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Interview: SypherPK talks Season 5 wishlist, best/worst seasons & more

We sat down with SypherPK to discuss his opinions on competitive Fortnite, the best and worst seasons, his Season 5 wishlist, and much more.

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Ali ‘SypherPK’ Hassan is one of the longest-running Fortnite streamers on any platform. While his contemporaries left for games like Warzone, Sypher and his community stuck it out – flirting with those games but always coming back home to Fortnite.

We sat down with the Trap King himself for an interview. The opportunity was sparked by his upcoming collaboration with the Klarna “Playing for Keeps” event. We get into that and a whole lot more, ahead. Enjoy!

An interview with SypherPK

Tell me about your partnership with Klarna “Playing for Keeps”

Klarna reached out and wanted to put together a cool show for the viewers where they can get involved. We’re trying to do a challenge where the viewers get selected to go against me.

I’m a pretty competitive gamer and really good at the game, so there are things Klarna is going to throw in to try to mess up my gameplay and allow people to get some wins on me. If they end up winning, there’s a magnitude of prizes they can get. The big thing is my gaming rig. That’s the big prize. If someone beats me in Fortnite, they’ll be worthy of it.

What’s the format? 1v1, Kill Race, Boxfighting?

They have a lot of different Creative Maps that they’re going to be experimenting with. Some of them are gonna be a little more competitive, some of them are gonna be, like, 90’s races, the Fall Guys map – mainly Creative Maps. That way, it’s a little bit more fun and less sweaty. It gives people more of a shot at actually beating me.

Onto trending Fortnite topics, it seemed like you felt as though Fortnite missed an opportunity with Fortnitemares. What are some changes that you would make to create the ideal Fortnitemares 2020?

They did a great job at bringing in zombies in a unique way. In the past, they only brought in zombies as NPCs and they were kind of annoying; they would get in the way a lot of times and weren’t fun to fight against. This time, the switched it up and made the players the undead ghosts.

The big problem is that when the hype of being a ghost wore off, people started backing out of the game once they died instead of playing it out. It’s also a little bit underwhelming when you get eliminated – knowing that your only options are to back out or to play the rest of the game as a ghost.

We saw Warzone implement a system where the undead could come back into the game as normal players. I think Fortnite could have had its own unique twist on allowing the undead to return. It would give players an incentive to keep playing rather than backing out or charging at the first player they see to get into the next game.

Midas standing in front of Shadow Henchmen.

What’s on the SypherPK wish list for Season 5?

More unique items, for sure, but I’d definitely like to see some game-changing things introduced to Season 5 like we’ve seen in previous seasons. In past Fortnite seasons, we’ve had implementations that really change up the game. Like when they first introduced Reboot Vans, when they first introduced Siphon, fishing, vehicles, picking up players.

These are all very memorable changes that really shook up the game of Fortnite and made it better. We haven’t really seen big, significant changes like that in a while.

I would like to see a more revamped competitive system. Arena, right now, feels like a glorified Pub with Siphon. It doesn’t really feel like a true ranked mode. I would like to see a true ranked mode in Fortnite.

I’d like to see some sort of mechanic where, when you get eliminated and thirsted, you have a second chance of coming back. I’d like to see a revamp of the Reboot system; core-changing mechanics to really shake-up Fortnite. It’s been a while since we’ve have some significant changes to really alter the pace of the game.

Reboot van in Fortnite

You mentioned adding a true ranked system to Fortnite. What are some changes you’d make to the current Arena system to bring it more in line with a “true” ranked system, as you say?

I would change the whole point system. I would introduce a more traditional ranking system like we see in other games. You know, Bronze all the way up to Masters with actual weight on the games that you’re playing – where you truly feel like you can de-rank and gain rank while you’re playing based off of placement and kills.

At first, it was kind of hard to compare because there weren’t battle royales with solid ranking systems that made sense. You could compare it to Overwatch and CS:GO but those are different game modes.

After having experienced Apex Legends rank system – they have a traditional Bronze to Apex Predator – their ranking system actually incentivizes you to play smart and play for the win. Every game feels like it matters.

Fortnite’s current point system – once you know what you’re doing, it’s hard to lose points. You’re always gonna be gaining points. Once you make it to Champs, players are just W-keying and they don’t really care about that particular match – and neither should they because there’s no real weight to it.

