Tag Archives: fortnite

So You’re Into Fortnite Now

While those of us who play Fortnite were riveted to last weekend’s black hole, the rest of the world watched us watching it in confusion and, in some cases, curiosity. Almost two days later, when the game finally came back online, many of my friends—and many of you, in the comments—asked if you should get into it. You also asked if you’d get wrecked by a 10-year-old. The answer to both questions is: yes.

Fortnite’s had a pretty massive overhaul following the hole, entering an era that developer Epic is calling Chapter 2. Players are still sussing out the best landing spots and secrets in the game’s new map and learning its new systems. These changes mean it’s a good time to get into things and learn alongside everyone. Here’s what you, a Fortnite newcomer, need to know.

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So Fortnite’s just a video game, right? It sounds like a bigger deal than that.

Well, it kind of is. You’ve probably heard of it because of how popular it is, especially with young players. Its in-game dances and slang have filtered out into the real world; my nieces and nephews, who don’t play the game, nevertheless play a game called “Fortnite Tag” in gym class (I don’t entirely understand what it is, but it has “Fortnite” in the name.). The game and its players have also been in the news a lot, beyond just video game publications. Celebrities like musician Drake and TV host Ellen DeGeneres have played it alongside some of its most famous streamers. A lot of artists, in particular black artists, have sued developer Epic for allegedly using dances they invented without compensating them. A 16-year-old won $3 million for winning Fortnite’s World Cup this year. There’s a legal effort in Canada right now to take the game to task for allegedly being addictive. Epic has used some of the money it’s made off the game to launch the Epic Store, a marketplace for PC games that lots of people have strong opinions about. Its big in-game events, like the black hole, get a lot of attention in the press and social media, making Fortnite seem less like a game and more like a whole new world that’s corrupting your kids.

But yeah, it’s just a game.

Like anything, games can be bad when you do them too much. I’ve heard from friends about their kids getting bullied in the game or their grades dropping because they were playing too much, but Fortnite isn’t much better or worse than other games when it comes to these types of issues. It’s also a way for people to do something together or hang out when they’re far apart. It’s colorful, fun, and, even though it has guns in it, there isn’t any blood or gore. So, it’s not destroying society, but a lot of young people really like it, and that can freak adults out.

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Millions of people were staring at a black screen for two days. What was with that?

Fortnite isn’t just a screensaver, though you might think that after this week. Long story short: the game is divided into seasons, which last roughly 10 weeks and usually culminate in a big in-game event. The hole was the ending event of Season 10. It started on Sunday afternoon when the game’s entire map got sucked into a black hole following a rocket launch and a big explosion. To players’ surprise, instead of the game going on as it ordinarily would, all you saw when you loaded the game was a black hole. The internet went wild trying to figure out when the game would be playable again. After about 37 hours, at 4 a.m. ET, the game came back online as Chapter 2, with a lot of changes. It was pretty wild of Epic to take the hugely popular game offline for so long, especially during a holiday weekend in Canada and much of the US, so the stunt garnered a lot of attention.

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What is Fortnite when it isn’t a hole?

The best-known version of Fortnite is its battle royale mode, which is free to play on computers, Xbox, PS4, Switch, and mobile. That’s not the only Fortnite mode that exists. Back in 2017, developer Epic spun the battle royale part out from its less-popular co-op narrative game, Fortnite: Save The World. Save The World is a paid game, while Battle Royale is free.

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In battle royale, 100 players in solos, duos, or teams of four jump from a flying bus onto a map. As the phrase “battle royale” connotes, everybody then tries to kill each other, until there’s just one player standing (or one team of players, depending on the mode). If you aren’t playing solos, the game will team you up with strangers, or you can play with your friends. You start with only a pickaxe and have to find whatever weapons are lying around. Weapons have different colors, which denote how rare or powerful they are. You can also find potions that give you shields, items that give you health, and throwable items like grenades. Also, over the course of a match, a storm closes in on the map. If you get caught in it, you’ll lose health and eventually die. This forces players to keep moving closer to each other.

Fortnite stands out from other battle royales, like PUBG and Apex Legends, because you can destroy stuff in the environment and build with it. Using your pickaxe, you can chop up pieces of the environment, like trees, cars, and rocks, to build useful stuff like walls, floors, and ramps. Building can be tricky to get the hang of when you’re new, but it’s a key component of the game. Someone shooting at you? Build a little hut to hide in. Need to get someplace high? Build a ramp up to it. Learning the basics of building is pretty simple, but knowing what to build, when, and how to do it quickly is a bit harder.

