Epic Games is continuously working on new gameplay mechanics and features for the popular battle royale game Fortnite. Most recently it announced a crossover event with Avengers: End Game that saw Thanos come to the game for players to fight. Epic also launched a new patch this month bringing the game to version 8.30 and adding in reboot vans and a high explosive LTM. Typically Fortnite fans love the updates that launch, but many didn't like the 8.20 update that removed a popular game mechanic called siphoning.
Siphoning allowed players to get health and shields when they eliminated opponents from the game. Epic says that it removed that mechanic because it made gameplay too aggressive. Epic had stated this reason before with no elaboration, but in a competitive update released this week it gave a clear reason that will still not satisfy those who lament the loss of the feature.
Epic says that most players felt they had less of a chance to win the game because they would encounter higher-skill players with full health and shields. Epic says that in the highest-skilled players siphoning increased engagement by 10%, but the other 90% of players were frustrated with the mechanic and played less.
Players were disengaging in the core modes saying that the game was too intense to be enjoyable. That feedback and lower player engagement for the masses is why siphoning was removed. The game does still feature siphoning in Arena, the competitive mode of the game. Some fans have been calling for Epic to revert to the old system with siphoning in all modes, but that isn't going to happen. Epic says that players who want that mechanic should play Arena mode instead. It also promised to be more active participants in community discussions and let players know why changes are made.