Fortnite’s latest patch adds launch pads and shotguns

The newest patch for Fortnite is adding a new type of trap that doesn’t really feel like much of a trap. The launch pad trap in Battle Royale mode is a trap in terms of mechanics, but in actual play what it does is let you throw yourself into the air and deploy your glider mid-match, allowing you to drop in on your opponents with an unexpected mid-air assault. Cackling madly and shouting that they can run but they can’t glide is unnecessary, but permitted.

No such aerial antics are being added to the game’s survival mode, however; there, you’re just getting a handy array of new shotguns to use against the zombie hordes. Is there any weapon more associated with smacking zombies? (Aside from perhaps the chainsaw or stultifying boredom.) Check out the full patch notes for all of the changes, including the usual array of quality-of-life improvements that come with any new patch.


Fortnite racks up 20 million players like a boss

With the millions of players flooding into Fortnite, the zombies don’t stand a chance. Heck, they’re probably an endangered species.

Less than a month after Epic Games announced that Fortnite had accumulated 10 million players since its early access launch, an additional 10 million decided to check out the action of this battle royale base builder.

“We just passed 20 million players across all of Fortnite since launch,” the team posted on Twitter. “Thanks to everyone who keeps making the community and the game awesome!”

And at least 18 million of those players have been hiding in bushes during the battle royale matches. Good news for the bush people, then, because Fortnite is about to make this desired hiding spot mobile in an upcoming patch. (“We said nerf the bush, not buff it!” one player whined.)

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The Stream Team: A final foray into Fortnite’s Fortnitemares

Last time, Massively OP’s MJ was only able to check out a couple of the Halloween quests in Fortnite’s Hexsylvania. Now, she’s diving back in to experience more before that awesome spooky map disappears! Join us live at 7:00 p.m. for MJ’s final foray into Fortnitemares.

What: Fortnite
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

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Fortnite’s patch today adds mute to voice chat and boosts quest item drop frequency

Fortnite’s smallish 1.8.1 update is live today, and probably the most important addition is actually something that helps you delete things from the game: player voices, to be exact. Yep, you can now mute other players in voice chat. Hooray! Expect improved quest drops, fixes for battle royale gameplay, optimizations, improved team UI, and a minor daily challenge rebalance. Over on the PvE side, players will see better matchmaking, tweaks to a few clsses, and improvement to “the frequency of quest item drops to avoid frustrating unlucky streaks.”

Servers are up as of this morning, though Epic says “you may run into a short queue when connecting.”

Stay tuned for tonight at 7 p.m. EDT, when MOP’s Stream Team will return again to the game!

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Fortnite devs focus on performance issues following 811K weekend concurrency

If you struggled to play Fortnite this weekend, you’re not alone, and Epic Games is on the case. “The Battle Bus had 811K concurrent players on Sunday,” the studio tweeted yesterday. “We’re working hard to keep it in the air.”

In a followup post, Epic outlines its specific plans for performance upgrading, focusing on everything from poor client framerate and high ping to that obnoxious rubber-banding MMO players are sadly accustomed to.

“There are a ton of different issues resulting in rubber banding, and even more root causes. E.g. our servers might hitch because of issues with our code, other servers we are running on the same machine having a negative impact (noisy neighbor), or issues with the host OS or HW resulting in degradation in performance, but not outright failures (gray failures). Your connection to our datacenters is first and foremost impacted by our choice of location for datacenters and your ping to them, but there is also lot of variation in ping based on the route your packets take. There is also potential for additional latency and packet loss if you are using wifi.”

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The Stream Team: Delving into Fortnite’s fortnitemares

Zombies are particularly perfect this time of year, but Fortnite ups its Halloween game with a whole new zone, Hexsylvania. Massively OP’s MJ is looking forward to exploring this area and facing the Vampire Taker and the Pumpkin Head Husk, but first she has to finish her third storm shield defense. She’d better hurry, though, as this zone is only temporary! Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. for a journey into Fortnitemares.

What: Fortnite
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, October 30th, 2017

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Halloween events across the MMORPG verse, 2017 edition

Hey, you. Yeah, you, dude leeching candy from the bucket you bought “for the neighborhood kids.” And you, lady still trying to decide between “Princess Leia” and “lazy zombie” for your costume (go Leia, duh). Put all that aside and get into some MMOs instead! Halloween is only one night in real life, but in MMORPGs, it goes on for days or even weeks. Some studios will probably even forget to turn it off! Others will let you run around with a flaming pumpkin head mask for all eternity!

Here’s what we’re looking at this year for Halloween across the MMORPG verse.

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The doors to Hexsylvania creak open in Fortnite

There’s one more haunted house to conquer in online gaming — and this one may end you once and for all.

