8 Things We Need in Fortnite
Making a great experience even better
In only a few short months, Fortnite Battle Royale has gone from a humble and barebones free-to-play mode for a base-building horde defense cooperative game, to a massive cultural phenomenon with tons of content injected into the game at a constant rate. Epic Games has shown a willingness to throw anything at the wall, from quirky power-ups to entire game modes. Their willingness to try pretty much anything makes Fortnite a great creative experiment, and it’s an exercise I’m happy to indulge in.
Some of these might be pipe dreams or sound like the dumbest ideas ever, but here’s my Fortnite wishlist:
1. Large-scale, objective-based modes
While it might seem a little silly to be asking a battle royale game to be not a battle royale game, hear me out: Fortnite is a game that can dump 100 people into a map with a ton of gameplay systems working in tandem without a hitch. It seems almost wasteful to take that infrastructure and squander it on merely large-scale death matches. Games like Battlefield 1942 have proven that large-scale versions of classic game modes (Control, Capture the Flag) can be a ton of fun, and give everybody something to do to keep them invested.
Fortnite’s experimental 50v50 mode feels like a test run for more complex game modes like this. But where 50v50 seemed to lack a strong unifying goal that demanded everybody’s participation, dividing the action into smaller skirmishes across the map would give everybody’s role real value. I don’t just think this is a good wishlist item — I think it’s the natural destination of the existing game mode.
Pipe Dream Level: 1/10
2. Teleporter pads
With Season 5 in full swing, players are having a blast experimenting with the teleportation portals dispersed randomly throughout the map. These rifts spit players through tears in the sky, sending them gliding back down to the map. They’re a little chaotic and a lot of fun. But there’s another feature that was already in the game, hiding once more in the Save the World mode, that could (and should) also find its way into Battle Royale: Teleporter pads.
Teleporter pads as they are in Save the World allow players to place two pads no more than fifteen tiles apart. These instantly transport the player from one pad to the other. They’ve already got a cooldown and a use count, so it isn’t hard to imagine introducing these to Battle Royale in a fair and fun way. These pads do require more planning than the average BR player may have time for, of course, so maybe treating the end-point of the teleporter as a throwable will give it the chaos factor it needs to keep things spicy.
Pipe Dream Level: 2/10
3. Zombies mode
This seems like a real no-brainer to me (hue hue). Fortnite’s Save The World mode is already infested with zombies, so it only makes sense that they might be inclined to extend that foe to Battle Royale — albeit as a player character.
Zombies would take inspiration from modes in other games, like Halo’s Infected, where down players are respawned as Infected players, and it’s a fight to be the last man standing. This would keep everybody in the match engaged to the end, and would play out everybody’s zombie apocalypse fantasy. And better still, it wouldn’t require a lot of new assets or anything from Epic, since all that content is already in the game (and otherwise unused by Battle Royale).
Pipe Dream Level: 3/10
4. Custom matches
The absence of custom matches in Fortnite is so notable that there’s probably a strong reason why they haven’t yet done so — either from a business perspective or (less likely) a technical one. Still, the prospect is exciting, and one that a great deal of players are clamoring for. The prevalence of cobbled-together Discord-coordinated scrim snipes is indicative of the appeal of organizing custom, private matches. Especially given Epic’s $100 million push to make Fortnite the esports game-changer of 2018, players are eager to practice and compete with competent and organized opponents.
I suspect we will see these at some point, though Epic probably has good reason not to just yet.
Pipe Dream Level: 4/10
Anybody who’s played an MMO is sure to be familiar with pets. Whether they provide minor gameplay boosts or are just purely cosmetic, pets are an exciting item to unlock and collect, and Fortnite’s ever important loot draw would be enriched all the more if these guys were added to the mix.
I can tell you, I’m not much of a sucker for microtransactions, but I’d drop a good couple of bucks to have a mini piñata chasing me around. It wouldn’t even have to do anything, though I wouldn’t say no to it picking up nearby ammo and resources, or sniffing out chests in the vicinity.
Pipe Dream Level: 5/10
6. Gear pieces
Look, skins in Fortnite are awesome. It’s one of the biggest drivers with every new season to burn though the challenges of your Battle Pass. But you know what’s even more awesome? Customization. I’d love to have a Bunny head, a black sportcoat, and some chicken pants. Or a pair of Cupid wings sticking out the back of my gold cuirass.
Fortnite’s bombastic aesthetic lends itself well to the mix-and-match fun of conflicting pieces of gear, and working towards a full set (or away from it) would compound the amount of time invested in the game’s cosmetic library.
I’m not optimistic that this will ever happen, as much fun as I think it would be. I can’t exactly lecture a company making $300 million a month on how to get people to play for more cosmetic items. But I can still dream.
Pipe Dream Level: 6/10
7. Destructible terrain
Fortnite’s bread and butter is the construction and destruction of structures in the game world, and it’s a blast. But then that sort of activity encourages the player to test those boundaries and figure out what can and can’t be destroyed. The environment, you learn, is the latter.
Now, I don’t want Epic to put Minecraft into Fortnite. But maybe let us dig a fox hole in the ground, or burrow under our opponent’s defenses and collapse the ground beneath them?
This is certainly too much to ask, but it would undoubtedly add a fun new wrinkle to the game’s mechanics.
Pipe Dream Level: 9/10
8. Physics-based structure damage
Speaking of things that will never happen…adding physics-based structure damage to Fortnite is probably literally impossible — at least if they still want the game to run on iPads (hint: they do). Nonetheless, the prospect of taking out the foundation of a tower and having that tower fall, as opposed to systematically vaporizing in place, would be a game changer. Battlefield 5’s battle royale mode will supposedly toy with collapsing environments, but I won’t hold my breath.
Pipe Dream Level: 10/10
That’s all I got. Did I miss anything? Are all my suggestions dumb and bad? Let me know! (Or don’t…just don’t yell at me…)