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Epic says it added mechs to Fortnite to help less skilled players

By David Matthews · 19 replies
Aug 16, 2019
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  1. Epic launched season 10 of Fortnite earlier this month, adding the controversial B.R.U.T.E. mech suits. These mech suits are pretty powerful and are able to make quick work of players and structures alike as well as traverse the map quite easily with a super jump. Unfortunately, this has sparked backlash among the more competitive player base. Epic stands behind their decision for the mechs' inclusion, however.

    "We’ve heard the frequent discussions (#RemoveTheMech) about the B.R.U.T.E., and decided this would be a good opportunity to explain the Fortnite philosophy. The mission of Fortnite is to bring players of all skill levels together to have a fun experience where anyone can win. For example - everyone having a shot at that first elimination or Victory Royale moment and the satisfying feeling that comes with it. Right now, we know there are players out there who have never had that opportunity."

    To temper the fury of gamers, Epic reduced the frequency of the mechs for competitive games and claims that their inclusion has helped struggling players pick up more eliminations. The graphs below show the average eliminations by the mechs for different game modes. The competitive Arena modes have the least amount of kills.

    According to Epic, players who typically struggled to get kills have been able to succeed using the B.R.U.T.E. mechs. More experienced players have kept the same amount kills which seemingly vilifies Epic. Of course this is the Internet and people still aren't satisfied with Epic's explanation. A few professional Fortnite players expressed their displeasure on Twitter:

    Epic is in a bit of a bind here. Fortnite currently boasts over 250 million players whose skills range considerably across the player base. The irony is that while many of the more competitive players are angry at the inclusion of an overpowered mech for less skilled players, the very nature of Fortnite was to be a more casual alternative to more technical battle royale shooters like PUBG. However, Epic has to strike a delicate balance between competitive and casual fans of Fortnite while still making the game attractive to new players (and bring revenue).

    That said, as Epic positions Fortnite as a competitive esport that can pay out millions of dollars to a single winner, the company will have to find ways to balance high-level, competitive play. While Epic is reducing the drop rate of the mech suits in competitive play, that doesn't mean that official tournaments won't have them.

    What's interesting here is the difference in response compared to the ill-fated Infinity Blade controversy last year. Epic removed the Infinity Blade, a homage to their popular iOS game, because it quite literally toppled the building fundamentals of Fortnite, easily destroying player structures. Not only are the B.R.U.T.E. mechs capable of the same type of destruction, the addition of ranged weaponry like shotguns and missile launchers make killing it a tough proposition.

    In fairness, gamer rage can't overcome raw data. If Epic's data is telling them that newer players are succeeding because of the mechs while experienced players are still as successful as before, then Epic doesn't necessarily have a reason to take out the mechs completely. While an argument could be made that newer players may use the mechs as a crutch and never improve in skill, Epic has to make sure its game appeals to a wide audience, many of whom just want to hop on and goof off with their friends instead of simply getting kills.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,168   +3,771

    This is an example of how not to balance a game. If you want to make sure novice players still get a chance to win you don't break the entire game's balance to do so. You introduce low skill requirement weapons and tools. These are weapons that don't require a lot of mechanical skill (like aiming) but aren't overpowered compared to other weapons in the game. In addition, any of these solutions are a lazy way to solve differences in player skills when in fact players should be matched according to their skills in the first place. Novices should not be playing again veterans plain and simple. Why EPIC still does not match players according to their skill is beyond me, this should have been priority one. No one wants to start playing a game where they get destroyed their first 1,000 matches because they are brand new to it and everyone else is not.
  3. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 834   +729

    Heh, I've played a few dozen games of Fortnite and yet to have a kill. I'll bet if I found any of those suits, I'd still get my butt handed to me.
  4. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,581   +1,178

    So much better than forcing them to get better or be completely and utterly destroyed and humiliated.

    I’ve played maybe 80 rounds of PUBG and only won 5.

    I get better by being better.

    I don’t want my hand held.

    That’s why I love speed Chess so much. When I would corner someone and they realized they couldn't win, they'd abandon the game. Speed Chess gives you absolutely 3 minutes to win/lose/or draw. There is no in-between.

    When you play the game of thrones you either win or you die.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,579   +5,139

    So the object here is to make the game less challenging for elite players by giving them a suit.
  6. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 2,038   +1,556

    No surprise. Fortnite was always a bit on a casual side.

    If you wanna have a competitive game you keep the amount of gizmos to a minimum. In an FPS game, as soon as aiming becomes less important and a duel can be decided by a click of a button it shits on the idea of a first person shooter.
    Burty117 and Panda218 like this.
  7. FuryX

    FuryX TS Rookie

    Every online Game does something like this in its lifespan
    They release an update to screw the game balance..make players pissed off and rage quit..
    and from that time onwards..the game starts dying..
    Don Vanderpool and Puiu like this.
  8. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,571   +2,051

    "In fairness, gamer rage can't overcome raw data." - What raw data? You just have a few selected stats taken out of context meant to skew perception and don't even make a case for Epic's argument. This kind of journalistic opinion is dangerous, especially in an article on a tech driven website.

