The reworks are all part of Epic Games’ plan to turn Save the World into a free-to-play title. But, it won’t launch that version until sometime next year.
“Save the World has grown consistently since our launch in July 2017 and ‘Fortnite’ overall has experienced unprecedented growth,” Epic said. “Scaling up for the legions of player heroes who will be joining the fight is key to providing an excellent experience. This applies to all of our players, old and new, so we’re taking the time to get this right.”
So, what can players expect when the 6.30 update hits? When it comes to updating the front end, Epic said it set out with a lot of goals. It wants the UI to be easier to understand and navigate, while leaving room to grow. It also wants the front end to have more life and character. To that end, it’s created a new “Homebase” menu staffed by characters players meet during the campaign.
The new Command tab gives an overview of a player’s account progress and acts as a hub for the variety of options available throughout the campaign. There’s also a new character called The Major, who will help train Save the World’s heroes and provide access to defenders, expeditions, and hero loadouts.
The Survivors screen is where players will find another new character called the Director. He helps manage all squads and survivors, Epic said. Meanwhile, a new feature called Auto-Fill makes sure survivors with the highest power are always slotted into a squad.
Gadgets and other tools are managed in the Upgrades room, which is overseen by a robotic helper named Kevin. Here, players can spend upgrade points to improve gadgets and utility options. The Research Lab is where van-flying scientist Lars spends his time and it’s where players spend research points on F.O.R.T. stats. Epic said it’s also introducing bonus meters that provide extra stats when filled.
The Armory is still the place to go for managing schematics, items, and resources, but it’s now staffed by Clip the weaponsmith. Players will unlock her as they progress through the campaign, Epic said.
Lastly, the Quest tab is now the first one in the UI and it shows the campaign and event quest maps. Epic has moved the Play Now button to the bottom of the screen and the quest log is now accessible via a large button directly below that. This makes it instantly accessible from the campaign and event quest maps.
Epic said it’s also improving the new player experience. “Previously we used a lot of quests with UI-based objectives to help explain new features, but they were often hard to notice and not as effective as they could be,” it said. “The quest-driven UI tutorials have been replaced with contextual, quick explanations of key features as they are unlocked.”
Since the revamp does away with the game’s old skill and research trees, Epic said it’s giving existing players a way to reset the new Upgrade and Research Lab tabs a couple of times each while they figure things out.