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Editorial

This day in Fortnite history: Season 4 releases

Two years ago, today, Fortnite Season 4 released on all platforms.

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It has now been two years since the meteor struck Dusty Depot and turned it into Dusty Divot, setting all of the subsequent plotlines into motion.

Season 4 was one of the most popular and significant seasons in Fortnite history. The original theme of the season was a superhero battle, but the loading screens soon revealed that the heroes were involved in a movie. The real plot revolved around the man in the meteor: The Visitor.

This was the first season that Epic released unlockable styles through the Battle Pass. It took them a few seasons to get the most out of this system, but Carbide and Omega were the first two skins to have progression-based styles.

The Battle Pass for Season 4 was a decent one, in retrospect. We had the aforementioned Carbide and Omega outfits, Valor, Squad Leader, Zoey, and Teknique. You don’t see too many players wearing these skins in 2020, however. Teknique is, probably, the most popular skin from this season.

As far as map changes for Season 4, we saw the introduction of Dusty Divot, the Villain Lair, the Hero Mansion, and some craters in places like The Prison, Tilted Towers, and Risky Reels. Moisty Mire also transitioned to a movie set, which was the iteration of Moisty that most players liked the best.

We also saw progressive map changes, this season. The Fortnite government began excavating the meteor and cleaning up Hop Rocks that appeared around the map.

Via: Fortnite Wiki

Season 4 was the season that introduced the Epic and Legendary Burst AR, Jetpack, Shopping Cart, Bouncer, Thermal AR, Stink Bomb, Dual Pistols, and the infamous Drum Gun.

Season 4 was the height of Fortnite’s popularity. It was one of the most exciting times to be a Fortnite player and it all culminated in the first-ever in-game event: the Rocket Launch.

Fortnite’s first in-game event set the stage for everything that followed: the Rifts, Kevin, the butterfly, the mech vs. monster fight, and the transition to the Chapter 2 map.

There are several contenders for the ‘best season of Fortnite,’ but Season 4 is a strong one. Fortnite was fun, wholesome, and just getting started.

Editorial

All Fortnite Season 4 Superpower abilities ranked

Fortnite Season 4 featured the most unique Mythic items in Chapter 2. Here’s how we think they stack up against one another.

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Fortnite Season 4 set itself apart from the other Chapter 2 seasons as soon as it launched. Instead of Mythic versions of normal weapons and items, Epic added Superpowers that were completely unique to the Marvel season.

Of course, some abilities are more powerful than others. Ahead, we’re going to rank the Superpowers in Fortnite Season 4 from worst to best. Keep in mind that we’re not including Marvel Knockout exclusives that haven’t made it into the base game – such as Venom’s ability. Let’s get into it.

11. Groot’s Bramble Shield

Groot’s Bramble Shield is, in our opinion, the weakest Superpower in Fortnite. It was among the first Mythic abilities added to the game and was immediately one of the weaker offerings. The ability is similar to The Baller from the first Fortnite Chapter but it’s arguably even weaker, as it doesn’t offer as much mobility nor does it reliably break structures.

There are a few uses for Groot’s Bramble Shield – namely, healing and preventing fall damage. The problem is that other hero abilities offer similar functionalities with added features.

The most unique use for the Bramble Shield relates to a bug that shoots opponents into the storm when a player uses it next to an enemy. This isn’t intended, however, so we’re not factoring it into the equation.

10. Doctor Doom’s Arcane Gauntlets

Doom’s Arcane Gauntlets was another original superpower in Fortnite, which was quickly outshined by Iron Man’s Gauntlets. Both Superpowers have the same function in shooting and preventing fall damage, but most players would prefer to use Iron Man’s Repulsors if they had to choose one.

The benefit of Doom’s Gauntlets is that they deal more damage than Iron Man’s, but this isn’t worth the slower fire rate, slower projectile rate, and lack of tracking. These will usually get left behind in Solo and Duo modes.

9. Iron Man’s Repulsor Gauntlets

It should come as no surprise to see Iron Man’s Repulsor Gauntlets listed just underneath Doctor Doom’s. As we said in the section above, these are a slightly more powerful version of Doom’s Gauntlets. They shoot faster and have a small lock-on mechanic which allows players to hit their shots more reliably.

