With nearly three weeks to go until its conclusion, I’ve already reached level 100 of the current Fortnite season. Battle Passes are normally a bit difficult, requiring us to invest dozens of hours in live service games to earn all the potential rewards before time runs out. This may involve spending more to climb the ranks lest we don’t have time to play every day to complete challenges, quests and earn those experience points, or investing an irrational amount of our personal lives in a game for rewards is not worth it.
Fortnite is different. Since the release of Chapter 2 several years ago, Epic Games has established a pace of progression that nothing else in the genre is able to match. That is sure too gratifying. You have to be a Fortnite Crew member or shell out a pittance of V-Bucks to access each new battle pass, but the stream of unlockable cosmetics and surprising updates scattered throughout each season is so much to keep you going. to play. I’ve already maxed out the vanilla pass, but I won’t stop.
Though they’ve gotten better with more recent seasons, games like Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone so often tie battle pass progression to completing challenges and objectives instead of gaining battle pass experience. base. Points still play a role, but are more concerned with increasing an overall ranking instead of feeding the seasonal loop. Fortnite doesn’t have a base level for every player, and probably never does, and it’s so much better for that.
I remember stumbling across Fortnite: Chapter 2 and being amazed at how bountiful the free battle royale was. It was a triumph before, but its iconic island and predictable formula had become stale, which meant something had to change. Instead of introducing a new map and bending it into lore, Epic Games made the existing island a character unto itself. Some places remained, while others replaced less memorable ones while small remnants of the changing landscape remained the same.
The lore on offer here was so juicy and incomprehensible, but the real genius was in how Fortnite wanted to appeal to an even wider audience than ever before. The first match of this new update was largely filled with bots, a cutscene ushering in our first start of the battle pass with upbeat music and a level of circumstance that made us feel like a really big problem. We weren’t, but emerging victorious from a match largely intended to encourage our victory made this new chapter all the more necessary. Every action had an impact.
Experience points are earned for doing almost anything. Open a chest in search of weapons and ammunition? Here are a few points. Survive for a while or enter another storm circle? Here are some more! Take on challenges and/or quests that often focus on things you’ll be doing anyway? Come on, here’s a little more. I haven’t even mentioned the presence of supercharged experience points – which, despite being described as a bonus, never seem to go away – and how it makes climbing levels so much easier. If I kill a decent number of players and last until the top 10, chances are I’ll come back to the lobby with a good selection of Battle Pass stars to spend and so much to show for it.
I was skeptical of Fortnite’s newest battle pass when it debuted a few seasons ago, but now I couldn’t see it any other way. Instead of a linear progression, we can now choose from rewards that tickle us. Granted, some will be mandatory before unlocking bigger loot like character skins and emotes, but having that flexibility to spend our hard-earned currency instead of being funneled down a road that doesn’t have much appeal does more difference than you might think. I couldn’t give a shit less Indiana Jones, but the fact that I can complete a selection of fairly simple quests to unlock his skin is an awesome option to have. You are always moving forward no matter what. I can’t think of any other game on the live service market that offers this bounty.
Fortnite has the best progression system out there, and it will continue to improve as more ideas, crossover skins, lore, and mechanics are incorporated into the overall package. You even earn experience points through creative modes made by other players, which Epic could have so easily nipped in the bud because it doesn’t retreat into its own playlists. Yet he didn’t and understands that his audience wants to play Fortnite in countless ways and deserves to be rewarded in whatever form that might take. I can’t wait to see where this game goes in the future, and what other surprises it has in store for future seasons.
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