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Besides the main 100-player mode, there are other things you can do in Fortnite. There’s a playground mode where you or people you choose can explore the map and practice shooting or building without the pressures of a fight. There’s a creative mode where you can design your own areas and challenges. There are limited-time modes with special rules, like only using certain weapons or flying planes. One of them, called Team Rumble, is now permanent, and it pits two teams of 50 against each other to race to a certain number of kills. There’s also a competitive ranked mode, if you want to be hardcore, but we’ll get to that later.

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You said Fortnite was free, but my kids are always asking me for money for it. Are they scamming me?

You might be raising Oliver Twist, but your kids probably want money for the optional items you can get in the game using the in-game currency, V-Bucks. Some of those items come from a system called a battle pass, which gives you in-game stuff as you unlock its levels. Each season has a new battle pass. One version of the battle pass is free and everyone gets it, while another has more rewards and costs about $10. The paid battle pass also has extra in-game challenges you can complete for more experience. V-Bucks can be earned in game, but mostly you buy them with real-world money.

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In the current iteration of the game, you level up both battle passes by amassing certain numbers of experience points. You get points for basically everything you do in-game: killing enemies, winning matches, outliving opponents, searching chests, and more. Level rewards include items like different characters, called “skins”; dances and other moves your character can do; “wraps” that make your weapons look different; loading screens; and music tracks. Occasionally, the battle pass doles out some V-Bucks. It’s possible to purchase the next season’s battle pass solely through V-Bucks you earn by playing, but it takes a lot of work.

With the battle pass, you’ll always know what reward you’ll get before you do the task required, which is good. The popularity and transparency of Fortnite’s battle pass has encouraged lots of games to switch to this system as opposed to doling out randomized rewards, which can encourage unhealthy behavior and spending.

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There are also outfits and other cosmetics for sale in the in-game store. They’re only available for purchase, and they rotate out regularly. Everything is bought with V-Bucks.

You don’t need to spend any money to play or win, but customizing your character and getting the latest skin or dance is a big part of the game’s appeal. You’ll get plenty of fun stuff with the free pass, but I can see why someone might want to drop some cash on V-Bucks for the paid pass or stuff in the store. Personally, I don’t really buy stuff in the store, though I do pay for the battle pass. I’ve definitely played longer than I intended to so I could get a certain battle pass reward. It isn’t the healthiest choice, but it’s my call as an adult. Set healthy limits for yourself or for your kids, and it should be fine.

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I Googled “Fortnite” and now I keep getting offers for free V-Bucks. Have I discovered a loophole?

There are a lot of scams out there that claim to offer free V-Bucks but really just want to steal your passwords or personal information. Make sure you’re buying legit V-Bucks from Epic.

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I want to be part of the zeitgeist. Am I too old?

Fortnite’s brand is very kid-friendly and kid-facing, but anyone can play. If you’re worried about voice-chatting with minors, you can mute voice and never have to hear someone talk. As an added bonus, in my experience playing Fortnite makes you seem really cool to kids, as well as to their parents, because you can answer all of the parents’ questions.

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Do I have to know the story?

No. Fortnite tells its story weird: Each season has a plot, but it’s mostly told through changes to the game’s landscape, descriptions of character skins, through hidden messages in its loading screens, and through player speculation. This background story culminates in each season’s big ending event, which sets the tone for the next season. One season had a cube that moved around the map and created runes. Season 10’s black hole was precipitated by time rifts caused by a background character from a previous season and an in-game rocket and…a whole lot of other stuff. An end-of-season event, like the black hole, might not make sense to you if you don’t care to decipher the story for yourself throughout a season (which might involve reading subreddits and wikis). Still, the larger scaffolding of these stories will probably still be dramatic and enjoyable, even if you don’t understand all the particulars.

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Part of the fun of the game, for me, is trying to figure out what’s going on. Fans are especially active online in discovering hidden secrets and creating theories. Sometimes those stories filter into the game. If you weren’t following the saga of the cube, for example, you might not know that players nicknamed it “Kevin,” and that could be confusing. However, the new map makes some of the previous stories moot, so if you’re into fan lore and wild guessing, you’d be getting in on the ground floor if you start playing now.

Is it hard to learn to play?

Fortnite is now much more accessible for newcomers. The black hole stunt got a lot of attention to the game, which Epic seems to have planned for with Chapter 2. So, a lot of things have been streamlined or made easier. Battle stars, which you used to use to level up your battle pass, are gone now; you do everything through XP. XP is earned just through playing the game. With the new medal system, you get even more XP for doing things you’d regularly be doing. At least in the early stages, I feel like I’m making progress quickly.

