After weeks of player outcry, developer Epic made some significant changes to Fortnite’s mechanical Brute today. The Brute now does less damage, spawns less, and no longer collects materials when it stomps buildings and objects.
Epic outlined the changes in a post titled “B.R.U.T.E Balance Adjustments.” The Brute now fires a max of six rockets at a time instead of 10, and the damage radius of the rockets has been reduced by 42 per cent in order to make the rockets “a strong option against structures, but less lethal against players.” The rockets’ rate of fire has also been reduced by 56 per cent, to give players more time to react to them.
On the mobility end of things, the cooldown for the Brute’s dash has been extended, and the velocity of its boost jump has been decreased. Epic writes, “In general we hope to shift B.R.U.T.E.s away from being highly mobile and put more emphasis on their already defensive nature.”
Removing the Brute’s farming of materials “should roll out shortly following the other changes,” but “The B.R.U.T.E. no longer grants materials to the driver and passenger when stomping or dashing through the environment.” This ability to farm materials rapidly has been one of the most contentious features of the Brute, as quickly gathering materials gives players a distinct advantage in Fortnite.
Less Brutes will spawn, and they’ll spawn less frequently, but oddly, this change isn’t coming to the competitive Arena mode: “Arena spawn rates will remain unchanged,” Epic writes. Also oddly, the Brute’s health has been increased from 1000 to 1250, with Epic explaining, “With the above changes, users of the B.R.U.T.E. need to play a bit more strategic than before, so we want to give a little bit longer of a window to do so.”
The Junk Rift, which players also found contentious due to its high damage to structures, has been temporarily removed from Arena due to an audio issue.
Many players are, of course, still not happy that the mech remains in Arena at all. Others feel the changes are too little, too late, while others remain suspicious of Epic’s motives for changing tacks.
Whether there will be more changes, or whether the Brute will be removed from Arena altogether, remains to be seen, but these changes feel like a step in mending the rift between players and Epic that has sprung up since the Brute’s introduction, even if they don’t satisfy everyone.