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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!

Item Shop

Fortnite v13.40 leaked skins and cosmetics

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Fortnite’s v13.40 Update is here, and along with the introduction of cars, Epic Games have added a lot of new skins and cosmetics that dataminers have leaked.

It’s time to start your engines in Fortnite Season 3, with the Joy Ride vehicles making their long-awaited debut after some delays held back their release to the game.

Of course, a new update means new cosmetics, and as always, dataminer Lucas7yoshi has been hard at work to give us a look at the latest skins, back bling, harvesting tools, and more that we’ll be able to get our hands on when they’re added to the item shop over the coming weeks.

Leaked Fortnite v13.40 Skins and Back Bling

It looks like Jonesy has been having a rough time lately, with a Castaway version of the character included in this set of cosmetics, complete with frayed shorts and a massive beard.

Elsewhere, Shadow skins make a welcome return with Mecha Team Shadow, while Nalia and Derby Dynamo are also sure to become instant fan-favorites.

Shadow characters also get a new back bling, while there’s even a basketball hoop to strap to your back if you want to literally dunk on your enemies.

There are some awesome new versions of classic skins in the v13.40 patch. Credit: Lucas7yoshi

Leaked Fortnite v13.40 Harvesting Tools, Wraps, and Emotes

No set of leaked cosmetics is complete without Harvesting Tools, and Epic have a wide variety in this update.

The Hulk Smashers are included as well, along with some awesome double swords for the Shadow team, a Lapis Trident, and a set of pom poms you can shake before you smash up some trees.

Break down buildings in style with these new Harvesting Tools. Credit: Lucas7yoshi

There’s also some new emotes, including ‘Raise the Cup’, which plays the classic song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ likely as a homage to Liverpool FC’s Premier League triumph, alongside some new weapon wraps to keep your guns looking fresh.

A look at the new emotes and weapon wraps in the August 5 update. Credit: Lucas7yoshi

Of course, there’s no guarantee that leaked cosmetics will ever make it to the game, but it’s extremely likely we’ll see these added to the Item Shop in the next few weeks.

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Patch Notes

Fortnite v13.40 patch notes – Joy Ride Cars

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After weeks of anticipation, Epic Games have finally added cars into the game as the headline attraction in the August 5 Fortnite v13.40 update.

Dataminers first released the news that vehicles would be coming to the game early in Chapter 2 Season 3, and were expected to arrive in v13.30, only for Epic to confirm that they had been delayed.

Finally, we can start our engines and get ready to cruise around the island, with the August 5 patch on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices putting the keys in our hands as Joy Ride vehicles make their long-awaited debut in the game.

A truck from Fortnite's Joy Ride car set.
A number of new vehicles are heading to Fortnite, including cars and trucks. Credit: Epic Games

Joy Ride vehicles

Of course, the headline addition in this patch is the introduction of cars, giving players a new way to rotate around the island in search of Victory Royales.

Four vehicles will be coming in this update,: A sedan called Prevalent. a pick-up truck named Bear, a truck with the name Mudflap, and a sportscar that goes by the name Whiplash. Vehicles will come with 500 health, meaning you should be able to take some damage while driving round before it explodes.

Of course, they will go bang should you get too much though, dealing 800 damage to structures and anywhere between 50 to 200 damage to players depending how close you’re standing at the moment it explodes.

Radio Stations

Of course, you can’t go on a roadtrip across the Fortnite map without some tunes to enjoy, so Epic Games have introduced radio stations so you always have some music to listen to while you zoom across the map.

The tracks featured on these stations have yet to be confirmed, but it appears there is some copyrighted-music, as in an email to content creators the developers confirmed there would be a ‘copyright-safe; playlist to help streamers avoid getting in trouble.

Bug Fixes

As always, Epic Games are fixing some bugs and glitches in the v13.40 patch, with a number of issues mentioned on their official Trello board as now fixed. You can view the full list below, including Slow Glider problems, and some bugs with Season 3 Quests.

General

  • Inability to edit floors and roofs at certain angles.
  • ‘Lock Input Method as Mouse’ does not lock the input method.
  • Mouse cursor appearing on PC when playing with controller.

Battle Royale

  • Placing a map marker cancels movement.
  • Replays not saving on PlayStation 4.
  • Water Balloon Toy temporarily disabled.
  • Slow Glider speed after redeploying in certain situations.
  • XP bar can be visually incorrect while in match / incorrect leveling-up.
  • Ocean’s Bottomless Chug Jug unable to be picked up while recharging if dropped by another player.
  • “Deal damage within 10s of landing from the Whirlpool at Hydro 16” should say “at the Yacht” instead.
  • “Land at Frenzy Farm/The Yacht and finish Top 25” not counting in Duos/Squads.

Creative Mode

  • Arena Island progress reset soon.
  • Billboards broken in islands that used Roboto.
  • Multi-selected items do not rotate properly on grid snap.
  • Crash on consoles when renaming a device.

Additional changes

  • Storm circles updated (via Hypex):
    • Starting Radius: from 24 to 23
    • Shrink Time: from 240 seconds to 210
    • Wait Time: from 200 seconds to 170
  • Marauders updated:
    • Bandage drop rate from 50% to 25%
    • Stink Grenade drop rate from 50% to 75%
    • Stink Grenade drop stack from 3 to 6
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All Platforms

Atlantis arrives in Fortnite with new Coral Castle POI: all map changes

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Coral Castle in Fortnite

The leaked Atlantis location in Fortnite is now finally available in-game, but with a slight twist – it’s actually called ‘Coral Castle.’

The latest round of map changes have been revealed thanks to the ever-lowering water-level decreasing once again, unveiling some previously submerged areas.

Over the last few weeks, this has unveiled locations such as Risky Reels and Dirty Docks, but players have been left waiting for the Atlantis area.

It was initially leaked early in the season, after Aquaman himself was added to the game as a skin, and seemed like it was only a matter of time until Atlantis would be explorable.

New Coral Castle POI

The new area has replaced the whirpool that was previously covering it, with ‘Coral Castle’ now in it’s place.

Landing here should ensure some great loot opportunities, with plenty of chests to be raided. However, with it being brand new, it might be very busy for the next couple of days at least.

More map changes

There’s more than just Atlantis (Coral Castle). The Fortilla has “completely changed orientation”, simply turned around by 90 degrees, but is the same otherwise.

You can see the transition of the water level from FNBRHQ:

Slurpy Swamp is also back, now free of the water on top of it, although of course, it’s still very wet on the ground here.

With this update, the water is now back to the proper level, which means the map is well-suited for the long-awaited cars to make their appearance.

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