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‘Fortnite OG’ changed everything and nothing

Epic Games did exactly what I wanted, yet I’m still complaining
Image+credit%3A+Epic+Games
Image credit: Epic Games

The year is 2018, and a middle school me is listening in on a heated debate at the lunch table.

“Dude, Ninja would clap DrLupo in a 1v1, easy.” A classmate argued.

“Are you kidding me? Have you seen his win rate? Ninja stands literally no chance.” Another countered.

A new debater jumped into the ring: “Ninja and DrLupo both suck compared to Mongraal. He can edit faster than both of them combined!” 

Both of the original debaters looked at each other, then the newcomer, dumbfounded.

“I know you’re not talking,” One of them finally spoke up. “You don’t have a single win or skin, and I built faster than you the first day I ever played.”

A collaborative, low pitched but very loud “Ohhhhhh” noise broke out among the crowd, now keen to hear the response from the newcomer.

“Oh, really?” He quickly snapped back, slightly flustered. “Get on tonight and we’ll 1v1 in playground mode. Same loot, same mats, same everything so I can prove I’m better. You guys hop on too!” He turned to the crowd as he spoke. “We’ll have an audience to make sure nobody cheats,”

The invitation to dual was obviously accepted, as not doing so was a sure way to inadvertently admit your inferiority.

What came of this dramatic conflict? Well, as much as I hate to tell you, I don’t know. I couldn’t attend the fight because my mom didn’t want me playing “gun games,” as she called them, at such a young age, and I’ve lived in suffering ever since not knowing how the situation concluded.

Back when I was only a wee little lad, that’s how conflicts were resolved. Someone trash talked your mother? 1v1 ‘em. Someone takes your seat when you get up EVEN after you called dibs on it? Show ‘em who’s boss in the streets of Tilted Towers. Someone bragging about getting a better grade on a test? They might be smarter, sure, but I would kick their butt in Fortnite.

Before cyberbullying, rumor-spreading and punch-throwing, Fortnite was the way to assert your dominance over others.

Over time, though, this form of warfare started to die down. People stopped playing the game and moved on with their lives, at least for a little while.

You’re never truly done playing Fortnite. Even if you hate the new updates or players, something or someone always finds a way to make you redownload it.

So why did people stop playing? Well, here’s the simple answer to this surprisingly complicated question: a combination of new updates (their quality ranging from decent to utterly trash) and try hard players.

The updates I understand. With a huge, constantly evolving install base, you have to tweak your game often if you want to stay relevant and fresh. Those tweaks aren’t always going to work out, and you’re not going to know that until you implement them.

For example, let’s compare Season X (or 10) to Chapter 2, Season 6 (Season 16, for those in the back). 

Season X was insane. This was before most things started getting “vaulted” (taken out of the game until Epic Games, the guys behind Fortnite, feel like re-adding them), so pretty much everything all the way from Chapter 1 was still there.

On top of that, a bunch of new stuff was added, like the mechs. The mechs were the most annoying things on earth. They were way too overpowered, plain and simple. If you were in a mech, you were winning the match, no questions asked.

On the flip side, Chapter 2, Season 6 sent me to sleep every time I dropped from the battle bus. Literally nothing happened. 

You’ve gotta understand my struggle here. Not only have I, to no avail, been trying to come up with a joke about how bad this season was (which I CAN’T because of how literally NOTHING happened), but I also had to actually PLAY the season for 10+ hours to max out the battle pass.

Yeah, no matter how boring a season is, I have to max out the battle pass. It’s a problem.

These two seasons were both equally bad (if you can even measure something like that), but players look back on Season X with some fondness and good memories, whereas they don’t look back on Chapter 2, Season 6 because, like, who even remembers it?

But the updates aren’t the reason I stopped playing for a while there, it was the rapidly improving players.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Complaining about the sweats in Fortnite is the most whiney thing ever, but you can’t ignore the impact they had … well, still have on the game.

But I’ll complain more about them later, don’t you worry. Right now I want to discuss why I’m on my soapbox in the first place – the new update.

Well, “new” in quotations I guess because this “new” update is the old map.

That’s right. Finally, after years of begging and complaining, the season 5 map and items are back.

I’m sure if you’re reading a story about Fortnite you already know this, but this “Fortnite OG” season lasted for about a month, having ended on December 2.

Throughout the month, the map and items have changed to reflect different seasons. First it was Season 5, then 7 and then 10, all having elements of other seasons within them.

Actually getting to experience the game I heard so much about but couldn’t play when I was in middle school was honestly kind of magical. I know that sounds kinda dumb, but just let me have this moment.

It was also really awesome seeing the fun part of the community re-emerge. Typically I stay away from the Fortnite community because it’s full of 600-pound 7-year-olds who play the game 24/7, but the new season brought some of that early-game magic to players who aren’t just me.

It’s a ton of fun, but I’ll stop talking about it because the best way to get what I’m saying is to, y’know … actually have played it.

Instead of gushing about how much fun I’ve been having these past few weeks, I’m going to complain some more. This time, though, about the community.

I know I just said the community was funny again, but this isn’t about the majority of players. This is about the sweats.

Let me make this clear: I’m not complaining about people being really good at the game. If you want to play Fortnite for hours every day, more power to you. This is about the people who thought the really good players would just disappear when the new map came out, then got mad when they were still there.

Fortnite has the most players it has ever had right now, so of course the good players are still going to be here. If anything, there are going to be more of them than before.

Before you all start collectively rolling your eyes, no, I’m not insanely good at Fortnite. I build like I’m playing on a phone and can’t hit any shots, even with aim assist cranked all the way up.

I’m only dwelling on this topic for so long because it’s the reason so many people stopped playing the game, myself included. 

Aside from that, though, I haven’t had so much fun playing Fortnite since I first started, and I’m glad others feel the same way.

Whatever ‘Fortnite OG’ means to you, whether it’s reliving old memories or making new ones, it’s great to finally have everyone agree on one thing: Fortnite WAS awesome, and Fortnite can STILL be awesome. 

And I am completely ready for that statement to become extremely outdated and poorly-aged once the new chapter comes out and, once again, shocks us with how terrible the game can be.

But, who am I kidding? Of course I’m going to play it for hours on end and max out the battle pass, regardless of the quality. 

Why? Because I’m a sucker. Like I said, it’s a problem.

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Xander Adkins, Executive Opinion Editor

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