May 09 Views (362) Fortnite

Thoughts on The current State of Fortnite Save the World

With patch 9.0 right around the corner, I would like to touch on a topic widely discussed on the subreddit and amongst other communities and that happens to be the Current State of Fortnite Save the World. Before we dive in, I would like to acknowledge that the subreddit is but a minority of the Save the World playerbase. If the achievements for the XBOX Version of the game by TrueAchievement.com were anything to go on, then only

- 9% of the players tracked completed all the main quests in Planerton

- 4% of the players tracked completed all the main quests in Canny Valley

I checked with a fellow XBOX player and apparently this isn't fully accurate but the percentages he provided were a lot worse so in a way it is still fair for the purpose of stating our point. Comparing this to my community favorites survey conducted e few months back

we can safely conclude that we are in facet the minority and by a long shot. As such, many of the problems we experience are hardly ever encountered by majority of the playerbase and it might explain the lack of action on Epic's part. However, that does not mean these problems don't exist and I will go into further details explaining some of tjem. I have also contacted several prominent members of the Twitch community to share their thoughts since they are likely the most invested given the amount of hours they put into the game on daily basis.

 

The problem

In order for games to continuously engage their players, there tends to be some form of gear threadmill or gameplay loop. In games like path of exile, this is the endless grind for currency to buy a perfect piece of equipment or in the case of Warframe, the push for a seemingly endless mastery rank. In-game progression aside, games like Battle Royale "progress" a players skill as the player gradually improves their raw capabilities through Save the World has these

Frostnite was one of the most popular update besides the recombobulator amongst end game players including streamers such as AlluraSC and Sylon and they want to see more of it. As quoted from Sylon.

A gamemode similar to Frostnite and Horde Bash with limiting factors and high power level to derive the difficulty/test our skills

However, what Save the World lacks is the reward at the end of it. When players get stronger in other games, their gear and skills are put to the test.

They face formidable foes

Obtain unique rewards that aren't just cosmetic

Do it multiple times for a better outcome

In Fortnite, these don't exist. To quote Isherwood on this, 

"Higher level difficulty was a good change, but players are not properly incentivized to complete the content very often" 

and i completey agree. While the core gameply of Fortnite is unique and engaging, it eventually hits a point in the progression loop where players find themselves wanting to play the game but lacking tangible reasons to do so. No matter how much materials they farm, they aren't making themselves any stronger

 

The Solution

With patch 9.0 right around the corner, many are excited to see what the Twine SSD changes bring. However, I am just equally worried by the possibility that it doesn't bring enough. While we stay hopeful that Epic Games once again surprises us like they did with the hero rework, I would like to push forth several suggestions in hopes of improving the game in the long run.

Challenges

The game shouldn't just be hard, but also challenging

Currently, difficulty exists in the form of increased monster stats (domage and health) with modifiers mixed in between. Frostnite punished careless play with perma-death between waves whild Horde bash clamped down on the players' available options through interesting modifiers. While these are alright especically Frostnite (which many want to see more of), it can easily be expanded.

Boss Encounters

Storm King already laid the foundations but the fight was set in canny valley which meant end-game players encountered zero difficulty dealing with him. A solution could be as simple as an upscaled version of him in Twine Peaks or the ability to challenge him of multiple difficulties featuring increased and faster mechanices to deal with. 

Obviously, adding more bosses to the game outright would be amazing.

Raids

The ties into our earlier point of boss encounters. Raids would bring together more players in a single mission but with multiple objectives occuring simulatenously or in sequence tiht one mega encounter at the end. This would not ionly test the individual skill of players, but also how well the players coordinate as a team. Having multiple encounters also diversify player roles and encourage a wider variety of builds, resulting in more creative and dynamic team compositions. In short, raids are good.

besides all that is mentioned above, another simple addition would be an endless mode with scaling rewards every 5 wavs/minutes and players can choose to leeave anytime they want with the rewards already earned, similar to Warframe

Rewards

Simply adding challenging content is not enough. Players need to be sufficiently rewarded and incentivised to partake in these challenges. Like what Allura says:

"Tangible rewards, not just resources need to be introduced as a "carnot" for players to chase and work towards. To become better, stronger and earn them"

As it is at the moment, players only obtain banners through even the hardest of content (i.e Frostnite PL128). While the reward is undoubtedly unique, it is simply not compelling enough. Players see it more as a "if i don't do it my collection will be incomplete" sort of thing rather than "i can get this much stronger if i obtain this". The former punishes players for skipping out while the later rewards them for participating and i personally feel that the later is better means of reward design.

Unique Weapons/Survivors/Defender

Basically, any tangible form of reward that furthers player progression. Since we have Mythic people, perhaps Mythic weapons aren't too far-fetched and could offer unique bonuses that buff abilities like,

"Critical hits with this weapon lower cooldown of active abilities"

Special survivors could also be designed with unique passives in mind such as maybe

"player places two teddies at once. Each teddy deals 60% of the original damage"

Leaderboards

Leaderboards and potentially Leaderboard rewards will be another way to incentivise player to tackle challenging content. They could track how far/long a player has made in curvival/endless based content or how fast in timed ones and reward top placing players with weapon cosmetics or tracking player account stats would also be amazing even without any tangible rewards to go along with it.

FortniteDB.com currently offers on-site Leaderboard features tracking a myraid of stats from materials and perk ups to profile data

Image on the right taken from FortniteDB

Balance

Last but not least, challenges offering tangible rewards should be sufficiently play-tested for balancing issues. This includes any overpowered interactions players have access to along with other unintended features such as bugs and exploits. For example during Frostnite, floor launchers were present in almost every 128 ful clear thanks so the percentage scaling on fall damage which proved incredibly useful against late game husks with more health.

Test Server

Having some early testers on-board to help with testing would be the easiest way to go about this. A selection of players could be given access to a test server with a diplicated profile that does not carry back over to the main server (Diablo 3) or a separate tester account could be provided. The mode could also be added into the main game that only players with tester privilleges can access. Basically, the idea is to get experienced players to try out the mode without any rewards before it goes live to try and filter out as many bugs/exploits as possible.

Balance for such content could also exist in the form of availability. Currently, we get events on and off so while it was exciting running Frostnite misions few months ags, there isn't much to accomplish at the moment with the static quest line. The solution would be to bring back old events on top of the quest-line bassed ones during this "downtime" such that players alway have something to strive for in the game. Furthermore, there is the added advantage of making the event a lot harder and more rewarding since players who aren't strong enough to access/complete it currently will be able to do so in the future when it returns.

 

The Conclusion

Fortnite in its current state, laceks any real gameplay loops. Challenging content hardly exists and players are not adequately rewarded for completing them. As such, you find most end game players mindlessly grinding perk ups and evolution materials they don't need be it in preparation for a rainy day or that the core gameplay of Fortnite is extremely addicitive. If you are a new player however, you should be free from the above-mentioned problems for quite a bit assuming you aren't getting dragged into end-game.

All that being said, thanks for reading through my legnthy posts as always. My looming in a few weeks time coupled with the lack of unique rewards have been the reason for my inactivity. As of the time of this post. the duet should have been adden into my spreadsheet for those looking to find the best perks. For those too lazy, best dps assuming 50% headshot 

-Rate/DMG/Element/Reload/Headshot

But i would personally recomend

-CritD/CritD/ELEMENT/Reload/Crit (-9.64% DPS)

Game needs engaging and challenging end-game content like boos/raids that reward players with unique, exclusive weapons that are thoroughly tested to prevent abose