Ninja and other professional 'Fortnite' players are up in arms over the latest changes to the game

‘Fortnite’/Epic Games
  • A recent “Fortnite: Battle Royale” update removed the bonus health and materials players received after a successful elimination, and reduced the overall speed for harvesting building materials.
  • Professional “Fortnite” players such as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Jack “CouRage” Dunlop are criticising the changes in patch 8.20 on Twitter and during Twitch streams.
  • The pros say the change slows down the pace of the game and makes it harder for good players to find competitive matches.

The latest patch for “Fortnite” is changing the pace of battle royale, but many of the game’s best players are unhappy with the recent adjustments.

Released on March 26, “Fortnite” patch 8.20 reverted a number of changes that were made to the game in February. As a result, players no longer receive bonus health and materials when they eliminate players, and it also takes 40% longer to harvest building materials. “Fortnite” implemented the elimination and harvesting changes with patch 7.40 on February 19.

“Fortnite” creator Epic Games spent six weeks collecting data on how the changes influence the battle-royale mode. Ultimately, the development team felt that awarding extra health and building materials for scoring kills was too rewarding.

“We feel it has resulted in an unhealthy level of aggressive play, diminishing other viable strategies,” the company wrote in the patch notes.

The changes have been particularly polarising among professional “Fortnite” players. Most believe the changes are designed to help new players by not rewarding pros for getting kills, but there is disagreement about whether the change actually makes the game any more welcoming. Shortly after patch 8.20 dropped, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins shared his concerns with the update on his stream. Ninja is the most popular “Fortnite” player, with more than 13 million followers on Twitch.

Ninja said that update is designed to make the standard battle royale safer for new players and encourage more competitive players to move to “Fortnite’s” arena mode. The health recovery and harvesting changes from patch 7.40 are still available in arena mode for players who want to play at a faster pace. However, he expressed concerns that players at the highest level of arena mode would be left with long wait times as most of the “Fortnite” community joins standard matches.

Professional players are also trying to get ready for the $US40 million Fortnite World Cup, which starts with weekly online qualifiers on April 13. The world-cup tournaments will likely use the same set of rules as the arena mode, which means players won’t be able to use the standard battle-royale mode to practice for the next two weeks. Top players such as Ninja and Nick “NickMercs” Kolcheff say that it takes 10 minutes or more for them to find arena matches when playing.

For streamers, the change makes it harder and less rewarding to rack up kills during matches, which will likely be less entertaining for audiences.

With money on the line, it’s understandable that players are up in arms over such a major change in “Fortnite,” but with only a few days until the competition begins, they will have to make the most of the situation. Epic Games updates “Fortnite” every week, but there’s been no sign that they will revisit the most recent changes.

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