One of the biggest, most significant changes to Fortnite: Battle Royale in Season 9 is the vaulting of the pump shotgun.
You can read all the patch notes for Season 9 here, but the one that stands out most is the removal of this incredibly popular weapon.
It was vaulted alongside a number of other items:
- Poison Dart Trap
- Pump Shotgun
- Scoped Revolver
- Suppressed Assault Rifle
- Thermal Assault Rifle
- Treasure Map
Epic then unvaulted grenades and added a new Combat Shotgun to the game.
Players were understandably miffed at the loss of one of the game’s most popular weapons, and a weapon that’s been around for as long as anyone can remember.
Epic has, fortunately, issued a pretty good explanation though it won’t pacify many players:
Why vault all those things? And the Pump???
We want the beginning of each Season to feel fresh and allow for a new gameplay experience along with all the new Seasonal content. Whether its new cross-map mobility, new weapons, or just new places to drop – you should feel like there is plenty to explore and experience. Specifically when it comes to Pump Shotguns, they stand out significantly: they currently account for over 26% of eliminations in default playlists, with the next weapon type not even coming close. Rather than nerfing the Pump Shotgun to a point where it no longer lives up to its fantasy, our preference is to return it to the vault, giving us an opportunity to revisit the general balance of the item, while introducing a new shotgun.
Our goal with the Combat Shotgun is to provide an item that fills a similar niche, but with a different risk and reward. We’re excited to see how you all use the new shotgun and look forward to your feedback on this shift.
I like that various weapons and items are vaulted from time to time. Sometimes they’re really great weapons that I wish would come back. Other times I’m grateful they’re gone. It keeps things fresh, which is nice.
Also, I had no idea that the pump shotgun was responsible for over a quarter of all eliminations, though it’s not that surprising. Changing this up will force many players to adapt to new strategies, which is a good thing. Rolling with these changes instead of complaining about them seems like a better attitude to me, but then again to me this is just a fun game. I have no real dog in this fight.
Popular streamers and competitive players like Tfue have reacted with dismay on Twitter.
Did you seriously just vault the most important gun in your game? Theres no way you guys are this out of touch
— FOV SLIDER Chap (@LiquidChap) May 9, 2019
Others were a bit more humorous in their reactions.
Competitive players who find this so tragic simply need to realize that Fortnite is a constantly shifting experience. The Fortnite meta is going to change, sometimes during a season but certainly always between seasons. If you’re a good player, playing in competitive playlists or as a pro, you should be able to adapt to a shifting meta better than anyone. That’s just part of the game. I can understand being upset by things that really throw off game balance, but vaulting a weapon is not the same thing as adding something like the Baller, which probably should have been vaulted alongside this.
I have a hard time getting worked up over this, I guess. It’s not like the pump has been removed for just a subset of players. This impacts everyone the same, at the very least. Of course, now we can expect every Twitter thread and Twitch chat to be filled with endless “like to bring back the pump” and other such complaints so . . . well, nobody should read Twitch chats or Fortnite Twitter threads to begin with.