Quentyn K. July 12, 2019
Epic Games has confirmed that it will address the overdone special effects that take over players’ screens when they take shield damage in the next Fortnite update.
The news comes via Reddit, where Epic developer Eric Williamson responded directly to a thread calling for a change.
“Agreed, this is a priority fix for 9.40,” Williamson said.
Currently, a blue orb blocks the player’s vision the moment they take damage while wearing a shield. This clip shows just how blinding it can be.
This makes it hard for the player getting shot to take aggressive countermeasures. Epic didn’t mention how this effect would be altered in 9.40.
There are already widespread complaints about the effect, especially since the mechanic contradicts the purpose of the shield. Players are essentially punished for protecting their life totals.
It gives the first shooter a clear advantage, and with a $30 million tournament on the horizon, Epic has made fixing this problem a top priority.
Fortnite has steadily increased the variety and overall availability of healing options over its lifespan. From campfires and chug jugs to mushrooms and shield grenades, it makes no sense not to double your life total when given the chance.
And yet, some players happily skip over shield items due to the potential negative side effects. This issue made the build meta in Fortnite more potent than it already was. It widened the skill gap even further for players who haven’t quite mastered the art of erecting massive towers in mere seconds.
Its damage to the competitive Fortnite scene would be bad enough, but this kind of issue has the potential to turn sizable portions of both the core and casual player bases away.
Thankfully, Epic is fully aware of the implications on both sides of the issue, and things like this don’t often slip through the cracks.
Epic’s feedback team was slower than usual to act in this instance, a forgivable offense considering the core development team had just come off a two-week vacation.
Alongside this change, Epic is paying close attention to the performance of new items like the airstrike grenade and will certainly ponder other balance issues ahead of the Fortnite World Cup Finals.
The $30 million tournament kicks off July 26 in New York.