Fortnite Launches Battle Royale Add-On for Free
By Derek Nichols 29 December 2017
It’s been a wild couple of weeks for Fortnite, which is still well into its Early Access period. While the resource collecting and wave defense third-person shooter got off to a slow start, momentum has been picking up thanks in large part to a new mode called Battle Royale. The free to play competitive mode takes a lot of inspiration from the wildly popular shooter, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, while mixing in the familiar Fortnite crafting and resource gathering. After promising that the new mode would eventually be released for free, Epic Games has finally made good on that promise with the latest update.
While the core Fortnite experience requires players to purchase a Founder’s Pack, Battle Royale is a completely free to download experience for all players. Pitting 100 players against one another to see who can survive to the very end, Battle Royale now features new playlists that support Down But Not Out gameplay, and groups of two to four player squads. Supply Drops also have a chance to fall from the sky during a match, offering players an opportunity to score a new weapon such as the Zapotron, and other valuable items to help give players a slight advantage over others as well.
While the big news may be that Battle Royale is going live for everyone, the update also features a huge amount of gameplay, design, and weapon fixes for both the PvP and PvE experience as well. Interested players can find the complete patch notes further below.
Even though players are finding a lot to love about Battle Royale, PUBG developer BlueHole didn’t find the situation to be a laughing matter. While the new Fortnite mode was always intended to be a competitor, Bluehole vice president Chang Han Kim recently expressed concern that it may be replicating the experience PUBG is known for a little too well. While nothing is on the table yet, Kim did admit that the studio is contemplating further action. Complicating matters even more is the fact that PUBG is not a free to play game, while Fortnite‘s Battle Royale is, which means it could easily pull players away from Steam’s latest sales juggernaut.
Battle Royale (PVP)
- Invite friends to play on your team using the in-game Friends List.
- Use the “Fill” option to automatically fill your team with other players.
- When your health falls to zero you’ll be “down but not out” (DBNO). Your squadmates only have a short amount of time to revive you before your health bar drains.
- You can see your team members’ status on the HUD, including Health and Shields.
- Use the map to place location markers which are visible to your team and will display on the compass at the top of the HUD. Keep an eye out for markers from your squad!
- Cooperate with team members to build awesome defensive structures!
- Friendly-fire is enabled, so be careful where you aim! Intentionally attacking squadmates violates the code of conduct.
- Anyone who has purchased a Founder’s Pack before Sept. 21 will receive exclusive Camo skins for their glider and umbrella while descending from the Battle Bus!
- Added new weapons:
- Scoped Assault Rifle
- Tactical Submachine Gun
- Added new Cell Ammo type for use with the Zapotron.
- Added stars to each weapon’s icon to indicate the level of rarity.
- Grenades now drop in stacks of 3 (was 1).
- Increased Grenade maximum stack size to 10 (was 5).
- Reduced Shield Potion maximum stack size to 2 (was 5).
- Increased ammo stack sizes found in loot.
- Shells increased to 5 (was 4).
- Medium Ammo increased to 10 (was 6).
- Heavy Ammo increased to 6 (was 4).
- Rocket Ammo increased to 2 (was 1).
- Submachine Gun now fires 50% faster, but accuracy is reduced (compared to Tactical SMG).
- Increased Grenade Launcher projectile velocity to 2750 (was 2000).
- Minor movements will now have reduced impact on weapon spread.
- Hit feedback at long distances appears immediately instead of being delayed.
- Added new tracers that better reflect the behavior of instant hit weapons.
- Added the ability to immediately interrupt shotgun reloading.
- Sniper Rifle
- Improved the sniper projectile visuals.
- Added new sniper scope visuals with distance marks.
- Fixed sniper rifle projectiles not playing impact effects at hit location.
- Fixed sniper projectiles being destroyed too early under some network and collision conditions.
- Muzzle-blocked reticle is now colored red instead of white.
- Fixed muzzle-blocked reticle becoming blocked by players.
- Fixed handgun not firing consistently when tapping very quickly.
- Fixed weapon fire interrupting reload on weapons that individually reload bullets.
- Fixed tracers going to unexpected locations when not hitting any collision.
- Fixed reticle size not displayed accurately in certain display resolutions.
Additional changes from the Live Update on 9/20:
- Increased sniper rifle projectile speed by 25%.
- Increased weapon accuracy.
- This is roughly a 50% increase in accuracy in the ‘worst-case’ scenario. Accuracy in best-case scenario (while crouched, aimed, and immobile) is unchanged.
- Increased accuracy while running.
- Increased accuracy while shooting full-auto.
- Increased accuracy while hip firing.
- Skydiving and paragliding lateral speeds have been reduced when moving backwards or strafing.
- Falling damage when landing on slopes is reduced depending on the angle of the slope. Full damage is applied for horizontal surfaces, and reduced at steeper angles.
- Foot dust no longer kicks up when crouched, aiming down sights or making small movements.
- While using Health and Shield items, you can now move your character a short distance without cancelling the action.
- Increased distance that you can see other players to 275m (was 250m).
- Greatly increased distance that you can see player-created structures to 275m (was 180m). This fixes issues where players could appear to be floating in the sky, or projectiles would impact an “invisible” distant wall.
