Fortnite

Defenders Need Tweaking (in line with the Twine Tweaks)

FortniteBattleRoyale4 - Defenders Need Tweaking (in line with the Twine Tweaks)
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In the most recent Design Chat:
design chat twine tweaks - Defenders Need Tweaking (in line with the Twine Tweaks)Twine Tweaks the Fortnite team started to add higher level content to Twine Peaks. Putting aside how the initial wave of changes have been implemented (difficulty vs reward) there is a key aspect of the game that hasn't been keeping up: Defenders.


Epic Defenders

Fortnite (STW) is supposed to provide an opportunity for a co-operative gameplay experience, where human players are able to team up in order to achieve a common goal (complete the map successfully). A standard map provides the opportunity for 4 human players to play together. In the event that 4 human players are not present within a map (and there could be any number of reasons why this is the case) Defenders provided a mechanism to 'fill in the gap' if you will, as pseudo-human players. You can give them a weapon (based on Defender type) and they will help to 'defend' by using it against Husks.

Obviously, Defenders are not a perfect substitute for human players

  • They only attack Husks within a certain tile distance (even if their weapon can reach further)
  • They do not have gadgets (humans can run x2 gadgets)
  • They do not help to build or repair defenses
  • They do not revive downed teammates (human or otherwise)
  • Defenders do not provide shared party stats (F.O.R.T stat increases).

The combination of your F.O.R.T stats provides your power level, but since there are no 'minimum' F.O.R.T stat requirements for any given power level, power level in and of itself is generally not a good indicator. A player could have F.O.R.T stats skewed heavily in favor of Fortitude and Resistance (with minimal increases to Offense and Tech) and still have a high power level (though their ability to deal damage will be severely diminished, relative to someone who leveled Offense and Tech instead of Fortitude and Resistance).

Before the most recent Twine Tweaks, the highest power level husks a player may encounter in standard gameplay would be around p130 (p100 mission with maximum blu glo boosts). In the context of whether this was appropriate or not, an individual player (with maxed stats) would nominally have a power level of around p131. Even if a player was 'solo', there would be nothing unusual about a p130-ish player attempting p130-ish content on their own. Their collective power level matches the difficulty of the content they are attempting.

For patch 5.1 the dev's introduced power level requirements to prevent low powered players getting into missions they would be unlikely to success at outside of an organized party (premade group). In
v6 10 - Defenders Need Tweaking (in line with the Twine Tweaks)patch 6.10, and likely some subsequent patches this system was refined further

  • The minimum power ratings on missions are now enforced depending on the privacy setting of your party.
  • If your match is set to “Public” then the lowest power rating in your party (ignoring any party boost) will determine which missions are available and which are locked.
  • If your match is set to “Private” or “Friends Only” then the group leader’s personal power rating is used instead.
  • This prevents low-level players from being brought up into public high-level missions where they cannot contribute fully to the group, while maintaining the ability for friends to privately play together in high-level areas if they choose.

The minimum power rating requirements for any given mission will be lower than the recommended power rating. This is more or less because if you have 4 humans joining a mission at the minimum power rating, their 'shared party stats' (for F.O.R.T) will boost them up to the recommended power rating (if not exceeding) for the map difficulty. It's also why the 4p group missions have a higher minimum rating (as the spawned husks will also be stronger). It is intended that with 4 human players the power rating (of all members) will be appropriate to tackle the content. If individuals (and you could have 4 individuals joining the same public lobby) would be too weak even after combining their shared F.O.R.T stats they outright cannot attempt the maps to begin with.

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There are a number of reasons why a player may 'opt-out' of using the public match system (generally related to the behavior of other players) and use "Private" or "Friends Only" instead.

  • Playing with lower powered friends
  • Avoiding undesirable players (based on behavior)
  • etc.

On the basis that shared party stats (for F.O.R.T) are required to ensure that player strength is 'level appropriate' for content they are attempting, this places a significant burden on cases where maps are not filled by 4 human players. Even if a player is using the public matchmaking system, due to time zone, region or other factors (such as map selection) it is quite possible for a player to end up relying on Defenders to fill in slots that should have been filled by a human. If there is an expectation that a player will have access to a certain amount of 'shared' F.O.R.T stats from their teammates but this never eventuates then the person is put in a disadvantageous position.

In the past (for standard maps, so not special cases like events, or SSDs) it was quite possible for a player who was stuck on their own to have a level-appropriate amount of F.O.R.T stats, relative to the content even if they were solo. With the Twine Tweaks this is no longer the case, a solo player without the assistance of F.O.R.T shared by Human sources is going to be stuck at p130-ish power whilst the husks end up significantly stronger. Even if a player is capable of joining a map (for the higher level of Twine Tweaks variants) it has reached a stage where it is unreasonable for Defenders to 'make-up for the gap' of not having human teammates (and access to those shared F.O.R.T stats).

Whilst someone could make the argument that 'if you don't have a group of 4 players then don't attempt the harder twine content', that argument would end up at odds with the design decisions they've made to date (as detailed previously above) in relation to balancing the player power levels and potential success rate for any given mission outside of a premade group. Even (group) 4p missions are balanced around the concept of having 4 human players and 4 Defenders assisting the humans.


/u/Epic_Jason,
Magyst - Defenders Need Tweaking (in line with the Twine Tweaks)/u/Magyst
, in the context of future Twine Tweaks (and gameplay in general) please consider the role that Defenders play as substitutes for human players. Specifically

  • How defenders fill-in when a Human player is absent from the map.
  • How much of a difference there is between a solo player (at the minimum power level for a map) with 3 defenders vs 4 human players at the minimum power level (and benefiting from shared F.O.R.T stats)

A change, such as replicating the shared party stats, equal to a Defender's Owner, would make a significant quality of life change for all players, even if this is only applied in cases where there are under 4 human players in a map (and thus doesn't apply in group missions).

Sincerely

A player with 647 days logged in at this time of writing, has been here for all the changes during Early Access, and hopefully many more, who cares about the experience of all players, not just those fortunate enough to always end up with 4 humans in a mission (something an individual has no control over).


That's a lot of days

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