Mere days after the Fortnite’s latest weapon, the compact SMG, was added to the game, the gun had to be altered for being too overpowering. The new gun, which was surprisingly fast, accurate, and strong, allowed its wielder to decimate opposing players and their buildings, making the matches less about skill and more about who reached the SMG first. After an outcry from players, developer Epic Games has responded by reducing the accuracy, damage, and fire rate of the new weapon, as well as that of previously existing SMGs.
The immensely popular battle royale took the genre to new heights, becoming big enough to catch the eyes (and sometimes the ire) of those outside the gaming community. Epic added a building component to the usual last-player-standing model, providing the necessary edge to stand out among its competition. Combined with the quirky and over the top season updates, including spatial rifts into our reality, the game has managed to keep itself engaging, providing players reasons to keep coming back.
But no game is without its stumbles. The recent patch V5.10 provided fans with some in-game additions, including the founders skins, the return of Playground mode, and the new compact SMG. While most of the changes were welcome, the compact SMG proved too powerful, taking the fun out of the game for many players. Epic made some balance changes as a hotfix, meaning they didn't need a significant patch to make the alterations. The changes were announced on the Reddit thread r/FortNiteBR, where they revealed in detail the alterations made.
Along with reducing the gun’s damage, Epic went on to explain that the SMGs “are now less effective at destroying structures as range increases.” In theory, this should allow for a more even playing field. As shown in numerous players’ footage, anyone in possession of the compact SMG was able to destroy an opponent with ease and at a distance. Those facing the SMG had almost no chance to fight back. Even the game’s signature construction mechanics served little purpose because the shelters were no longer able to serve as any sort of protection. Forcing any player with the SMG to get close in order to deal out serious damage should allow for a return to more even gameplay.
Epic finished its post by stating their plans to continue monitoring the situation and make adjustments as needed. Fortnite has so far been dominating the battle royale genre. But with more developers deciding to try their hand at the mode, there is the constant threat of being unseated. In order to retain their position, Epic needs to remain alert to fan feedback and respond appropriately in order to keep players coming back. With Fortnite beginning to push its way into the esports market, they wouldn’t want to risk losing fans, thereby ending their esports run before it truly got going. Considering how quick Fortnite was at responding to player criticism, the developer appears to be staying true to their word.