Additional changes from the Live Update on 9/20:
- Adjusted Storm safe zones to reduce likelihood of the next zone appearing against the far edge of the previous zone.
- Reduced falling damage. Falling damage now begins just above 3 stories, dealing 10 damage. Damage will continue to increase until becoming lethal at 6 stories.
- Fixed an issue with the Storm safe zone locations.
- This will on average reduce the amount of long-distance running per match.
- If you’re caught inside the storm, a second line will appear on the map showing the shortest path to safety. Better run!
- The storm now shows as purple on the minimap, with hazard lines indicating that it’s not generally a good idea to stay in the storm.
- You can now place map markers on the fullscreen map which are visible to team members. Choose a location using the mouse or controller movement stick, then place the marker using the Fire button. To remove the marker, use the Target/Aim button.
- The size of player indicators were increased to make them easier to see.
- Player indicators are now shown when on the Battle Bus or while Spectating.
- The fullscreen map now becomes slightly transparent while your player is moving.
- Many aspects of the UI were updated to accommodate squad gameplay.
- The HUD now displays your team member names along with their Health, Shields and whether they’re “down but not out” (DBNO) or have been eliminated. This is also visible for the team you are spectating.
- The kill feed text has been updated with better use of colors and fonts.
- Many icons for weapons and items have been improved.
- Added a Code of Conduct button to the menus.
- Placeholder buttons have been added to the Matchmaking for Leaderboards and Stats. These will be implemented in a future update.
- Fixed not being able to access the in-game menus while waiting to deploy from the Battle Bus.
- Fixed elimination screen not indicating when you are eliminated by yourself.
- Fixed various formatting issues with existing text in the game.
- Fixed reticle being displayed while skydiving.
- Fixed visual alignment issues with certain HUD elements.
- Fixed some issues with fullscreen map when ALT+TAB-ing in Windows.
- Ammo now appears in your inventory and can be dropped.
- Building Materials can be now dropped by double clicking on them in your Inventory.
- Controller support will be added in a future update.
- Weapons, Items and Building Materials can be now be dropped by dragging them to the Recycling Box on the Inventory screen.
- Traps have been moved to the Resources section of the Inventory screen.
- Fixed bug where inventory could display more slots than were actually available.
- Fixed various issues that could cause the game to crash.
- Added an indication of time left in the warmup lobby to the taskbar icon on Windows.
- Spawned loot will now spread out a bit farther from their container.
- Updated the tips displayed on the Battle Royale loading screens.
- Fixed the Storm safe zone continuing to shrink after the game had ended.
- Fixed camera moving away from Battle Bus during network lag.
- Eliminated camera pops when your player initially spawns into the world.
- Fixed “You cannot do that now” appearing while holding down the Reload button.
- Fixed “Unable to Improve Building” appearing when clicking right stick on a controller.
- Fixed Shield Potion use being cancelled by pressing the button multiple times.
- Fixed landing footstep sounds playing unexpectedly while walking or sprinting around.
- Added new ambient audio for rivers and lakes.
- Improved volume balance and spatialization for medium and distant gunfire.
- Added a whoosh when you start skydiving, and reduced wind whistling sounds.
- Fixed audio being received from camera location instead of player location.
- Footstep audio volume now falls off more smoothly with distance.
- Increased distance the player can hear structures being demolished.
- Improved some chest and loot spawn locations.
- Fixed distant chests appearing as orange boxes.
- Fixed various collision issues with the landscape and buildings.
- Fixed some underground basements being inaccessible.
- Fixed issues with some trees floating above the terrain.
- General bug fixes and improvements to the world.
- Fixed player damage effects not showing at the actual hit location.
- Fixed spark effects appearing at the wrong location when destroying placed walls.
- Improved Glider and Umbrella animation.
- Improved the Pump Shotgun animation.
- Improved aim assist on controller.
- Greatly reduced speed of lowest stick sensitivity setting, and increased speed of highest stick sensitivity setting.
- Fixed issues with grenade toss when using a controller.
- The “Reset Building Choice” gameplay option now works while using a controller.
- Minimap is now visible while spectating.
- Added Total Kills, Players Remaining, and Storm Timer to the HUD while spectating.
- Team members are now spectated first, if you are eliminated.
- If the player you’re spectating is eliminated, their assailant will now be spectated (rather than a random other player.)
- Spectator camera now correctly matches the viewed player’s gameplay camera.
- Smoothed out spectator camera movement.
Save The World (PVE)
- Fixed multiple client crashes.
- Fixed multiple server crashes.
- Fixed a rare issue that caused some players to be unable to play the Save the World mode when connected to Twitch.
- Fixed an issue where the Teleporter and Banner gadgets would hover over empty space and are instead destroyed.
- This prevents these two gadgets from being used to keep players in a “death loop”.
- Lok’s Book of Monsters
- The Floating Freaks quest will remain after the Mutant Storm Event ends and will unlock after Stonewood Storm Shield Defense 3 quest has been completed.
- Playing a Survive the Storm mission in a grey zone results in no XP gained.
- Players will now be given a notice before playing a Survive the Storm mission in a grey zone
- Fixed an issue that caused players to see zero XP earned after a mission, even though all XP was actually earned. Players should see the proper amount of XP earned at the end of a round.
Fortnite is out now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Source: Epic Games