The long mech nightmare in Fortnite is finally coming to a close, but not before developer Epic Games had to finally admit the introduction of the B.R.U.T.E. was a problem that needing dramatic and sweeping changes in order to balance. Despite the success of the Fortnite World Cup and the many new eyeballs that are watching it on Ninja's Mixer stream, the core gameplay of the battle royale juggernaut has been in a dire state ever since the beginning of Fortnite Season 10.
Fortnite Season 10 saw the addition of the B.R.U.T.E. mech, a vehicle that could be piloted by up to two players and immediately impacted the battlefield with over-powered weaponry and mobility that made it difficult to bring down once piloted. The Fortnite community was extremely quick to voice its displeasure with the addition, but Epic Games remained curiously hesitant to make any big changes to the way the B.R.U.T.E. played, instead pointing to data that seemed to indicate it wasn't affecting competitive gameplay much but was helping worse players get more kills per game. Naturally, that balance isn't really something that can be achieved in an online multiplayer game and, after smaller attempts to nerf the mech - and the community working together to destroy it whenever it spawned, if they were so inclined - Epic Games has finally listened to its players.
A major set of changes to Fortnite's B.R.U.T.E. were pushed live by Epic Games overnight, and the mech suit has now been nerfed into oblivion. Mech rockets now fire six charges instead of the previous 10, fire over 50% more slowly, and have a 42% smaller blast radius. Epic wrote in an accompanying blog post that explained the changes that the nerf should make the B.R.U.T.E. still effect as an answer to structures, but less effective at killing players. Epic also gave the B.R.U.T.E. a decrease in velocity while boosting in-air and a longer dash cooldown. Here's Epic's reasoning for that set of changes:
"The adjustment here reduces the ability to close gaps quickly while in the B.R.U.T.E. while also increasing the ability to land shots on target for players facing the B.R.U.T.E."
Players will also see a significant decrease in the frequency with which the mech suit spawns, with it seeming fairly likely that it won't spawn at all in some games while there will be very few of them in the average game overall. Finally, players can no longer farm materials in the vehicle.
The fact that Epic Games had to make so many detrimental changes to the B.R.U.T.E. proves that Fortnite's mech problem went far beyond the community being unwilling to adapt to it. While it's commendable that Epic Games has addressed the issue, it's also problematic that it took so long when so many players were adamant it was a bad change to the game from the beginning. A lot of Fortnite's success has come from paying close attention to what its players want - if that attitude is changing, it could spell issues for the battle royale game in the long run.
Source: Epic Games