Earlier today, Epic Games announced a hotfix to reduce the health of the Baller from 300 to 200 in Fortnite. In the recent v8.20 patch notes, Epic told the community they were planning on a Baller nerf. While Epic had previously stated they would allow players to shoot through the glass, they instead opted for a health adjustment.
The Baller has been the subject of much controversy since its introduction in the v8.10 update. Although the idea for a more mobile vehicle was sound, Epic didn’t plan for its overpowered nature, especially in the late game.
When a player is inside a Baller, they are completely invincible to outside damage. The Baller breaks after 300 damage, but it’s extremely difficult to deal that much damage when the vehicle can grapple away at will.
Epic Games has gone back and forth with its plans for the Baller in the days before the Fortnite World Cup. Competitive players have been voicing their opinions on the Baller for weeks. The majority believes its late-game prowess is far too unfair and upsets the balance of the game.
So is this health nerf enough to fix the Baller’s problems?
If you’ve participated in any recent Arena match, you’ve no doubt seen how much of an issue the Baller is. Players tend to land at locations that are near Baller spawns and grapple around until they are forced out. In any top 20 situation, there could be up to 10 Ballers roaming around the zone.
While some players were building up and fighting enemies, others were swinging around in a personal bubble. It was this mechanic that made Epic see the error of their ways.
However, instead of the glass being penetrable, Epic Games decided on a more conservative approach. Lowering the health 100 points is a definite help to mitigate the issue, but not enough. It still takes far too long to destroy a Baller, as players can still grapple incredibly far with one swing.
This nerf will affect Fortnite, but not in a major way. In final circles, particularly with competitive play, Ballers will still be ever present. Although, with 100 less health, more players out in the open will try to shoot the flying vehicles.
It isn’t the nerf the community was hoping for, but it’s definitely a start. Ideally Epic will continue to tinker with their mobile grappler and adjust it further in the future.
Joey Carr is a University of North Georgia Journalism graduate. He has 4+ years experience covering Esports and traditional sporting events, including Dreamhack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.