The decision by Epic Games to remove competitive settings from public Fortnite playlists has continued to frustrate professional players and high profile personalities.
Fortnite's v8.20 update dropped on March 27 across PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices, and among the usual bug fixes and the addition of new items, a decision was made to remove competitive settings from public playlists, in favor of a new ranked Arena Mode.
Controller-extraordinaire, Nick ‘NICKMERCS’ Kolcheff, has now hit out at Epic Games for making such a drastic change just a couple of weeks away from the Fortnite World Cup - a tournament that will have over $30,000,000 on the line.
Kolcheff expressed his concerns on March 28 via Twitter, and he wasn’t alone with a host of other popular personalities and pro players expressing similar issues.
“Arena mode is 10-20 minutes Q’s for 20-30 player end games,” the 100 Thieves streamer stated. “Pubs [public matches] are unplayable because it’s legit a different game and that means we can’t scrim [practice].”
Arena mode is 10-20 minute Q’s for 20-30 player end games. Pubs are unplayable because it’s legit a different game and that means we can’t scrim. @FortniteGame wyd family? We’re 2 weeks away.
— Nickmercs (@NICKMERCS) March 29, 2019
What changed in the V8.20 Fortnite update?
The v7.40 patch, which many regarded as the best update in Season 7, introduced a feature whereby players would have their health or shield increased by 50 for every elimination they recorded, but the developer is now saying that it resulted in an "unhealthy level of aggressive play" in the game's Battle Royale mode.
Epic completely reversed those changes in the V8.20 update. Yet, the changes it not only affected health replenishments after kills, but also material farming, the material cap and other critical gameplay features. Material capping had been set at 500 but has since been reverted to the 999 figure.
Who else has complained about the changes?
The 100 Thieves star wasn’t alone in his criticism of the major gameplay changes, especially with them coming so close to a major Fortnite esports event.
Popular streamer Jack ‘CourageJD’ Dunlop and NRG Esports pro Mason 'Symfuhny' Lanier echoed the sentiments - focusing on lengthy load times for games plus the changes to health regeneration and material farming.
Had the worst nightmare ever last night:
I was playing Fortnite and they removed the health per kill, materials per kill, and faster farming rates in public games...
I know. Terrifying. I wasn’t able to go back to sleep for a couple hours after waking up.
— Jack "CouRage" Dunlop (@CouRageJD) March 28, 2019
actually forced to sit in 20 min queues all day
truly truly truly just unfortunate
— NRG Symfuhny (@Symfuhny) March 28, 2019
It remains to be seen what other changes Epic makes in the run-up to the World Cup event, but it seems like overhauling the gameplay further wouldn't go down too well with the game's competitive community.