Is Fortnite too tuned towards the casual player? After this patch, the jury is out…
The latest patch notes for Fortnite have been released, and it is safe to say they have divided opinion.
What separated Fortnite from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and H1Z1, was the fact that you could build structures to traverse the map, gain an advantage, and defend yourself.
As time has gone on players have learnt to build aggressively to push on an opposing position; something we’ve expertly displayed by top streamers, including Myth. To keep things balanced, Epic has added explosives in the form of clingers and C4 so building huge structures shouldn’t be a big deal.
However, this latest patch has severely modified the way that building, farming, and a few other mechanics work.
For starters, explosive ammo has been decreased by a whopping 50%, and has been removed entirely from Llamas. Epic Games claims that they aren’t happy with how dominant explosives are in the late-game.
They have also changed how floor material works, with it decreasing by 33%; and in Llamas, it has been reduced from 500 to just 200.
Despite building being the central niche of Fortnite, they have also buffed the Minigun’s accuracy, and how much damage it does, and increased the radius of C4.
Finally, they have taken out the damage drop off for assault rifles, SMG’s, pistols, and LMGs when damaging buildings.
So what does this all mean?
It appears like Epic Games is really aiming their game to an even more casual audience. If you have ever played cross-platform, you will know how significant the advantage is for PC players while building. Little compares to the mouse and keyboard when constructing in the heat of battle.
However, players have argued the advantage is important, with console players being granted aim-assist, helping them target you if you’re not careful enough.
Are these changes aimed at supporting more casual players?
Fortnite In game changes: Jetpacks, lama nerf, breaking builds nerf, mini gun bost, building hitch.
Revert or get rid of please. To many core changes is not a good thing.
— cccshawks1 (@cccshawks1) June 6, 2018
Personally, it appears that Epic Games has been going in this direction for some time. The learning curve for quality building, knowing when to push, and how, is quite steep – but it gives lower-rated players something to improve.
For long-standing fans, it is quite a worrying road to go down; I remember when Call of Duty removed elements of skillful play, aiming more at the mass market. That meant that the skill gap was decreased to accommodate players who struggled to perform – ensuring even they could kill the better players. Good for some players, bad for others.
So, are the changes really that bad?
Well, after playing a few games I had no real problem collecting materials, or in the end game. However, I did notice that people were shooting my aggressive structures down excessively quickly, which at times was incredibly frustrating.
Is Fortnite too casual now? Not quite yet, but it sure looks like it is going this way to some of the player-base.