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Epic Games should continue providing context in all future patch notes

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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!

Leak

Fortnite leaks point to underwater swimming coming in Season 3

Swimming underwater may be a permanent feature coming to Fortnite Season 3.

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Early leaks of underwater swimming in Fortnite came to the game files several patches ago. Naturally, this led to the assumption that we’d be able to dive underwater in future Fortnite seasons.

These hopes were dashed when the Astronomical event happened. We swam underwater during this event, and most fans assumed that this would be the bulk of our undersea travel.

A couple of updates later, in v12.61, we saw the ability to swim underwater updated, yet again. When you combine this with the unconfirmed leaks covering Season 3, all signs are pointing to the ability to swim underwater in the next Fortnite Season.

Several data miners covered the new strings in the game files. After a bit of digging, they came up with the animation, itself.

As you can see from FortTory’s tweet, this animation is different from the normal swimming animation. You can dive, swim, and float in place while underwater.

There are still a ton of questions to be answered on this front. Will we able to swim underwater indefinitely or will we have an oxygen meter? Will this only be allowed on certain areas of the map? Does this mean we’re getting an underwater POI?

Underwater swimming has always been a difficult concept in gaming. Unfortunately, it could lead to a host of bugs and issues if there are some blind spots in development. Let’s hope for the best, though, and trust Epic to get it right.

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Patch Notes

Fortnite v12.61 patch notes: aim assist changes, bug fixes & more

Take a look at everything that changed in the Fortnite v12.61 patch notes.

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The Fortnite v12.61 content update released this morning, which marks the final update of Fortnite Season 2. It was a small patch and one that was largely geared toward preparing the game for the rumored Doomsday event.

Most of the interesting parts of v12.61 came in the form of leaks, which we’ll cover in some separate articles. There were a few above-board changes, though. We’ll delve into them here.

Aim assist changes

The most noteworthy change was to controller aim assist on all platforms. This one is tricky since we need to rely on community reporting to tell exactly what’s different.

Early reports had it that close-range aim assist was lowered by 20%, mid-range aim assist was lowered a bit, and long-range aim assist was buffed. Our early testing shows very little difference from the old system, however. Casual players probably won’t notice a difference, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Fortnite Mobile Controller Support
Via Epic Games

Storm the Agency Challenges

Storm the Agency will, almost certainly, be the last batch of challenges before Season 3. We aren’t getting any Overtime Challenges, so these will have to do.

The new challenge set has not been released at the time of writing but should be available later today or this week. They may be released as late as Thursday, ahead of the Doomsday event. We’ll cover the challenge tutorial in a separate guide.

Storm Circles

Epic appear to have changed storm circles in the v12.61 update, as well – at least in public matches. The first phase of the storm closes much more quickly – but on a larger circle. The circle then gets much smaller, causing some players to have to rotate, quite quickly.

The circles aren’t perfect, either. Just take a look at this tweet from broadcaster AussieAntics. We’ll have to wait and see how this shakes out.

Bug Fixes

There weren’t too many bug fixes in this patch. The biggest issue that was addressed was the inability to refund the Dragacorn Glider for some players. Here’s everything that was fixed in v12.61:

  • Numbers not changing on sports-themed Outfits
  • Unable to refund Dragacorn Glider
  • iOS players hitching at high rate

We’ll update this post with any additional changes that surface as more players get their hands on the new patch. This was a small one, though, and largely focused on adding the Doomsday Device to the game.

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Leak

Leaked Fortnite v12.61 update skins and cosmetic items

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Epic Games

Fortnite update v12.61 has arrived, and while Epic Games didn’t add many new skins or cosmetic items to the game, data miners and leakers have been sifting through the files and given us a look at what’s to come before the end of Chapter 2, Season 2.

Season 2 is rapidly coming to its conclusion, with the highly anticipated Doomsday event set to rock the game to its foundations as Epic Games moves to Season 3.

With the current season drawing to a close, the game’s developers have released the v12.61 Update on May 26 which includes a number of leaks as to what the event will entail.

For those who are looking a new skin or some new dances moves, though, Epic have added some new additions to the files which will be released over the next week or so.

Cyclo Doomsday skin and Windshear Cloak

There’s only one new skin in the game this week, but it appears to have major links to the end of Season 2, with the mysterious and imposing skin added to the files under the name “Hurricane,” prompting many to wonder if he is set to unleash the natural disaster onto the island.

On top of that, there is also a brand-new cloak that goes with Cyclo Doomsday, which appears to have been battered by winds and torn in places at the bottom. You can view the skin and back bling below courtesy of @Lucas7yoshi.

Drake’s Toosie Slide comes to Fortnite

Definitely the most surprising addition to the game, global megastar Drake has made his first appearance in Fortnite, with a brand-new emote appearing in-game based on a dance from the music video for his latest single, Toosie Slide.

The track debuted on April 3, and was then eventually released as part of his new mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes. It immediately became a hit on TikTok, with creators dancing along to the instructions featured in the song, and now Fortnite players can do the same. You can watch the Toosie Slide emote in action below, thanks to @HYPEX.

On top of that, Epic have actually licensed the song, so when you’re sliding in front of your downed enemies, they’ll hear October’s Very Own singing along.

Fortnite’s v12.61 patch is expected to be the final patch before Chapter 2, Season 3 kicks off, so it was always likely that new cosmetics would be in short supply this week. Data miners are still sifting through the files though, so if any more are discovered we’ll be sure to update this article.

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