Epic Games finally backed down and nerfed the BRUTEs in Season X to appease the community.
Epic Games has been having a rough time of it lately due to constant calls to nerf the BRUTE. These cries for balance have been completely justified and have caused the developers to rethink their strategy. Even for the biggest game in the industry, listening to the player base leads to the best results.
In a surprising move, Epic finally nerfed the BRUTE mechs. The continued flight of streamers and influencers to other titles like Apex Legends probably had something to do with it.
Let’s quickly go over all the changes and what they mean.
Fortnite BRUTEs nerfed in several ways in balance attempt
Epic released an extensive list of the changes to the BRUTEs on August 22 with tons of large and small changes. While it might not be enough in the end, it’s still a massive step in the right direction. We’ll start from the top and work our way down.
No download is needed to receive these nerfs. They released the information in an official Fortnite blog post.
Amounts of Rockets reduced
The BRUTEs originally fired a salvo of 10 missiles per rocket attack, but Epic has now reduced this to 6. It’s a sizable nerf that will hit the mech’s ability to destroy builds from range. With that said, 6 rockets can still easily eliminate most players with little effort.
Decreased explosion radius of Brute Rockets
Now we’re talking. While reducing the flat number of rockets might affect the mech’s power, the explosion radius hits its power hard. The problem with the radius previously was that you could simply press one button and always hit your targets without the need to aim.
The radius was reduced by 42%. This means BRUTE users will need to use more time to aim their rockets.
Increased dash cooldown
The BRUTEs’ dash cooldown is now 5 seconds, up from 3. While the BRUTE is a massive target, it can still be hard to hit from a great distance. The dash allows for the mech to dodge incoming projectiles and explosives. Increasing the dash cooldown ensures that there will be more chances for opposing players to disable the mech with powerful weapons.
Decreased velocity gained from boosting while in air
Boosting around in the air with the BRUTE causes you to move really fast as you gain momentum rapidly. As we’ve all seen, this led to BRUTEs easily entering and exiting fights without a chance to retaliate. The 33% decrease should give players another key way to counter the mech as it can’t simply fly away before you can trade damage.
No more free materials granted when stomping
To us, this might be one of the biggest & most important changes. We can’t ignore the power of build materials in Fortnite and how it must take time to collect these mats. The BRUTE was able to quickly collect full 999 mats in a matter of seconds by arriving in locations like Sunny Steps.
This will mean that BRUTE players will have a reason to exit their tank. In order to gain resources, you’ll need to hop out and farm like everyone else.
BRUTE Spawn rates adjusted
Arena spawn rates for BRUTEs were already nerfed a little while back, but core modes still had these mechs dropping left and right. To mitigate this problem, Epic has reduced the spawn rates across the board.
In Storm Phase 1, there’s now a 29% chance that no BRUTEs will spawn. All other chance of spawn (up to five mechs) is now set at 14.3%.
In Storm Phase 2, there’s an even spread of 25% chance for spawns from 0 BRUTEs to 3 BRUTEs.
In Storm Phase 3, the same even spread appears as used in Storm Phase 2.
We’re unsure of these spawn rate changes having a major impact. The BRUTEs are tanky behemoths that should only spawn towards the beginning of the game. If players can still hop into these in the later phases, the endgames will still contain at least 2 of these. We’ve already seen this occurring in matches after the patch.
Two BRUTE buffs added to counteract nerfs
Epic still loves their BRUTEs and doesn’t want them to become a forgotten vehicle. In an effort to balance the big nerfs, two buffs have also been put into place. We’ve got to be honest, we’re very skeptical of giving such a menacing mech more power.
Overshield cost reduced
As BRUTEs can no longer farms mats by stomping on things, Epic wanted to reduce the Overshield’s materials drain. It now only rakes 75 mats of any type to activate the effect.
This isn’t a good change from our perspective. The whole point behind the stomping nerf was to ensure that pilots must hop out to farm mats every once in a while. Getting 75 materials doesn’t take long at all and players will be able to get 3 to 4 Overshields without any real risk.
Increased the health of the BRUTE mech
With the mobility nerfs, Epic thinks that the mech will now be destroyed too easily. We’re not of the same mind, but the increase in health does make sense from balancing point of view.
The health now sits at 1250, up from 1000. It’s a bit dramatic and could see BRUTEs once again disappearing behind mountains before damage can be dealt.
You can read the original patch notes here.
Overall, the nerfs and buffs are a good thing for Forrtnite. We love to see Epic taking steps to rein in the destructive power of the mech. However, we still can’t help but feel like the mech should simply be removed. Even after these nerfs, the gameplay feels wonky due to its disproportionate power when compared to regular players on the ground.