‘Fortnite’ Devs Detail Their Philosophy on the ‘Fortnite’ Metagame

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One of the rad things about the proliferation of these massive online free to play games is that when a game is operated as a service it constantly evolves, versus the premium PC/console/mobile games of the past that more or less just got released and existed in that state forever. Fortnite (Free) has completely embraced the game as a service model and is rapidly updated with new content, tweaks to weapons, and much, much more. This has generated a lot of excitement as Epic has just rapid-fire released new skins and other things, but also a lot of annoyance and confusion as balance changes have put the metagame on an odd course.

For instance, currently the common way to win games of Fortnite seems to just be to make it to the final circle with a heavy shotgun or a rocket launcher. You’re able to do so much burst damage in such a wide radius that it almost feels like it doesn’t come down to skill as much as it does who has the most rockets or who gets off the first big rocket blast. This has actually caused me to play less Fortnite as being a veteran of PUBG and more (for lack of a better term) “realistic" battle royale games I play far more methodically, utilizing stealth whenever possible and skirting the edge of the circle to position myself so I’m behind people. This works great, until the final circle, where I can have a dozen kills in the early game and just get my face blown off by a dude with a rocket launcher because I wasn’t able to pick one up.

These sorts of changes has lead the player base to say, more or less, “dude, wtf, epic." This morning Epic released a response on their feelings regarding counterplay and play styles. Here’s the relevant part:

It’s important to support a variety of late game strategies, that don’t boil down to “just build lol”. We strongly believe that the evolution of Fortnite supports a wide range of play styles and counterplay. Currently, the superiority of shotguns, rockets, and uncapped building are such a dominant play style in the final circle that most other strategies are being drowned out.

So moving forward they’re going to be exploring some changes that make the final circle revolve less around who has a rocket launcher and who can build the fastest. I’m super stoked for this as the final circle in PUBG is the most exciting part of the game, whereas right now the final circle of Fortnite I find to be the worst part of the game.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, but this is pretty encouraging news from where I’m sitting.

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