Epic has finally addressed Fortnite’s controversial 8.20 patch, which removed a popular mechanic from the main game by which players would get health and shields when they eliminated opponents. According to Epic, the mechanic, called “siphoning,” made players avoid the main battle royale mode.
In a competitive update today, Epic reiterated their initial reason for removing the mechanic, which was that it supposedly made play too aggressive. Siphoning is still available in Arena, Fortnite’s competitive mode, but a vocal contingent of the player base has been furious about its removal from the main game in the 8.20 patch in early April. Calls to “revert the changes” have echoed across social media and Reddit, with Epic remaining silent.
According to Epic’s post today, though, there are plenty of players who are glad the mechanic is gone. It reads:
Players at large grew more frustrated with Fortnite play, feeling they had less of a chance due to encounters with high-skill players with full health and shields. Ultimately, Siphon increased engagement for the highest-skilled 10%, while the remaining 90% were more frustrated and played less.
Over time, players began to disengage in the core modes, stating that the game had gotten too intense to be enjoyable. The reduction in viable play styles in combination with this feedback was the basis of us removing the Siphon mechanic and the material changes from the core modes.
The developers also acknowledged their silence around the issue, writing, “We closely follow the dialog in the Fortnite competitive community, but haven’t been as active participants in the discussion as we ought to be. So, we’ll be trying harder to participate by sharing the ‘why’ behind recent and future changes.”
It doesn’t look like Epic will heed the “revert the changes” call any time soon, since the post states, “For players that prefer the sharper experience of Siphon, we do offer an always-available Arena mode that includes these Siphon and materials cap changes.”
At any rate, Epic has at least addressed the elephant in the room, even if the answer isn’t quite what some players might have hoped.