    I like it when I play well and I win based on my own merit (it's why I prefer competitive games like CS). To get severely punished because I'm playing too well is ridiculous at best. I would quit any game that did that. Fortunately I never got into Fortnite and PUBG. I just hope that other devs don't ruin games by trying to copy Epic.

    It's most likely a profit driven change meant to "encourage" even bad players to pay for loot boxes and MTX. That's where the real "raw data" is.
  9. David Matthews

    David Matthews TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 290   +54

    Hi Puiu, what I meant was that the internal data that Epic is using. Obviously, the public isn't privy to that but if that's what their data is telling them then it's understandable why they're sticking with it.
  10. Adi6293

    Adi6293 TS Maniac Posts: 259   +237

    Me too, I'm terrible at online shooters so I stick to Far Cry :)
  11. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,571   +2,051

    OK, I can understand that. But I still stand by what I said about what kind of data they are using to make these changes. It's definitely not based on how fun it is for bad players. It's all about the psychological effect it has on bad players spending money or not. It's all about getting people more "invested" in the game.
  12. Draconian

    Draconian TS Enthusiast Posts: 86   +16

    Are you saying Fortnite has jumped the shark?
  13. Indekkusu

    Indekkusu TS Rookie Posts: 24   +13

    So much elitism crying here. There is no shark jumping or any of the exaggerations. Games made and limited to the self selected few will never get the large enough audience for massive financial gains. They game company accountants and execs are not looking to please those elitists, they are looking for profits.If you really want to win in these games, you need to beat those accountants and execs, who are the real elitists. BTW you don't win that one by being more exclusive, more elitist, and crapping on the noobs.
  14. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,571   +2,051

    Except that it's those elitists that are the driving force behind the profits, they are the ones more likely to buy the season passes, the loot boxes, etc. They are the ones that promote the game online in forums, reddit, twitch streams, youtube, etc etc.
    And you forgot that Fortnite itself is being pushed as a competitive esport title.

    All I know is that a balanced game makes for a good game. When you balance the game to try to please everybody you end up not pleasing anyone and just piss people off.
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,579   +5,139

    The only was I wouldn't see a problem with this. Is if there were competitive maps, where the suits can not be used.
  16. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,254   +699

    And what is the win% for players who get this mech? Is it a guaranteed win if you manage to get in one, or does it just land you an extra kill or two?
  17. Indekkusu

    Indekkusu TS Rookie Posts: 24   +13

    New noobs are being used as fodder by the elitist, it is NOT a balanced game. All that does is make the game unapproachable and people will avoid it.
    Disgruntled OG likes this.
  18. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,571   +2,051

    New "noobs" are not put in the same queue as the veterans. This is not about new players but bad players in general at all skill levels.
    Disgruntled OG likes this.
  19. Indekkusu

    Indekkusu TS Rookie Posts: 24   +13

    Who are you to call other players bad? If the system, the rules makes too many players bad, then the system is broken, or inbalanced, because it would be obviously unfair. And guess what people will leave the game, and that fact alone will limit the profit potential.
  20. Disgruntled OG

    Disgruntled OG TS Rookie

    Its pretty upsetting that I'll admit I'm trash at fortnite. I've played since Day 1 and have only got 1 win because of pure luck. PC fps is hands down #1 and the fact that pros are placed into lobbies with jobs or ppl who have 0 to 10wins is upsetting. Seriously ppl have over 5000 wins! I have 1. I'm an OG. Iam also a top tier founder and save the world became so toxic with children begging to trade and now you cant find anyone to help with quests. My account is maxed out in stw. I reset my Survivor's constantly just to keep playing. As for Battle Royal Several issues. #1 the shotgun glitch. I cannot for the life of me bring my shotgun from over shoulder to get that 1 shot kill. When I pull out the pump it Always goes ground up. Yet I get killed every time from over shoulder pull of it. I have a bunch of clips showing that I have hit players at point blank and done 0 damage. Yet they shoot at the ground and I die. I know I'm trash. It was fun . Season X is by far the worst ever. Not everyone has the time to constantly play and honestly it took me 17 matches just to get 1 supply drop within 10 seconds because they all fall in the circle where people camp out to get easy kills. I've begged for a no build mode and was soooo excited to see no build tilted. Yet people usually avoid it except for a few. I cannot build and my cousin showed me a controller he bought from evil controllers that is a Fortnite edition that auto builds for you. Epic knows damn well people cheat and if someone builds a super fortress in 15 seconds insit's insane. How about adding no damage to descending? Or no shooting if your feet arent planted? One last thing. The settings for def people are a cheat. You can see footprints and markers showing where the enemy is. I see it used constantly by streamers. I tried it once to see and got a 12 kill game. I immediately turned it off and didn't use it again. I'll stay honest and Lose every game I play. Forced crossplay is a freaking Joke. Cross play consoles not PC to xbox or Sony to PC. Catering to children will be the downfall. Skulltrooper purple skin only for the OG original owners? Pffft. I paid my Bill's and couldn't afford it originally so that's absurd. I paid around $150 for my Founders package I believe I'm entitled to input.
    cliffordcooley likes this.

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