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Last season, Epic also changed how the game decides who else is in a round with you. Now, you should be matched up with players who are more on your skill level. This reduces the likelihood of you getting thrown into a match with experts who will immediately decimate you, which for many newcomers is the biggest stumbling block in many battle royale games.

Epic also seems to have added computer-controlled characters this season. The developer said these bots would be coming to the game but hasn’t released patch notes, so we can’t know 100% that they’re in, but they seem to be. Many other players and I have encountered characters who don’t move or act like human players do. While this might feel like it cheapens the experience, it’s also been a great way for me to practice keeping my cool when I run into an enemy. Killing bots makes me feel like I’m doing well, even if it’s a false sense of satisfaction, which means the game feels more rewarding to play.

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Basically, Fortnite feels less intimidating these days, which is good if you’re new. If you haven’t played in a while, the basics are still the same, and there’s tons of new stuff to explore.

Image: Epic

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What if I’m not good enough?

There are lots of ways to have fun in Fortnite if you aren’t a World Cup contender, and there are also lots of ways to get better. You can find lots of tips for fighting and building on YouTube and Reddit. Team Rumble is a great mode to practice in because you rejoin the game whenever you die, and the chaos means there are lots of players to fight. You can also go into playground mode alone or with friends and pick an area to land. There, you can explore the map or practice your building, which you’ll need to get comfortable with to really succeed in the battle royale mode of the game.

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You can also just play the game with your friends and have a good time. While you don’t want to detract from the game by trolling others, it’s completely okay to play the game as a way to unwind or do goofy stunts instead of being hell-bent on a win.

I’m too good.

I’ve never had this problem, but congrats! If the regular games are feeling too easy for you, you can play in the ranked mode, Arena. It’s for competitive players and doesn’t feature bots. You’ll play against others of your skill level, and Epic regularly runs tournaments in which players compete for money. July’s Fortnite World Cup was one such tournament, with a hefty $30 million prize pool. There are plenty of competitive opportunities for you out there.

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Can I or my kid get rich playing Fortnite?

Maybe! Esports is a viable career, and there are plenty of teams who might be willing to scoop you up if you’re good enough. While World Cup Solos winner Bugha got a lot of notoriety for his big money win, that didn’t come out of nowhere, and it took a lot of hard work. So, you probably won’t get rich quick.

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You might also be thinking of famous streamers like Ninja, who made their careers on the game. While I can’t say the life of a streamer or esports pro is the life for me, it could be for you. Make a Twitch channel and see what happens! Don’t count on instant riches, though, or many riches at all.

I’m a celebrity/politician/CEO. Will playing Fortnite make me more famous?

Maybe, but it will also make you gross for capitalizing on a trend for your personal gain. Unless you truly want to play Fortnite for the fun of it. That’s fine. Do that.

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You’ve convinced me.

Thanks.

I’ve got a whole weekend ahead of me, and I’m ready to play. Any final words of wisdom?

Be a good team player: be respectful to your teammates and other players, mute your mic when you’re not talking, and be a good winner or loser. Very few of my friends play the game, but I’d recommend finding some other newcomers to team up with. Fortnite’s way more fun with friends.

Source: Kotaku.com

Fortnite Trick Lets You Survive The Storm

Players are still discovering all the changes in Fortnite’s chapter 2, which means of course they’re finding exploits. A newly discovered one lets you use the shield-granting waters of Slurpy Swamp to avoid taking storm damage.

As reported by Dexerto, the trick works like this: go to Slurpy Swamp, a new area of the map that features glowing blue water. As long as you’re standing in the water, you’ll regenerate shield. So, as you stand in the water, build a wall. Keep moving against the wall; then, as the storm closes in, your health will regenerate, making you immune to the storm damage. Dexerto included several Twitter clips showing the trick in action, including ones where players won the game by doing this.

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I tried the trick on my Switch this morning and was successful. I built four walls and a roof in the water and, as the storm closed in, I jumped against the walls. My health switched between 100 and 99 endlessly. When I destroyed the roof and jumped out of the water, I took a big health hit from the late-game storm. This seemed to have broken the trick for me; while my lower health would briefly tick back up, it mostly kept going down, and I eventually died. So, if you want to try it out for yourself, the key seems to be to…not randomly decide to stop doing it.

I wouldn’t recommend this as a strategy if you want the true satisfaction of a Victory Royale, and also because Epic will almost certainly patch it out. Still, it’s fun to find new stuff in the new map, and it was fun to give the finger to the storm.

