Fortnite Battle Royale AMA 2.22.2019

The Fortnite Team
Hey folks, we had a blast with those who participated in last week’s Fortnite Battle Royale AMA. Below you can find a recap of all the questions, answers, and employees that participated. Or you can visit the original AMA by following this link.

Who was answering questions?
  • EpicEricSW - Design
  • DanDaDaDanDan - Engineering
  • RZElive - Production

Questions & Answers

Q: Will planes be gone next season?
A: Planes will be vaulted at the start of Season 8. Get your airtime in now!

Q: Can we upgrade the battlepass in season 8 if we unlocked it for free? If so how much would it be?
A: Yes, the Season 8 Battle Bundle will be available at a discount for players who earn a Season 8 Battle Pass via the Overtime Challenges.

Q: Do you ever intend on slowing down the game in terms of mobility?
A: We’re always evaluating availability of different items, including mobility. Our goal is to have a healthy mix of all item types without overdoing it in any one area.

Q: Is double shotgun ever going to be brought back?
A: We do not have any plans to bring back the double shotgun. The main issue is that the high damage of the weapon is balanced by its slow rate of fire, and bypassing that weakness makes it too powerful.

Q: Are there any plans to include mobile players into competitive at this point?
A: All mobile players have the same competitive opportunities as other platforms.

Q: Are you planning on keeping the drift board or will it just be a limited time thing?
A: We're working on a new single-occupancy vehicle and aren't quite sure how they'll play together. The Driftboard's reception has been really positive though, so we're actively discussing how long it should stick around.

Q: Have you considered any improvements in team communication? Currently, it's not very effective. Also, you have to stand still to use squad commands. At least let us use the commands while moving
A: There are some improvements coming in Season 8 that will help with map markers & team communication, and we're always mindful of how we can make these areas better.

Q: Do you have any plans to bring back bouncers?
A: Not at the moment.

Q: Do you guys miss prison as much as I do?
A: Yes

Q: thoughts on keeping the crossbow in the game?
A: The Crossbow will be vaulted again with Season 8

Q: Are there any plans to reintroduce the storm damaging structures? I have always thought that slow continuous damage to structures in the storm would be
A: Not at the moment, it didn't end up playing out as well as we wanted.

Q: I’m an audio engineer so I’ve always been curious how you do your audio. Is all the Foley recorded in house? How big is the team?
A: There are around 20 audio designers and engineers at Epic. We use a mixture of in-house and external foley and sound effects, and make all our own emote music. :)

Q: Are clingers getting changed at all?
A: 8.00 has a fix for the issue where you'll take damage from your own clinger through walls if you're within the explosion radius.

Q: “Could you add the option for all consoles (including Nintendo Switch) to lower graphics settings and removing things like motion blur and shadows?
A: We are adding an option to disable motion blur (off by default) in Season 8. Disabling shadows currently provides a gameplay benefit. This is not our intention and we are tweaking the way shadows are rendered to both brighten them and also make characters stand out better. This is going to be an ongoing effort starting with v8.0 and we will evaluate other options if this doesn’t end up working.

Q: “If you complete 13 overtime challenges, you get the battle pass for free & it’s originally 950 vbucks, will we have the option to purchase the bundle if we want to? and will it be full priced if we’ve already earned the free pass. Thanks!”
A: Yes, the Season 8 Battle Bundle will be available at a discount for players who earn a Season 8 Battle Pass via the Overtime Challenges.

Q: “Ranked.. when?”
A: We believe the key pillars for competition are:
  • Compete whenever you want
  • Measure and communicate your skill
  • Be challenged
Pop-up cups are a first small step in this direction, expect lots of iteration.

Q: “Do you intend on improving the gameplay sound?” 
A: In the last few weeks we've started reviewing our gameplay audio and found there's a lot of room for improvement. Season 8's update will contain:
  • Improved Weapon firing sounds:
    • All player weapon fire sounds are now 2D stereo, giving them a much fuller and natural sound.
    • All 3rd person weapon sounds from other players are now mono and run through the new reverb, which gives much better point spatialization while still sounding 'in the world'.
  • Reverb
    • There is now a global reverb available.
    • We are setting it up as an 'opt-in' feature, so we will be adding the reverb to categories of sounds as we go.
    • Currently, weapon-related sounds are set up with reverb. In the future, we will be able to have different reverb settings for different areas of the map.
  • ADS / Crouch Foley
    • New sounds have been added for going into and out of ADS on each weapon, as well as sounds for going in and out of crouch. This gives a better sense of player ownership of actions.
  • Improvements to upstairs / downstairs footsteps for better tactical awareness.
  • Improved hit notification audio
    • Improvements to sound and mix of 2D hit notifications when players land shots on enemies. This includes a new clearer "shield break" sound.
  • Cleaned up the "weak-point" harvesting crit sound
    • We increased the dynamic range and shortened the length of this sound; it is still clear but much less fatiguing.
  • Fixed an issue preventing footsteps from being heard in some situations.
  • Even more improvements coming later in Season 8!

