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Fortnite
Fortnite
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Why shotguns are becoming obsolete in Fortnite

Nine damage. Every single shot. Why are shotguns so bad now? Months ago, these shots would have done three times the damage. So then why exactly have shotguns become so inconsistent? The damage was only nerfed by 10, and yet it seems like so much more. Adding onto that, double shotguns were nerfed, and now shotguns as a whole have become unviable. Gone are the days where you could go out guns blazing. Now every attempt at a kill must be primed first, either with a long-range shot by a sniper rifle or an assault rifle. Shotguns simply don't do enough anymore. But why is that?

The nerfs

There were two major nerfs that affected the shotguns tremendously. The first nerf happened on June 6 as a hotfix. You may quickly see that the damage from pumps each dropped by 10 points. So for the green pump, you get a base damage of 80 and for the blue pump, 85. In addition to that, the damage multiplier dropped from 2.5 to 2.0. Pump Shotgun Now, one-pumps just aren't possible against full health and shield. The most damage you can hope to get is a measly 170, especially when compared to the pre-nerf of 237. And it gets worse. On July 12, 2018, the 5.0 patch was released by Epic. After reading the patch notes, you can start to see the direction of the changes. From the shotgun switch timer to the number of pellets the heavy shotgun fires, these changes severely impact how shotguns operate in Fortnite today. While the removal of the double-shotgun may seem like the biggest nerf, it doesn’t come close to the fact that now shotgun shots are more consistent. You probably think you read that as a typo, but no, shotgun shots are more consistent. And that may be the main reason for our complaints to the shotgun. While it may not seem the case, if you look at your pellet indicator, it all comes together. It isn’t even these big nerfs that change how the shotguns work, but the combination of the little ones too. By multiplying these damage changes to the falloff multiplier, your 9 damage shots begin to make a little more sense.

Why is this happening?

It should be clear by now Epic is quickly pursuing a slice of the pie on the growing esports professional scene. Shotguns sadly while entertaining to use, are not as entertaining to watch. Epic is still trying to find a balance between the mid to late-game. Players are dying way too quickly in the beginning, and Epic is trying to slow down the game so that every minute is as entertaining as the last. Furthermore, Epic wants to combine console players with PC players, and its working. Nickmercs and Ghost Ayden are able to keep up with the intrinsic advantage of PC players despite using controllers. Epic also is trying to attract newer players to the scene. By lowering the chances of in-your-face type game styles, newer players can adapt quickly and more easily. They can learn how to build and to shoot without becoming frustrated after dying from a single shot. Shotgun-nerf-300x200.jpg I was and still am an avid shotgun user. While I may not enjoy these nerfs, I appreciate how they are changing the landscape of Fortnite and forcing a higher skill ceiling. Before these changes, many players rarely ever used the pyramid building or the trap. These changes to the shotgun forced innovation to building, loadouts, and strategy. Its effects are still happening now. You can’t just master the rhythm of the double-pump anymore just to get easy wins. Each win takes skill, and now a variety of weapons and utility items can be used to accomplish this.

What you should do now?

Because of these weapon balances, any loadout is viable. From the heavy sniper to the common grenade. You aren’t forced to hold two shotguns in order to win. Maybe you still enjoy that quick burst to the enemy's health. Use a double-barrel shotgun and a grappler. Maybe you still think that shotgun damage isn't enough. My two cents? Scope in or even master another gun. As shotguns are quickly becoming obsolete, it may be time to learn how to keep your aim locked on an enemy; either with the SMG or the AR. You should even learn the different angles for each sniper rifle. These changes are here to stay, and a great player learns how to adapt.