Fortnite is facing its biggest controversy to date surrounding the ruleset changes. Let's take a closer look and speculate about what might be next for the game.
Fortnite has had a few controversies throughout the year+ it's been out. Ballers, Planes, Quad Launchers, the removal of bouncers - all of these decisions came with a fair amount of backlash.
There was a pretty big debate surrounding glider re-deploy when it was added as well. A lot of people were against it but grew to love it until Epic pulled it out of the game and made it an item.
This debate was nothing compared to what's going on now, though. Some of the game's most popular names like Ninja, TimtheTatMan, and CourageJD all played Uno instead of dealing with the new/old Fortnite rules.
There's clearly a problem here, and one that Epic is going to need to address in the near future. The Fortnite community has always been prone to complaining, but this issue seems different. So, let's talk about the change, how it affects players, and why Epic might not ever change their minds.
For those who don't know, Epic changed some of the core rules of Fortnite a few patches ago. They modeled their base game after the Pop-Up Cup format shortly after Apex Legends began its rise to success.
These changes included a siphon mechanic that gave players 50 HP or shields upon killing another player. It also added a minimum amount of materials an enemy player drops upon elimination to 50/50/50.
The bigger change within all of this was the material cap. Players could farm materials 40% faster and cap-out at 500/500/500.
These changes rewarded skilled players who regularly killed enemies, as well as limiting the amount of time players needed to spend farming materials.
The result of the new ruleset was immediately clear: players were taking more fights. The downside of taking a fight was mitigated since players knew they could gain health and shield without stopping to heal afterward.
A lot of players loved these changes - including myself. The flipside of these changes was that players were more aggressive, "thirsting" was essential, and there were fewer people alive during the end-game. These negatives seemed like a decent trade-off to a lot of people, though.
Unfortunately, Epic didn't agree.
With last week's patch, Epic reverted the changes back to the original format. Players no longer received healing upon killing enemies and had to farm double the materials at a 40% slower rate.
Naturally, the reversion angered a lot of the Fortnite player base. Ninja put out a poll on Twitter, asking players whether or not they wanted the change reverted. Out of over 300,000 people who responded, 87% said they wanted to revert.
Regarding the latest fortnite patch... revert or dont revert. If you vote dont please reply why.— Ninja (@Ninja) March 30, 2019
Epic usually responds to such high-profile criticism of their game. Despite the outcry from the biggest names on Twitch, Epic has yet to address the widespread concern.
What Does the 13% Think?
There's a reason Epic changed the ruleset - and a reason why the 13% wants with the new/old Fortnite format to stay.
Under the last iteration of the Fortnite rules, high-level players were rewarded with shields and materials. This means that skilled players will almost always have a leg-up on unskilled players who decide to push them.
Players who come into a fight shortly after two teams have finished duking it out didn't have the same advantage that they do now. There was a strong chance that at least two or three players in the surviving squad had 200 HP and could easily dispose of the below-average challengers.
Now, though, finishing a fight could leave you with 50 or fewer health. People need time to heal, meaning there's more of a window for an easy third-party.
Additionally, skilled players weren't spending as much time farming as they once did. The game was faster, and skilled players could hit the material cap and start pushing.
The 13% in Ninja's poll doesn't tell the whole story, either. These 300,000+ respondents are likely made up of hardcore Fortnite fans who follow all of the changes made to the game.
Casual Fortnite players probably aren't tuned-into Twitter and Reddit and aren't on top of what's going on. In other words, a larger percentage of the Fortnite player base probably agrees with these new changes.
Arena mode was supposed to give players a competitive Fortnite experience. The rules here are the same as they used to be, but this skill-based Arena doesn't solve the problem.
First, those who have made it to the Champion League know that queue times are extremely long. You end up playing the same group of players over and over again.
Even at lower levels, though, the experience is not the same as it is in public games. I, for instance, have been landing at Happy Hamlet, getting a Baller, farming placement points, and ending the game with 2-5 kills.
Every. Single. Game.
These games have become more like scrim games than anything. It's still fun, but it's fun in a different way than the base Fortnite experience.
I like both modes, but I want the option to play public matches without farming for 15 minutes. Arena is fun, but it's not the same thing.
What's the Solution?
Epic clearly has to do something. They've faced backlash before, but nothing like this. They have to respond and make changes, but what will these changes look like?
In my opinion, a lot of the problems can be helped by removing the siphon mechanic. Revert the material changes and keep health the way it is. This will ensure that players don't have to spend half of the game farming but will keep casual players at an advantage when taking easy fights.
From playing in the new/old Fortnite ruleset, I can say that farming is easily the most annoying part. I don't want to spend 10 minutes farming materials before rushing to get to the next storm circle.
We'll have to wait and see what Epic does, but I can't imagine they'll leave things the way they are for too much longer. They need to test something new if they don't revert these changes, or else Uno is going to continue to be one of the top-streamed games on Twitch.
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