the payload in order to block it. It is a little odd, though, because it goes both under the payload and over the payload now.

That’s interesting. So, there were some payloads it would go under before, but now it will also go over them.

Yeah, exactly.

I’ve tested it every patch and I have notes showing how inconsistent Earthshatter has been in the past. You could shatter over some payloads, and stun whoever was on the payload, like a Bastion in turret mode. It wasn’t every payload, though, and even then, someone would tell you that you could do it on Numbani, and you’d try it, and it didn’t work. On hybrid maps, sometimes you could shatter over it while point A was being contested, but then you couldn’t shatter over it once it started moving.

I’d test corners, I’d test sides, I’d test standing on the payload, I’d test it standing off the payload. I have so many notes!

Raedimus, hard at work

Raedimus, hard at work

This change really helps a lot with dealing with harder compositions, like pirate ship or a turret on the payload. It splits around corners and goes up stairs now, as well. That’s just huge. Having it be consistent is a bigger deal than you’d think.

Earthshatter also doesn’t have the “rolling” effect like it used to. It used to be where, if we were playing Rein versus Rein, if you shattered, I blocked it, and then dropped my shield too quickly, I’d still get stunned, because the cone would stay for a second. Now, it happens pretty much instantly. You can’t walk into it after you think it’s been blocked, and it’s easier as the defending Rein to bait it out and take advantage of doing so.

As a person getting shattered, you’d think you were safe, you’d move, and suddenly you’re on the ground. It’s nice that that’s not the case anymore.

Absolutely! I think people will complain for a little while because the travel time and where it will go is different now, like the corners, and up the payload and stairs. Overall, though, I think it’s so much better. It feels good.

People get very upset in this game when things don’t work exactly the way they used to work.

Yeah, yeah. The traveling around corners thing, that’ll mess with a lot of people. I saw someone on the forums complaining about how they’d been trying to hide behind a wall and don’t trust the devs anymore. I was like, no, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.

So, the 180 spin isn’t fixed, that’s still on PTR.

Right. It’s one of those things, it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you have your shield up and you go to shatter, suddenly you’re facing the wrong way and you’ve wasted your ult and opened your team up to being shattered.

The thing is, though, it’s nice to know that they’re working on it. There’s been a lot of radio silence as far as Reinhardt is concerned. The players have been making threads and videos for all this time talking about the problems with Reinhardt, only to get no feedback. Then, all of a sudden, it’s this series of fixes. I’m just glad to know it’s getting worked on.

I’m glad they’re working on it, personally. I play a lot of Zarya, so I hated the dive meta. I want Reinhardt in the game!

I hope it brings a lot of Rein mains back, just knowing that he works close to as intended.

And it’s hard when you’ve only got seven tanks in the game and three true main tanks, and one of them is so buggy, you’re going, “What am I supposed to do?!”

The first couple days of the Hammond patch, Reinhardt was completely unplayable.

Another thing they did change is they took out some of his animation cancels. You used to be able to drop your shield and swing immediately, but now there’s this brief one-second delay, where the shield has to drop fully and finish animating before you can swing. It makes dealing with things like Reaper and Tracer harder.

They also nerfed the shield hop. Moving with the shield up is slower than moving with it down, so you used to be able to sort of flick your shield and hop to keep your momentum up while still maintaining protection for you and the team. That doesn’t work anymore. It’s still good to do, to block damage, but you’re much slower doing it than you used to be.

It’s crazy what you don’t think about, when you don’t play a hero. I’m a DPS main, so playing with Reinhardts and being around them, I knew he had issues, but it’s wild how much micro-play is affected by what seems like a simple bug.

It’s very true.

Some days, I just can’t play Reinhardt. I’ll get on, I’ll spin around too many times, and I have to switch to Winston because I can’t deal with it.

Winston’s good. But he’s not Reinhardt.

He’s not. Getting used to the tickle cannon has been a chore.

Give Winston a hammer!

Can you imagine?!

Overall, it’s just nice to see it from both sides. I’ll never discount a pin, but when it was someone behind me, you know, it doesn’t feel good, so it’s better for both sides.

Thank you, Raedimus, for your time and input! Keep fighting the good fight!

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