Fortnite

Looking back at nearly 2 years of Alpha testing.

Fortnite Battle Royale Halloween 1024x576 - Looking back at nearly 2 years of Alpha testing.
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I played Alpha Fortnite for almost 2 years. I spent quite a bit on the game over that time and even post launch, hoping with all my heart that Fortnite would succeed and change for the better. And it has. A lot. Started in Alpha Test 5 when I got selected, and soon it'll be my third anniversary with the game. Wanted to go back and remember all the stories of my time in Fortnite Alpha and wanted to truly map out how much Fortnite has improved.

Here's a few stories of Reiganleaf and his fort, Fort Frankenwiener.

I remember when every single mission would give V-bucks as a mission award, and was changed out for daily v-bucks of differing amounts, and then that was changed out to just 50 v-bucks.

I remember when v-bucks were awarded in inconsistent numbers, instead of the by 5 you see today. 5's, 10's, 15's, 25's, etc. After the Alpha test that changed that, I was stuck with an uneven amount of V-bucks for a while and it bothered me so much I had to get Support to help me out with it because my OCD was insatiable. I was at 9 v-bucks. Everything surrounded that 9-vbucks. Want to get a llama for 100 v-bucks? You're 1 short with 99. Always 1 short.

I remember when there was a craftable turret that would take a hefty amount of resources to build and would last until it'd run out of Bullets, it could be placed anywhere on the geography more like Teddy and less like traps, and it was absolutely broken because you could make a lot of them and have the turrets help each other with conserving their ammo by splitting the amount of husk's they'd fire at.

I remember when everyone was furious when they implemented Research since the research was directly mixed in with the skill tree, so progression was time-locked and a LOT slower than you see it today. A lot of testers quit Fortnite that day, saying that they didn't like the mobile-game approach Fortnite was taking.

I remember when they broke XP rewards for missions for a good two-three months straight, so leveling was near impossible.

I remember when different weapons had special, inherent attributes outside of perks like the Reaper's Scythe giving increased stamina regeneration, and it was the best because sprint used to cost a lot of Stamina.

I remember when Retrieve the Data was only 1×1 and could be dropped immediately by shooting at it which was a huge cause of griefing.

I remember when only Constructors could build tier 3 structures, and everyone else only tier 2.

I remember when powercells were INCREDIBLY RARE and the only way to get some was to go around killing ALL the gnomes.

I remember when experimental features like the Manufacturer were in place, a feature implemented right into the Homebase Defense UI that would allow you to break down and craft in-game resources like Silver or Powercells with very long timers (up to 48 hours) for both breaking down and crafting said components. It was my favorite of the experimental features, and I was sad to see it go.

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Heck, I was there before Homebase Defenses were even a thing! Persistent Base Building was a feature highly requested for YEARS, and we only got it in the last few tests of the Alpha.

I was there when you'd need to defend the ENTIRE RAILROAD LINE of a Deliver the Bomb like a normal Fight the Storm defense, so it was a FREAKIN' NIGHTMARE to try to build so many durable walls and traps for something like that.

I was there when healing kits (consumable heals of different rarities) like the ones you see in Battle Royale and POTIONS were a thing. There were many potions with different effects and my favorite was one called "Brain Juice" which entirely removed building costs for 20 seconds or so, but making that potion was IMPOSSIBLE. It would take me a day of going around the forest biome gathering mushrooms in caves, trees, etc. The chance of finding the white mushroom to make that thing was just… god awful.

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I remember when Blasters were not skinny, lanky husks but fat like the Huskies and my friend and I would call them "Laser Fatties". That name has stuck with us till today and we refuse to call Blasters anything else. Similar thing with Lobbers. We'd just call them Artilleries.

I remember when Takers were so feared, we'd call them Reapers. They used to disable you by grabbing you up in the air, and if a team mate didn't take care of them in time, you'd be unrevivable until the automatic revive timer ticked down.

I remember when the Hydra assault rifle was red.

I remember when there was no such thing as hero cards. Only one giant skill tree with all the hero-related upgrades to their skills like extra grenades for soldiers and the like.

I remember when Ninja had a different voice actor. The person who voices the llamas I think it was, one of devs.

I remember when Ray's voice was a lot deeper, more relaxed. And with every new update of Ray's voice-acting, the inconsistency in her voice was noticeable. Until she finally settled down to being the cheery robot you see today.

I remember when Zap Zapp was an absolute demon. It recently got buffed, but even then it used to be better before. The range of its explosion was crazy and there was zero damage fall-off. The best sniper rifle in the game.

I remember when Constructor's Electrified Floors were godly and a Constructor was an absolute must.

I remember when the Flag Gadget used to upgrade everything around it by 1 tier, which worked great to save on resources.

I remember when the game had only 1 hero per person, and changing classes cost a lot of some type of resource that I can't really remember. They changed it to a slotting system later which was the early works of the card system.

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I remember when the overworld map WAS a skill tree in itself, and you'd level up building like a Hospital or a Gym to upgrade Fortitude or Resistance.

I remember when Plankerton's Homebase Defense was on a plain-spaghetti hill with multiple ramps around the main defense and it was the worst.

I remember when holiday events were nothing but free 10 normal llamas day.

I and lastly… I remember the more greedy and uncaring face of Epic back in its development when they'd outright ignore our suggestions and made the quality of life more difficult with each passing Alpha Test.

I have a million more horror stories and a million equally awesome and beloved memories to tell you, but that's all in the past.

I often talk to players in game to get a read about what the state of development and what the general attitude towards Fortnite Save the World is, and 90% of the time I hear dissatisfied people. Maybe perhaps because they speak the loudest, but it is them I hear the most. I saw Fortnite at its absolute worst, both in gameplay and development cycle, and I can't help but feel a little blessed. It's hard to get mad at a game that seems to be doing ungodly better than it was a long time ago.

A lot of the negative things I've said about Fortnite in this post were mostly because the game's developers had a very different mentality about how the game was going to go. Many of the features you have now, like crafting schematics, recruiting heroes, transformation keys, defenders, the event and weekly store, schematics dropping from royal chests and mini-bosses, the hoverboard, Mission Alerts, Llamas costing 50 v-bucks instead of 100, and many more….

A lot of those features, we Alpha Players could have never even IMAGINED would be added to the game. ESPECIALLY crafting and recruiting schematics and heroes.

Feel blessed everyone, you're seeing Fortnite the best its ever been like literally ever, and they can and have certainly been going up consistently.


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