Because time is a brick bouncing around inside a washing machine until it shakes the universe to pieces, Fortnite Battle Royale has launched a sandbox mode which lets players get away from intense 100-player murder to focus more on building and larking about with their pals. Who knows, perhaps Epic might next add a cooperative PvE mode to Fortnite. For now, the 'Playground' event mode has arrived as part of an update which also added dual pistols as a Woo-tastic new weapon (flock of doves not included). Patch day has brought some nasty problems too, mind.
The Playground 'limited time mode' drops up to four folks onto the island to build, shoot, and generally play silly buggers for up to one hour (at the end, you're dead and the slate is wiped). Building materials drop at ten times their usual rates, chest and ammo boxes spawn everywhere they can, 100 Llamas with top loot are scattered around the place, and, though friendly fire is on, players respawn when murdered. Run, play, build, be dafties.
Or that's the idea. When Playground launched earlier today, it was suffering long queue times, error messages, and other funkiness. Epic took the mode offline and, as I write this, it still isn't back up. Check the server status page for the hottest info. Some players are also reporting that Fortnite's memory usage is ballooning out of control, so it tries to say goodbye and it chokes, tries to walk away and it stumbles. Epic don't mention that but I'm sure they'll be investigating the reports pronto.
Something that has actually definitely for real launched today is the Final Fight LTM. It throws 8 squads of 12 into a scrap where the circle stops shrinking half-way through then a timer ticks down until the team with most players still standing wins.
Patch 4.5 also brings those new dual pistols, which are only found in Epic and Legendary rarity but clonk out an impressive 41-43 damage on medium ammo. Plus you look wicked cool while firing them, obvs.
Epic have rebalanced older weapons in the patch too. Shotguns now deal less damage to structures, while the Tactical and Silenced SMGs are tweaked to "further solidify [their] identities and strengths." And grenade launchers are temporarily shooting fireworks, because why not?
See the version 4.5 patch notes for more on everything.
All this is leading up to the end of Fortnite Battle Royale's fourth season. Epic announced this morning that they've extended Season 4 by two days, and Season 5 will now begin on July 12th at 9am (4am EDT).
I'll be delighted if Epic have something as fancy planned for the transition as they did this season, when a meteor grew larger in the sky until it smashed into the world and wiped out an area. Though they have turned around and started suing a former contractor who leaked some details early, even though the resulting Reddit post was just one rumour of many swirling around - and helped build the hype, if anything. Best of luck, that fella.