Following widespread backlash, Fortnite has finally addressed the problems surrounding the B.R.U.T.E. mech in a new patch. The decision comes less than a week after one of the world's most popular games doubled down on its problematic new vehicle, to the dismay of players.
Quickly after its addition to Battle Royale, players began to realize that taking on the B.R.U.T.E. one-on-one is nearly impossible. The vehicle's ability to launch up to 10 missiles at a time proved difficult to evade, for even the most experienced gamers. If that isn't bad enough, the vehicle has 1,000 HP and a protective shield, meaning by the time a player can lower its health enough to destroy it, another missile barrage is likely coming their way.
These issues, among others, led to much of the Fornite community growing frustrated. Day after day, players flocked to social media to share negative experiences with the mech. The controversy came to a head last week when Epic Games released a statement in which the developer stood by the decision to keep the B.R.U.T.E., which didn't go over well with the community. Unfortunately, the battle over the mech seemed lost, at least until Thursday. In a post on Epic Games' website, the developers laid out the new alterations to the mech.
The first change to the mech addresses its missile-barrage feature. As previously mentioned, the vehicle could launch 10 rockets at a time using the launcher; that has been decreased to a maximum of six. Additionally, the rate of explosion from the missiles has been nerfed by 42 percent. "Our goal with this change is to improve consistency and understanding around focused barrages of missiles," the statement reads. "B.R.U.T.E.s will continue to be a strong option against structures, but less lethal against players."
Another set of alterations sees the mech's mobility decreased significantly The cool-down time between dashes has been increased from three to five seconds, making it more difficult for the vehicle to launch on an enemy from great distances. The velocity gained from boosting in the air with the B.R.U.T.E. has also been dropped by 33 percent.
Next, mechs will no longer grant materials to players who use the stomping feature while operating the vehicle. That will make it more difficult for players operating the mech to be prepared for conflict when their vehicle is eventually destroyed. The change will be felt in late-game situations as the number of materials in play will be significantly smaller. The spawn rate for the B.R.U.T.E. has also been decreased, meaning fewer of the vehicles will be available throughout the map.
While these changes seem to be for the positive, there's one that left players scratching their head: The health on the mech has been increased from 1,000 to 1,250. According to Epic, this alteration was made due to all of the previous changes so users have slightly more time inside of the mech before it's destroyed.
With the mech threat seemingly neutralized, much of the professional Fortnite community has decided to return to the game. Twitch streamer CourageJD, who earlier this week went on a profanity-laced tirade following elimination by a B.R.U.T.E., voiced his support on Twitter for Epic's decision: "Finally...the mechs have been nerfed. Good riddance."
While many are excited by the nerfing of the mech, there's still a contingency that believes the vehicle has no place in the game. However, with the B.R.U.T.E. being the face of Season 10, there doesn't seem to be a scenario in which that would occur.
Fortnite is available across multiple gaming platforms, including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows, Nintendo Switch, macOS, iOS, and Android devices.