An actual ranking system with a better scoring system that punishes players who die off spawn and really rewards players who get placements and eliminations would be fantastic. A leaderboard to flex your rank would also be fantastic.

Fortnite might have the biggest skill gap of any game in existence. Did you see that coming? The ceiling of how good someone’s mechanics could be in Fortnite?

I didn’t see that as a possibility until they really fleshed-out the Creative System. Initially, the only way to gain skill in Fortnite was to actually play the game. When you play a battle royale – especially when you’re not that good – your progress is extremely slow. You can spend 10 minutes looting and farming and you might die to the first player you see. You just spent 10 to 15 minutes in a match and you barely gained any knowledge.

Once they fleshed-out Creative and Playground, players could now just focus on the gameplay and mechanics. Really quickly, after that, we saw the skill gap start shooting up and reaching levels that we’ve never seen before. Even today – people are still pushing the limits of building and editing in Fortnite.

Do you have any theories as to why the competitive Fortnite player base is so young when compared to other esports?

I actually have a very strong theory, in my opinion, as to why that is. Some people initially thought that it came down to brain processing speed. The young guys have a fresh brain and they’re able to play Fortnite at that level. I don’t think that’s the case.

There are so many esports out there and, so far, age 30 seems to be the time when pro players stop being able to keep up with the young guys. In Fortnite, it’s like 14-18 (years old) a Fortnite player’s prime, whereas in other competitive scenes it might be 18-22.

My theory is pretty simple. Fortnite has only been out for three years. The most important mechanics in Fortnite are building and editing. After that comes decision making and aim. Decision making and aim can be transferred from other games. The things you can’t transfer from any other game are the building and editing mechanics. And those are the most imporant mechanics in Fortnite

So, in the past three years, only people who have had time to grind a significant amount to improve their building and editing are gonna be top players in Fortnite. The only people who can do that are younger kids who have fewer responsibilities. The older you get, the more things that will be on your plate.

There are some people who are older – 24, 25 – that we’ve seen do well in the World Cup. Most of those people are pro players from other games like we saw with Psalm, who also had the time to grind the game of Fortnite.

The (average) 20-year-old, when Fortnite came out; most of them were working, in school, had other responsibilities – weren’t able to put those hours in that the younger kids were able to put.

Why do you think so many people love to say, “Fortnite is dying,” when we all know that it’s not?

Let’s say that you’re a Fortnite viewer/player and your favorite streamers were Ninja, Courage, TimTheTatMan, Tfue. A lot of the time these communities are revolving around streamers and their communities, as well.

If those were your favorite streamers, you might think, ‘well, Fortnite is surely dying,’ because none of those people play Fortnite anymore, their communities have moved past Fortnite, and none of their friends play Fortnite.

The reality is that there are so many people who are getting into Fortnite and so many people who are still playing Fortnite. They put out record numbers six months ago. The game is not dying, however there are communities that have been built around the game that have moved on, giving members of that community the impression the game is dying.

Favorite Fortnite Season?

I think my favorite Fortnite season was in between Season 7 and 8 when Siphon was in public matches. The was the most fun I’ve had on Fortnite. 7 and 8.

Least favorite Fortnite Season?

Season X is definitely one of my least favorites, but after experiencing the content drought of Chapter 2 Season 1, I would say that was my least favorite. That whole season lasted 4+ months and they only added the Harpoon. So that was probably my least favorite season.

Favorite Fortnite event

The Black Hole. For sure.

Sypher will be streaming the Klarna event tomorrow, October 27. Tune in to watch him compete with his fans and viewers for massive prizes, including Sypher’s own gaming setup. You can find him on Twitch at Twitch.tv/SypherPK and on Twitter @SypherPK.

Events

Fortnite Galactus event: Nexus War start date and time

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Nexus War event in Fortnite

The exact date and time for the Nexus War finale in Fortnite has been confirmed, and there is little time to prepare for the Galactus event.

The event, which will bring Chapter 2, Season 4 to a climax, as Galactus – aka the Devourer of Worlds – is bombing towards the map to, presumably, destroy it all.

The countdown to the event appeared in-game on November 21, and Epic have now confirmed the exact date and time when the Nexus War will commence.

“It was only a matter of time.” Epic say in their blog post. “Galactus is closing in on the Island and the fate of all Reality lies in the balance. Join the ultimate fight against Galactus in the one-time-only Nexus War finale event.”

When is the Galactus event in Fortnite?

