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Is skill-based matchmaking ruining Fortnite in Chapter 2?

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Fortnite Chapter 2 has been an unmitigated success for Epic Games in terms of reigniting the passion among the player base, but there is one issue that has caused widespread debate – skill-based matchmaking, often abbreviated as SBMM.

SBMM is always a controversial system in any online multiplayer game. Its basic premise is to match players of similar skill levels in the same lobby together, to create a more balanced field.

On paper, this sounds fine, but it can be problematic – primarily if this skill-based matchmaking takes precedence over purely connection-based matchmaking (where you are matched with players to whom you will have the strongest online connection, regardless of skill).

The Fortnite community is debating whether skill-based matchmaking is good or bad. Credit: Epic Games.

Another issue is that it can make the game increasingly difficult for good-to-excellent players, where the game essentially punishes you for being a ‘good’ player by giving you increasingly difficult opponents.

In an effort to help out lesser-skilled players in Fortnite, Epic Games introduced a more rigorous skill-based matchmaking system in Chapter 2, but some argue it has come at the expense of more experienced (and therefore better) players.

This can create another problem, called ‘reverse boosting’, where players will deliberately perform badly (often tanking their kill/death ratio by dying over and over, and purposely playing worse) in order to lower their skill bracket and trick the algorithm.

Top YouTuber, Ali-A, has slammed the introduction of SBMM as the “worst” addition ever, claiming it was “killing the game.”

Some fans have argued that while it undoubtedly makes the game more difficult for players like Ali-A, it’s necessary to help players who can’t play as much.

A debate sparked on Reddit, with some arguing that “SBMM is in the game because it’s necessary” because “for the majority of the player base, [public matches] feel balanced again.”

Not everyone agrees that skill-based matchmaking is a bad thing. Credit: yukataRED.

What do you think about skill-based matchmaking? Have you noticed your lobbies getting harder or easier in Fortnite Chapter 2? Have you ran into a lot of bots?

It remains to be seen if Epic will make any adjustments to the system as the new chapter of Fortnite continues.

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Ninja’s test stream points to potential YouTube signing

Fans are speculating, heavily, that Ninja will be moving to YouTube Gaming.

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Ever since Mixer dissolved overnight, fans of popular streamers have been speculating about where two of the biggest names in gaming will land: Shroud and Ninja. The consensus was that Shroud would return to Twitch, while Ninja would head off to YouTube. Fans of the latter will remember the fallout that Ninja and Twitch had when the streamer left – leaving little chance of the two entities settling their differences.

At the end of the day, YouTube and Twitch were the only two realistic options for these streamers – short of the rumors of a new streaming platform. Both Ninja and Shroud turned down massive contracts from Facebook Gaming, signifying that they wouldn’t want to join their platform for any amount of money.

We haven’t heard any news about where Ninja would land since Mixer shut down. He is, undoubtedly, in the midst of contract negotiations with his future platform, but we hadn’t seen any concrete clues that pointed to Twitch or YouTube.

That was, until July 7 when the streamer scheduled a test stream on YouTube. The scheduled test was set to take place on the same day and, as Hypex stated in a tweet, likely wasn’t supposed to be public. It was, though, and has fans speculating that Ninja is heading to YouTube Gaming.

As we touched on, above, this is far from a surprise. Ninja’s friend, CourageJD, has been killing it on YouTube – actually seeing his viewership increase after switching over from Twitch.

Although this test stream doesn’t confirm anything, it provides us with a strong hint that Ninja is moving to YouTube Gaming. It also tells us that the official announcement may be sooner rather than later. This is all one more step to having one of the biggest Fortnite streamers on any platform back – his incredibly entertaining “Ninja Battles” tournament series with him.

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Replay images suggest Vending Machines will return in Fortnite Season 3

Could Vending Machines make their return in Fortnite Season 3?

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You might not remember the days of the old Vending Machines in Chapter 1, but they took a while to find their footing. They started by charging players too many materials for a particular weapon before lowering their requirements and becoming much more popular. After some final adjustments, Epic decided to make the Vending Machine free, but only dispense one weapon per machine.

In Chapter 2, Epic removed Vending Machines from the map. There wasn’t a ton of need for them in the first two seasons. The loot pool was simple and Upgrade Stations allowed you to improve your loadout. In Season 3, however, things are starting to get a bit more cluttered. We could have a need for Fortnite Vending Machines, yet again.

It’s clear that Epic have the intention of adding Vending Machines back to Fortnite, eventually. We’ve seen some glitches and rendering problems that cause players to get a glimpse of Vending Machines in both Seasons 1 and 2. Season 3, however, seems like the most realistic time to add them back.

Theories of the return of Vending Machines are back in the news because of what some players are finding in Replay Mode. We’ve seen screenshots of Vending Machines at The Shark, Camp Cod, and other locations around the map. It’s clear that Epic know where they’d put them, at least.

As the water levels lower throughout Season 3, we may begin to see Vending Machines poke out. They all seem to offer Miniguns, at the moment, which are not in the base loot pool. This could always change in a later patch, however.

Epic seem to be dedicated to bringing back the ever-changing Fortnite world that we saw during Chapter 1. The more item in the loot pool, the more RNG you’ll have. Vending Machines have always been a way to mitigate RNG, and could be perfect in Season 3 – at least, we hope.

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Limited Time Modes

Entire Fortnite Summer Smash LTM lineup revealed

Here are all of the upcoming LTMs for the Fortnite Summer Splash event.

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We’re in the midst of Fortnite’s annual Summer event – this year called, “Summer Splash.” Last year, we saw Epic unvault a new weapon each day during the 14 Days of Summer. This season, we’re getting a healthy rotation of some LTMs.

The return of LTMs was one of the most-requested features from the Fortnite community during the first two seasons of Chapter 2. Fans wondered why Epic didn’t add these modes to the game. Well, we may now know: they were saving them for a small event.

We’ll be treated to five more LTMs over the course of July, starting with Fog of War, which came out on the 6th. Tomorrow, July 8, the rotation will split to High Explosives as a Squads mode.

Fortnite data miner @iFireMonkey took a look at the game files and found all of the LTMs coming to Fortnite in the next month. Along with the game types, he also found the team size that each mode will feature. Here’s his infographic on all of the LTMs coming to the Summer Splash event.

Via: FireMonkey

As you can see, Epic are, traditionally, keeping their LTMs around for four days each – switching the team size after two days. Sniper Shootout, Blitz, and Unvaulted are three of the most popular LTMs, so it makes sense that we’re seeing them here.

Of course, there will be a few fan-favorites that missed the rotation. The Floor is Lava, Air Royale, and The Getaway are probably all Chapter 1-specific, but we would have loved to see Bounty in this lineup. Hopefully, Epic continues to keep up with their LTM rotation after Summer Splash concludes.

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