The notorious v8.20 update removed the fan-favorite ‘siphoning’ from all core game modes. Epic didn’t initially release a statement as to why, but have now issued a long blog post on the subject.

Epic’s decision to cut away the siphoning from casual modes was not well received as both competitive and casual players loved the mechanic.

In a new blog post, Epic Games seeks to clarify their reasoning for the removal. In addition, they address other important changes that have occurred in the past month including Stretched Resolution, FOV sliders, and more.

Statement on Siphon Changes

The original siphon mechanic was introduced in the Infinity Gauntlet LTM

The blog post begins with a lengthy bit about the siphon changes implemented in v8.20. For fans of the Siphon (which seemingly includes most of the Twitter, Reddit, and FortniteINTEL communities), the post will anger you without a doubt.

Siphon / Material Change

‘Let’s start with the Siphon and building material changes.

Under the pressure of intense broadcast competition, play styles differ significantly from regular play, with less aggression in the early game resulting in a crowded end-game overabundant in turtling. We introduced Siphon during the Pop-up Cup tournaments to provide incentives for aggression that more closely resembles how the regular modes are played, and to increase entertainment value and spectacle.

Everybody enjoyed receiving health and shields for eliminations after we introduced the changes to the core modes, but there was an unexpected consequence: players at large grew more frustrated with Fortnite play, feeling they had less of a chance due to encounters with high-skill players with full health and shields. Ultimately, Siphon increased engagement for the highest-skilled 10%, while the remaining 90% were more frustrated and played less. 

Over time, players began to disengage in the core modes, stating that the game had gotten too intense to be enjoyable. The reduction in viable play styles in combination with this feedback was the basis of us removing the Siphon mechanic and the material changes from the core modes.

For players that prefer the sharper experience of Siphon, we do offer an always-available Arena mode that includes these Siphon and materials cap changes.’

From our perspective at FortniteINTEL, we cannot agree with Epic’s decisions and conclusions in this matter. The massive support for the siphon ability does not back up the stats that Epic has claimed to have studied above.

It seems Epic Games is completely adamant and unwilling to change their direction on the issue of the Siphon. The above ‘90%’ stat simply seems to be hand-picked from among thousands of factors to justify a bad decision.

Statement on Stretched Res & FOV Slider

Example of stretched resolution being used by Tfue

The next segment of the blog post focuses on the disabling of the Stretched Resolution ‘exploit’ and the possibility of a FOV slider for players that are dealing with motion sickness.

Stretched Resolution and Field of View (FOV)

‘Many competitive players have asked for an FOV slider to improve visibility in vertical end-game build battles. There has also been ire over our removal of stretched resolution (a relic of supporting old 4:3 TVs which results in a distorted screen aspect ratio).

When a game introduces a feature that provides a gameplay advantage, players gravitate towards turning it on to maximize their chances of success, even if this makes the game look and/or feel worse. The stretched characters and distorted views detract from Fortnite as an entertainment experience for all.

Fundamentally, we seek to avoid optional settings which provide players with a significant gameplay advantage.

The current default FOV of 80 is a tradeoff to accommodate:

  • Varied engagement ranges, favoring a low FOV and thus a closer view of enemies.
  • Minimizing potential motion-sickness in players further away from their screen. The further a player’s head moves from the center of the in-game field of view, the more negative the reaction.
  • Minimizing jarring transitions when aiming down sights.
  • Visual fidelity.
  • Performance.’

The above information makes sense to our ears, but still falls flat in terms of what the community wants as a whole.

Competitive players did initially want the return of the stretched resolutions, but many realized that Epic was correct in how it made the game’s viewing experience sup-optimal.

The easist solution to players that are now dealing with motion sickness from the camera’s FOV would be the introduction of a FOV slider to allow between 80 to 100 FOV viewing angles.

Epic Games’ explanation as to why this will not happen makes sense when speaking about performance, but the motion sickness claims are unfounded from Epic. The current 80 FOV has a much higher chance of causing motion sickness for players and an option between 80 and 100 would be preferable for everyone.