Still, in most Solo or Duo games, it will be more useful to carry an SMG, healing item, or a utility item like Shockwaves or Crash Pads. These Gauntlets aren’t bad and are worth carrying in Squads, but no one is first-pumping when they find them on the ground.

8. Black Panther’s Kinetic Armor

Black Panther’s Kinetic Armor isn’t the best Superpower in Fortnite, either. It does a lot of things but doesn’t do anything particularly well.

For instance, the ability offers a speed boost but only when it’s active, meaning it’s outshined by Wolverine’s Claws. It also shoots players back and deals damage, but not as effectively as Storm’s Whirlwind Blast.

The unique part of this ability is the slight damage resistance, but this isn’t enough for us to put it above some of the other Superpowers in the game. Most players don’t blindly rush opponents in Fortnite – it’s a game of wall and ramp protection, meaning the damage resistance isn’t as useful as it might sound.

7. Thor’s Mjolnir Strike

Thor’s Mjolnir Strike might be one of the more unique Superpowers in Fortnite, as no other ability replicates its effect. The closest thing we can compare it to is a Junk Rift, although it’s reusable but arguably weaker.

The ramped-up Junk Rift ability also provides fall damage while activating it, which is a nice benefit that some players still don’t know about. It’s a great zoning ability that can land directly on a player who’s boxed-up, or knock someone down from high-ground.

That being said, Thor’s Mjolnir Strike is more situational than some of the others and its long cooldown puts it on the lower half of our list.

6. She Hulk’s Fists

She Hulk’s Fists seem to be one of the rarer sights across the Fortnite map. They were added to the game relatively recently, and entered a cluttered loot pool of Superpowers that make them difficult to find.

The Fists are decent, but seem to be more of a novelty than they are functional. In other words, we’d pick them up ten times out of ten, but only because we hardly ever get a chance to use them.

As far as function goes, however, they seem to be a less-useful version of Wolverine’s Claws. They have similar mechanics when jumping, punching, and slamming, but don’t give you health or a speed boost while using them – giving the edge to Wolverine’s ability.

5. Storm’s Whirlwind Blast

Storm’s Whirlwind Blast is one of the most useful Superpowers in the game. It almost seems too low to list it at number five, but we think that the four above it are deserving of their spots.

Everyone knows that Storm’s Whirlwind Blast knocks players backward and deals damage, but it also reflects projectiles in the game – including oncoming cars. In fact, the ability can counter most of the other damage-dealing Superpowers in the game – with Iron Man’s Unibeam being the only exception.

4. Doctor Doom’s Mystical Bomb

Putting Doctor Doom’s Mystical Bomb at number four on this list might have something to do with the fact that it’s one of the only Superhero abilities that could be found in the FNCS.

We saw how dominant it could be when players had high-ground with it, as one shot from the bomb was a cue for the whole lobby to spray a team. Doom’s Mystical Bomb isn’t as powerful in public matches, but it’s still a fantastic way to suppress opponents and force them to move away from flaming structures.

3. Silver Surfer’s Board

Silver Surfer’s Board isn’t anything flashy, but it might be the most useful Superpower in Fortnite. It allows you to shoot yourself into the air and re-deploy your glider, which makes it the best Superpower on this list in the utility and mobility departments.

You glide slowly while using this ability but its true power comes in its cancellation. At any point in your flight, you can cancel the animation and fall to the ground without taking any damage, allowing you to perfectly attack an opponent from the sky.

This ability was so beloved by the community that Epic added the Witch Brooms during Fortnitemares, making it more widely available in public matches. On the flipside, it was so powerful that Epic were forced to remove it from competitive modes after its initial inclusion.

2. Wolverine’s Claws

Wolverine’s Claws may be the most versatile superpower in the game, right now. They deal consistent, powerful damage, prevent fall damage through the spin animation, offer a speed boost, and heal you while you have them equipped.

You don’t need any healing items in your inventory while you have these equipped – provided that you’re not tanking the storm. We learned the hard way that the healing ability doesn’t work while in the storm.

