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Epic Games has announced that various weapons and items will begin rotating out of use within Fortnite: Battle Royale. Fear not, though, as everything that gets shoved into the "vault" will likely make a return in the future. It's just another way the team is tinkering with balance, so don't fret if your favorite gear goes bye-bye.
Over on the Fortnite reddit, players have started discussing the recent announcement that certain in-game guns and equipment will be removed from rotation in a future update. Obviously, hearing that gear is getting the boot proved to be a cause for concern for some players. According to a response from Epic, though, these changes are temporary.
As we add more weapons, consumables and other item types we want to make sure that the balance of itemization isn't ruined. Expect more items to be released (and likewise vaulted!) in the future. And of course, items will often come back out of the Vault when the timing is right.
This isn't all that surprising when you consider the loot structure of Fortnite: Battle Royale.
In PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, players can pick up base weapons and then equip them with additional attachments. So, if a bunch of players get into a firefight using the same weapon, chances are pretty good that no two versions of that weapon are identical due to what gear each player has discovered while foraging.
In Fortnite, though, the gear is standardized. There are varying degrees of rarity that affect stats but, assuming two players have the same quality weapon, they're going to behave in the same way. If two players with a common sniper rifle get into a firefight, for example, one player won't have an advantage courtesy of an extended magazine and stronger scope.
The limitation with that setup is that, at a certain point, you hit a cap on the number of weapons and types of gear you want players to have access to. And as we've seen in pretty much every recent update, Epic keeps coming up with interesting new toys for players to tool around with.
In order to make room for those new pieces of gear, they've announced that some items will occasionally be vaulted. It sounds like this decision will be made based on what gear players aren't bothering to pick up, as well as what gear might become a bit unbalanced because of the introduction of a new weapon, grenade, etc. That's why the SMG is being vaulted soon. But, while the standard firearm is being (probably temporarily) retired, players still have access to the Tactical SMG and the Suppressed SMG. We're guessing that, if you look at the numbers, those last two are actually getting picked up by players while the standard version of the weapon is getting little use. If that's the case, there's no point in leaving it in the game while additional gear is being introduced regularly.
This actually seems like a good idea to us. Sure, it'll be frustrating if a weapon you like is one that gets vaulted, but it's also freeing up space for Epic to keep experimenting with new gear and evolving the Battle Royale gameplay experience.