August 28, 2018
Alongside the release of a new update, the talk of the town in Fortnite over the past few days has obviously been the appearance of a mysterious giant purple cube. This almighty being (all hail cube) is covered in hieroglyphic symbols, shoots purple lightning, and is slowly moving somewhere, so the fascination with it is understandable. However, a few hours before the cube exploded onto the scene, a significant change happened to Fortnite’s challenges that shakes up the weekly formula in a positive way.
New challenges are released roughly every Thursday, resulting in a deluge of Battle Pass owners hopping on and bombarding a particular location because a new challenge is situated there. It can be a bit of a mess at times, particularly when you’re trying to complete the challenge that revolves around simply opening chests. This sounds easy enough, but when you’ve got around 30 or 40 people descending on somewhere like Fatal Fields trying to do the same thing, it turns into a mad dash just to open a single chest before unceremoniously dying. This is repetitive, frustrating, and makes you question whether it’s all worth it for another dance emote or fancy skin (spoiler: it always is).
However, Epic surprised us last week by finally altering the way chest-centric challenges work. Now it’s a multi-step “treasure hunt” of sorts that scatters the challenge across multiple locations. Instead of this hectic scamper to open a chest before anyone else can, the player base is spread out across the map depending on which step of the challenge they’re currently on. I managed to open all five chests in five different matches with little issue. I wasn’t immediately dying because someone else shot me in the back after finding a chest first; I could actually have a proper game of Fortnite, opening a chest to tick it off the list, before running off to complete other challenges/die somewhere else. This is a marked improvement over previous weeks, and sits in stark contrast to the old formula of landing in the same place and dying over and over again like Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow.
[The new challenge] sits in stark contrast to the old formula of landing in the same place and dying over and over again like Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow
I understand this isn’t some groundbreaking change, but it removes a lot of the monotony from Fortnite’s weekly challenges, and has an effect on the overall composition of matches as well. With the player base spread out, the flow of games is a lot smoother, with a higher likelihood of encountering combat opportunities no matter where you are on the map. It’s a practical change and gives me hope Epic has a few more changes in store for Fortnite’s weekly challenges.
Season 5 has already seen some interesting activities, from using ATKs and trolleys to hop through rings of fire, to the recent time trials that challenged people’s building and traversal skills (complete with an 8-bit remix of the old Fortnite theme). These challenges offer a welcome change of pace, and there’s always excitement in the air each Thursday as we wait to see if Epic has something similarly unconventional up its sleeve. We’re essentially paying for the privilege to compete in these challenges, right? Might as well make them fun.