Buddy’s Talk | Part 1 | The real reward problem and what it means for Save The World

FortniteBattleRoyale1 - Buddy's Talk | Part 1 | The real reward problem and what it means for Save The World

Hi, I'm Buddy and today I want to talk to you about the real reward problem in STW and its vast consequences.

There won't be a TLDR, as I don't want to discuss such important issues in just a few sentences. Save the post and come back later, if you don't have five minutes, thank you.

You can focus on the important stuff, that's why the following introcution and other parts are marked as spoilers:

I've held on doing this series for quite a while and think now is a good time to post it. In Buddy Talks I try to cover the ongoing mistakes Epic Games has been making since BETA release and give feedback, partially hoping to also correct any misunderstandings that have been swirling around on this subreddit.

I've started playing this game since the BETA release in 2017 and have been very active ever since. I know the whole story except for the time of the ALPHA.

As for myself, I've been designing games and levels for almost ten years now. I'm a usability enthusiast, who always looks at things and immediately tries to improve them, let them be real or, like in this case of a game, abstract. It's a useful tool in everyday life and job. Like with everything, perfectionism also comes with a downside being more time-intensive, though. Now, get on with it, Buddy!

Without further ado, let's begin:

The root of this great problem is caused by a change implemented a few months ago and any revertions can't fix it. What? Let me elaborate.

Said change happened around the time, when the huge influx of new players caused the infamous low-PL-player-in-high-PL-mission problem, where Epic struggled to control the flow of player progression resulting in skill-wise bad players reaching the end of the game relatively quickly through bigger rewards and therefore making literal level jumps. An adding factor to this phenomenon is the very easy difficulty of the overall game.

Basically, there were no barriers for progression besides the XP grind.

When the PL barrier finally came, it was already too late! A lot of low-skill players have already infected the upper PL lobbies, making it unfunny, stressful and unrewarding for seasoned players to play with them, resulting in a divided, toxic community with the passionate and knowledgable players on the one side and V-Bucks seeking, not-caring-about-anything players on the other side BOTH BEING AT THE SAME LEVEL IN THE GAME!

Read:  List of glitches I've seen in the last week that I've not seen mentioned here.

While this incompetence of Epic Games already caused a big distortion in the game being that players of a certain skill level and knowledge were at the wrong level inside the game's progression system, the next bold move they did a short while after changed everything…

They drastically increased XP mission rewards.

  • The low-skill players that didn't make the cut before the barrier hit now easily leveled to the top aswell, even faster than the boosting players before them. The distortion I was talking about was now magnified and multiplied!
  • This increase then brought even more low-skill players to the end, as there was no barrier left to normalize the balance of experience through playing a lot and leveling up accordingly
  • With this overflow it is possible to get to max rank or close to it in less than a month, hence unlock everything the game has to offer!
  • Example: For the amount of XP you currently get for a normal Encampement mission , you had to play a 4-player mission or even two before the update, which was much more challenging and time consuming <20-40 minutes>
  • Evolution materials were a side product of simply playing before the update, now due to the increase of XP, players don't have enough of them, since they are able to level heroes, schematics and survivors such frequently


I know this saying is joked about a lot (EA Star Wars disaster), but with such a fast progression in place, there's barely any pride and accomplishment left to achieve in this game besides some banners. Additionally, the pride and accomplishment seasoned players felt by achieving max rank for example is now completely overshadowed by the fact that it is now a piece of cake.

  • The seasoned players more and more started to play in private lobbies, as public lobbies became more and more unbearable to experience
  • Ghost lobbies are apparent with just not-caring-about-anything players left, who now don't have anyone to do their work, so they play less aswell
  • Metaphor of this dilemma: Seasoned players basically had to go through college and university, a long process, while the new players simply jumped from kindergarden to a well paid job. With no real content coming and the seasoned players leaving these new people just quit the boring "job" and move on, as there was no emotional investment and barely time consuming at all. But what about the people that put a lot of effort into getting there?

Fast forward to today, there's barely any good players left, if any players at all. Even in missions with "good" rewards it is not guaranteed for someone to join. Most people play privately to not get in contact with grievers, afk-bots and low-skill players at high power levels.

Another crucial thing they changed about rewards: The mission reset cycle . With this change, players can now log on once a day, check the missions and log off. Before, the players had an incentive to come back mutiple times a day and play. You can say what you want about the previous strategy from Epic Games, however it was basic 1×1 on how you get your players to play your game, no science. They basically hurt themselves with this change. With less updates and therefore less content, players play less. Same goes with big patches, which don't add anything besides a skin or something alike.

What I want to say is this: Be careful what you wish for and always think twice about it. I'm not saying it's the community's fault, as any professional game designer should have predicted the outcome of such a currency increase two years into a game's life cycle. Combining the rewards for missions would have been the right way to go, not inflating the game's economy and destroying its progression system!

Until next time, as I want to confront the balance issues of STW and why they hurt the fun of playing what you want.

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