Epic has announced that epic and legendary variants of Fortnite's notorious pump shotgun are on the way, likely with this week's update arriving sometime between Tuesday and Thursday. The update follows the contentious removal of the glider redeploy system (opens in new tab) in the lead up to Fortnite Season 7.
We don't know damage numbers yet, though expect each to do more than 10 damage per pellet. Those details tend to arrive with the weekly patch notes, but if they behave similarly to the pump shotgun now while inheriting the promised shotgun buff, these suckers will have some kick. Let me explain.
The way shotguns work now is based on a fixed pellet system. Depending on the shotgun type, whenever you aim at an enemy, they'll take damage per pellet wherever their body overlaps with the invisible pellet grid within your crosshairs. Pull the trigger and you'll see which pellets hit.
Right now that means it's possible to clip enemies with a measly pellet or two. Coupled with latency hiccups—discrepancies between what you see when you aim vs what the server registers—and you get the pump shotgun's reputation for doing a pathetic seven damage at what appears to be point blank.
The incoming buff should alleviate some of that pain. According to a tweet from Fortnite Design Lead Eric Williamson, all shotguns will do a minimum of three pellets worth of damage.
The upcoming 6.31 update will include a Pump Shotgun rebalance to improve effectiveness: damage will increase in close quarters and range will be reduced slightly. Additionally, ALL shotguns will have a minimum damage of 3 pellets (even if only 1 or 2 hit).November 20, 2018
Williamson followed up in a Reddit thread (opens in new tab), stating that the blue pump will also do 10 damage per pellet, while the green pump will do 9.5. Damage fall-off will be increased to avoid abuse of that 30 damage minimum at a distance, but this is good news overall. It'll be harder to complain about only doing 30 damage as opposed to seven, and coupled with the 2x headshot multiplier, the blue pump will be capable of one-banging players with full health and shields.
Precision aim also gets rewarded, though it's a touch worrisome that the blue pump and its epic and legendary variants will be capable of one-shotting players. I suspect those damage numbers will get walked back slightly before the season is up.
With the pump shotgun's complete set of variants and overdue buffs on the way, it's hard to imagine where the double-barrel fits in now. Chances are the close quarters boomstick will get vaulted, but who knows? Epic has done stranger things.