Defenders are simultaneously one of the most useless things in Fortnite, but also things with the coolest concept. Nobody joined your mission? Can’t carry your teammates? No problem, you brought friends.
Except you have to give your “friends” your guns and ammo, because a shotgun specialist shows up empty-handed. You also can’t entrust them to anything crucial, because their AI woefully underperforms and will frequently lead to them dying without really making an impact in anything other than your weapon’s durability or ammo count. And to even summon them, you have to build a little square base for them, which they’re then practically chained to. Also, I hope you like medkit guy – he’s the only non-seasonal melee defender.
When I saw defenders, I didn’t immediately think of a liability or a resource vampire. I may as well not even use them. To date, I’ve seen them used possibly 2 or 3 times. This is such a shame for a system that could be so much more.
Where do we start?
Defenders should be more effective at combat. Not to the capacity of a human player, but better than a spike trap. We shouldn’t have to supply them with ammo (at all), and giving them a weapon should be optional (although obviously advantageous). They should not lower weapon condition. Their health pools (or behavior near groups of or dangerous husks) improved. Their effective area increased, both in roaming area and weapon range (type permitting, such as sniper rifles). The archetypes for defenders should be improved, possibly even letting us assign any individual to a weapon type rather than it being categorical (guy with hat is shotgun man, redneck is stabby man).
With a little work, I think defenders can be as cool as they were meant to be.
Edit: a word
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