Fortnite is without a doubt one of the most popular games to ever hit the market, hitting over 250 million users recently. However, the creators at Epic Games came out with what became the most controversial update in the history of the game, v8.20. While finally adding in a ranked game mode that had been asked for by the community for so long, the update reverted the most loved change to ever come to fortnite.
As many of you may know, Fortnite is a 100 player battle royale with the core mechanic of building. In the game, to build, you need materials, which can be collected by destroying in game things such as trees, rocks, and cars, which would yield wood, brick, and metal, respectively. Along with this, there is a health and shield system, and the only ways to get health or shield were from items found throughout the map.
Why these to things made Fortnite unique, there was one major problem which would often make the game frustrating for players of all skill levels: luck. The amount of health regenerating or shield boosting items found in a single game was left completely up to luck, meaning that you could enter a fight with full health and shield and shields to spare, or with no shield at all simply because of how lucky you got off of spawn.
Along with this, materials will often be used in large quantities during fights, which would often cause players to run out of them during one. So, after many hard earned kills, and the opponents you killed could be completely out of materials, leaving you defenseless. On top of this, your opponents may not have had any extra healing items or shields, which would leave often you weak and vulnerable after engaging in fights.
Because of this, staying away from fights at all costs would often be advantageous due if you already had the weapon load out you desired. This would often lead to boring gameplay where many players would drop along the edges of the map and spend 10 to 15 minutes simply collecting materials and hiding as to prepare for the end of the game.
This was all changed when a few months ago, Epic Games added the feature of killing someone will automatically reward you with 50 health or shield (health if health is needed and shield if health is already full) and 50 of each kind of material upon each kill. This change rewarded aggressive gameplay, making it so that no matter what happened during the fight, the player who got the kill would never be left completely vulnerable.
This change was overwhelmingly loved by the Fortnite community, with everyone from professionals to casuals feeling as though the game was now better off. However, that all changed with patch v8.20, where it was reverted.
The reversion of what was considered the best thing to ever come to fortnite was not taken well by anyone. People immediately took to reddit and twitter complaining about the update and asking Epic to revert the changes. After they were left in the game, people immediately moved to different games, with some of Fortnite’s top streamers, such as Ninja and Dr Lupo, even going as far to stream uno on Twitch rather than play Fortnite.
Fortnite has almost died on many occasions. During the summer of 2018, there was a meta of “spray and pray,” which made many users frustrated with how small the skill gap had become. Fortnite’s Season 7 made many players question why they still played, with the additions of a mystical sword and planes, which proved nearly impossible to defend against. Not too long ago, Apex Legends blew up, causing Fortnite to not be the most streamed game for the first time in around a year. Yet somehow, the game recovered from all of this.
Now Epic Games has to dig itself out of the biggest hole yet, and the question is, can they? They would definitely have to start by reverting the changes they made in v8.20. But that likely would only make the hardcore fans come back.
What would fortnite have to do to bring back the mostly casual players is the real question. There would likely have to be some big promotional event similar to the in game Marshmello concert. However, this could prove costly.
The one thing that we would recommend Epic doing would be simple. This Tuesday, revert the changes and make the patch notes for v8.21 say one thing, “April Fools.”