Fortnite Player Count Now at Over 7 Million, Battle Royale Getting Duos, Supply Drops

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It’s been a hectic few weeks for Epic Games and its game, Fortnite. Not only did PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer Bluehole take offense at Epic’s Fortnite Battle Royale, but there’s also a Horde mode coming to he shooter-building game as well. However, Epic is sure to be jumping for joy as Fortnite has now passed seven million players!

Yep, just a week out form announcing that over a million players have combated in Fortnite Battle Royale, the Fortnite player count is now over seven million-player strong! This was announced by the official Fortnite Twitter account which also mentioned that Duos and Supply Drops are coming to Fortnite Battle Royale.

Additionally, the studio has announced Duos and Supply Drops over on the official Epic Games website, which you can read about below.

Duos will release in most regions with this release. We want to make sure that adding a new playlist doesn’t make the experience less enjoyable so stay tuned for more updates on the status of Duos in your region.

Bring a friend and let the duos begin!

Supply Drops are back! ! We tried once, but couldn’t quite stick the landing. We fixed those issues and we’re excited for them to return.

Supply Drops are more likely to contain rare weapons and items that you want in a pinch. They’re also a hot zone for attention, so planning how to grab one is important. Watch the skies for those supplies.

The dev team also touched on weapon accuracy, and have come to the conclusion that pistols should not be able to “snipe” at long range, and weapon variety should encourage engagements not make everyone camp like their life depended on it.

We did some iterations with aggressive fall-off damage (as a lot of you have already suggested). There were three main concerns we had with this model:

  1. It felt unnatural to hit a far-away target with a rifle but do far lower damage
  2. It was unclear at what distances your damage would be reduced
  3. It was still difficult to respond since you couldn’t see who was shooting at you

As a result, we set a couple key goals with our combat:

  • Goal #1 – Pistol sniping at long range should not be possible.
  • Goal #2 – Our weapons should have characteristics that encourage a wide range of engagements based on: distance to target, target type, ammo availability, etc.

This meant using accuracy as a mechanic to force closer engagement distances. In most cases, this had the desired result: weapons very neatly grouped into different ranges.

After looking at this info, we quickly realized that a Scoped Assault Rifle and a longer range SMG were required to round out our base weapon lineup, which we added in the update on 9/26.

So, what are we doing going forward? There’s a few additional approaches:

  • Some weapons don’t quite live up to their expectations. The biggest culprits are the Assault Rifles and the SMGs which were recently adjusted. We’ll continue to evaluate and there may be more incremental improvements, not a radical adjustments.
  • It can be unclear what improves accuracy. Standing still, crouching, and aiming (instead of hip-firing) all have some form of impact on accuracy. We’ll look into ways to improve usability on the reticle, including improved readability of your accuracy cone.
  • We’ll be running prototypes using more recoil and reducing accuracy penalties. The idea behind this is that the first shot will have higher accuracy (but again, not perfect) and then subsequent shots will require slightly more skill. These will be incremental adjustments until we find the sweet spot.
  • Lastly, enabling projectiles for all weapons (not just the Sniper Rifle) is something we’d like to explore. Doing this would allow for tighter accuracy overall. We’ve run prototypes internally and it shows promise, but there are challenges preventing us from turning it on. Once those are sorted out, we’ll consider running a broader test.

Based on what I played of Fortnite Battle Royale, weapon tweaking is definitely a step in the right direction. Are you surprised at how many people the game has managed to capture so far? Or is it Bluehole’s fault for not releasing PUBG sooner on consoles?