Season seven of Fortnite has been all about mobility. The addition of planes and zip lines gives players free roam of the map. Players can get from one end of the map to the other in no time if the storm is not in the player’s favor. With all of this mobility being new, it is interesting to see Epic slowly take it away. The community is very split about how much mobility is too much, especially in competitive play. In recent updates, Epic has been toying with vehicles and messing with the spawn rates. Continuing this pattern in the future, mobility would be drastically different in season eight.
Reduced Spawn Rates
Epic is reducing the spawn rates of vehicles across the board, as well as mobility items. Gliders now have a drop rate of just 4.43 percent, down from nearly 12 percent. Balloons spawn rate is also down from 7.58 percent to 3.24 percent. These two items allow players to have mobility in the air without making too much noise like a plane. Reduced spawn rates of the two increase the chance for shields out of chests, but also cut down dramatically on movement in the air.
The x-4 Stormwing spawn chance is down from 80 percent to 50 percent. This means that only half of planes are spawning compared to the start of season seven. Planes are a huge barrier in the skill gap, rewarding players with kills unobtainable without the plane. Epic has been reducing spawn rates for a few weeks now, so only time will tell if they plan on taking planes out. For land vehicles, the Quad crasher spawn rate is down 50 percent. That means that half of all Quad crashers will not spawn in. Quads are helpful for rotating into the storm when players are far or have to fight in the storm. This change will impact rotations since spawns are no longer reliable and players will have farther distances to run.
Grappler is Gone
The grappler is an item casual and competitive Fortnite players love. It allows players to rotate easily, save on materials during build battles and escape from enemy fire. With the grappler thrown into the vault, it leaves a void in the current meta. The grappler mobility is unique and cannot be replicated by a jump pad. The ability to boost somewhere and still be able to shoot allowed for amazing plays to happen and quick resets in scrims. Without it, players must use building skills to take high ground. Players also need fast transitions to stay ahead of the storm during late game. Without a grappler, player-held mobility is down to just a jump pad and redeploy. These items are effective, but in close quarters scrims play, a grappler would be the best option.
Other Vaulted Items
Aside from the more mainstream items, Fortnite has nerfed mobility in other ways too. With shockwaves taken out of the game at the start of season 7, the focus was all about planes. Epic shifted all focus onto newer items and started to remove mobility to make room for redeploy.
Bounce pads were also thrown into the vault in season six, but remained an option on the port-a-fort and port-a-fortress. Now that the port-a-fortress is gone, there is no item left with a bouncepad. Bounce pads on the fortress made it easy for players to get some forward momentum in various situations. For the trickshotting community, bouncers also allowed for crazy shots and exciting plays.
The decision to remove and nerf some of these items raises suspicion as to Epic’s plan on mobility for season eight. Mobility is necessary to keep the game moving, but too much will destroy the skill gap and reward bad players greatly. Fortnite’s community is very vocal on these things and Epic is transparent, so season eight could very well bring in some new or altered mechanics.
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