Epic Games have temporarily disabled the Dragacorn glider in competitive Fortnite playlists, and will be changing its animation after controversy broke out over the item's potentially "pay to win" nature.
Cosmetic items in Fortnite are meant to be just that – cosmetic. But a few here and there get released with properties that can actually affect gameplay in one way or another.
The most recent example of this is the Dragacorn glider, which was released on April 3 as part of the Deadpool set. Despite its bulky and obnoxious appearance, it became an instant hit with the competitive community; one look at a recent FNCS match is all you need to see a bunch of pro players riding around on these gliders.
Is that a bear... dressed up as Deadpool... riding a Dragacorn? That's awesome! Where can you get one of those you ask?
(Hint, it's the Item Shop.) pic.twitter.com/6gzayh3mBk
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) April 10, 2020
Why? Well, turns out that its animation makes players harder to spot in the sky, and thus more difficult to shoot at and take down. The influence of the Dragacorn became so prevalent that it got labeled as a "pay to win" item, which obviously goes against Epic's policy when it comes to cosmetics.
As a result, the developers announced on May 7 they've disabled the glider from all competitive playlists in order to implement an "animations fix," assuring players who had purchased it that they could get a refund once the changes had been applied, without needing to use a token.
There's no timetable yet for when the Dragacorn will be enabled again, so until its return, anyone who equips it in the competitive modes will see it appear as a default item in-game.
After the Glider's animation changes, owners of the Glider will have the option to refund it without the use of a refund token.
— Fortnite Status (@FortniteStatus) May 7, 2020
This announcement came about a week after popular Twitch streamer SypherPK published a video explaining why so many pro players were using the Dragacorn.
"The ability to see the character and know where to aim, it has a very unique effect that's kind of clunky and makes it harder for opponents to beam you out of the sky," he explained."
"That's really important in competitive. When you're gliding, you don't want your opponents to leech you as you're using a Launch Pad towards the safe zone or in moving circles. It's not just a few pro players using this glider. Literally 80% of the lobby is using this thing. Everyone is using this glider."
This isn't the first time that a cosmetic in Fortnite has gotten the dreaded "pay to win" label. Prime examples of this are the Plastic Patroller outfit skin that camouflaged perfectly with many areas on the map, and the Deep Dab emote, which players were exploiting to shoot through windows without giving enemies a chance to shoot back.
As SypherPK explained in his video, most competitive players will lean towards using items that give them the edge, such as female skins for the smaller in-game body, and sleek pickaxes that are quiet and stealthy.
But there's definitely a difference between those and a glider that literally makes people harder to shoot at, which explains why Epic didn't waste much time addressing the issue.