Source: Kotaku.com

What Is Fortnite And Who Is Ninja, Wonders Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is one of the most accomplished musicians of all time. Ninja plays video games for millions of people online. If this isn’t the biggest crossover in the history of pop culture, I don’t know what is.

I write about video games for a living and barely know what the heck Fortnite is all about, so it came as no surprise when Lady Gaga—between private flights to concerts in exotic locations, no doubt—asked her Twitter followers for the details on this “fortnight” she’s been hearing so much about yesterday morning. As is often the case, the internet exploded, with IGN, Twitch, and even Smash pro Ezra “Samsora” Morris fighting for the “Bad Romance” singer’s attention. Lady Gaga’s original tweet has since amassed over 204,000 retweets and almost 870,000 likes.

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Never one to shy away from the spotlight, streaming superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins stepped up to the plate, offering to guide Lady Gaga through the wide world of video games with a couple choice references to her music: “Call me on the Telephone. I’ll give you a Million Reasons to play. You and I.”

Ninja, who recently made a big show out of moving from Twitch to rival streaming platform Mixer, is famously against playing games with women out of respect for his wife, whatever that means. Lady Gaga, as some have correctly pointed out, is a woman. Maybe famous women, like Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres before her, don’t count because they might help his bottom line?

In any case, Lady Gaga didn’t seem too impressed. She responded to Ninja directly with a follow-up tweet this afternoon, posing another simple question: “who are you.” No capitalization, no punctuation. Ninja, displaying big “not mad” energy, name-dropped Drake, another famous—but not quite as famous as Gaga, mind—musician who appeared on his stream last year. Since then, both sides have gone quiet, likely because they have more important things to do than stare at a Twitter feed all day like me.

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What does this mean? Does it mean anything? I don’t know, man. The world is ending. Find some joy wherever you can.

Kotaku contacted representatives for both Lady Gaga and Ninja but neither responded before publishing.

Source: Kotaku.com

Here’s What’s New In Fortnite’s Chapter 2

Fortnite Chapter 2 is finally here, and the mystery deepens: developer Epic has only released some vague patch notes, as opposed to the usual detailed rundown of changes that accompanies each season. While it’s been fun to discover things for myself, it has also been confusing. Here are some changes I’ve noticed or seen players talking about so far.

You don’t have to go back to the lobby after a match

There’s a new option to queue up for the next match from the after-death spectating screen, sparing you a return to the lobby. It’s a nice feature, and in my experience, I haven’t had to wait terribly long between matches either.

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The water at Slurpy Swamp gives you shields

There are 13 new locations on the new map; they’re listed as question marks until you visit them for the first time, which also helps you make progress in an XP-granting mission. The water pouring from some pipes at a spot called Slurpy Swamp looks an awful lot like slurp juice. Turns out it works like slurp juice, too: standing in the glowing water gives you shields.

The pickaxe key has changed

The pickaxe has a dedicated key now. On PC, you used to equip your pickaxe by pressing 1. Now, the key is F. Please do not be me, who goes for their pickaxe only to throw a grenade at themselves instead. (I lived.)

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You can upgrade weapons

Weapons can be upgraded at an upgrade bench, which are scattered around the map. VG24/7 has a rundown of where some of them are. I found one in a garage at Weeping Woods; giving the bench 150 wood, brick, and metal upgraded my green tactical shotgun to a blue one, with higher-level upgrades presumably costing more. That’s a lot of materials, and I’m not sure it was worth it in my case. But it’s a cool option if you happen to find yourself with enough materials to spare, or if you can tweak an already-powerful weapon into a game-changer.

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You can hide in dumpsters and haystacks

Approaching certain dumpsters and haystacks will give you the option to hide inside them. It’s no substitute for the bush, and it hasn’t figured hugely into any of my matches yet, but it’s fun. According to a few players, you can dive into haystacks and dumpsters and not take fall damage, or at the very least recreate Assassin’s Creed.

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You can carry downed teammates—and enemies

If you approach a downed teammate or enemy, you’ll get a prompt to carry them. You can hoist them over your shoulders and run around with them. In one of my matches, a teammate picked me up and carried me to a safe place so they could revive me. Helpful! In another match, I downed an enemy, picked them up, and ran them over to the rest of my companions so they could watch me finish them off. Mean!

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It seems you can also finish downed enemies off by carrying them someplace high and dropping them, which is overkill, but hilarious.

You can heal yourself with the Bandage Bazooka

Chapter 2 has a new weapon, the Bandage Bazooka, which heals teammates when you fire it at them. It takes up two inventory slots, but it’s worth lugging around. You can heal yourself with it by firing it at your feet.

