Fortnite’s v8.20 update was implemented by developers Epic Games on March 27, and has been generally lamented by the gaming community, as it reversed a number of popular changes that were made during Season 7.
The changes reversed include 50 HP granted upon elimination, an increased farming rate of 40%, and a guaranteed drop of 50 of each material when an opponent is killed.
One of Fortnite’s most popular content creators, Ninja, has been very vocal in conveying his displeasure with the update, even going as far as to tweet a poll asking whether or not his followers think the update should be reverted or not.
As his poll received significant interest and replies, Ninja tweeted again to address a theme in his replies, in which people pointed out that the removal of 50 HP upon elimination, discourages players from ‘thirsting’ opponents.
‘Thirsting’ refers to the instant elimination of an opponent after they have been ‘Knocked Out’, and are in their down-but-not-out state. Hence, some players argue that the 50 HP bonus on elimination encouraged people to instantly ‘thirst’ opponents, and that its removal is positive in this regard. However, Ninja disagrees.
To everyone commenting on my last tweet saying "getting thirsted right away isn't fun" spoiler alert... regardless of shield and mat siphon
YOU ARE GETTING THIRSTED FOR YOUR GUN/MATS/SHIELD items YOU MIGHT HAVE regardless.
— Ninja (@Ninja) March 31, 2019
“To everyone commenting on my last tweet saying "getting thirsted right away isn't fun" spoiler alert…” he started. “YOU ARE GETTING THIRSTED FOR YOUR GUNS/MATS/SHIELD items YOU MIGHT HAVE regardless.”
At the time of writing, the tweet stands at over 18,000 likes, and his poll has over 275,000 votes, highlighting the extent to which the community wants to see change. It is likely there will be an official Epic Games response soon.
The silence from Epic Games over the update’s criticism is likely to be temporary, but has led to community speculation over other potential reasons why it was implemented into the hugely popular battle royale game.
Epic stated that the changes had led to an “unhealthy level of aggressive play, diminishing other viable strategies”, but some community members clearly think ‘thirsting’ impacted the decision as well.