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Epic clarifies competitive Fortnite changes like binning Siphon

A new development update post also promises to improve communication with competitive players moving forward.

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Epic Games has released a development update on their hit game Fortnite that addresses concerns that competitive players might have with the game, while also giving an insight into how they approach updates and changes.

"There are several key principles that drive Fortnite development. First, we aim to provide a fun game that's inclusive of all players, and provides everyone with a real chance of winning through any combination of skill, strategy, and good fortune. Second, we aim to evolve the game rapidly to keep the experience fresh. Finally, we aim to provide great entertainment," Epic writes.

"Fortnite competitive play relies on a unique balancing act: maintaining a solid and balanced experience for competitive players, while being essentially the same Fortnite played by hundreds of millions of players. After all, those players are the audience for Fortnite competition, and their engagement is key to the growing opportunities for competitive players."

After this Epic says that they want to be more active when engaging with the community, hence this post outlining some of the changes, including Siphon. This feature - which gives health and shields for every kill - was introduced during the Pop-up Cup competitions to provide incentives for players to be aggressive, although Epic explains that it also caused players to become frustrated when they bumped into skilled players with max health and shields. "Siphon increased engagement for the highest-skilled 10%, while the remaining 90% were more frustrated and played less," the post summarises, and this is why Siphon was removed as a mechanic.

Epic also explains that they want to "avoid optional settings which provide players with a significant gameplay advantage" when talking about a FOV slider option, and this is also why they removed stretched resolution as well. The current FOV of 80 has been implemented for a number of reasons, including to accommodate a number of engagement ranges, reducing motion sickness, making the transition to aiming down the sights a bit smoother, and to improve performance generally.

"Fortnite is an ever evolving game. Keeping the gameplay and the tournaments fresh is a key aspect to growing a player and viewership base that enables a large number of high-stakes tournaments for competitors and everyone who enjoys watching them," Epic continues.

"We aim to reasonably stabilize gameplay in advance of the Fortnite World Cup Finals. We had hoped to stabilize for all Online Qualifiers, however the new weekly online tournament cadence means we will be doing this for some, but not all."

In the update the developer also outlines some bugs that have been discovered for competitive players, and gives an idea on how they plan to deal with their concerns in the future:

"Re-evaluating how we communicate with our competitive players includes touching on topics you care about in places you're having discussions. Going forward, we will be more present in online forums to chat about the evolution of Arena and competition formats as we progress along the competitive season."

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