The Nexus War finale event will start on December 1 at 1PM PT / 4PM ET / 9PM GMT.

To make sure you don’t miss out, Epic has given some tips to be prepared for the event:

  • DOWNLOAD THE LATEST UPDATE
    If you haven’t already downloaded the 14.60 update, load the game on your preferred device and download today.
  • DOWNLOAD HOUSEPARTY
    Fortnite’s new integration with Houseparty means you can have live video chat in Fortnite (PC, PS4/PS5) while attending the event.
  • GET IN EARLY
    We’ve taken measures to ensure more people can attend the event, but we still recommend everyone log into Fortnite at least 60 minutes prior to the event start. The event playlist is expected to go live 30 minutes prior to the start time.

Of course, even if you can’t play the game yourself at the time, you’ll still be able to catch the action on Twitch and YouTube streams from content creators.

As Epic confirms, this is a one-time-only event, so there won’t be any reruns unlike previous end of season events.

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Leak

All leaked Fortnite skins & cosmetics from v14.60

Fortnite v14.60 brought leaked skins, pickaxes, and more cosmetics to the game.

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Fortnite v14.60 is here, and you know what that means: a batch of leaked skins that will be hitting the Item Shop in the upcoming weeks.

Fans are eagerly awaiting the next Fortnite event, which is rumored to be the biggest event in the history of the game. Until then, we can pass the time by drooling over some upcoming skins. The Cob skin is going to be a must-have going into Thanksgiving.

Leaked Skins & Back Bling

Fortnite is bringing a couple of interesting Thanksgiving skins to Fortnite, this year, including a skin concept that has existed for a while. Peely is getting the seasonal treatment and being turned into corn on the cob. This will, reportedly, be a part of a skin bundle with the evil pie-looking skin.

Of course, players will also see Venom enter the game as early as today in the Venom Cup. Winners of the skin will be able to use it this week. Everyone else will have a chance to buy it at a later date – probably this weekend.

The resident witch and wizard – Elmira and Castor – received a Dark variant in this patch, as well. Players who already own these skins will be able to access this new style right away.

Leaked Pickaxes

The leaked pickaxes in this update aren’t much to write home about – all but Venom’s pickaxe. We have some bad news about that one, though.

According to Hypex, it will be a built-in pickaxe that we won’t be able to use with other skins.

Leaked Wraps

We’ll be getting a few wraps to go along with the leaked skins in the section above. The Galaxy Wrap appears to be another style for the female Galaxy skin that we saw a while back.

The Rainbow Fog wrap looks to be a part of the upcoming Fortnite X House Party collaboration, meaning players will probably be able to get it for free.

Misc.

There are a few miscellaneous leaked cosmetics as well, including a Reboot Van emoticon, a Thor music pack, and two sprays that relate to Ghost Rider and Peely.

We don’t know whether or not you’ll be able to buy these items, but most of the time Epic save these for free challenge rewards.

Cosmetics weren’t the only leaks that were a part of the v14.60 update. We also have some information on what we can expect coming out of the next Fortnite event: Devourer of Worlds.

We’ll keep you covered with all of the leaks ahead of the update, so make sure to follow us on Twitter @FortniteINTEL.

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Patch Notes

Fortnite update 14.60 patch notes: Venom Skin, Creative changes & more

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Venom joins the fight in Fortnite Battle Royale, and there are lots of changes in Creative in the 14.60 update. There’s still no official patch notes from Epic Games, but we’ve brought together everything you need to know here.

Despite being the final update of Season 4, it looks like the bulk of the new content will be coming at the start of the new season instead.

Although there’s no complete patch notes, we can still put together all the changes here, along with the email sent out to content creators with the main features.

Venom

Venom is the highlight of this update. You can play for a chance to earn his skin the Venom cup.

The skin pack includes a Venom emote, symbiote slasher pickaxe, and tendril tote back bling. Check out the skin in-game:

XP Xtravaganza Part Two

XP Xtravaganza Part 2 starts this week: “Get the whole squad together and take on these party-wise challenges to finish out the Battle Pass in style,” Epic explain.

Houseparty x Fortnite video chat

Fortnite has teamed up with Houseparty to bring a brand new video chat feature.

Houseparty video chat will be available to Fortnite players on PC, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4. Players will also need an iOS or Android mobile device with the Houseparty app installed. With the app installed, connect your Houseparty account to your Epic Games account to get started.”