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You can fish for health

There are new findable fishing poles. To fish, equip the pole and use your primary fire to cast it. If you’re near some fish and wait long enough, the bobber will dip; if you press fire again at the right time, you’ll catch something. I caught a fish called a Flopper, which gave me health when I ate it. According to Gamespot, you can also catch fish that give you shields, or come up with weapons or materials. I wouldn’t start playing Stardew Valley in the middle of a Fortnite match, but I can see having a lot of fun with this in playground mode.

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Achievements

Fortnite has achievements now. You can view the achievements you’ve gotten under the “career” tab. So far, I’ve gotten some for using a bandage in the storm, healing inside a specific location, and landing on the new island. Achievement reporting seems to be a little wonky—some people are seeing the wrong achievements, and my “I’m Trash” achievement does not appear in my career screen. Gamesradar has a list of achievements, but I kind of like the surprise.

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Battle stars have been replaced with XP

Battle stars, which used to level up your battle pass, seem to be out—now, missions reward XP, and XP levels up your pass. It feels like I’m getting rewarded with XP a lot more now too, including for doing things like searching chests and ammo boxes, surviving storm circles, and gathering materials. The game notifies you of your XP gain, and it also keeps track of it in a bar at the bottom of the screen. Epic wrote that this season would feature “more fun, less grind,” and so far I feel like I’m making progress faster.

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There are medals

At the left side of your lobby you’ll see a “medal punchcard.” There are 10 medals on the card, which refreshes once a day. The fifth and tenth medal reward 4,000 XP, while the others reward 2,000. You get medals for routine stuff you do during play, such as scavenging and surviving. As far as I understand it, you upgrade the medal by doing the thing it rewards you for more—search enough chests in a match to get a bronze medal, for instance, and, if you keep searching chests, you’ll get a silver one. Once you get 10 medals, you have completed your punchcard and earned all the bonus XP it provides. Once you complete the punchcard you can still earn medals, but you won’t get the big XP bonus.

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Maybe it’s me, but matches feel easier

Epic said last season that computer-controlled opponents would be coming this season, and changes to matchmaking were implemented last season. There’s no official word on bots, but I’ve definitely eliminated some opponents who behaved unlike human players: standing still too long, not shooting back, and not reviving their downed companions. While it’s been nice to feel like I’m doing well in a match, it’s definitely lulled me into a false sense of security—I’m pretty sure I’ve assumed an opponent is a bot and let down my guard, only to have them do something unexpected and surprise me. As you level up, you should see fewer bots and face off against more humans.

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Do you know any tricks or changes I missed? Have some bot-spotting tips? Leave them in the comments!

Source: Kotaku.com

The best and worst replies to Lady Gaga asking what “fortnight” is on Twitter

Yesterday, Lady Gaga, a contender for world’s most famous person, made the dreams of innumerable men come true when she, a woman, asked you, a man, what “fortnight” is.

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Now, there’s two different dreams here. There’s the dream of a beautiful, successful woman asking you about your favorite video game, the wildly popular and divorce-causing Fortnite, which due to it being all over the news lately due to its implosion and subsequent resurrection, is clearly the subject of Gaga’s tweet. Or there’s the dream of pointing out that she, a woman, spelled it “fortnight,” which (rubs hands together) actually means “a period of two weeks.”

(Deep breath)

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The only one allowed to make this joke is the dang Dictionary, which it did.

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It’s easy to imagine the tweet was, like we’re thinking that Adele tweet was a few weeks back, just a bit of trolling. As plenty of fans were quick to bring up, Gaga is a noted fan of Bayonetta. Her gaming bonafides are murky, obviously, but she’s no noob.

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This being Gaga, some famous faces popped up, not the least of which being the ultra-famous gamer Ninja.

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But to scour the comments of such a post is to expose one’s self to all manner of oddness—be it memes, shitposts, video clips, or delightful comparisons to Cher.

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But nothing is funnier than those who replied earnestly to Gaga’s question, explaining to her that, you see, Fortnite is a video game. A very popular one. And, now that you are aware of it, perhaps we can play together. Here is my screen name.

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Currently, there are more than 26,000 replies to this tweet.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

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Source: Kotaku.com

Fortnite’s Black Hole Is Over, Chapter Two Begins [Updating]

After roughly a day and a half, Fortnite’s black hole is over. Despite the anticipation for a big event, the server simply went offline. There it is.

