Epic is no stranger to taking an idea from another game and using it on their own. Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode supposedly came from the inspiration of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) while they worked with developer Bluehole on the engine.
Bluehole themselves alleged such in a now dropped lawsuit against Epic.
“We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licensed for the game,” Bluehole vice president Chang Han Kim said. “After listening to the growing feedback from our community and reviewing the gameplay for ourselves, we are concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.”
Now as Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends seemingly came out of nowhere to evolve core features of Battle Royale games, Epic seems to be following right along to add these features into Fortnite.
Feature 1: The Ping System.
Apex Legends is known for being friendly to randomized players by allowing them to “ping” things in the world as a form of communication. You can ping a weapon or item to make your team aware of them. You can ping an area you saw an enemy. You can even do general pings to alert that you’re looting, defending or moving to an area. It’s all localized to one button and is very intuitive.
Almost this exact feature is here with Fortnite season 8. As per the launch details:
World Marker Improvements
- World Markers are now visible in the world when placed close to you.
- Double-clicking the World Marker hotkey will place a “danger” version of that marker. World Markers placed while aiming with a weapon will also place the danger version.
- Added 2D UI indicators to the World Markers, making them easier to see through objects.
- World Markers now have an off-screen indicator and display the distance your character is from them.
- Placing a World Marker on an item will display that item’s icon and rarity.
- Placing World Markers remains on the same key for PC and console (KBM: Middle Mouse Button, Controller: D-Pad Left).
- This button can be remapped to any button you want. Let us know on our social channels what works best for you!
- Mobile also has a button that can be added to the HUD. Place this button by using the HUD Layout Tool.
Sounds familiar huh? Epic claims to have had the idea for a while but it’s interesting that it’s only been added now that a rival game has made the feature an innovation… Yet that may indeed be the case. When the ping system debuted in Apex Legends many players slapped their foreheads at how natural and obvious the system was and how it should have been in these types of games from the start. Perhaps it was being worked on at the same time by each company?
The one thing that is of zero doubt is that the feature will make Fortnite a better playing game for people who like to randomly squad up.
Feature 2: Player controlled respawns.
In Apex Legends players who are killed can be brought back into the game by taking a data card off their body (or item crate left behind) and placing it in a respawn beacon. (see image below) a drop ship will arrive seconds later with the fallen comrade inside who can then jump back down into the game for a second chance.
It seems that Fortnite may soon adopt this method of bringing players back from the dead as well. Players have been noticing strange vans parked around the map when looking at their game replays. These vans look like miniature versions of the Battle Bus that drops players into the game.
The vans currently only appear in replays and not the live game. This exact thing happened when vending machines were being added to the game last year. They showed up in replays with no explanation then later launched as features in the live game.
Shortly after the vans started getting noticed a well known Fortnite data miner started finding files related to what’s now called the “Second Chance Van”.
So how might this work? It seems that you obtain a team mate’s data card and bring it back to one of these vans to respawn them. This too sounds very familiar eh? Other BR games have experimented with respawn systems. Blackout for example had a mode where dead squad mates would fall from the sky once the dead zone hit certain stops per game.
If you think these additions are in good taste or not, there’s little argument that they will make Fortnite an overall better game. Perhaps Respawn Entertainment should take this imitation as a high compliment. When the biggest game in the industry takes notice of what you’re doing it usually means you’re on the right path. The building mechanic of Fortnite will ensure it’s always a different flavor of BR game from Apex Legends so perhaps each game can inspire the other to add more features as time goes by that benefits all players.