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Epic Games releases blog post on Siphon changes, FOV sliders, and more

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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.’

Patch Notes

Fortnite v13.20 Update patch notes

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It’s a new week, and that means that there’s a fresh update for us all to enjoy, as the Fortnite v12.30 patch goes live on all platforms on Tuesday, June 30, introducing a new weapon and a major change to an existing item.

Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 3 has been live for a few weeks, and while the first major update of the season made sweeping changes to the game, Epic haven’t sat on their hands, dropping the 13.10 update to add Firefly Jars, and a second patch on June 30.

The Flare Gun and Portable Upgrade Benches are the major inclusions in this week’s patch, and we’ve got everything you need to know about the new items.

Flare Gun

Epic love to include new weapons for us to try out, and the v13.20 Update is no exception, with the Flare Gun finally making it’s long-awaited debut in the game.

The weapon, which holds six cartridges and deals 60 damage on a direct hit, was first spotted in the game’s files all the way back in Chapter 1, but for one reason or another never made it to the full game. Finally, though, it’s arrived, and with its ability to start fires, it is the perfect way to burn through enemy structures and send them back to the pre-game lobby.

The Flare Gun is the latest weapon added to Fortnite.

Portable Upgrade Bench

The other major change is the to the Upgrade Bench, which can now be broken and carried around to be used whenever you need it.

Simply hit it with your harvesting tool and it will transform into floor loot, which you can pick up and place in your inventory.

The Upgrade Bench can now be broken.

Bug fixes

Of course, no Fortnite update is complete without some bug fixes, and we have a full list of glitches addressed by Epic thanks to their official Trello board.

General

  • ‘Lock Input Method as Mouse’ does not lock the input method.
  • Missing styles for the Specialist Pickaxe and Arroyo Pack Back Bling.
  • Rage Emote fire effect remaining on/near players.
  • Sandstorm Outfit missing hair.

Battle Royale

  • Party Assist Update
  • Replays not saving on PlayStation 4.
  • Slow Glider speed after redeploying in certain situations.
  • XP bar can be visually incorrect while in a match.
  • Fall damage from Ziplines while landing in shallow water.
  • Epic & Legendary SMGs sometimes cannot be sidegraded.
  • Damaging Marauders counting towards storm surge.
  • Chug Splash does not heal when thrown inside of a bush.
  • Supply Drops may sometimes push loot under the map.

Creative Mode

  • Consumable items don’t stay in Item Spawn Pads in Creative on mobile.
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New Items

Loserfruit Fortnite skin bundle: Leak and release date

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Loserfruit Fortnite skin

The next cosmetic item in Fortnite’s Icon series, this time for streamer Loserfruit, has been leaked, with the release date all but confirmed for June 21.

Following on from Ninja’s skin release earlier in the year, Loserfruit, one of the most popular Australian streamers, has been waiting on her skin coming to the game for months now.

Its initial launch was pushed back due to ongoing protests around the world, but it looks like it’s finally getting a proper release.

On June 21, a handful of leakers got their hands on the encrypted files for the skin, and accessed them, showcasing a full, high-quality look at the skin we’ll soon be able to rock in-game.

Featuring a replica of Loserfruit’s hoody with rainbow-colored arms, the arm portions light up spectacularly, and there is also a backpack that mirrors her own real-life version.

Loserfruit skin release date and price

The skin is set to release on June 21, now confirmed by Epic Games. Reliable data miner iFireMonkey says that a source has confirmed this date for the entire bundle.

The bundle includes a fruity pickaxe too, as well as the Bounce Berry emote.

The skin will be available at 8pm ET. It will cost 1,500 V-Bucks for just the skin, or 2,000 for the whole bundle.

Loserfruit herself is actually already rocking the skin in-game on her stream, thanks to exclusive access before the rest of us, so you can see it in action here.

We’ll keep you updated when the skin bundle is available to purchase in the item shop.

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All Platforms

When does Fortnite Season 3 end and Season 4 begin?

Find out the Fortnite Season 3 end date and Season 4 start date for 2020.

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We’re only a couple of days into Fortnite Season 3, but fans are already wondering when the next season will come. We’re not sick of the new season – far from it. The past couple of seasons have lasted about 120 days each, though, so it’s not crazy to hope that this one is significantly shorter.

When Fortnite Season 3 released, data miners were quick to tell everyone how much time was left in the season. At the time of release, Epic had an end date of August 27, 2020. That’s only 71 days long, which is quite reasonable.

Not so fast, though. Data miner FireMonkey was quick to point out that the number of weekly challenges doesn’t match an 11-week season. There are already 12 weeks worth of challenges in the game files, which would have Season 3 ending on September 3.

This isn’t out of the ordinary. Epic have, traditionally, extended seasons for an extra week or two with Overtime Challenges. The past two seasons, which were both extended over a month past their original end-date, are still outliers in the history of Fortnite seasons.

A one-week extension is nothing major. We can live with that – and will even enjoy the Overtime Challenges that Epic give us. There’s no need to panic, right now, but the season will likely be extended at least one time.

Normally, this wouldn’t be something we’d cover so early in a Fortnite season, but the recent history of lengthy seasons makes us wonder if this one will follow suit. Hopefully, we’ll be playing Season 4 by September 4.

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