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It’s 4 AM EST and the Fortnite servers are down, which means patch version 5.0 is downloading. This update introduces Season 5 and many new changes, outlined in Epic’s official patch notes. Considering the level of hype surrounding this update, we won’t mince any words here. Let’s dive in. From Epic’s blog post, we break down the key changes players can expect.
New vehicle: All Terrain Kart
Perhaps the most notable change, the addition of a new vehicle is huge news, and not something people actively expected. Based on the description of new mechanics such as drifting, hopping over obstacles, and the ability to lean, it sounds they’ve really reconsidered the role of vehicles in-game ever since the shopping cart.
- All Terrain Kart (ATK)
- The new All Terrain Kart (ATK) has room for your entire squad.
- Get a speed boost after drifting.
- The roof acts as a bounce pad.
- Work together as rear passengers to leap over obstacles with the All Terrain Kart (ATK). Lean back and release at the same time for a higher jump.
- Lean back by holding S on keyboards or holding back on the thumbstick for controllers.
Updated map: The oft-rumored Desert biome
Furthermore, a new desert biome is now live, as predicted. Though there’s no mention of specific correlation to Season 5’s theme, two new points of interest are named: Paradise Palms and Lazy Links. Whether or not these areas replace existing points of interest on the map remains to be seen. From Epic’s notes:
- Map Updated
- Biome: Desert
- New Location: Paradise Palms
- New Location: Lazy Links
- A few unnamed POIs have also appeared across the island.
Weapon and item tweaks
Continuing their refinement of the core gameplay mechanics, the new patch includes a variety of adjustments to existing weapons. Excitingly, there are a number of tweaks to shotgun mechanics. Now the shotgun will indicate how many pellets hit, and there is a new pause introduced between firing separate shotgun weapons. Hopefully, players will experience more consistency with shots fired, while simultaneously reducing the need for the double-shotgun meta.
- Shotguns will now indicate how many pellets hit, visible within the reticle.
- Adjusted shotgun spread patterns to be consistent with no random variation.
- Heavy Shotgun now fires 10 pellets rather than 5.
- Maximum damage for the Heavy Shotgun remains unchanged.
- After firing a shotgun, another shotgun cannot be fired for a very short time.
- Reduced Hunting Rifle aim assist when targeting to match that of other Sniper Rifles with projectile bullets.
- Changed the damage drop-off profile for the Suppressed SMG to be the same as other SMGs.
- Fall off starts at 24 meters from 28 meters.
- Damage reduced to 80% at 35 meters from 85% at 47.5 meters.
- Damage reduced to 65% at 50+ meters from 75% at 70+ meters.
Downtime for Season 5 has begun…
Jump through the rift and into the v5.0 Patch Notes: https://t.co/rZuknRlyXl
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) July 12, 2018
Modifying Experience gains and the Battle Pass
Of course, not all changes directly affect the competitive aspect of gameplay. Epic already has their line cast out to players, and now they need to keep them hooked. In order to do so, they’ve updated some of the ways in which players earn experience and how the Battle Pass functions. There are a number of changes that are especially notable for free players. For the record, the new Season 5 Battle Pass will be available for purchase once the servers are back online again.
- Starting in Season 5, progressive challenges will no longer be restricted to a single season. You can now complete progressive challenges at your own pace.
- Progressive challenges are now completed by acquiring a fixed amount of XP and is no longer dependant on your season level.
- Weekly challenges are now split into two sections, free and Battle Pass. The first 3 challenges will be available for free while the last 4 are only available if you own the Battle Pass. The threshold to unlock the weekly challenge reward will remain at 4.
- You now earn XP for reviving teammates in 50v50 and Teams of 20 LTMs up to three times per match (30XP, 10XP, 10XP).
Of all the miscellaneous changes, the addition of gyro/motion controls for the Nintendo Switch is exciting from an esports standpoint. Exactly how accurately these mechanics will work is still up in the air, especially with whether or not they are viable in a competitive atmosphere. From Epic’s notes, the other changes include:
- The center of Storm circles 7, 8, and 9 can now shift in random directions (instead of simply shrinking). As the storm closes in, it will move & shrink to the new location.
- Gyro/motion controls have been added to the Nintendo Switch. Adjust these options in the Settings menu.
- Down But Not Out players now have smaller collision. Previously their collision was at the standing height which blocked DBNO players from crawling under doors and blocked building collision in some cases.
- Players that were crouching when knocked Down But Not Out will be returned to a crouching state upon revival.
- Emoting will now interrupt sprinting.
- Weapon reticle will now fade slightly when reloading, out of ammo, or changing weapons.
- The player camera can now see out of the water when walking in lakes.
Welcoming Season 5: Assessing the version 5.0 patch notes
Though there’s still some time while the servers update, the patch notes give us a lot of information. After a season of waiting, this is a lot to take in. What news has you most excited? On paper, does the patch (and, in turn, the introduction of Fortnite Season 5) live up to your expectations? From an esports perspective, there’s enough here that the meta of the game might see significant change. In particular, the All Terrain Kart sounds like it offers a significant shift in squad movement. Well, that and the fact that it allows for greater Mario Kart opportunities once Playground LTM returns.
With the first Duos tournament of the Summer Skirmish Series approaching, the next few days on the island are going to be busier than usual. Let us know your thoughts below, before and after you drop-in!