Getting everyone in Fortnite to agree on something is nearly impossible, but Epic’s v9.01 patch notes proved that context for changes can help players accept changes.

Game development is a difficult and arduous art. Epic Games works hard to produce a product that they believe will satisfy all players. However, from the outside, things can look a lot different.

Epic Games makes frequent changes to Fortnite in the form of weapon changes and vaulting. In the past, their communication has been lacking the reasons behind nerfs/buffs, but the v9.01 patch notes changed that.

Epic Games should keep the v9.01 style

As example of previously poor patch-day communication, we’ll give you a little snippet of the v9.0 patch notes. This is directly from the Epic Game v9.0 patch notes post.

  • Adjusted Tactical Shotgun damage
    • Base damage increased from 66/70/74 to 71/75/79
  • Reduced Drum Gun availability from 16.732% to 7.155%
  • Reduced Boom Bow availability from 1.292% to .755%
  • Unvaulted Grenades
  • Vaulted Clingers
  • Vaulted Buried Treasure
  • Vaulted Pump Shotgun
  • Vaulted Poison Dart Trap
  • Vaulted Scoped Revolver
  • Vaulted Suppressed Assault Rifle
  • Vaulted Thermal Assault Rifle
  • Vaulted Balloons

Notice how the notes lack any type of explanation for the changes. We are simply left with the impression that they were vaulted/changed because ‘Epic wanted to.’

While you can’t get every single player to agree with each change, it’s hard for people to accept changes when they don’t know the underlying reasons. Epic Games did release some explanations later on, but the changes had already been twisted and negatively portrayed by Fortnite ‘talking-heads.’

It seems that Epic Games has finally realized this trend and are changing course with their patch notes. The first case of this can be seen in the v9.01 notes.

  • Reduced Baller health from 200 to 150
    • The primary goal of the Baller is to provide fun and exciting mobility. We feel that it still has a little too much defensive agency – this change should reduce the effectiveness there while not impacting its strengths.
  • Drum Gun adjustments
    • Reduced base damage from 26/27 to 22/23
      • Since its unvaulting, the Drum Gun effectiveness has been slightly higher than we wanted. This change should reduce its combat effectiveness while still retaining its flavor.
  • Vaulted Compact SMG
    • Due to the recent addition of the Drum Gun and the brand new Tactical Assault Rifle, we wanted to reduce the availability of high rate-of-fire weapons.

GAMEPLAY

  • Slipstream adjustments
    • Slipstreams no longer block building.
      • Trying to build up to get into a Slipstream should be an easy & intuitive experience. We noticed some cases where players would build up to the Slipstream, but due to build restrictions would take a ‘leap of faith’ and not make the jump. This should make getting into a Slipstream easier.
    • Players flying in a Slipstream will destroy player built objects when they collide.
    • Slipstreams are now disabled after storm phase 5.
      • We’ve seen a number of cases where Slipstreams caused issues during late game circles – primarily around getting pulled into the storm unexpectedly. Since the value of Slipstream mobility is limited in those scenarios, we felt it’s better to simply disable them.

Each major balance and mechanic change now includes the reasoning behind the change.

Naturally, some players will disagree with the explanations, which is fine. The point behind the new method is allow Epic to discuss their own reasons for changes.

The most important part of the new method is the fact that they are included with the patch notes on release. There is no delay between the patch’s release and the release of the explanations.

We truly hope that this isn’t just a one time thing. We believe that Epic Games should continue creating explanations for every patch note from here on out. It’s only a little bit of extra work for a massive boon.

Community’s Positive Reaction

The FortniteBR & FortniteCompetitive subreddits are vastly different places with completely different views on Fortnite.

Getting these two groups to agree on anything is difficult, but Epic’s new approach to patch notes has united them. Both pages have several highly rated posts praising Epic Games.

Here’s one from FortniteCompetitive, pointing out that simple explanations can lead to greater understanding for players that may or may not agree with Epic.

Epic, we need this sort of communication every patch, changes we may not agree with can be justified with simple explanations like this from r/FortniteCompetitive

In a reply-like post on the FortniteBR subreddit, another user posted their agreement with the competitive Fortnite fan.

I agree completely with u/NotKezm! I think a lot of player frustration could be alleviated with this type of open communication going forward. Thank you for explaining Epic! from r/FortNiteBR

We think, when something brings two opposing forces together in agreement, you should keep it. Epic Games should seriously consider making these patch note changes a permanent addition for the future.

How do you feel about the new style of patch notes? Tell us your thoughts on the change in the comments below!

comments below