Train still barreling down the track…
So all of you that have (rightfully) complained about the multitude of confusing systems in Fortnite’s PVE mode, they just released an update that’s overhauled a lot of things including the complete removal of the skill tree. Details are here.
Example: the whole redundant Research tree that just had stat boosts and everything scattered all over the place and across multiple pages? It now looks like this:
The skill tree is now thus:
It accomplishes the same thing, but 10% as cluttered, convoluted, and confusing. Stat boosts that were previoulsy granted in the skill tree are now rewards for leveling up.
That’s cool. It seemed like the old version of Save The World was designed and intended to provide a ton of complex progression runways as a way to obfuscate the free-to-play monetization model. At a gut level it seems like they decided to prioritize discoverability and readability over monetization for the better.
From those images it kinda looks “boring” compared to the old system - but hard to say without trying it.
Think I only made it to the third or fourth progress page in the old system though, before EAC killed the compatibility of the game.
It’s not, it has all the same things, just without the cruft. There’s advantages too, since the old tree was so restricted. You had to get to X zone before you could access a page, and then before you could go past the halfway mark in any skill “branch”, you had to fill out the whole first half of the page for all other branches. There was no choice it customization provided at all, just the illusion of it. Now you’re only gated by level.
I’m imagining video game rehab as this facility where they strap people down and force them to play 12 hour sessions of Daikatana every day until it cures them of any desire to look at a video game again.
but it has great engine! /s
Incredibly smart how they’re taking a piece of the Fortnite map and populating it with the best stuff from Creative mode.
Heard some guys talking about that on Discord last night. Bet people are happy they’ve given him so much $.
Tibees wins pacifist Fortnight!
Imagine the wailing and gnashing if Microsoft bought them.
With a mandatory Games for Windows launcher on PC and Mobile. ;)
So, like most things that go viral, I have no idea why this game has blown up so much. The best I can come up with is the Battle Royale concept is kinda neat (though personally I much prefer the PUBG-style fantasy), F2P works, and cartoony graphics sell, as WoW can attest. Anyone else have an idea?
It’s a mix or different factors for sure, and it being both, part of a popular genre (Battle Royale) and free-to-play, certainly played a major role. It wouldn’t have exploded as quickly as it did if it wasn’t for FNBR just being one Download button click away.
cartoony graphics sell
Well, stylized graphics (and thus: stylized violence) also means you can reach a younger audience since parents will object less to it - as will rating authorities. FN definitely managed to tap into a younger audience. They were also really quick about getting a mobile version out there. Would I play FN on a mobile device? No. But many others would. PUBG also has a mobile version (which took longer relatively to when the base game got launched), and I’d guess that FN works better and is more readable on a small screen compared to PUBG.
You also gotta give Epic props for how fast they move and for how willing they are to experiment with content and game modes. It’s not like you have to wait for a new season for new stuff to arrive - lots of stuff is being deployed throughout seasons. There’s always the incentive to come back and try out the things you haven’t experienced so far.
Most of the PUBG people I know rarely play the game these days. They haven’t necessarily switched to FN (although I know a few), but it’s been mostly down to frustration with the lack of development progress and content.
It’s funny how the advantage of being the ‘game engine company’ finally paid off for them. They know how to leverage their engine (obviously), and they have serious asset creation pipelines.
I guess in some sense, they’re still doing what they always did best – this is the Unreal Tournament of this generation: no plot, no deep mechanics, just a hodge-podge of cool stuff. It’s just that Id isn’t playing anymore, and they’ve found the 2 elements that make them winners, which I still think are the cartoony stylization and F2P. It’s Team Fortress 2 with more of a reach, a better engine, and a new way to play.
While there’s no plot, you do have to acknowledge there’s a bit of … narrative. There is pretty much zero lore, but you have events that change the game world and have people talking about them. Is there any deeper meaning to the rift happening or Kevin appearing and disappearing again? Probably not. But people have fun discovering these things and then speculate about them. I don’t think any other multiplayer shooter has something along these lines. And while MMOGs do that as part of updates and expansions, they don’t move at the same pace as FN.
I’ve heard that PUBG and others like it are pretty janky. Epic knows how to do shooters, and Fortnite feels great, very polished (this is coming from my experience on the PVE side, I assume the PVP side is the same). Maybe that’s part of it?