Fortnite's guided missile was a lot of fun, but it was also a little too powerful, and so in spite of all the surfin' safari parties, Epic pulled the plug in mid-April in order to give it a redesign. In today's developer update video, senior designer Andrew Bains revealed that the work is done and the rocket is returning, with some big changes under the hood.
This week we're talking recent SMG changes, Remote Explosives, and a returning item! pic.twitter.com/k947V9TA6LJuly 27, 2018
"When the guided missile first made its way to battle royale, we loved all the fun and crazy moments it provided. But after its release we shared the same concerns as the Fortnite community at large," Bains says in the video. "It's hard to compete against a near-endless barrage of highly effective explosives."
To address those concerns, Epic has nerfed the missile into something Bains described as more akin to a "scouting tool" than a middle-finger of death. Movement speed, turning radius, damage, and damage radius have all been reduced, and the default ammo cap is 12. The mouse and keyboard controls have also been improved, "to bring them more in line with the controller experience."
The eye-in-the-sky benefits are still intact, in other words, and I would assume that you can still ride the rocket (I can't imagine Epic would want to cut that), but they'll be easier to dodge and less likely to blow you to pieces in a near-miss. Sounds pretty reasonable to me.
The video also touches on the reasons behind the recent compact SMG nerf ("We want to make sure that SMGs are a good choice, but not the only choice") and runs down changes to remote explosives, which are now "in a healthier spot." Bains did not indicate when guided missiles will actually return, however, saying only that Epic is "looking forward to putting this exciting weapon back in your hands."