Epic Games discusses shotgun delay, Arena Mode, FOV, and more in new competitive Fortnite AMA

Epic published a new AMA post on the Fortnite Competitive subreddit on Friday, May 31st. The post has some positive news for competitive players, but may once again anger many of Fortnite’s fans.

The newest competitive Fortnite AMA answers from Epic were released on May 31st and the answers aren’t thrilling. Some of Epic’s answers will only further inflame tensions with the community.

You can see the answers given to big community questions below including a discussion about the shotgun delay, loot pools, and more:

Fortnite Competitive AMA – May 31st

Epic Games posted their answers to major community questions in an AMA format on Friday. These questions hit some of major points of grief for the competitive community.

In some respects, the AMA revealed good insights to Epic’s thinking, but some of the answers simply miss the mark. See for yourself:

Future of Arena Mode’s Development

Q: /u/pauperdown: How do you see the future of Arena? Do you have any plans on adding new divisions and incentives like leaderboards and small prizes, so Arena feels more competitive?

A: ‘We are currently working on a refresh of Arena, with an emphasis around providing more high quality, exciting matches and tournaments with meaningful stakes. ‘Hype’ will become more like a currency which you use to enter tournaments and participate in higher difficulty Arena matches, with top overall performers for the season represented on a leaderboard. Seasonal rewards are on the roadmap as well for future iterations of Arena.

We also want to get back to running nightly (non-prized) tournaments on a regular basis, across a wider variety of team sizes & game modes. Having Hype as rewards for placements in these tournaments will help provide some meaning and motivation behind each competition, even when cash isn’t on the line.‘


Storm Surge Damage Clarification

Q: @CowboyFN_: How does Storm Surge work now? What circle does it activate? How many people have to be alive at what circle for it to activate? Sometimes you get a warning and sometimes it’s active. Why is this?

A: First a little history – Storm Surge was initially added to help in competitive matches where an unusual number of players were still around and server performance would degrade. Ultimately having less players in a match directly impacts this, and our goal is to ride the line between minimal gameplay impact while maintaining a playable server framerate. Siphon was also added to help balance the risk/reward of eliminating another player – primarily to help reduce turtling & encourage a healthier ‘elimination curve’.

To answer your specific questions, storm surge activates if the number of players in a match is higher than the values designated below at each storm phase. Surge will deal 25 damage to each player under the damage threshold, and this damage occurs every 5 seconds. We give a brief 5 second window of opportunity for players to react to this incoming damage. Storm Surge will immediately end as soon as the threshold is reached.

Storm Phase 0 – 100 Players Allowed

Storm Phase 1 – 100 Players Allowed

Storm Phase 2 – 70 Players Allowed

Storm Phase 3 – 70 Players Allowed

Storm Phase 4 – 50 Players Allowed

Storm Phase 5 – 50 Players Allowed

Storm Phase 6 – 30 Players Allowed

Storm Phase 7 – 30 Players Allowed

Storm Phase 8 – 30 Players Allowed

Storm Phase 9 – 30 Players Allowed

As an example, if there were 72 players remaining in Storm Phase 3 (where 70 players is the cap), Surge would continually deal damage to all players under the damage threshold until there were only 70 players left. Once only 70 players remain, it would end immediately until Storm Phase 4.


‘Pre-Edits’ Disable Discussion

Q: /u/jamalzlitni10: A topic that has emerged in the community is building pre-edits. Many of us believe that pre editing should be an option to toggle on or off. Do you guys have any intent on making a change with pre-edits in the future?

A: Yes, this is a topic we’re actively considering, and will update you on when future plans are firm.


Explanation of FWC Broadcast Setup

Q: /u/kr0n_cs: From an observing point of view, how many people do you generally have observing and how does it work? Do they sit in front of 100 screens and monitor where the action will be, or is it just looking at the map and going to players who are nearby? Do you use any sort of way to automatically detect where the action will be, so that when players are about to fight, you will know where that will be?

A: Great question! A lot depends on the show or event. We’ve had anywhere from 2 to 30 live observers in a match. We also now have two options for covering matches; live spectating and streaming server replays. There can be some differences in how we cover a match depending on which option we’re using.

For online events, such as our weekly World Cup qualifier show, we use streaming server replays. We’ll typically have a crew of 13 observers which is composed of 2 teams of 5 as well as a game producer, game director, and observer director. In this case we have one team covering the match that is currently live, and the other team is watching and preparing for the next match on deck. Then we just swap between teams. Since we’re using server replays and not presenting the matches “live” the teams will generally know, or have a pretty good idea of what happens in the match. Each team has a temporal scout that quickly finds relevant moments in the match for the team to cover. During the show the observer teams take direction from the game director and observer director to frame up shots and bring up the appropriate gameplay feeds. As the match plays out, the game director selects which views to cut to. The game producer’s job is to guide the flow of the covers and is following both the map and any information about the match that the scouts were able to extract.

