Friday ‘Nite is a weekly Fortnite column in which Mark Delaney takes a closer look at current events in the wide world of Fortnite, with a special focus on the game’s plot, characters, and lore.
Fortnite is often credited with revolutionizing the world of free-to-play games. After random loot boxes were defeated by players in other games and investigated by government agencies, creators quickly changed, feeling the need to monetize their games more fairly to players. Led by Fortnite, they landed on the battle pass, a system that, while not everyone’s favourite, is still apparently everyone’s favorite compared to the lottery-like loot boxes of a few years ago. Personally, I think the Fortnite Battle Pass is the best in the middle: eight characters each season, tons of other cosmetics, plus you can get all your V-Bucks back just by playing the game you probably already intend to play anyway. .
However, the Fortnite Battle Pass still has one major flaw: some of the game’s biggest heroes and villains in its long history aren’t forever available to a large number of players. While they’re active, Fortnite Battle Passes are a reasonable and fun tool to keep players engaged in a season. But for players who were late to Fortnite, or perhaps haven’t even come to the game yet, keeping super-important characters locked away behind arbitrary walls forever sure hurts.
I started playing Fortnite regularly with Chapter 2 Season 2. Before that I had dabbled in it, but it didn’t really catch my attention until 2020 when my son and I played it in the early days of the pandemic. As I played the game, I began to discover the story being told beneath the surface of a game that, to an outsider, appears to be nothing more than a battle royale complete with licensed music and ridiculous emotes. But the story of the mysterious island, the Imagined Order, and The Seven has come more and more into the spotlight over the past two years, to the point where it’s now almost impossible to play without having at least a vague understanding of what it is. what’s going on. going on in your world. Even if you don’t know who Doctor Slone or The Origin is, you can tell they’re at war with each other through a combination of environmental storytelling and in-game challenges that play out as weekly chapters of the saga.
For a seasoned player who likes some narrative in their Battle Royale, this is awesome. But for a relatively new player like me, the realization that I’ll never be able to collect every member of the Top Seven really sucks. The aptly named band of quasi-metahumans is made up of The Origin, The Foundation, The Scientist, The Visitor, The Paradigm, The Imagined and – although we only know this from leaks at this point – The Order. Sadly, almost all of these skins were included in previous battle passes, meaning they will likely never be offered to players again.
Fortnite skins aren’t Pokémon – there are over 1,000 now and it would be pretty expensive to catch them all – but as a lore-chasing Fortnite fan I wish I could at least add all of these specific ones. heroes to my locker in the game. Players who didn’t play the game during Chapter 1, Season 4 missed out on The Visitor, while two other heroes, The Scientist and The Paradigm, first became available in Season X (10) in 2019. From Chapter 2 , each of these heroes that have come to the game has done so through a limited-time battle pass, including two of them in the current battle pass. That means anyone jumping into the game after Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 3 begins will have but one member of Seven to add to their collection, and that means The Order’s eventual arrival isn’t meant to be one. short stint in the Item Shop. before she has never seen her again, which is strangely how The Paradigm has been treated. The issue also goes beyond The Seven to include other major characters like Agent Jones, Doctor Slone, and more, and it’s happening more frequently as Fortnite leans more into storytelling.
This decision, not to resell Battle Pass characters, and especially not to sell Item Shop characters like The Paradigm, is completely arbitrary. I understand that Epic wants to incentivize play while these characters are available in a limited capacity, but Fortnite has opened up live service paths so frequently that I wish Epic would reconsider this exclusivity issue, if only on a case-by-case basis. It seems like things happen this way simply because they always have, but nearly five years into the great live service experiment that is Fortnite, I’d say a new approach is in favor so newer players can enjoy playing the game. as its main characters. It would be better than the system we have at the moment and it would serve to extinguish the reverse FOMO of the game, a regret of having lost it.
Ultimately, I wish Fortnite would take a page out of the Halo Infinite playbook and offer old battle passes for players to chase down like new. Just because the Halo Infinite Season 2 Battle Pass has arrived doesn’t mean those players can’t keep chasing the Season One Battle Pass. Fortnite could, and really does should–work the same way. Heck, I’d even settle for putting The Seven back in the Item Shop. I will pay a fair price. But if a live service game like Fortnite has growth plans that include existence for years to come as it builds its universe of stories with each new season, Epic would be wise not to punish new players by keeping some of them out of their hands. the games. main characters for purely arbitrary reasons.