At around 4 a.m. Eastern, with thousands of people around the world staring at Fortnite’s swirling black hole, the game suddenly blinked to a loading screen, with a message reading “Fortnite servers are currently undergoing maintenance. Please try again later.” The servers currently read as “offline,” presumably undergoing maintenance for the next season.

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In a normal Fortnite season, this is pretty standard: Developer Epic takes the game offline between roughly 4 and 6 a.m. to update things. I’m not surprised to see downtime here, and I’m glad we’ll be getting the new season so soon. But after all the waiting and social media blackout surrounding the black hole, this feels a little anticlimactic to me. Was a big “black hole death” event inside us all along? I’m awake at 4 in the damn morning, so I’m going to say yes, because I need this.

Some folks on Twitter are saying the new cinematic trailer played for them in the lobby, but I was unable to access that, as pressing “relaunch” just took me out of the game, which is currently updating. [Update: 10/15/2019, 5:51 a.m. ET: Here’s the official trailer.]

Following the game’s big end-of-season event, Fortnite turned from a game of weird characters and 10-year-old teammates into a swirling black hole. It then, to the internet’s collective shock, stayed that way. Confused players joined forces to decode mysterious numbers, play a hidden minigame, entertain themselves with speculation, and spend more than 35 hours staring at what basically amounts to a screensaver.

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At last, we are free from the hole, and we’ll be getting a new season of Fortnite. There have been hints of a new map, and a supposed leaked battle pass trailer shows possible new weapons, a new way to level up, and new things to do. We’ll see what Fortnite’s new world looks like when the game comes back online, which for me is in 60 percent.

Update: 10/15/2019, 4:43 a.m. ET: My update finished, but I’m just seeing “servers offline.” I’m making a second pot of coffee.

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Update: 10/15/2019, 5:53 a.m. ET: I got in. The cinematic above played, and at the end of it I was dropped straight into a solos game, which I have to admit was pretty cool. There is, as expected, a new map. The patch notes are up, but they’re very vague so far: The new season is called Chapter 2, and it features 13 new locations. There’s also fishing, swimming, and boats. You can hide in haystacks and dumpsters. There’s a new battle pass featuring “a brand new XP system and medals you can earn in-game.” You’re also able to “upgrade weapons using resources at the upgrade bench.” In my quick first playthrough, XP appeared on the screen and I got a medal for finding a new location.

Things are certainly different! I’ll have more impressions as I play more.

Update: 10/15/2019, 6:32 a.m. ET: Fishing involves using a findable fishing pole, which allows you to catch a fish you can eat for health. I got an achievement once I ate one, which you can view on your career page. Swimming is what it sounds like and is pretty cool: Sound gets muted underwater, and you can dolphin jump. I hid in a dumpster, which rewarded me a medal, just like in real life.

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Medals are present in my lobby screen as a “punchcard.” Medals grant you XP, which you use to level up your battle pass. You seem to get a lot more XP now, including for opening chests, and the XP pops up on your screen when you get it. It’s nice to feel rewarded.

Update: 10/15/2019, 7:55 a.m. ET: There’s a new weapon, which was hinted at previously in leaks, that shoots bandages at your teammates. You can also use it on yourself. On my PC, the new map looks great: It feels sharper and a little grittier than before. I haven’t found an “upgrade bench” to try out yet, but I’m looking for one.

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It’s a little frustrating not to have comprehensive patch notes like we’ve gotten in previous seasons, but the sense of exploration is exciting. After all the mystery of the black hole, a bit more mystery doesn’t feel all that out of place.

Update: 10/15/2019, 9:51 a.m. ET: I just played a suspiciously successful squad round, with multiple kills and headshots. (I also carried a downed enemy, which is a weird and hilarious new feature.) I can’t tell yet if it’s due to updates to matchmaking or the bots Epic said was coming this season, or if I just got lucky. I’m seeing other players report a lot of success as well. How have you been finding things in Chapter 2?

Source: Kotaku.com

The Internet Reacts To Fortnite’s Blackout

Following its cataclysmic Season 10 end event, Fortnite’s colorful world was wiped away, replaced by a swirling black hole with a hidden minigame and occasional mysterious numbers. Currently, we’re still staring at the black hole. At least we can also look at Twitter.

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Source: Kotaku.com

There’s A Konami Code In Fortnite’s Black Hole

If you, like me and the rest of the internet, are staring at Fortnite’s black hole waiting for something to happen, you can enter the Konami code to play a mini-game. It’s simple, but it beats sitting around.

