So much of Fortnite’s character lies in its vault

November 11, 2019
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Somewhere out there I like to think there’s this big warehouse full of Ballers. Creak open the huge door and the desert light glances off all these dusty glass domes, arranged in tidy rows, perhaps surrounded by a ragged circle of shopping carts, golf buggies, airplane props. The Baller was a Fortnite vehicle of almost unparalleled joy. You jumped inside, rolled around, boosted through the sky and grappled and swung between points, letting momentum surprise you. You tethered yourself to a structure and jet-bounced around inside like a pinball until the whole thing came down around you. The Baller made the game even more brilliant – and for me it almost ruined it too.

I got so used to Ballering through Fortnite that just running around on foot became kind of thrill-less. As a result, my biggest period away from the game could probably be written up as Baller fatigue. But I knew I’d be back – and I knew this because I also knew that the Baller’s days would be numbered. One day I would have to make do without it.

Deep in Chapter 2, exploring a new island, and in love with Fortnite in a way that I haven’t been for quite a while, the Baller is something I still think about from time to time. I don’t miss it. Rather I see it as a symbol of one of the many reasons for the game’s continuing success. Fortnite’s great because of the speed with which the developers put stuff into it, sure, but it’s also great because the developers are willing to take things out again. More than willing.

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