Reinhardt was for a long while firmly embedded in the Overwatch competitive meta. However, with the introduction of Orisa, and a steady stream of changes to other heroes, the embodiment of precision German engineering has fallen down the ranks, and Blizzard is trying to work out why.
As a Reinhardt main myself, I find the hero to still be especially useful and efficient on any map and in any mode. Previously, he was incompatible on Capture maps, but changes and some small tweaks to his charge and firestrike damage made him a more effective killer and defender in close and at medium range.
However, the community meta has shifted and opted for other shield-wielding tanks — such as Orisa and even Zarya — due to a number of well-publicised issues that continue to plague Reinhardt.
One of the issues relates to lag with his Hammer Swing, with damage registering on the opponent after the swing animation has finished. This puts Reinhardt in a tough bind, as he might be causing more damage over time but would actually lose out in a 1v1 with certain heroes, as they’re dealing more damage, more often, over a shorter amount of time.
The Charge has also been the cause of concern, with fans complaining that it occasionally knocks the opponent and “boops” them, rather than pin them. There’s a fairly small window to target in order to pin an opponent, and so hitting an opponent directly only to not pin them can be the cause of much frustration.
As for his Earthshatter, well, it’s a bit of a mess. Sometimes it will knock down targets seemingly well out of its range, while other times it misses enemies despite them being directly in the line of fire. In some instances, a Winston or Orisa may be outside their respective shield domes, but they still won’t be knocked down, as the Earthshatter clips their shield and so then for some reason, those opponents are suddenly immune.
As you can see, the experience is mostly inconsistent more than anything, not so much broken, overpowered or underpowered. Reinhardt is still a complete and utter beast with a high win rate, and even though he’s fallen out of the meta, he’s still a common pick on both attack and defense.
That doesn’t mean Blizzard isn’t keen to refine the hero. Game director, Jeff Kaplan, took to the forums to ask the community to help them fix the powerful character.
“We’re looking into reported issues with Reinhardt,” he said. “Please post bugs in the bug forum (not this thread). The most helpful thing are videos and/or reproducible steps. The more specific, the better.”
We probably shouldn’t expect anything soon, though, so Reinhardt mains will have to wait a little longer. With Doomfist now out on the PTR, and with changes already being applied and a live server launch imminent, that’s clearly the focus of Blizzard right now.