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Two of Fortnite’s deadliest guns have been taken down a peg. Is this the end of spray season?

It’s no secret that so far, the Fortnite Chapter 3 meta has been all about abusing “spray” weapons. The new Stinger SMG and MK-Seven Assault Rifle could take an enemy from 200HP to 0 almost instantly.

Many believed that Epic had done this deliberately, to make it easier for new and returning players to win fights, and that they would adjust things throughout the season to restore balance. A small balancing patch in December gave Shotguns a slight buff, but other than that, until now everything remained unchanged.

However, a new hotfix has just gone live, nerfing SMGs and the MK, while giving the Auto Shotgun a small boost. Here are the stats, the old figures are in brackets:

Stinger SMG damage reduced

Mythic: 22 (24)

Legendary: 20 (22)

Epic: 19 (21)

Rare: 18 (20)

Uncommon: 17 (19)

Common: 16 (18)

MK-Seven damage reduced

Mythic: 25 (26)

Legendary: 24 (25)

Epic: 23 (24)

Rare: 22 (23)

Uncommon: 21 (22)

Common: 20 (21)

Auto Shotgun reload time decreased

Mythic: 4.8 (6.8)

Legendary: 5.1 (7.2)

Epic: 5.4 (7.6)

Rare: 5.7 (8)

Uncommon: 6 (8.4)

Common: 6.2 (8.8)

The numbers may not look dramatically different on paper, but we will have to wait and see how they affect gameplay. Of course, there’s always room for further adjustments down the line.

On that note, this update was particularly bullish for competitive fans. Fortnite’s Esports Operations Manager Matt “Loomin” Layman shared the official Twitter post, adding “keep the feedback coming and keep us honest. 2022 is the year”.

It sounds like Epic will be listening closely to the community and trying to be more responsive to feedback.

This is however a double-edged sword. Today’s changes were not well received by a large portion of the game’s more casual playerbase.

Since the very first tournaments started popping up in Chapter 1, the casual and competitive communities have argued over almost everything. The issue is, they have completely opposite outcomes in mind.

By and large, competitive players want to increase the skill gap and reduce RNG, while casuals wish to keep things less sweaty and have more fun items and mechanics etc. Separating the loot pools in public matches and Arena was a step in the right direction, but that doesn’t help as much with weapon balancing.

Some people feel the solution is to take this further by having different stats in the different game modes. For example, making today’s SMG nerfs only affect competitive playlists, while keeping everything the same elsewhere.

With tournament season back underway, and the start of FNCS just weeks out, it will be interesting to see what approach Epic takes to satisfy the two camps and carry on the Chapter 3 momentum.

Author Bio

James Peskett

James is a freelance Esports writer from the United Kingdom. He has been playing Fortnite since the release of Battle Royale mode and is especially interested in the competitive scene.

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