Fortnite announced the beginning of its brand-new Fortnitemares Event, which mostly revolves around the opening of Hexsylvania. This Halloween-themed castle adds about two dozen story quests, eight heroes, and a spooky llama for those who brave its terrifying catacombs. Oh, and there’s a pumpkin launcher, because the Great and Powerful Pumpkin Lobby demands subservience in all games (or so says its CEO, Mr. Van Pelt).

Fortnitemares begins tomorrow, October 26th, a date which also marks the end of the current Horde Bash event.

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Overwatch dings up to 35M players ahead of quarterly financial report

Blizzard just announced that it’s just counted 35 million Overwatch players – not too shabby for a buy-to-play team shooter that started out by tossing half a dozen MMORPG development dev years down a drain. That ought to make investors happy – expect the next investor relations report in early November.

I’d love to give more info, but the #8 revenue PC game and #6 revenue console game in the world sent a press release with nothing else. So instead, we’ll compare it to some other big numbers lately: 10M have shown up for Fortnite’s free-to-play console battle royal mode, while PUBG’s sold 13M in the last couple of months.

Also, this guy speaks for everybody.

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Fortnite teases Halloween event, lists development projects in the works

The development train for Fortnite isn’t slowing down, with the studio posting a long list of projects that its teams are currently tackling. For those who don’t have time to peruse the full rundown, some of the more notable line items include voice chat,

In community news, some of Fortnite’s players have reported that the studio has overturned accidental bans and compensated affected individuals for the bother. After seeing the compensation, some voices wished that they had been mistakenly booted.

The team also teased Fortnite’s Halloween event in its most recent dev update video. Apparently this will be “quest-driven” featuring eight new heroes, two new weapons, and an additional biome called Hexelvania. More details will be forthcoming next week.

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Fortnite patches battle royale, adds BattlEye anti-cheat measures, and sues cheaters

Are you one of the 10M people who’ve dipped into Fortnite’s battle royal mode? Or perhaps one of the 500K who played concurrently this past weekend? Then you’ll want to point your eyeballs at the game’s latest patch. The 1.7.1 update brings battle royale stats, a monster power balance in the Save the World mode, and changes to the progression system for Challenge the Horde game mode. At least if the studio can get the kinks worked out, anyway. My favorite patch note? “Added a few structures near Tomato Town.”

Of note, Epic says it’s making good on its promise to upend cheaters, having now implemented the contentious but widespread third-party BattlEye program, even for PvE players. The program is used in multiple games but has been criticized heavily for privacy violations, most recently by the ARK Survival Evolved community. Epic, however, has stated on Reddit that BattlEye was not to blame for the recent spate of false positives in cheat detection.

That isn’t to say nobody’s to blame. Indeed, the company is apparently personally suing the creators of two sub-based cheat service, AddictedCheats, at least one of whom has been “banned from Fortnite at least nine times,” according to the filing. MOP readers will recall that Blizzard’s enjoyed a measure of litigation success over cheat-vendors preying on its own games, so we’ll see whether Epic does too.

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Fortnite’s infographic claims 10 million battle royale players within the last fortnite

Remember a few days back when Fortnite broke half a million concurrent players with its contentious free-to-play battle royal mode, the one that earned ire from both paying PvE players and PUBG studio Bluehole? That was just the peak concurrency. Today, Epic Games has put out an infographic to give a slightly more complete picture of just how the game is doing.

The studio boasts that 10 million folks have logged in to play the PvP mode in the last two weeks since it opened, racking up almost 45 million hours played. The other stats are superfluous and fun, like number of people who leaped from the battle bus (almost 300 million of you). So, 10 million bodies then. No wonder Epic’s had no public comment on Bluehole’s complaints.

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Fortnite deals with cheat detection false positives, breaks half a million concurrent players

Cheating is bad in online games; we can all agree on that. Having anti-cheat software usually raises some questions back and forth, but the core idea of making sure that cheating is stopped swiftly at the root at least makes a fair amount of sense. Really, the only problem with it in the long term is if it mistakenly flags innocent accounts for immediate banning when they weren’t doing anything wrong. You know, like what seems to be happening to Fortnite players recently.

The studio quickly identified the issue and is working to both fix the problem and correct the automated cheat bans for players unfairly barred from the game; the bug appears to be caused by shooting whilst on a swingset, and players hit by this false positive should no longer be getting fully banned. Still, it takes some time to reverse bans, and it’s hard to argue that this makes the anti-cheat software look good. Unless you think swingsets are inherently evil, we suppose. So that’s a mixed result when the game cracks down hard on cheating, perhaps.

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