Jake “Bullywyd” Vilela has always been confident in his loot path. He and his trio drop to Steamy Stacks to grab the three Bunker Chests along their rotation route to loot up before the first fight.
“If there is a team there, we kill them,” he said. “We’re the best in the game to land there.”
Fortnite’s Season 6, which launched on March 16, brought a handful of new mechanics to the battle royale. It added animals and new locations. It changed the floor loot drastically; adding a crafting mechanic and near useless Makeshift weapons that need to be upgraded with items found around the map. The new mechanic puts an extra emphasis on looting as the Fortnite Championship Series (FNCS) kicks off on April 23.
“It’s definitely way harder to get good loot now,” Fusion Esports’ Bullywyd said. “People are less aggressive so far; they are more passive I’d say.”
While Epic Games has adjusted weapon spawn rates — adding more standard shotguns and assault rifles to the ground loot in the last month — players still need to go through two phases of looting. They’ll go from room to room wherever they land, opening chests and collecting gear before trying to find mechanical parts and animal bones; two necessary items to craft strong weapons like the Spas shotgun, Scar assault rifle and the Stink or Flame Primal Bow. Mechanical parts are harvested by destroying cars, while bones can be found by killing animals, among other ways.
“It completely changed the whole aspect of looting,” P3nguin, a Fortnite content creator and tournament organizer for Lazarus, said. “You’re looting up and then looting more. You’re looting up to get the gear necessary to craft the guns to where you feel you can take a fight.”
Bullywyd’s landing spot and rotation hasn’t changed much. He still goes for Bunker Chests; special chests that include rarer items, like a Spas, to secure some of the best loot possible. But getting the best loadout — a Spas, Scar, Primal Bow and healing items — is tougher than it has been in previous seasons. It doesn’t help that the ground loot is the worst it’s ever been.
“The Makeshift Assault Rifle is horrible, it’s worst gun in the game,” Bullywyd said. “If you’re in a box you’re barely killing the kid with that thing.”
The Spas and Scar make the world go round
Makeshift weapons don’t have first shot accuracy like the Scar and Blue Assault Rifle, which are paramount to placing well in the endgames of FNCS matches. Standing still with the Scar gives the weapon pinpoint accuracy on its first shot, whereas Makeshift weapons spray bullets randomly. It makes the Scar, or a less rare version of the standard assault rifle, important when trying to deal even the minimum amount of damage required in a match.
“I’ll take damage every three seconds if I don’t shoot people,” Bullywyd said. Here, he was referring to Fortnite’s Storm Surge mechanic that deals out damage to players with the lowest damage output throughout a match. “It’s a big thing; it’s a way of making sure everyone can’t survive before the end of the game.”
Midgame fights have changed as well. Fornite’s Season 6 replaced sniper rifles with bows and arrows. The FNCS has banned certain bows, but players still rely on the Stink and Flame Bows to deal damage at long-range. The Flame Bow can light wooden buildings on fire and the Stink Bow releases a cloud of poisonous gas where the arrow lands. Both can be used to push enemies out of their builds.
“If you hit someone in the head, that’s a free tag,” Bullywyd said of how a headshot can knock a person immediately. “That’s at least one kill. Three kills is six points in the FNCS. That first pick gives you an edge in the team fight.”
These Season 6 changes are relatively minor compared to shifts that have come with previous updates. Players have learned to roll with the changes, figuring out the best loadout and loot paths long before the first tournaments take place. The initial changes are always met with some resistance from the community, however.
“What makes Fortnite successful and unique is often what pushes people away,” tweeted Fortnite caster Taylor “Somebodysgun” Yates. “For three years, the only constant has been change. If you can’t handle change then go play another game.”
Players still have the Spas and Scar; two weapons that have become mainstays throughout Fortnite’s history, despite being removed in some seasons. The endgame of most matches are full of elaborate fortresses rife with players trying to land one shotgun blast between a quick build.
The only constant is change
Most of Fornite’s Season 6 changes have been inconsequential to players like Bullywyd. The addition of live animals, like Raptors and Boars, has been more annoying than anything else.
“The animals are so pointless,” he said. “It’s easy to kill them but they are very annoying. Why do I want a boar coming up to me and doing 15 damage?”
While the animals have been nothing more than a distraction, Season 6 has made the opening moments of every match a bit more complicated. Looting and rotations are more important, even if the newly named locations make Bullwyd’s rotation a little easier.
“We have to rotate to Colossal Crops,” he said. “But no one camps there so it gives us more protection.”