Covering matches live is a bit trickier. For our live events we use live spectating and have a slightly larger team of 17 observers. We’ll typically have 4 teams of 3, 2 flex observers, a game producer, game director, and observer director. Since we are broadcasting a live match and anything can happen we use more teams to make sure we (almost) always have something both relevant and interesting we can jump to. As you can imagine making sure you are always covering the best action (Live!) can be difficult when players are spread all across the island! We also capture each team with a video replay system in case they capture something while another team was live on air. We’ve added mid-match replays to cover some of this stuff and fill lulls in the match. During a live match the game producer is watching the map, player stats, and listening to the observer teams, and taking into account previous matches in order to steer the coverage and find relevant action to jump to.

Here is a shot from the observer pit at Secret Skirmish:

For fun here is what 100 player feeds looks like:

In terms of automating coverage we are actively developing a tool that can watch a live match (or replay) and determine the best moments based on a certain set of criteria. Some of these things include; Players closing distance on each other, elim streaks, long distance elims, no scopes, etc. We could use this tool to suggest when/where to cut to in a live show or allow people to automatically generate highlight reels from their own matches. A lot of what makes good coverage can be subjective so finding a good balance of what the criteria is and how a tool selects a moment in the match is what we’re looking into right now. We can’t wait to share this tool with everyone as soon as it is ready.

Something interesting to note, we use the same tools to make our weekly show that are available for everyone in the live version of the game currently.


Possible 2v2/1v1 modes in the future?

Q: /u/KurtMage: Has a competitive 2v2 mode (or even 1v1 or larger) ever been considered? The building mechanic in this game is incredible and feels like it should not be confined exclusively to the battle royale genre (for competitive). I’m not asking for something specific, it could be made with a CS-like buy system, COD-like load out system, Halo-like weapons on map system, TF-like class system, or whatever. I (and many) just love the mechanic and would love to see it on a non battle royale setting.

A: We are definitely considering all kinds of possibilities when it comes to alternate competitive modes outside of Battle Royale. We have plans to continue to expand Creative Mode so players can create their own favorite version(s) of Fortnite. We’ll be closely monitoring these community-created competitive modes as the tools for Creative Mode expand, and will officially support some of the more popular ones that pop up over time.


No FOV changes coming to Fortnite

Q: /u/Kessarean: Will FOV see a reconsideration?

A: We have no plans to implement an FOV slider. One of our major goals for competitive Fortnite is to support players in their journey to be able to become stars and build their own audiences around awesome performances and personas. Part of that goal means listening to the desires of their viewers, and stepping in when necessary. In this case, players were indicating they felt required to play with stretched resolution (or increased FOV) in order to remain competitive, and fans said that it was a negative experience to watch.

We also don’t have any plans to adjust the current default FOV. As stated in our previous communication on the topic: https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/competitive/en-US/news/fortnite-competitive-development-update, it’s ultimately a tradeoff of a series of goals and we’re happy with where it’s at currently.


Anti-Defensive Building Items

Q: /u/beaushinkle: With the number of items / changes geared toward punishing boxes (stinks, explosive damage through walls, etc) it seems like the team isn’t happy with how strong the box is in competitive play. Do you guys have plans to enable aggressive players who want to force fights with defensive players?

A: We’re always looking at the balance of core gameplay. That includes items, weapons, building, loot availability, and more. Defensive building is strong, and there should always be some counters, but not excessively so. In general having a few items that force alternative strategies or requiring players to react is healthy for keeping the moment to moment fresh.


World Cup will feature live per player ‘replays’

Q: /u/DatGuyRich: We’ve seen over the last few world cup weeks that numerous streamers are pulling the same amount of numbers as the official Fortnite stream mainly because people prefer this method of spectating. So during the world cup will there be an option to spectate from one player’s POV?

A: We’re totally fine with streamers pulling in bigger numbers than our channel, and this possibility was something we had actually looked forward to in creating our approach. In general it’s a goal of ours to help drive traffic to our players’ streams. We completely understand that people may want to only watch their favorite streamer vs our show. Our coverage is generally meant to serve viewers who may not have a favorite streamer or who are looking for more information about a tournament as a whole.

As an example of how we want to continue the spirit of supporting players and streamers first, for World Cup we will also be streaming the finalists’ replays LIVE, so if you wanted to you could load up the replay while the match is happening and watch from your favorite player’s perspective.


Shotgun Delay is being looked at

Q: /u/Pmoney98: The shotgun pullout delay was initially added to prevent the ‘double shotgun’ meta. In the current state of the game, double shotgun is both obsolete and irrelevant. The pullout delay feels obtrusive and clunky. Are there any plans to change this?

A: We’re looking into possible tuning iterations here – the main thing we want to keep in mind is that the Pump Shotgun is still available in Creative (and always has the potential to be unvaulted), so we want to make sure that any adjustments take its unique characteristics into consideration.

About Matthew

Founder, Lead Writer and Finance at FortniteCrypt. Matthew has been gaming for more than 15 years, playing mainly FPS like Call of Duty, Halo and Battlefield.

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