Fortnite’s Proposed Building Overhaul Is Bad Timing From Epic Games
Are Epic Games about to send Fortnite on a downwards turn it may never recover from?
Yesterday, Epic Games announced plans to shake up the Fortnite meta more than they ever have before, floaty space rocks or not. In a strangely downbeat blog post, they revealed that they were working on changing the late game to allow for deeper tactics and more variety.
The way they want to go about this is going to be an experiment for them, something which they’re currently in the midst of after the infamous shotgun nerf. Although it’s only suggested at and not confirmed, Epic may be about to take Fortnite down a path that the game may struggle to return from:
“We have made a few changes recently — and will continue to make more — to give you options to counter other players in combat, especially in the late game.
“We are exploring changes to weapon balance and resource economy, like e.g. resource caps.“
High-level Fortnite is all about building. Epic themselves even referenced the “just build lol” meme in that same post, something which crops up whenever anyone asks how they can get better at the game. It’s the life and soul of Fortnite, to be able to ramp up over an opponent, trap them, and then build a retirement home and live happily ever after while they have no idea what’s going on. In a game that is so full of luck — thanks to weapon bloom and random loot chances –building is one of the few aspects of Fortnite that’s down to skill alone.
These proposed changes seem as if they’re opening up the game more for the casual player, something that the Fortnite community never takes kindly to. Fortnite is an easy to pick up but difficult to master game: it requires potentially dozens of hours of failure before you can feel even somewhat competent. I vividly remember my early time spent with the game involving more than a couple of bushes and a whole lot of panic attacks.
This move is understandable from Epic; the biggest games tend to adapt and change with the times, to appear approachable to new players. All games hit their peak eventually and no matter how popular a game becomes, its playerbase will eventually dwindle. After smashing records and earning countless headlines, Epic Games may be nervously looking over the other side of their mountain.
Within the Fortnite community, the belief is that the downward slide has already started. The irony here is that Fortnite began to overtake PUBG when the more “realistic” spin on battle royale struggled to keep up with the demands of its audience and now the same thing is happening to Fortnite. Epic’s decision to keep Fortnite constantly updated and supported, which was a big selling point for it in its early days, is now like a weight around their neck with each change bringing a host of new issues,
The consensus is that Epic have become too myopic, too eager to bring new things into the game rather than fixing what’s broken. As a result, their proposed changes have gone down like a lead balloon among the community.
Building is literally the most skill requiring thing in the game but you want to nerf it to promote skill? Backwards
— Liam (@LiamJGaming_) June 21, 2018
Love the Epic team and the game that you’ve built but catering towards the casual player in hopes of creating longevity for newer players is usually the quickest way to destroy the player base. Please be careful with drastic changes, I don’t want to see this community destroyed.
— 100T Nadeshot (@Nadeshot) June 21, 2018
Really confused by the whole “not every final fight should end in a build-off” — this mechanic is what makes your game unique and it’s 100% the reason fortnites so successful. This is like saying not every pubg game should end in a gun fight, just makes no sense.
— FaZe Banks (@Banks) June 21, 2018
BUILDING IS WHAT SET YOU APART. BUILDING IS WHY WE LOVE YOU.
— FaZe Cizzorz (@cizzorz) June 21, 2018
— Tyler (@I_AM_WILDCAT) June 21, 2018
— OpTic CouRage (@CouRageJD) June 21, 2018
Epic have a quandary now: do they stick to their guns and hope that it opens the game up to new players or do they listen to the people who made them their millions? The meta is constantly twisting and shifting with Fortnite, but one so drastic may be one that leaves it vulnerable to the competition.
Above all else, however, this is just another example of Epic neglecting the things that really matter. When Fortnite is as stable as it once was, then would be the right time to start experimenting. Right now, though, they run the risk of alienating an already jaded fanbase. Season 4 has been a mixed bag for the game with many becoming nostalgic for seasons 2 and 3 — it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of game Fortnite is by its fifth.