Wolverine’s Claws are a W-keyer’s dream. Pushing into someone’s box works like a lot of the other melee weapons Fortnite has added like the Lightsaber and Kingsman Umbrella. It’s tough to deal with and is worthy of a position in the top two.

Wolverine fortnite

1. Iron Man’s Unibeam

Iron Man’s Unibeam is our unquestioned number-one Superpower in Fortnite Season 4. You are guaranteed to find it if you survive the onslaught at Stark Industries and can deal a whopping 90 damage through an opponent’s structure.

The only real way to counter the Unibeam is to shoot at the person who is aiming at you. Even then, you could get the wrong side of Fortnite bloom and eat 90 damage for your efforts. In squads, while facing multiple enemies, defending against the Unibeam is nearly impossible.

The Unibeam works in nearly every situation and is highly effective. No one is leaving this thing on the ground. Players have received several Season 4 Victory Royales on its back. It’s our number-one and could be considered the best item, weapon, or ability in Fortnite Season 4.

That was our list of the most powerful Superhero abilities in Fortnite. What does yours look like? Do you agree or disagree with our rankings? Give us your thoughts on our Twitter page @FortniteINTEL. If you make a strong enough case, we may even adjust our rankings.

If any other hero Superpowers come to the base Fortnite game before the end of the season, we’ll add them to our rankings, so come back and check if we have another substantial patch before Season 5. Until then, good luck out there!

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Esports

Slasher claims Fortnite esports’ real problem isn’t the prize pool

Esports reporter, Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau, claims that Fortnite’s main problem as an esport isn’t the dwindling prize pool.

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With the recent announcement of the Fortnite Season 4 FNCS tournament, high-level competitive players have been calling out Epic Games for the lowering of their esports prize pool after their massive $100 million splash during the 2018-2019 season.

Top competitors like BenjyFishy, Zayt, and others have taken to social media to call out Epic for the seemingly drastic lowering of the prize pool over the course of the last year.

Players who place in the top three of the most popular regions in the game are seeing about half of what they won a year ago. The winner of the European region in the FNCS will earn almost $370,000 less in Chapter 2 Season 4 than they did during the same tournament in 2019.

To be fair to Epic Games, there are a few reasons for this. Most obviously, Epic are now providing daily and weekly Cash Cups to their player base. These events might not garner as much attention as the seasonal FNCS and DreamHack tournaments, but they do count towards the total prize money that Epic give away for Fortnite esports.

This might sound like Champaign problems to a lot of people reading this. Yes, we’re largely talking about young video game players who are competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars from the comfort of their own homes.

To the top players in the game, however, this isn’t all about the money. To them, it’s another sign that Epic don’t care about the competitive side of Fortnite. In their defense, they have years of evidence to back this up.

Esports reporter Rod “Slasher” Breslau weighed in on this topic on Twitter, stating that the real problem with Fortnite esports has nothing to do with the prize money. “Fortnite esports doesn’t need $100 Million in prize money for (it) to be successful,” he wrote. “Fortnite needs Epic Games to truly care about its competitive player community with a long term plan for the pros instead of treating esports as a nonsense marketing exercise to promote the game.”

In a follow-up tweet, Slasher evoked the ongoing battle between Epic Games and Apple and how many of the pros in the community remain indifferent on the objectively positive stand that Epic are taking. This writer has heard one popular pro claim that he wanted Apple to “clean out” Epic while raging about the Fortnite server performance in the Season 3 FNCS Grand Finals.

As unfortunate as it may be, Slasher is right. Epic are using Fortnite esports as a “marketing exercise to promote the game.” They always have. When did Kevin the Cube come to Fortnite? In the middle of a tournament. When did the Infinity Blade come to Fortnite? The night before a tournament.

Chapter 1 Season 7 began four days before a $1 million Winter Royale tournament. That means that all of the qualifiers took place on a different Fortnite season than the finals. In fact, the EU finals and the NA finals for the same tournament happened on two entirely different seasons.

Fortnite competitive series chapter 2

In his final tweet in the thread, Slasher acknowledged that “Fortnite esports is still in an okay spot, but given the size and impact of the game to the gaming community at large or even mainstream culture.” Fortnite might be the biggest game of all time when it’s all said and done, but the esports side of things, “could be so much more,” as Slasher states.