Q: “What is the reason for not separating SEA servers? We have to play on 150 ping in pop up events” 
A: We are hosting our Asian servers in Tokyo and Singapore.
The majority of players in the general region are best served by our Tokyo data center, and we dynamically route players to Singapore if there are enough players in queue who have better ping to that location.
Generally, this allows us to more dynamically deal with fragmentation as platform * playlist * region results in a lot of buckets and regional populations swing by as much as a factor of 30-40 between daily peak and valley.
Having said that, we recently made some changes to our matchmaking wait times to help improve the experience of players with a better connection to our Singapore data center and have some other changes in development to further improve the situation. We are aiming for them to land in March.

Q: “Can you add a button to the item shop to confirm purchases, to prevent accidental purchases?”
A: We are working on ways to eliminate accidental purchases. In the meantime, we have a refund token system to help.

Q: “Who has the most wins at Epic Games headquarters?”
A: [EPIC] Tense (Mitch Meara): 577 in default playlists

Q: “What was the hardest location to replace/get rid of?”
A: Dusty Depot since that was the first time we had to make the decision to take the plunge and change something at a larger scale. Generally, everything we change has a bittersweet aspect to it for somebody.

Q: “Just one word for season 8?” 
A: Bananas

Q: Are there any plans on bringing back old, popular POIs such as Risky Reels? I see tons of requests to bring them back every once in a while. 
A: Nothing like this is ever off the table ;)

Q: Any plans to change the shoulder bone of Ragnarok to the other hand?
A: Within Season 8 we plan to have some solutions in place for this.

Q: Will respawning enter the game? Perhaps more measures to cancel thirsting?
A: We’ve been considering this mechanic for a while and have been exploring it. Want to make sure we give it the time it needs and fully understand its impact on the game as a whole. Look for further updates during Season 8.

Q: Will the “Getaway LTM” ever come back?
A: All LTMS have the potential to come back.

Q: Are there any plans for a 'classic' mode? For example - Original map - Only original weapons and mechanics? 
A: We tried to capture this vibe with our Unvaulted (Soon to be renamed Classic) LTM. We enjoy having the limited and old item set. It’s unlikely that we’ll have this available with the old map and old tuning values but glad folks are enjoying the LTM when it’s around.

Q: Is there any plan to add saved outfits presets in the locker? Thank you
A: Not currently slated for any timeframe but it is a cool idea.

Q: Is Zapatron returning to BR in a near future??
A: The what? 🤔🌩

Q: Will the building in Tilted ever be safe?
A: 🤷‍♂️ - Is anything ever really safe?

Q: What’s the best thing about working at epic games?
A: I’m around super inspiring people all the time. Truly learn something new every day. We move fast and are always innovating and doing wild stuff.
Check out our open jobs here -
Also free kombucha 😂

Q: Why is it when I farm a brick wall it gives me wood?
A: Not all things end up resource tagged perfectly. Sounds like a bug we should address.

Q: How do you guys react to all the “bring back ___” tweets?
A: Only OGs appreciate the “bring back ___” tweets
Smash that like button ❤️️

Q: Custom reticles?
A: We've talked about it. Think there's value here but it needs time and we want to make sure we do this right. We're not committing to anything here but know we're thinking about it.

Q: What's your guys' favorite in-game event you've held currently? Doesn't need to be related to story.
A: Nothing matched the chaos and awe-inspiring moments of the Rocket for me personally! But gotta say I love keeping it Mello.

Q: Will the gameplay audio in mobile be improved in season 8?
A: All of the responses in the header will provide improvements for mobile as well.

Q: Any plans for new server regions?
A: We are working with various providers on finding a solution for MENA.

Q: Epic, will you ever remove the account creation date restriction from account merging? If so, any idea when? Why on Earth did it matter when the account was made to be eligible to merge in the first place?
A: We added the account merging feature to accommodate players that had to create multiple accounts to play on both Sony Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
This requirement went away with the introduction of cross-progression.
We don't have plans to change details surrounding this due to potential for abuse / fraud.

Q: Will you be improving the late game fps in things like pop-ups, scrims, and customs?
A: There are both short and long term efforts to improve server performance during late game competitive settings. Engineering efforts aside, we are also looking at upgrading the hardware used for this purpose.

Q: 60 fps for the switch?
A: I'm afraid that is not in the cards. Same goes for client-side replays, but we have efforts going towards server-side replays.

Q: Any plans adding Asian (South East Asian ) server for Xbox?
A: We are currently working through logistics.

Q: Will you fix the email system so i can complete 2fa?
A: We recently had three distinct issues with token delivery latency via email and are taking steps to ensure this is not a recurring theme. We are working on additional mechanisms for token delivery. Currently supported are email and Google Authenticator.

Q: why can't the Net UI display the actual ping?
A: We have a lengthy technical blog coming up on the topic. The quick summary is that there are two measurements of latency worth considering.

There is internet latency and what we want the ping to display. This required some changes to our code to accurately factor out client and server frame times.

The other is client/server roundtrip that takes framerate into account and is a measure of latency of action to reaction. It gets complicated quickly as we are able to do some tricks to reduce this below that number for certain actions.

Q: Any progress on the middle east servers yet?
A: We are currently working with multiple providers, but realistically this is going to be a bit out still.

Q: Has the development of Fortnite lead to new features or fixes in Unreal?
A: Yes! We did a GDC talk about this last year and the improvements have been ongoing.

Q: How long does it typically take to think of an outfit and to design it before it arrives in game?
A: Typically it's around 8-12 weeks.