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Fortnite v12.61 patch made a secret change to storm circles

One of the unannounced changes in Fortnite v12.61 is an adjustment to storm circles.

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The Fortnite v12.61 update is a small one, so most players thought that little had changed. We saw some aim assist adjustments – that many consider a buff – but little buzz other than that.

After a few hours of playing, however, players began to notice that there was a change to how the storm circles worked. The first circle, now, encompasses the entire map in most games. This storm phase ends quickly before the zone shrinks to be much smaller in phase 2 – similar to the size of the original, phase-one zone.

After that, the storm appears to close a bit quicker than it used to, although that is unclear. We used to have some downtime before the first circle appeared. Now, it appears as soon as the bus has finished its run.

The overall result appears to be a storm circle that closes a tiny bit slower than it did in previous updates. We have a Warzone-like circle to start the match before going back to the storm phases we’re used to.

We’ll need to complete more testing before we can give a final verdict on whether this slows down or speeds up engagement. At the moment, it appears that little has changed.

The objective appears to be slowing down the game so that there’s more excitement in mid-game fights. A lot of the time, there’s very little action between those early-game fights and late-game scenarios. Unfortunately, the new system is resulting in some circles like the one shown by AussieAntics.

The good news is that this isn’t in competitive modes, just yet. Epic seem to be testing the new storm before Season 3 begins. If it works, then we can expect it in all modes this time next week.

Update: Some players, including popular YouTuber Ali-A, are suggesting that this is the work of Midas, controlling the Storm with the Doomsday Device. He could be onto something, especially when you look at the leaks surrounding the event.

This is probably an accurate assessment of what’s going on but could also signify future changes to the storm circle in Season 3. The mid-game lull is an issue, which could be cleared-up with more mobility and quicker storm phases.

Epic could be weaving a change to the storm circle into a preexisting plotline, fitting everything into a nice, tight ending of the season. We’ll have to see what happens after the event takes place on Saturday.

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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Patch Notes

Fortnite v13.20: What to expect

Flare Gun, water level, bug fixes, and more expectations for the v13.20 Fortnite update.

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We’re in a strange spot with Fortnite Season 3 updates, with v13.10 seemingly skipped or released under our noses. Last week, we saw the Firefly Jar come to the game in what seemed to be a hotfix, but then saw the news that v13.20 would go live this week. We don’t know exactly what happened, there, but it looks like we’re onto v13.20.

We’re writing this ‘what to expect’ article before the announcement of the v13.20 patch, but nearly all of the Fortnite data miners are claiming that it’s coming this week. Tuesday has been the traditional patch day for Fortnite updates, so it stands to reason that we’ll be getting a patch on June 30. If not, then all of this information will apply when it does go live. Now, onto our predictions.

Water level change

According to Lucas7Yoshi, the water level is supposed to go down for the first time in Season 3, following the v13.20 patch. We should see the water level lower on July 1, according to reports.

This first stage of the water recession may not reveal very much. We predict that some of the flooded POIs will uncover a bit more land, but we’re probably a week or two away from the full-fledged introduction of a new location.

The most that we can hope for is that one of the underwater POIs – such as Craggy or The Shark – will surface when the water starts to recede. We’ll have to wait and see, but the water going down is a safe bet.

Flare Gun

There were two leaked weapons included in the Season 3 game files that weren’t in the loot pool upon the launch of the new season. These were the Firefly Jar and the Flare Gun.

The Firefly Jar was released last week, which means we can safely assume that the Flare Gun is next. Epic appear to be frequently bringing new items to the game, just as they had in Chapter 1. If this is true, then it would make the most sense to see the Flare Gun in v13.20.

Bug Fixes

As always, epic will be taking aim at some of the more prevalent bugs with the v13.20 patch. This is the first major patch of Season 3, so there are a lot of bugs that need fixing. Here are all of the issues that are listed as “Fixed in Next Game Update” on the Fortnite Community Issues Trello board:

  • Missing styles for the Specialist Pickaxe and Arroyo Pack Back Bling.
  • Rage Emote fire effect remaining on/near players.
  • Emotes playing over Main Stage music in Party Royale.
  • Sandstorm Outfit missing hair.
  • Fall damage from Ziplines when 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.

There may be some additional changes or updates that we didn’t see coming, but these are the most likely aspects to change following the v13.20 update. As always, we’ll have you covered with the full patch notes, all of the leaked skins, and everything else that comes out of the update, so stay tuned!

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Patch Notes

Epic reduce Choppa spawn rates in competitive Fortnite

Epic are responding to one of the biggest problem in competitive Fortnite: helicopters.

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Epic seem to be taking the competitive Fortnite scene a lot more seriously in Fortnite Chapter 2. Chapter 1 was plagued with meddlesome items and vehicles like the Junk Rift, BRUTE, Baller, and X-4 Stormwing. In Chapter 2, they simplified the loot pool, added an “evaluation period” to new items, and made adjustments where they needed to.

Helicopters were left out of competitive modes in Fortnite Season 2. A lot of players wondered why that was – it seemed like a balanced vehicle. Well, in Chapter 2 Season 3, we saw the problem that Epic were avoiding.

Pro scrimmages and high-level Arena matches were immediately dominated by helicopters. You’d see four or more Choppas in the sky as the zones closed, all ignoring one another in pursuit of higher placements. It seemed like we were entering Baller and plane territory with the Choppa.

On June 26, Epic released a hotfix to Fortnite that reduced the spawn rate of helicopters in competitive modes. This might not eliminate the problem, but it will lower the frequency of the issue.

The one question that we have is: are these helicopter spawn locations static or did Epic nerf the spawn rate, only. If the latter is true, then players will have to roll the dice with their drop spot. The Authority may or may not have a helicopter, for instance.

While this hotfix might be a bandaid on a bigger issue, it shows that Epic are listening to their competitive community and taking action when they need to. It’s a far cry from Season X where they left the BRUTE in competitive modes, unchecked, for weeks.

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