The problem with Elements and how they could be improved

FortniteBattleRoyale6 - The problem with Elements and how they could be improved

At the time of this writing, 90% or more of the community probably does the same thing: make all their weapons energy because why bother? It's because element matchups aren't worth the effort of maintaining and energy weapons are overall worth the peak damage loss. Energy also gets extra perk benefits.

For the uninitiated, elements work like this at the moment:

Weapon Element:VS: Non ElementalVS: FireVs: WaterVs: Nature

In an ideal set-up, you would use Physical guns vs Non-elemental husks (as all elements hit for 100% damage, but physical has the highest damage bonus attached to their perk), Fire vs Nature, Water vs Fire, Nature vs Water and you would never really use energy weapons. Except this isn't the case and everyone uses Energy EVERYTHING. Energy does more with their neutral matchup (75% against all elements) than any other element against their own (ie: Fire vs Fire is 66%). while normal elements are punished HEAVILY for a bad matchup (25% damage). Energy also has additional benefits in that there are hero perks that benefit energy damage (Cyberclops, EDEE) on top of that, while there's nothing really for any normal elements (Hybrid does add a fire affliction and Sgt Winter fires snowballs).

Anyways, the main problem: You aren't ever doing bonus damage. You're, at best, breaking even, which doesn't seem to make much sense. You're doing as much damage with a fire weapon vs a non-elemental husk as you are with a fire weapon vs a nature husk. The Nature husk should be vulnerable to fire, it should take MORE damage vs fire. Fire should be its bane, its achilles heel, the thing it fears. So in my opinion, the element matchups should be like so:

Weapon Element:VS: Non ElementalVS: FireVs: WaterVs: Nature

This sort of change would make it more meaningful to use a matching element. You're doing MORE damage against a weakness, while being punished to a less degree than if you weren't. Energy still works as a "too lazy to swap" element while still benefitting from perks for it. It doesn't get outclassed entirely, but weakness exploiting would pay off better. I also propose physical perks could stand to get a bigger damage bonus (from +44% to, say, 65%) since its main niche is still to damage non-elemental husks and only those. There was a time that it was argued perhaps Physical was better to use than any other perks until Energy came out on top again, I think it needs to stand on its own again.

On top of that, I feel like elements should have status effects tied to them. Affliction on its own is boring, sorry! Don't say I'm wrong because we all know you'd prefer Snare if you need a 'defacto 6th perk'! I could even argue that you could replace Affliction on 6th perk with "X% chance to trigger an elemental status", the % being tailored to the weapon (higher fire rate = lower trigger rate).

  • Physical: an "Impact crit" that guarantees a knockback/knockdown effect
  • Fire: still a bit of a 'classic affliction', but immolated enemies do less damage and can ignite enemies they're near
  • Water: Freeze: affected enemies are frozen in place and benefit from the existing freezing effects
  • Nature: A chain lightning effect that electrocutes and interrupts husks
  • Energy: A radiation field bursts from the affected enemy, dealing some AoE damage and restoring the energy of players in range

On top of these, you could make new hero perks that further benefit elements and their status effects. We already have something kind of like that already for Freezing (Ice queen does more damage to them), so you can do something like "Chain lightning from Nature status does more damage and can chain again" or "Energy radiation field is larger and restores more energy". I'm spitballing here!

I dunno, these are my thoughts, not all of these are great ideas, but here you go. Share your thoughts too.

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