Over the past year, in an interesting twist of fate, competitive Fortnite has become the number-one way to watch Fortnite on Twitch. Popular streamers like CouageJD, Ninja, DrLupo, and NickMercs have all left the game. Browsing the Fortnite category will primarily bring you streams of players like Clix, BenjyFishy, and Bugha broadcasting pro scrimmages.

At the same time, however, these pros are largely negative about the game that they all play. We all rage from time to time, but many of the Fortnite pros go out of their way to trash the game on other platforms – not just on-stream. It’s a problem for a game when its most popular players are constantly talking about how bad it is.

The worst part of this scenario might be that the game isn’t bad. It’s actually quite good. Casual players who don’t understand why these pros are complaining start to drift away from watching them. This was the primary cause of the philosophical divide that we’re now seeing between the casual and competitive Fortnite player bases.

Sentinel head dirty docks

There’s a way out of this for Epic Games, but we’re not too confident that they’re going to take it. Like Slasher said, Fortnite esports is in a good spot; despite all of the issues that it has. On a casual level, Fortnite has almost as many players as ever. Season 4 seems like a return to form for the core game.

As someone who was overwhelmingly excited for the future of Fortnite esports during the first Friday Fortnite tournament, though, I can’t help but feel disappointed. There was a ton of potential and it seems like we might already be past the peak. It could have been a lot more, but that’s not the route Epic are taking.

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Editorial

OP Silver Surfer strategy highlights problem for competitive Fortnite

Mythic hero abilities look to cause problems in the Fortnite Season 4 competitive meta.

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Whether or not you’re a fan of the Marvel theme of the new season, it’s hard to deny that Fortnite Season 4 is fun. For many, it seems like a return to form for the game that we all love. Not only has Epic significantly nerfed the “spray meta,” but they added some fun, goofy items again. It’s hard to find players who aren’t fans of the Boogie Bomb and Shockwave Grenade.

Even pro players seem to be happy with the latest update. Sure, there was a rough patch in the beginning when it seemed like aim assist was nerfed. Yes, the reduction from the 100% chest spawn rate seems to be universally disliked. Of course, the Combat Shotgun was nerfed into an unusable state.

All things considered, these are small issues when compared to the last couple of seasons.

There is one glaring problem on the horizon, however; one that Epic has been dealing with for the past two seasons, as well: mythic items in competitive modes. These items are a blast in public matches. That’s where they belong and where they shine. As soon as an item starts having a massive impact on tournaments, however, the community begins to split.

If you watched the Season 3 FNCS, then you know exactly what we’re talking about. The Shockwave Launcher was featured in almost every end-game of the Grand Finals across all regions. When it was all said and done, the Launcher accounted for well over half of the wins – and there was only one of them in each match.

Apart from this issue, the FNCS seemed to run smoothly. You’d think that Epic would keep this in mind when balancing the next season of competitive Fortnite. Unfortunately, Season 4 Arena Mode released with the same issue: Mythic hero abilities dominating competitive play.

Right now, the only exclusive Mythic Items are held by Doctor Doom. The blaster isn’t too overpowered in the Solo format, but the FNCS is Trios. As you can see from the clip, above, one player can hold height with Doom’s abilities while the rest shoot at the players underneath.

The other two mythic items, Groot’s Baller and Silver Surfer’s board, have a chance to spawn more than once in each match. You could, realistically, have around four or five of these (combined) in a game. These items might be even more problematic, however. Silver Surfer’s board allows you to get out of almost any situation, provided that it isn’t on cool-down.

The “outplay” potential of all of these items is incredibly high. They’re also some of the rarest items in each match. Is this what we want in a fair, competitive playing field? Our answer is, no – and we don’t think that pros will like them either.

If we were only talking about three items, it might not be a huge deal. The problem is that Epic are planning on adding several more hero abilities over the course of the season. Will these be in competitive modes as well? How powerful will She-Hulk’s Ground Smash be in the hands of the best players in the world?

Hopefully, these items are only in Arena during the FNCS preseason and are removed before the official tournament. If not, we could be hearing a lot more complaints from the usual suspects; and it’s hard to disagree with them.

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