Fortnite Battle Royale Season 6: Darkness Rises

To explain why there’s a floating island over Loot Lake, I need to back up a bit. The recap, in case you haven’t been playing Fortnite: Battle Royale (FBR): in Season 4 a character called The Visitor launched a rocket in a one-time only in-game event. This rocket launch tore a massive hole in the sky, setting up the “Worlds Collide” theme of Season 5.  In Season 5, rifts were introduced, and pulled items and areas from different places in time, and also gave players a new mode of transportation. Near the end of Season 5, lightning started striking in the new desert environment in the Southeast corner of the map. When it stopped, there remained a large purple cube, which stood about three to four stories tall. He was nicknamed “Kevin” on the FBR subreddit. Kevin slowly moved around the map, leaving destruction and occasionally runes on the ground in his wake. At the end of the season, he hit Loot Lake and melted into the water, turning the whole lake into a giant bounce pad.

If you watch the in-game introduction to Season 6, you can see that Kevin didn’t really melt he just reformed in the middle of the lake, under the lone house on the water. And now Kevin and the Loot Lake house are both floating in the air, and causing updrafts that allow players to float up to him even if they start on the water, which has returned to its normal, boring, not-bouncy self. The spots where Kevin left runes have become corrupted and scorched looking, but on the plus side 1-3 chests will spawn there now. Epic has also added a castle overlooking Haunted Hills, and a secret lab underneath Wailing Woods.

The areas around runes are dark and twisted. Could they spread and make more of the map like that this season?

In honor of the “Calamity” player skin controversy I present to you the Good, Bad, and Ugly so far:

The Good

Epic continues to make the Battle Pass worth it for players. Even if you never unlock another skin, you get a legendary and an epic for 950 V-bucks ($9.50) just like last season (normally outfits of that rarity go for 2000 and 1500 V-bucks, or $20 and $15). Also just like last season, the legendary comes with upgradable clothing, or as Epic calls it, “Unlockable Styles.” Even if you don’t finish getting all the styles this season, you can still unlock them later as long as you’ve got that skin, which is great, because “Calamity” starts out a little too Daisy Duke for me, but her final tier makes her look like Van Helsing’s daughter, which is great.

Other great things include continued tweaks to performance, audio, and available weapons. With the 6.0 update Epic has stashed away the impulse grenade, suppressed submachine Gun, light machine gun, bouncer, and remote explosives in the vault. I will not miss any of them. They also nerfed the double-barrel shotgun damage, and reduced the charge on grapplers from 15 to 10. For a full rundown of the patch notes, click here.  Also worth mentioning is that Sony finally caved on crossplay, and now all three consoles and PC can play together!

Pets will act as a new kind of backpack, and they will do different things based on your actions and situation. Camo (the chameleon) will even change color based on the rarity of what you last picked up.

The Bad

Some Xbox players didn’t even get to experience one of the new features in Season 6 before it was hotfixed out, due to a problem with logging into their servers. After Season 6 had been out for about half a day, players were able to log in, but many who stayed up late or got up early left disappointed and unable to play. This marks the first time that a season launch didn’t go smoothly for FBR, and hopefully the last.

The hotfixed feature was the Shadow Stone, which was supposed to add to the spooky “Darkness Rising” theme by letting players temporarily become invisible (but not be able to attack), Of course it didn’t take long for players to find an exploit, and become permanently invisible but still able to attack other players. The Stones have been removed for the time being, with no word on when or if they’ll return.

Also bad was the decision to allow someone to program “Calamity” with a too much physics in the chest area. If you combined her with the “jubilation” emote, you got to see that someone on staff is a fan of the Dead or Alive series. Epic has already apologized for this, and promised it will be patched out.

The Ugly

This season of FBR feels like a 19th birthday. It’s supposed to be important and mean something, but not all that much has changed. It feels like maybe in a season or two something big will happen, but this is just a filler season to get you there and sell you some Halloween-themed skins. Disappointingly, there is once again no new map. And I can’t see them doing one next season either; with any luck we’ll get a snowy environment or a Santa’s Village new Point of Interest somewhere on the map, but really they need a fresh start. The current map is starting to feel like a kid’s drawing that was done and perfect some 50 brush strokes ago but they can’t stop adding stuff and changing things. If you look at the map where it was a year ago versus today, you’d be amazed that (A) Anyone actually got loot in Season 1, and (B) that anyone actually runs in to other players in the first 5 minutes now, because the map is absolutely packed.

So at this point I’ve bought the Battle Pass, but I’m not feeling nearly as invested as the last two seasons. In my opinion, Epic needs to do more things like the Visitor’s rocket launch and focus less on new skins (outfits) for people to buy, because that feels more engaging. Honestly, if they wanted to do a dark version of the current map with everything being flipped on a mirror image, that would be a good start. Pets and cubes are okay, but what really draws me back are the changes each week that make it keep feeling like a new and dynamic game.

No really Epichow about it?

Andrew Borck

Christian/Husband/Dad/Gamer/Writer/Master Builder. Jesus saves and Han shot first.

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