Betawatch: Fortnite rolls out a free-for-all mode that’s free for all (September 22, 2017)

Remember when Fortnite’s whole thing was that it was going to be about co-op survival gameplay without any PvP aspects? That clearly didn’t last, as it turns out the game’s new Battle Royale mode is going to be free-to-play and seems to be getting an unexpected share of the game’s development. Oh, and the game accidentally turned on cross-platform play before turning it right back off, so that was great too.

In unrelated news, we bid farewell to Guardians of Ember as it has actually, like, launched now. It’s not in early access any more! It’s just access. Guild Wars 2 has also dropped its second expansion, and The Elder Scrolls Online has its latest DLC up on the test server.

More beta news? Yes indeed! Including titles you might not have seen this week otherwise.

  • All right, Pantropy, do you really think that the only thing you need to seduce someone into survival sandbox games is to include a bunch of stompy mechs? Because you are very possibly right.
  • The stress testing for MU Legend is running on September 23rd, which is the server equivalent of packing tons of college freshmen into a phone booth and daring them to fall out. Taking part will earn you 500 Bound Redzen for use in the future, so if the simple joy of stress testing isn’t enough, do it for the bribery.
  • You’ve missed the first alpha testing weekend for Closers, but there are several more weekends coming up, such as this weekend. Would you like a whole schedule for the next few weeks? You’ve got one.
  • The closed alpha weekends for Survived By are starting very soon, with several closed alpha weekends planned over the next several weeks. Exact dates aren’t given, unfortunately, but considering that there are only so many people being invited, that seems at least moderately sensible.
  • Around 350 players took place in the second OrbusVR closed beta, and you can catch up on the notes from that second beta right now. It’s a good chance to keep an eye on the game when you’re not keeping both eyes in the headset.

And as we always do, there’s a list of titles in testing and early access just below, because that’s how we operate. Did something hop to another phase of testing without letting us know? Fix that oversight in the comments. You can also use the comments for other comments, of course.

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PUBG ‘contemplates further action’ against Epic’s Fortnite battle royal mode

Remember that whole ordeal earlier this week when Epic announced that next week’s Fortnite patch will be a free-to-play PvP-centric battle royal mode? PvE players were understandably miffed, given it’s an about-face on Epic’s original plan to focus on PvE instead of PvP, but they’re not the only folks mad: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer Bluehole has all but accused Epic of ripping off the mode, which Epic has previously said was inspired by PUBG as well as H1Z1.

In a press release this morning, Bluehole vice president Chang Han Kim says the company is “concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known,” down to parts of the UI.

“We have also noticed that Epic Games references PUBG in the promotion of Fortnite to their community and in communications with the press. This was never discussed with us and we don’t feel that it’s right.”

He concludes by suggesting he’ll be “[contemplating] further action.” That’ll be an interesting day. Wonder what they’ll do with all the other games with such a mode? Anybody got a popcorn gif?

Source: Press release via VG247


PvE-centric Fortnite’s new battle royal PvP mode will be free-to-play

Epic Games announced this morning that Fortnite’s upcoming PvP mode will essentially be free-to-play.

The game was originally touted by Epic as a PvE survival title without direct PvP and has taken heavy criticism over its punishing business model and progression system. Nevertheless, Epic announced earlier this month that its next patch will introduce PvP in the form of a battle royal-style mode, rather upsetting its early buyers. That update is due out on September 26th, and today, the studio’s issued an addendum: While the original “Save the World” PvE part of the game will remain in “paid early access,” the PvP-oriented, 100-man “Fortnite Battle Royale” map will instead be “free for everyone on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Mac.”

PvE players on Reddit, who bought the game in early access when it launched just a few months ago based on its PvE-centricity, are not pleased at all, arguing that it will split the playerbase as well as distract from the original PvE goals of the game. “It’s now a free PvP game with a $40 PvE mode,” one noted. “I continue to be concerned for the state of PvE in this game.” (They may not even be wrong. Just ask H1Z1: Just Survive players how this story goes.)

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Fortnite accidentally adds then removes crossplatform Xbox One/PS4 play

Update: Aww, nuts. Epic has already disabled it, calling it a “configuration issue” and bug.

Bet you’ve never actually ridden a physical lockbox from an online game before — unless you went to PAX West this year, of course!

Persnickety piñatas aside, zombie survival title Fortnite has steathed in a rather applause-worthy feature that it really should be trumpeting from the highest of hills. Over this past weekend, Epic Games enabled cross-platform play between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Sound unique? That’s because this is allegedly the first time an online game has managed to wrangle cross-platform play between these two particular consoles. The subject has been of great interest as of late, with Microsoft being more open to sharing its playspace with the competition and Sony jealously guarding its territory.

Fortnite is currently testing its new Battle Royale mode which is coming to the game on September 26th.

Source: VG247


Fortnite begins testing its battle royal game mode, launching September 26

Epic Games heard you liked battle royal game modes, so it’s putting one into Fortnite. The so-called Fortnite Battle Royale is

“an all-new PvP mode coming to the action-building game Fortnite on Sept. 26, available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac. Fortnite Battle Royale drops 100 players onto one giant map where their combat and building skills will be put to the test and the last commander standing wins!”

