Fortnite Season 6 Competitive – How much change is too much?
Fortnite’s latest Season 6 has arrived in-game. This time around the theme is primal, and things have been taken back to the wild. Usually the launch of a new season comes with map changes, weapon alterations, and some new content injected to keep things fresh. Chapter 2 Season 6 however has been a pretty major change to everything we know about and love about Fortnite.
For a start, the entire weapon system in the game has had a complete overhaul. That’s before going into the animals that now roam the island or the crafting system. Essentially the Season has had a lot of changes, and the Fortnite Season 6 competitive balance is looking weirder than ever.
Season 6 yet another blow to Fortnite Competitive
Competitive Fortnite players have had to cope with silly additions in the past. Nothing will likely compare to the wrecking hammer that was the mech. However, this current Season’s update feels like the biggest alteration to core mechanics since Chapter 2 launched, and not necessarily for the best. This is what’s changed, and how it is going to affect the esports side of Fortnite.
Crafting and the Never Ending Grind
The latest Season of Fortnite has reworked the entire weapons pool. There are now two types of weapons, mechanical and primal. Both need crafting to be upgraded or made more specialized. This by itself doesn’t feel too bad, but how far this system has been taken raises some warning signs. Each weapon you find has to be crafted to actually get it to a decent tier of loot.
Crafting these weapons relies on your harvesting materials for them. You don’t just need building mats anymore. Now you need mechanical parts and bones. Those that drop from animals are simple enough to get, if you’re willing to grind away for a while. The mechanical ones are more of a problem, with a third or so of drop spots being completely devoid of a decent amount of them. Even if you do manage to track down enough camper vans to get enough mechanical parts, that’s an extra ten minutes in your early-game just to get one decent tier weapon.
I don’t understand how changing the whole mechanic of guns and the ENTIRE loot pool would be good for the game
— FaZe Cented (@Cented7) March 17, 2021
How will this affect Fortnite Season 6 competitive? A lot more grinding, and more bitterness over POI splits when landing. These materials are in short supply, and every player has to grind some out. The early game is about to get way more tedious, and lengthy. Early game fights are essentially disincentivized.
The Loot Pool
Even outside of the crafting system, the loot pool for the Season is strange. The entire batch of weapons has been revamped. The much-beloved pump is back, but the new shotguns have been improved upon too. It is debatable which is even better at this early stage, which is a nice change. The scarcity of decent tier weapons for things like ARs is pretty frustrating however. The different weapons also don’t exactly feel distinct, between makeshift and primal.
every gun that has MAKESHIFT in its name is TERRIBLE
— TrainH Umplify (@UmplifyFN) March 16, 2021
One nice addition is the strange bows that you can craft. Creative things are going to be done with the fire, shockwave, and explosive bows. These, thankfully, don’t require much grinding to build either. Making a bad-loot-round resemble a fantasy RPG more than a Battle Royale shooter.
Too Much Grinding?
Fortnite Season 6 competitive is likely going to be dominated by that early and mid-game grind. Players have some time to optimize grinding strategies, but there isn’t much getting around it. On top of grinding out mats to deal with stacked end games, players now have to seriously grind their way to decent weaponry. That’s on top of the more concentrated player pool in POIs that actually have decent crafting matts too. With only some POIs dropping a decent amount of them, they’ll be hotly contested.
Fortnite Season 6 is so far a lot of fun to jump into in pubs and play casually. Playing competitively though has never been this dull. Too much of the game is spent grinding. When applied to major competitions, this could spell out problems for the title.
It isn’t all bad with this update though. Some of the more RPG elements they’ve added are a welcome addition. The new weapon loot pool is actually quite good, if a bit difficult to find. The map is in a pretty good place, with no major weird spot dominating gameplay. Even the new approach to mythic weapons and exotics is nice and balanced this time around.
Before the next major FNCS, we’ll likely see this crafting system altered in Arena and competitive modes. Epic frequently tests things out and reduces their effectiveness in Arena mode. The grinding in Season 6 is frustrating at the moment, especially after the fun of Season 5. With some luck it won’t be as dull by the time of the next major tournament, but it is currently looking like a strange Season.