Statement on ‘Game Evolution’ & Constant Updates

The pace of updates makes competitive Fortnite a farce – via Epic Games

Epic Game’s blog continues with a statement on the constant changes that mix up the meta of the game. Competitive players have long complained and threatened to quit Fortnite due to the impossibility of practicing with so many constant changes.

Game Evolution

‘We have many goals we want to accomplish for players, and sometimes there is tension between these goals. Special events bring change and freshness to the game, but also affect some of the stable elements that competitive players have trained for.

Weekends are the ideal time for the largest number of players to be able to experience special one-time moments, compete in tournaments, and watch them. 

Fortnite is an ever evolving game. Keeping the gameplay and the tournaments fresh is a key aspect to growing a player and viewership base that enables a large number of high-stakes tournaments for competitors and everyone who enjoys watching them.

We aim to reasonably stabilize gameplay in advance of the Fortnite World Cup Finals. We had hoped to stabilize for all Online Qualifiers, however the new weekly online tournament cadence means we will be doing this for some, but not all.’

Some of Epic’s above statements ring true. The game is ever-evolving, but that is the doing of Epic themselves. Other games like Rainbow Six Siege have grown massively despite slower update schedules.

It is good to see that Epic is seeking to ‘stabilize’ the update cycles in the future to allow the game to find its footing again. The constant updates lead to dangerous territory when a snowball effect of bad decisions (v8.20) destroys community trust.

Statement on Bugs

Fortnite still contains major bugs that haven’t been addressed

Epic Games finished off the post by shedding some light on the process of bug fixing and their current efforts to mitigate future bugs.

Bugs

‘There are a series of bugs most commonly experienced during higher end play we have been inconsistent about acknowledging and addressing.

Here’s a few we’ve recently added to our Trello that were recently resolved or we are actively tracking:

  • Fortnite World Cup Online Opens points tracked incorrectly in client (visual only).
  • Ghost shots: player clearly shoots another player, but no damage is done.
  • Trap can sometimes be placed halfway through a tile  – Fixed in v8.50.
  • The Baller is destroyed if the driver exits the vehicle in a confined space (e.g. 1×1) – Fixed in v8.40.

A lot of them require your help as they are hard for us to reproduce internally and we are utilizing recurring small scale feedback sessions with the competitive community to narrow down on fixes. 

We’re committed to doing a better job monitoring bug reports through Reddit, social channels, and in-game reports. Please help us by posting detailed bug reports including video clips.’

Epic also put a small statement about how they want to improve their communication with competitive players in the future to avoid animosity.

Future Topics

‘Re-evaluating how we communicate with our competitive players includes touching on topics you care about in places you’re having discussions. Going forward, we will be more present in online forums to chat about the evolution of Arena and competition formats as we progress along the competitive season.’

comments below

32 COMMENTS

  1. Wow. I’ve seen polls with 50,000+ votes that say 90+% of players want Siphon back. And now that Reboot Vans are in, thirsting isnt even an issue.

    Epic really isnt listening to their community and is pulling inaccurate data out of their asses.

    If they really want results, put an in-game poll on where everyone can vote. And when an overwhelming majority votes yes (LIKE SIPHON) it should be changed.

    I love Epic Games and everything they’ve done with Fortnite up until 8.20. They’re just in complete denial and cant accept the fact that good players will always rule any game. And if anything, siphon gave bad players a chance.

    It’s just sad to see a game I’ve loved and played every day for over a year turn so sour so fast.

        • But 50,000 is still a lot of people. Regardless, their “90%” statistic is WAY overblown. There are way too many people saying “revert” for their 90% to be even close to true.

          • Yes but that’s 50,000 that go online and read articles, and go on reddit and stuff. Not exactly the casual player, so it’s bound to be very misleading

          • It may me hard for you to wrap your head around it, but that “90 percent” is true – wether you like it or not. My nephew is 11 years old, and every one of his friends play fortnite, probably ten kids. None of them watch Competitive play or care for it – none of them like or comment on Twitter. Nobody I’ve personally met in my city during late high school and early college care for serious fortnite – they will never comment or watch twitch, yet they play the game. There’s way more than just the vocal minority. I wouldn’t be surprised if 90 percent was a conservative number, even.