As captured by Fortnite News, entering the Konami code brings up an old-school shooter minigame where a slice of pizza and a pineapple-shooting burger face off. It’s a reference to the game’s fast food rivals, Pizza Pit and Durr Burger. On my PC, this worked for me when I used my arrow and letter keys and the enter button. The Konami code, if you don’t know, is up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start (or enter, on your PC). I was able to control the minigame with my mouse. The buttons, of course, depend on your platform.

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Hey, it’s something to do while you wait.

Source: Kotaku.com

Fortnite’s Season 10 Event Seems To Have Ended Its World [Updating]

After weeks of anticipation, Fortnite’s big Season 10 event happened. Was the wait worth it? Yes.

At the start of the event, the only available mode was a team fight called “The End.” In my match, players clustered around Dusty Depot’s rocket. At the end of the countdown, the rocket launched into the sky and cracked it. Pieces fell off, with bright blue capsules circling around the map. A capsule with a bright red line fell from a crack above Loot Lake, causing an explosion that launched players into the sky. The bubble around Loot Lake glowed and flickered, and a meteor surrounded by capsules fell onto it. As I watched, familiar items like tomato heads and the battle bus were sucked into the explosion, including, eventually, the entire map itself. I was left with only a dark screen with a wormhole in the middle and the option to exit. When I logged out and tried to log back in, the game asked me to log into my Epic account. After attempting to load for a while, I was told my login failed. [Update: 10/13/2019, 2:47 p.m. ET: After a few more tries, my game logged in, but I was taken back to the black hole.]

Currently, the Fortnite website is just a blank Twitch stream. The logo on the game in my Epic library is just the wormhole, and Fortnite’s Twitter logo is just black [Update: 10/13/2019, 3:40 p.m. ET: Only a tweet livestreaming the black hole remains on Fortnite’s feed.] Streams of the game show the black wormhole screen. The status page reads “anomaly detected” on all services except the Epic store. [Update: 10/13/2019, 4:22 p.m. ET: Even their Trello is just a black hole.]

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This is Fortnite now. Get used to it.

The event has been teased for weeks with the Visitor’s rocket steadily being built in the returned location of Dusty Depot. The Visitor showed up in Season 3’s meteor and, this season, has been considered responsible for the time distortions that have brought old areas of Fortnite’s world back to the map. The game’s overtime challenges had players finding voice recordings of the Visitor, talking about time loops, “the formation of the island,” and “the end.” Developer Epic has gotten in on this apocalyptic vibe, tweeting that “the end is near” and making the unusual decision to have the next season start immediately following the event, instead of the standard few days later. Along with leaks suggesting the next season will be Fortnite’s “Chapter 2” and dataminers finding a host of new place names, players were expecting something cataclysmic, and that’s certainly what they got.

Fortnite’s Season 10 was polarizing, with unpopular additions and a divided community. I’m pretty sure everyone is ready for a change, but I have no idea what it will be. Looks like I’ll be spending the rest of my Sunday sitting in front of my computer waiting to see what’s next.

Update: 10/13/2019, 3:41 p.m. ET: The numbers 11, 146, 15, and 62 are occasionally appearing above the black hole. Eleven makes sense for the new season, but what about the rest of them?

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Update: 10/13/2019, 4 p.m. ET: The official PlayStation support Twitter is reminding players that their V-Bucks and items are OK.

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Esports consultant Rod Breslau is citing some pretty huge viewership numbers for the event.

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Update: 10/13/2019, 4:20 p.m. ET: Leakers are suggesting something could happen in the next hour. We’re in this together, folks.

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Update: 10/13/2019, 4:58 p.m. ET: You can play a minigame while you wait.

Update: 10/13/2019, 5:10 p.m. ET: Now there’s an 87. Reader, I screamed.

Update: 10/13/2019, 5:55 p.m. ET: Some players are correlating the numbers to the Visitor’s audio logs and suggesting it spells out “I was not alone. Others were outside the loop.”

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Update: 10/13/2019, 6:29 p.m. ET: One Fortnite leaker is suggesting the downtime could last until Tuesday, based on things they’ve found in the game’s webpage code. Let’s hope not.

Update: 10/13/2019, 9:32 p.m. ET: The whole numbers message seems to have been decoded.

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Source: Kotaku.com

Fortnite’s World Is Full Of Fast Food, Which Makes Sense

This weekend could be the last hurrah for Fortnite’s current map, since Epic Games has described the season’s standard game-changing event as “the end.” I feel ready for a new map, but I hope it retains the game’s fast food icons and restaurants. They aren’t the biggest part of Fortnite’s lore, but they’re the perfect background noise.

