Amidst all of its success and records, it isn’t often that Fortnite faces a little controversy. But that’s just what has sprung up within the community this week, after Epic Games made a controversial change to weapon switching.
For those that might not have been following, the latest Fortnite update introduced a new equip time for high damage weapons, essentially preventing players from quickly switching to a weapon like a shotgun and firing. Now, there will be a slight delay in the time between the player switching to the weapon and when they can fire.
According to Epic Games, the change was made to reduce instances where players can quickly switch between weapons for high burst damage. Most players figured that this was the developer’s solution for double shotgun or double rocket launcher use, but it seems to have a larger impact on the Fortnite meta, especially for high skill players.
Since the launch of the patch, debates have raged over whether the change was good or bad. Some feel that this was a necessary addition, as it eliminates abuse of the heavy shotgun for easy kills. Now players will have to focus on using individual weapons, pick their time to engage, and hit their shots.
On the other side of the fence are those that feel the change lowers the skill gap and caters to more casual players. High level play in Fortnite typically comes down to a player’s ability to quickly build and then switch to a weapon and deal damage. But with the new change, a player can’t build and then fire a shotgun or sniper; they have to wait for the “equip time.”
One of the more common instances where this can hurt the skilled player is in the use of peaking, which involves destroying a player’s wall/floor, building a new wall/floor, and then editing that build element to reveal the hiding opponent. It’s a tactic that many high level players use to get the drop on an opponent, but now it is much more difficult to pull off.
This one issue has seemingly divided the Fortnite community, and both sides have strong arguments. Popular Fortnite streamer Ninja weighed in on the change saying that it is “not the greatest.” He goes on to suggest that Epic Games should take in the feedback from the community and avoid making similar changes in the future. In Ninja’s mind, something like this shouldn’t have been considered, because nothing was “broken.”
I really feel like the majority of the Fortnite community agrees this weapon delay is… not the greatest. I hope @FortniteGame takes this feedback very seriously… if it ain’t broke… don’t fix it.
— Ninja (@Ninja) April 13, 2018
Another high profile Fortnite player, Myth, gave his detailed thoughts in a lengthy Reddit post that suggests the change doesn’t lower the skill gap – players just need to adapt. As Myth explains, peaking through build elements should still require caution, so sticking one’s head into an opening is not a smart strategy. Players should build, ready their weapon, and then engage.
Ultimately, Epic Games has a difficult subject on its hands and will likely need to address the feedback from the community sooner rather than later. The server issues this week put that on the back burner, but now that those are seemingly fixed it is time to hear from the developers. Both sides have valid reasons to be happy or frustrated with the change, and there is no easy solution to make everyone happy. Either Epic backs down and reverts back to the old way, or they keep the change and players need to adjust.
Fortnite is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One