If you already own the game, you can jump into testing the new mode on the PTR as of today. If you don’t own it, you can take advantage of the 25% off sales running on founder packs right now. Video’s down below. Anybody still playing this?

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Massively Overthinking: The best and worst MMOs of 2017’s PAX West

PAX West 2017 has come and gone, and though MJ is still feverishly working on her last few articles, we wanted to pause a moment to reflect on everything we’ve seen and read and recapped so far. So for today’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to tackle three topics from an MMO player’s perspective: the biggest surprise of the show, the most disappointing bit, and the games that grabbed them and won’t let go.

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Fortnite’s survival update dares you to outlast a storm for a literal fortnite

After the wacky deluge of gotta-launch-before-school-starts releases creating a pileup on the video game interstate yesterday, one might almost have missed Fortnite’s big update, so let’s rectify that now.

The key feature of yesterday’s early access update is Survive the Storm, the previously promised survival mode where players will try to survive a storm for an actual fortnite, 14 days. Players are also getting what the team is calling “mutant storms,” which “grant unique modifiers to enemies and heroes, and give useful rewards,” plus new weapons, animations, and skins. (Maybe this wasn’t the best week to ask gamers to survive a storm, but Epic can be forgiven for its lack of meteorological clairvoyance.)

In other Fortnite news, Epic is hosting a PAX meetup at the Seattle Gameworks (awww, remember those?) on Saturday in case you want to play video games that are, you know, not Fortnite. Pics down below!

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Fortnite prepares for one heck of a storm in Aug 29 update

A storm is rolling into Fortnite next week, and it’s promising to be a doozy.

The zombie survival game is prepping its “Survive the Storm” update for August 29th, bringing a limited-time event for those who are willing to brave the elements. While active, players can jump into the titular mode to gather resources every day and hunker down at night when a nasty storm arrives. This isn’t your normal summer thunderclap, either; the storm can mutate zombies, giving them increased abilities and stats.

Those pitiful few who make it through the storms will be rewarded with new weapons, all with a “hydraulic” theme. The update will also add more defenders, heroes, performance improvements, and better art for Canny Valley Outpost.

Get your weather forecast for Fortnite after the break!

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Epic is working on a ‘hardcore survival version’ for Fortnite

Epic’s early access PvE-centric survival sandbox Fortnite has been heavily criticized for having a messy, micromanagey progression system that is inextricably linked to its pay-to-progress business model, but Epic says it’s listening to the feedback. “We’re in early access,” the studio’s Zak Phelps says in the game’s most recent dev video. “We want feedback. It’s a first version!”

Phelps, along with Epic’s Darren Sugg, say that the team is currently working on a “sort of hardcore survival version” of the game that’ll actually last up to an actual fortnight in-game (works out to about 3.5 hours real-time). Expect that big update coming later this summer.

The game’s latest teeny patch was intended to fix several crashes and memory leaks but appears to have introduced (or perhaps exacerbated) an XP display bug, so don’t freak out about that. Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie got some hands-on time with the game earlier this month; that’s down below, along with Epic’s latest dev chat.

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The Stream Team: Base building in Fortnite

When Massively OP’s MJ first tried Fortnite, she made it through the tutorial enough to build and defend a little base. Now she wants to expand! She’s diving back in to experience more of the game while improving her base. Will she get far enough to run into the pay-to-progress problems players have been talking about? Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. for another look at…

What: Fortnite
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

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Fortnite devs apologize for unintended base demolition

When money is put down on the counter and the word “launch” is used, it doesn’t matter if you say your game is in “early access” or “alpha” or what have you — customers will complain, loudly, if an update or glitch wipes out their progress. And this is exactly what happened with Fortnite this past week.

The situation came about when the team uploaded a new patch that, among other things, made changes to three maps that also reset any bases put on those maps. While the resources used to make the bases were refunded, the time and effort spent was lost. To make matters worse, there was no advance warning given to the community, a fact which the team regretted and for which it apologized on the forums.

“We messed up in missing a HUGE part of our patch notes,” the studio posted. “We know that the time it took to create your base can’t be replaced, we hope that opportunity to rebuild with all your resources and past experience will allow you to make an even better base.”

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Fortnite touts sales figures while players lament pay-to-progress model

Epic Games’ PvE multiplayer zombie tower defense survivalbox MMO thing Fortnite is doing well in its launch week, at least in terms of non-Steam PC early access sales. Creative Director Darren Sugg tweeted out yesterday the presale numbers.

“Absolutely humbled by the response to this week’s @FortniteGame launch,” he wrote. “500k+ digital pre-order sales and just getting started!”

But the storm brewing on Reddit suggests the sale part is working as intended — the game’s current issues aren’t in the early game at all but in the paywall monetization that comes later. As one Redditor put it, the game is pay-to-progress after a certain point: “This process of churning items continues with the material requirements growing exponentially with each step of progression. You will need more and more items that are time/money gated and no amount of playing the game will alleviate that.”

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The Stream Team: First foray into Fortnite

Did you say building game? You did! The idea of a new sandbox to build in makes Massively OP’s MJ a very happy camper (or construction worker, as the case may be). And with the early access release of Fortnite, she has a brand-new world to build in… and try to stay alive in. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for MJ’s first foray into this new survival building game.

What: Fortnite
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

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