Outside of the big end-of-season events, Fortnite builds its world and tells its story quietly. Fans often invent their own lore, although bits and pieces are occasionally revealed through landmarks and changes to the game’s geography. The game’s architecture suggests a time before Save the World’s zombies and Battle Royale’s death match, when people still did normal stuff, like eating fast food, and getting manipulated by corporate fast food mascots.

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Nearly all of Fortnite’s food is fast food. It’s represented by unpopulated buildings, food trucks, and player skins. People in Fortnite’s world could once eat at Fishsticks, the Double Plump Buffet (remember buffets?), Nugget Hut, or Dumpling. There have also been a handful of pubs, ice cream places, a Fork Knife food truck, and even what appears to be a butcher shop. In Season 9, many of these had outposts or signage at Mega Mall, making for a futuristic, though abandoned, food court. Fortnite’s fast food occasionally has its standout moments, but it’s also always there, in the background.

One of these long-term background stories is the rivalry between two of the game’s fast food chains, Uncle Pete’s Pizza Pit and Durr Burger, each of which has its own mascot. Pizza Pit and Durr Burger’s mascots are, respectively, a tomato head and a burger with googly eyes and a lolling tongue. Both mascots have appeared as statues on the map, along with their flagship and offshoot restaurants. Over the seasons, the tomato statue has been turned into a shrine, and the burger monument has morphed around the map and appeared in real life. As part of an in-game challenge, players have called the chain’s numbers on giant in-game phones. The chains are, apparently, enemies, and players are sometimes conscripted in their war. Players have been drafted as fighters for one or the other of the opposing chains in limited time modes, and have unlocked two of season 9’s Fortbyte collectibles by performing one chain’s emote in the other chain’s restaurant.

The pizza versus burger war doesn’t make sense to me personally. I’ve never had a moment where I had to choose between the two foods, nor can I think of a time when a pizza chain and a burger chain framed one another as corporate rivals in real-life marketing. These two food items feel like two different choices for two different circumstances. Part of that might be because I live in New York City, where pizza is plentiful and easy to transport, while burgers are clunky and can be messy. But they’re both quintessentially fast foods that are easy to have good feelings about, especially when represented in distinctive mascot form. Players liked the fast food wars-themed Food Fight limited time event, which capitalized on this. Like McDonald’s arches, the mascots are legible and seamless to rally around, appropriate symbols to fight for the sake of it.

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Season 10 had another fast food craze in tacos. The game already had a taco joint, creatively called Tacos. At one point this season, tacos rained from the sky in Greasy Grove. Players caught in the taco storm were forced to dance while clutching tacos, and floor tacos could be eaten for health and speed boosts. Players reacted with less enthusiasm about the taco event than Food Fight or the Fortbyte food emotes, in part because it hijacked your character if you went to Greasy Grove. The event itself felt like a reference to the surprisingly embattled phenomenon of “Taco Tuesday,” which is one of those trends invented by retailers that has little to do with the actual desire for and eating of tacos. Taco Tuesday and Fortnite’s Greasy Grove demand we like tacos. Yes, people like tacos, but Fortnite’s despotic insistence that we love and consume them was off-putting. Players couldn’t really choose which mascot to fight for in the food LTM or the emote challenges—teams were randomly chosen in Food Fight, and both chains had their challenges—but still, there were technically two options, just like the real-life rivalry between Burger King versus McDonald’s. Fortnite wasn’t cool about the tacos, and people don’t want to think that they love anything because they’re told to.

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In food, we’re told scarce things are good, yet fast food’s selling point is that it is never scarce. It’s everywhere, and for everyone (even more so now that chains are getting into meat substitutes). There are exceptions, of course; the McRib is always in and out of availability, and the performative shock of the recent Popeye’s sandwich being sold out worked well.

By and large, though, fast food marketing paints a picture of always-available abundance for all. That’s also Epic’s stated dream for Fortnite: Epic said this season that “The mission of Fortnite is to bring players of all skill levels together to have a fun experience where anyone can win.” Fast food is intended as a universal form of pleasure, which has translated into mortifyingly capitalistic advertising schemes in practice, but is not necessarily a bad sentiment at its core. You can just enjoy things, fast food says. It’s a refrain that might seek to drown out the industry’s dark side, its labor crises and environmental and health impacts (there’s also a similar dark side to Fortnite). For all of these reasons, fast food is right at home in Fortnite. This is a free-to-play game that’s everywhere, that’s easy to have and enjoy. Through mascots and storefronts, Fortnite suggests a universe of fun while damning the consequences, of satiety and accessibility, of everyone sitting down together. It may not have a Michelin star, but it’s not trying to.

Source: Kotaku.com