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Fortnite: Why Public Games Aren’t Fun

Why public games are not fun in Fortnite

The community is now a week into the new Fortnite update. For those who do not know, Fortnite made changes to public games making them play very slow and long. The community is in an uproar right now begging for the update to be reverted back. Popular streamers have voiced their opinions on Twitter, and Ninja even posted a poll asking if Fortnite should revert or not. Public games aren’t fun anymore and so many players agree, taking to Twitter and live streams to voice their opinions.

The Patch

In the v8.20 patch notes, Fortnite said:

“In v7.40 we implemented a few Pop-up Cup settings as a test in core modes. After monitoring a combination of gameplay, data, and feedback, we’ve gathered necessary info to conclude this initial test. We feel it has resulted in an unhealthy level of aggressive play, diminishing other viable strategies. The following changes have been reverted in all core modes:

  • 50 Health (or Shield) based on your health when the Elimination occurs.
  • 50/50/50 materials dropped on Elimination.
  • 500/500/500 Cap on materials.
  • Harvest rate increased by 40%
  • That said, these mechanics have proven to be positive in our competitive playlists. All changes above remain enabled in the new Arena Game Mode.”

This was a shock to the entire community. The siphon aspect of Fortnite took over overnight. Now a core component of the game, it is totally gone from public games and only remains in Arena. Without siphon, so many players do not even want to play public games anymore. Over the last week, players like CourageJD and SipTV have been playing on smurf accounts so they can play casually in Arena. Public games are being used for custom matchmaking lobbies, but players are not happy. Most players in public games now are very bad and easy to kill. This ruins the casual aspect for competitive players and adds a lot of issues to gameplay.

The Pace

The pace of public games has slowed way down. When players play Fortnite, they play public games to relax or warm up for tournaments. Without the siphon mechanic, the pace of the game has slowed way down. Players spend all of their time farming or gathering shields instead of rotating looking for players. Since materials are not dropped by enemies anymore and have a higher carry rate of 999, players never really max out. Having no materials on drop means passive play is more effective so players can outbuild an enemy early. The point was to slow gameplay down, but it is too slow now.

Even for pro players who are some of the best at adapting have said they do not want to play it. SypherPK said on Twitter “when the Luxe cup ended last night I kinda wanted to continue playing but wasn’t feeling like sweating 20-minute queues or playing slow boring cups so I got off. :(” This is a common theme among all players and Epic needs to revert soon. Daequan told Ninja that if they do not revert for the community, they just don’t care about the community.


Why public games are not fun in Fortnite
Laguna farming anchors in Lazy Lagoon // In-game capture by Nicholas Rivera

On top of siphon being removed from public games, 40 percent more efficient farming is gone too. That means not only can players hold twice as many materials, but farming is half as fast. Players spend a good portion of their game farming for materials to survive late game. On their way to late game, players run into other enemies. In order to kill them, the player uses a lot of those materials, leaving not many for the end of the game. That means they have to continually farm between fights instead of rotating to find more people. Since siphon was reverted to stop “aggressive play”, farming should have at least been left to 40 percent more. That would have made more sense so farming doesn’t overtake looking for shields and other heals.

No Shields or Health

The whole reason Epic got rid of siphon was that it encourages aggressive play. While this is true in some cases, not all players play the same. At the end of the day, aggressive players are going push and passive players will not. Shield on kill was a bonus for good players because it rewards skill. Rewarding good players for killing people or hitting shots is something that keeps the skill gap high. Even though it encourages people to fight early game, people still do it. Siphon in a spot like Tilted Towers doesn’t make a difference of aggression. Killing players in a popular area is risky now because of third-party risk.

Why public games are not fun in Fortnite
Onesie being finished during a fight // In-game capture by Nicholas Rivera

The argument about thirsting or finishing enemies is also not very valid because it is going to happen regardless. Thirsting for siphon is perfect because the player receives shield. Without it, players are going to thirst enemies to see if they are carrying shields. It is also the preferred method because it guarantees the team finishing the player an advantage. With no way to revive their partner, thirsting puts a duo above another duo 2:1. It isn’t to be aggressive, just simply the right play. Just because players do not like to be finished doesn’t mean it is aggressive or siphon’s fault. In every battle royale, it is just a part of the game.

Third Partying

Why public games are not fun in Fortnite
Player getting third partied by two teams // In-game capture by Nicholas Rivera

Siphon is the best way to fix a third party situation 10 out of 10 times. When players are weak, it’s an obvious choice to push them. For the players getting third partied, they simply have to push up on one of the teams. While Fortnite sees this as an aggressive style of gameplay, all it does is reward good players. Push enemies while they have more health is risky and often results in death. If certain players can do it and pull it off, they should be rewarded with 50 health or shield for the kills they got. This is a situation where the higher skilled players win regardless of health, so why take siphon out. Now players have no choice but to box up and heal in a third party situation and hope the other two teams fight.

Time will tell how the game adapts and whether or not the community gets what they want.


Feature Image Courtesy of @_NicholasRivera

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