The Fortnite v12.61 update is a small one, so most players thought that little had changed. We saw some aim assist adjustments – that many consider a buff – but little buzz other than that.
After a few hours of playing, however, players began to notice that there was a change to how the storm circles worked. The first circle, now, encompasses the entire map in most games. This storm phase ends quickly before the zone shrinks to be much smaller in phase 2 – similar to the size of the original, phase-one zone.
After that, the storm appears to close a bit quicker than it used to, although that is unclear. We used to have some downtime before the first circle appeared. Now, it appears as soon as the bus has finished its run.
The overall result appears to be a storm circle that closes a tiny bit slower than it did in previous updates. We have a Warzone-like circle to start the match before going back to the storm phases we’re used to.
We’ll need to complete more testing before we can give a final verdict on whether this slows down or speeds up engagement. At the moment, it appears that little has changed.
The objective appears to be slowing down the game so that there’s more excitement in mid-game fights. A lot of the time, there’s very little action between those early-game fights and late-game scenarios. Unfortunately, the new system is resulting in some circles like the one shown by AussieAntics.
The good news is that this isn’t in competitive modes, just yet. Epic seem to be testing the new storm before Season 3 begins. If it works, then we can expect it in all modes this time next week.
Update: Some players, including popular YouTuber Ali-A, are suggesting that this is the work of Midas, controlling the Storm with the Doomsday Device. He could be onto something, especially when you look at the leaks surrounding the event.