CREATIVE

Taken from an official blog post to the Fortnite website, Epic Games detailed specific changes for Creative mode.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • You can now hide the Elimination Feed and mute Elimination Audio to encourage sneaky sniping!

ISLANDS

  • Updated the Hub Island portal layout to accommodate the recent updates to hub creator guidelines.

ISLANDS BUG FIXES

  • Fixed an issue where the time of day lighting appeared differently on featured islands and personal islands.

GAMEPLAY

  • Added a new option to My Island > Settings
    • Player Elimination Audio: Off, On (Default: On) – causes eliminated players to be despawned silently.
  • Added new options to My Island > UI
    • Hide Elimination Feed: Yes, No (Default: No) – completely hides the elimination feed during the game.
    • Hide Party Eliminations: Yes, No (Default: No) – hides the number of eliminations for each party member in the Party UI during the game.

GAMEPLAY BUG FIXES

  • Fixed an issue where an eliminated player could spectate a player on the enemy team.
  • Fixed an issue where Team Size did not limit the number of players when Join in Progress was set to ‘Spawn Next Round’.
  • Fixed an issue where the sky would flicker on PS4.

WEAPONS AND ITEMS BUG FIXES

  • Fixed an issue where the X-4 Stormwing was de-synced after player interaction.
  • Fixed an issue where husks did not fall off edges to follow players.

CREATIVE TOOLS AND PHONE BUG FIXES

  • Fixed an issue where players could not open the Creative Inventory after cutting and pasting a device.
  • Fixed an issue where the Creative Inventory appeared distorted when customizing a device.

PREFABS AND GALLERIES BUG FIXES

  • Fixed a collision issue with the pillar wall asset from the Princess Castle Wall galleries.
  • Fixed an issue with the bush from Winter Variant Foliage Gallery A having a yellow glow.
  • Fixed an issue with a bridge girder asset from the Steel Bridge galleries being difficult to place with the phone.
  • Fixed an issue with some of the Steel Bridge prefabs & galleries placing outside of the preview boundary.
  • Fixed an issue with the bridge street asset from the Steel Bridge set having a misaligned grid snap box.
  • Fixed an issue with assets from the Swamp Cliff Gallery displaying the wrong texture.

DEVICES

  • Added new options to the Class Selector device.
    • Activation Audio: On, Off (Default: On) – allows the audio effect played when a player changes class to be muted.
    • Zone Audio: On,Off (Default: On) – allows the ambient audio effect for the zone and the audio effects for players entering and leaving the zone to be muted.
  • Added new options to the Mutator Zone device.
    • Selected Team: None, 1-16 (Default: None)
    • Affects Team: Selected, All But Selected (Default: All But Selected)
      • These two options replace the old Safe Team option to allow the zone to affect all teams (Selected Team = None), just the Selected Team, or every team except the Selected Team.
    • Selected Class: None, Any, 1-16 (Default: None)
    • Affects Class: Selected, All But Selected (Default: All But Selected)
      • These two options replace the old Safe Class option to allow the zone to affect all classes (Selected Class = Any), players without a class (Selected Class = None), just the Selected Class, or every class except the Selected Class.
    • Update Selected Team When Receiving From: No Channel, 1-150 (Default: No Channel) – sets the Selected Team on the device to be the same team as the player who instigated the signal.
    • Update Selected Class When Receiving From: No Channel, 1-150 (Default: No Channel) – sets the Selected Class on the device to be the same class as the player who instigated the signal.

DEVICES BUG FIXES

  • Fixed an issue with the Player Spawn Pad’s lighting being too bright on PS5 during mixed island filters.
  • Fixed an issue where the Mutator Zone Class Selected option was offset by 1.

Fortnite 14.60 bug fixes

As per usual, the Fortnite team has also added a number of bugs and issues to their official Trello board. This week’s patch actually only has a few fixes included but will cover the battle royale, Creative mode, and even Save the World.

Here is the full list of bug fixes coming in v14.60:

General

  • Disabled voice chat cannot be re-enabled on Xbox Series X/S.
  • ‘Lock Input Method as Mouse’ does not lock the input method.

Battle Royale

  • Doctor Doom’s Mystical Bomb disabled in competitive playlists.

Creative Mode

  • Team Size setting does not properly function when Join In Progress is set to Join Next Round.

Save the World

  • Wild West Llama not granting Steampunk weapon.
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