Fortnite’s Siphon and materials cap changes will remain a feature of Arena mode for a “sharper experience,” so that the larger player base can enjoy the core modes.
Epic has explained that Fortnite’s Pop-up Cup tournament settings are not going to return to the core game modes because while it “increased engagement for the highest-skilled 10%,” it left “the remaining 90%…more frustrated and [they] played less.”
The development update has finally addressed the community’s recent demands that Epic revert the changes it rolled out in update v8.20, that saw the Pop-up Cup tournament’s settings get removed from default playlists. They were initially introduced in update v7.40.
“We introduced Siphon during the Pop-up Cup tournaments to provide incentives for aggression that more closely resembles how the regular modes are played, and to increase entertainment value and spectacle.
“Everybody enjoyed receiving health and shields for eliminations after we introduced the changes to the core modes, but there was an unexpected consequence: players at large grew more frustrated with Fortnite play, feeling they had less of a chance due to encounters with high-skill players with full health and shields.
“Ultimately, Siphon increased engagement for the highest-skilled 10%, while the remaining 90% were more frustrated and played less.”
This apparently lead to players starting to “disengage in the core modes” and feeling that “the game had gotten too intense to be enjoyable.”
Epic explains that this is the reason that Siphon and the material cap changes were removed from the default playlists, but that players who prefer “the sharper experience of Siphon” can head to Arena mode for that.
Ninja was amongst the players who weren’t happy with the removal, and at the time he said he understood that Epic “wanted to slow the game down,” but that “there’s a hundred different ways they could’ve slowed the game down besides removing the shield and mats upon killing people.”
Epic also touched on another issue that has been raised by competitive players – the FOV slider, saying that its removal of stretched resolution has resulted in a backlash, but went on to explain why it was removed.
“When a game introduces a feature that provides a gameplay advantage, players gravitate towards turning it on to maximize their chances of success, even if this makes the game look and/or feel worse. The stretched characters and distorted views detract from Fortnite as an entertainment experience for all.
“Fundamentally, we seek to avoid optional settings which provide players with a significant gameplay advantage.”
The current FOV of 80 is a “tradeoff” to accommodate “varied engagement ranges,” minimise motion-sickness and “jarring transitions when aimming down sights,” and to uphold a certain level of visual fidelity and performance.
It’s taken a while for Epic to address these issues, but the developer has promised to “be more present in online forums to chat about the evolution of Arena and competition formats” throughout the competitive season.