Fortnite is a game that is in a constant state of flux. The meta changes at a fast pace and balance can suffer as a result from time to time. Epic wrote up a statement explaining some of the Season 9 changes.

Season switches bring the biggest changes to Fortnite and the community generally used to embrace these. Many still do, but a portion of players is concerned about competitive quality of the game.

Quick meta changes can lead to an unstable competitive scene, but it gives players new ways to play and adapt. It’s a tricky balance that hasn’t always gone in Epic’s favor.

In an attempt to explain some of the Season 9 changes, Epic Games released a blog post about the Pump Shotgun, Drum Gun, LTMs, and more. (For the pump shotgun info, scroll all the way to the bottom. You’re welcome.)

By The Fortnite Team

Hey all,

‘We’re chatting this week about the recently unvaulted Drum Gun, the concept of LTMs in the tournament playlist, and want to weigh in on the discussion around, “What happens when my Duo partner disconnects?” Let’s jump in.’

DRUM GUN

‘This past weekend during the Unvaulting event, the community at large chose to bring back the Drum Gun from the Vault. The gun was immediately added to loot tables in all modes within Fortnite (including Arena) except the ongoing Tournament playlist for the weekend.’

‘You can expect to see the Drum Gun in this weekend’s Tournament playlist. In the v9.00 update today we’ve adjusted the spawn rate of the Drum Gun to be more in line with other similar items. We will be closely monitoring feedback over the Season launch to determine any next steps.’

LTMS AS TOURNAMENTS

‘After our Fortnite World Cup Online Opens conclude, we’re exploring adding additional fun, new ways to compete. In the weeks leading up to the Fortnite World Cup Finals, we’ll be experimenting with adding additional non-Battle Royale events, such as Creative modes and LTMs, to our weekly tournament rotation. This will open up a more dynamic competitive scene that allows for more paths to win. We encourage you to hop in, try out some new modes, and have a good time while we gather learnings each week. We’ll have more information to share as we get closer to the conclusion of the Online Opens.’

DISCONNECTING DUOS

‘We’ve seen reports since Week 2 regarding a situation where a Duo partner does not load in a tournament match, but the remaining player is still able to participate and appears to be able to acquire points. Officially, however, the Duo will not receive the points earned in that match due to the disconnection.’

‘In our Arena and Tournament Modes, a match is currently not counted towards the 10 placement matches if a Duo partner disconnects while loading into the pre-match island prior to the Battle Bus being boarded. This was by design, as we see playing alone against Duos as a heavy disadvantage, and many players would not want to have one of their 10 possible placement matches scored under those unusual and unfair conditions. Additionally we reflect this in our official rules in the following section:’

4.2.3    During Stage One all players on a team must be present and partied up together in order to participate in this stage of the Event. Players on a team may not play Solo during Stage One. 

‘However, we do want to solve for the edge cases where this design penalizes players who are able to excel despite being faced with a disconnection. In the v9.10 update, we are planning to add specific new in-game messaging and options to address the rare cases where a teammate disconnects while loading in the pre-match island. This messaging will provide you with the option to confirm leaving the match, or the option to decline and play through the match as the solo remaining player. Note: If you do not make a selection, we will default to removing you from the match before the Battle Bus launches. We will default this way because in nearly all cases, it’s more advantageous to start a new match with your partner, rather than potentially wasting  one of your 10 maximum games by being forced to play as a solo against duos.’

‘We’ve seen suggestions that previously discarded solo matches in Duos should be included in Fortnite World Cup scoring, and that standings should be changed accordingly. Based on the current implementation of the rules, however, we will not be retroactively changing the results of the tournament.This would have cascading effects on integrity, with some teams having also exceeded the 10 match maximum played.’

SEASON 9 UPDATE

‘With the v9.00 update today, we have a number of major gameplay changes and tweaks coming to the game to kick off the new season.

You may have already noticed within the patch notes, but if not – here’s an update on the items that are vaulted as of this morning:’

  • Balloons 
  • Clingers
  • Poison Dart Trap
  • Pump Shotgun 
  • Scoped Revolver
  • Suppressed Assault Rifle
  • Thermal Assault Rifle
  • Treasure Map

Here are some of the new or legacy items returning today:

  • Combat Shotgun (for full details check our patch notes)
  • Grenades

‘Additionally we’ve included a change that will keep your character in the match for 60 seconds after disconnecting or forcefully leaving a match. This means that you will potentially provide elimination points to enemies after a disconnect, and helps discourage forced exits.’

Pump Shotgun

Why vault all those things? And the Pump???

‘We want the beginning of each Season to feel fresh and allow for a new gameplay experience along with all the new Seasonal content. Whether its new cross-map mobility, new weapons, or just new places to drop – you should feel like there is plenty to explore and experience. Specifically when it comes to Pump Shotguns, they stand out significantly: they currently account for over 26% of eliminations in default playlists, with the next weapon type not even coming close. Rather than nerfing the Pump Shotgun to a point where it no longer lives up to its fantasy, our preference is to return it to the vault, giving us an opportunity to revisit the general balance of the item, while introducing a new shotgun.’

‘Our goal with the Combat Shotgun is to provide an item that fills a similar niche, but with a different risk and reward. We’re excited to see how you all use the new shotgun and look forward to your feedback on this shift.’

comments below
A life-long Call of Duty player, Bachelor of Game Design, and a lover of eSports. Floodsye is my real name, Tommi is just the gamertag my parents gave me.