          • i doubt so, there are many young players, players with bad devices so are laggy, or they just arent good at the game, or just want to play casually, basically people with a disadvantage, or people who dont use reddit, or social media, or if they do, they dont comment, and there are a lot of them. So im sure they make up the 90%. and im with them lol. if you want siphon, go Arena. why is everyone still complaining?!

      • casual players, people playing the game to have fun are simply not vocal about they’re views as they very clearly understand that games need to change around to stay fresh and to stop metas lasting too long. people are only going to complain about changes, not commend them. also your profile pic is an anime character so shouldn’t you be calling people who play fortnite gay lmao

        • Casuals are anyone who don’t play competitive and that’s a majority of the people here, I’ve stopped Fortnite cause of their idiotic decisions and this blog post reinforces by opinions about their company, it’s shit

        • Having this pic is meant to be a joke but ok. So this is what I don’t get, you say that “people who play for fun” don’t necessarily give their own opinions about the current state of this game, now this brings up the question, if that is true then where did Epic get their statistics of “90%”, please explain that to me because their is no way that 90% of people who actually play this game disliked siphon

      • not everyone is amazing at the game (like me), so it is difficult to get kills, i just play big LMT’s where i can re-spawn

  2. Nobody needs siphon in normal mode. It felt good sometimes and often it felt terrible when at the end a player stole my kills. So I was low and the other guy was high on health for sure. I like that you have to care about your health. The survival feeling is important for me. Also that everybody was full on Mats all the time was boring. I understand both opinions. And i enjoyed it too. But after the first week of removing siphon I enjoyed the game more. Difficult topic but that is my opinion. I Don’t miss siphon anymore.
    I still love the game. It is so much fun. And i love Arena because it gives you skilled games and thrill. For me the current fortnite is the best yet.

  3. “From our perspective at FortniteINTEL, we cannot agree with Epic’s decisions and conclusions in this matter. The massive support for the siphon ability does not back up the stats that Epic has claimed to have studied above

    im pretty sure Epic will not lie about their statistics. And i know for a fact that Epic is right, people who were not that good were playing less with siphon because they would just get destroyed so easily. Im pretty sure they chose the right decision and they have the statistics which we dont have, so we cant decide if they are wrong

    • Ok there is no way that 90% of people who played this game disliked siphon, after all its legit the system that saved this game from near death, the statistics are complete BS and you can tell

      • The game was no way near death. Maybe for u it was dying… But it’s an ever changing game and we love it. Everyone is different. Those who loved siphon are those who are good players who get a lot of eliminations. But whose who aren’t so good… Didn’t like it.

        I only liked it in Team rumble as I knew I would get kills so I didn’t have to stock up on shields…. But in the normal game mode.. U have to carry shields!

        Why don’t u just play arena?

        • If your in a high division you can’t “just play arena”. You loose hype once you die. You need to warm up first and you need to be in a place of mind. Siphon benefits everyone. It encourages bad players to improve, and it supplies competitive players with a competitive-like experience without them needing to stress over arena.

          • But it benefits everyone, and that’s good but also the problem. Your giving both good players and bad players an advantage, making the better players even better, thus killing the bad players, who in turn can’t learn how to get better, because they get killed to fast. Meanwhile the person on the other side of the good player’s screen just does take the L and talks trash about noobs and makes the game more competitive.

            (NOTE: MY OPINION)

      • Well i do, so add one to that, and I know I’m not the only one who disliked siphon. You just never hear them, because they’re overwhelmed by whining streamers and other more competitive players spamming revert wherever they go.

  4. If they “fundamentally seek to avoid optional settings which provide players with a significant gameplay advantage”, why are custom binds/turbo build etc optional settings?

    Also claiming that “stretched characters and distorted views detract from Fortnite as an entertainment experience for all” implies you believe that entertainment isn’t subjective. Maybe adding a built-in FOV slider that doesn’t totally butcher the resolution is a sensible compromise?

  5. There was no massive support for siphon. Just a loud minority. By the way, a GOOD player has no need for health on kill. Because he is good. Those who need health on kill are those plkayers, who go for the score. Those, who think about themselves that they are better then they really are. And they just want to be the 18 years old bully in the kindergarden.

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