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Ranked Fortnite: The value to a casual player

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Usually, when people talk about the implementation of a ranked system in Fortnite, they frame it from the benefit it provides to the top level of players.

With Epic introducing more open tournaments and Fortnite creative adding in places for great players to practice, competitive players have more options, in lieu of a ranked ladder.

Casual players do not. LTMs and creative game modes offer interesting unique alternatives, but the main game has been getting harder to enjoy for casual players.

100 Thieves YouTuber/Streamer NoahJ456 posted a tweet that summed up a lot of the current issues Fortnite is facing. The tweet was posted on Reddit and has a score of over 46,000, making it the top post on /r/FortniteBR over the last month.

NoahJ456’s view on the state of Fortnite from r/FortNiteBR

Clearly, Noah’s opinion is one shared by a lot of the community.

The solution may be simpler than it seems, and mutually beneficial. And, Epic may already have something in the works.

Why a ranked system makes sense for Fortnite

We have covered the pros and cons of a ranked system in Fortnite before, but that was when Pop-up Cups were just beginning and it was mostly focused on how it would impact the best players in the game.

Now we are looking at the flip side. For any competitive game, the skill gap between the top and bottom and will widen the longer the game has been out. Imagine if new players in League of Legends were matched in their lanes against mechanical gods or CS:GO rookies were getting one-tapped.

The games would lose players as fast as they gained them. Fortnite is a bit different due to the nature of Battle Royale. With the game’s quick rise to popularity, the stocks of new players were plentiful.

It was easy to find players of all skill levels, and even relatively weak players could pull out wins, especially in duos or squads.

As time has gone on, players are improving and there haven’t been enough new players to balance the competitive scales.

The time where a ranked ladder becomes necessary is rapidly approaching. There are numerous benefits to it now.

First, players would be able to improve by playing against the competition of a similar skill level. Second, any victory would be hard fought and well-deserved. Third, each engagement would become more fun, bots wouldn’t make for easy kills and soccer skins with absurd editing speed wouldn’t make you want to throw a controller.

There are a couple of problems of course. Smurfs (players playing on alternate accounts below their actual skill level) would absolutely destroy the bottom ranks, but that is a problem in literally every competitive game. Right now getting destroyed by a player who would be a smurf rank is common, so it wouldn’t be much different.

Another issue is how to make a ranked system work in a game like Fortnite. It isn’t straight forward and a good working ranked system for Battle Royale hasn’t been established. But here’s my proposition:

How a ranked system in Fortnite could work

Buckets. Big ole buckets. Don’t have players rank up or down after each game. Have them play a mini-season in one big bucket with no change. Maybe it is one or two weeks, and players have to drop in a certain amount of times to qualify for a rank change that season.

There could be four big buckets. The lowest for the new players and defaults. The next for the casual but consistent players who are more concerned with the fun aspects of the game than grinding 90s.

The third would be those players who are taking it seriously and truly want to win but might not have all the tools they need to compete with the best. Finally, would be the top-level sweats. Made up of streamers, pro players and the best Fortnite has to offer.

The bucket system would do a couple of key things. It would keep match pools large so that players can count on having a full match, even if they drop in at odd hours.

The length of the season would help remove RNG from your results. Anything can happen in any one game. But, if you get to compare a player’s results from a week’s worth of games to another player’s week, suddenly a skill gap becomes more obvious.

The rating of a player would have to be some combination of kills per game and placement per game. That metric would then be converted to a percentage and the top, say 10% of the bucket would be brought up while the bottom 10% of the bucket would be brought down.

The 10% is just a random number, and could easily be higher or lower. Buckets could also be sectioned further to have more players move up or down within the buckets, while matchmaking would still take from the bucket as a whole. Think of it like Rocket League’s divisions between ranks.

In this example, each level would be a bucket in Fortnite

This could be the breath of fresh air that Fortnite needs to keep players having fun at all levels. If Epic wants to continue to attract new players they will need to have a slow build up into the game or players will drop it as soon as they began.

So you want a ranked mode in Fortnite? How do you feel about the bucket system? Is there a better way? Tell me 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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