In response to continued frustrations with Fortnite's BRUTE mechs, Epic Games has issued a clarification regarding their design philosophy. "The mission of Fortnite is to bring players of all skill levels together" is Epic's core message, and BRUTEs, according to Epic, were implemented in part to further this mission. Epic stated that players who previously struggled to get eliminations are now acquiring more, while eliminations for other players have remained stable.
Acknowledging that the BRUTE launch hasn't been perfect, Epic pointed to its changes to Arena as an example that it's carefully tracking use of the mechs. BRUTE spawn rates were changed so as to "reduce late-game encounters," since more players survive longer in Arena. BRUTE usage in Arena is dramatically lower than in core modes with the changes, though this also goes to show that Epic understands the inherent anti-competitiveness that BRUTEs can introduce.
To support its statement, Epic Games provided two different charts. The first chart shows "Average BRUTE Eliminations Per Game," with no mode averaging 7 or more BRUTE eliminations. Arena Solos and Trios both average less than 2 BRUTE eliminations. The second chart graphs the "Percent of BRUTE Eliminations Per Game," which shows strikingly low averages compared to standard eliminations. BRUTEs are apparently not as often used or as effective as perceived.
While Epic doesn't state it bluntly, the message is fairly clear. Epic is saying that the impact of BRUTEs in Fortnite, as measured, don't match the vocal minority's portrayal of BRUTEs in-game. Popular streamers on Twitch and Fortnite online communities have commonly claimed for some time now that BRUTEs are changing the game dramatically, which Epic's graphics show is inaccurate. Unfortunately, these statistics are much less likely to be be shared within the Fortnite community.
While Epic's comments and data do create an air of understanding around Fortnite's BRUTE mechs, they don't completely counter frustrations within the community. Yes, BRUTEs are now clearly much less impactful, much less prevalent than the Fortnite community may have thought. But that doesn't mean that the encounters with BRUTEs that do exist are necessarily fun or enjoyable. It doesn't mean that it's fun or fair to play against.
The conversation regarding the role of BRUTEs in Season 10 of Fortnite continues. The controversy is unlikely to be sated.
Fortnite is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One, and mobile devices.