The lights are on
Earlier this week we took a look at Fortnite's two
combat-focused classes: the heat-packing commando, and the sword-wielding
ninja. Today we're pulling back the curtain on the constructor, a class
designed to make good use of Fortnite's intuitive building mechanics.
While every character in Fortnite can build, explore, and
hold their own on the battlefield, each class is suited to a particular style
of play thanks to a variety of abilities and bonuses unlocked via its skill
tree. Below is a look at some of the elements that make the constructor stand
out, as well as our hands-on impressions of how the class plays.
Click on the image for a larger view
ConstructorWho is it for: Minecraft
veterans. Players who prefer building things to destroying them. Wannabe
architects and anyone else who has ever built a fort out of couch cushions.
Starting Ability:B.A.S.E. (Basic Automated Sentinel Edifice) – Deploys a large
holographic cube in the environment; anything built inside it costs fewer
resources for the constructor.
First Unlock Ability:Pre-Planning – Makes structures built by the constructor
Other Abilities:Containment Unit – Deals persistent damage to enemies within
the B.A.S.E. area.Plasma Pulse – Area-of-effect grenades that deal damage for
a short period of time.
Hands-On With The Constructor:The constructor was the final class I tried out, and
although our play sessions tended to gravitate towards the action elements of
the game, it quickly became clear how advantageous the role is for people who
want to focus on building. Right from the get-go, the constructor builds
structures faster than the other classes, and the Pre-Planning ability makes
those structures stronger as well. The B.A.S.E. ability allows constructors to
place a large holographic cube in the environment; structures built inside of
it cost the constructor fewer resources. These perks, along with the other
bonuses in the constructor's skill tree, make the class an easy choice if you're
looking to building something huge or complex (or both).
The constructor is designed to look like a hulking
construction worker, and as such it's the biggest and slowest class in the
game. However, constructors also have another ingrained perk – they can upgrade
structures beyond what the other classes are capable of.
Every player-made structure in Fortnite – walls, ramps,
ceilings, and floors – are built out of either wood, stone, or steel. Once construction
is completed, any class can upgrade that creation to level 2, making it more durable.
However, constructors can upgrade structures one step further to level 3.
Upgrading objects also change their appearance; the basic assembly of poles that
wooden structures are composed of at level 1 get patched over with plywood at
level 2, and hastily cobbled-together brick walls are transformed into sturdier
cinderblocks. This means constructors can give their fort a little more visual
variety, as well as greater protection.
Constructors also have some defensive abilities at their
disposal, which tie back into their focus on building. Containment Unit deals
persistent damage to any enemy within the constructor's B.A.S.E. area, further increasing
the importance for smart placement of the device. Plasma Pulse is a type of grenade
that deals area-of-effect damage for a short duration. This ability is perfect
for holding back enemies who have breached your defenses long enough to erect a
While the constructor may sound like a passive class,
players who choose the role are kept plenty busy. In the main campaign, each
zone players enter contains an objective that incorporates Fortnite's building
elements. The most common objective we encountered entailed activating and
defending a portal from attacking monsters – building a (hopefully) impregnable
stronghold around the portal to defend it was paramount. Another objective
required constructing a large tower up to a given height and then placing and
defending a radar dish on top of it. Unlike Minecraft, unsupported structures
won't just hang in the air, so creating and protecting a strong base was just
as important as guarding the stairway leading up to the dish. The constructor's
role in these missions isn't just the initial building; the character's speedier
construction time comes in handy for patching up damage during the ensuing invasions.
Despite their focus on building, constructors will still
find themselves engaged in combat during invasions, and can hold their own with
both guns and melee weapons. Fortnite's roster of enemy monsters are smart
enough to knock down doors, hurl roof-destroying bombs, and ferret out all of
the overlooked weak points in your stronghold. As constructors run around patching
up their team's fort, they'll rack up a respectable kill count of their own. In
my hands-on time with the game, juggling these two duties made the constructor the
most frantic class to play as.
With The Constructor:Epic says it will have a variety of competitive multiplayer
modes ready at launch; our introduction to PvP was a five-on-five mode that tasked
us with defending a unicorn statue from the opposing team, while simultaneously
attacking their own statue. Quickly building and fortifying a base around the
statue proved an important key to victory.
The constructor was so pivotal in the experimental mode we
played that each team was only allowed one member of the class. Building the
best stronghold possible requires not wasting time or resources – both areas
the constructor excels at. As such, the early moments of a match consisted of
the mercenaries and ninjas of the team running off into the level to harvest
resources, then bringing them back to the constructor before going on offense
or defense. This makes the constructor the make-or-break role of the team. What
kind of base your constructor builds, how they reinforce it, and where they lay
traps are all vitally important. So is remembering to add doors so your
teammates can actually get back into the base...
During our play sessions, most constructors chose to build inwards,
first constructing the perimeter of their fledgling fort, and then continuing
to work on it from the inside. This keeps the constructor safe from outside attackers,
but it also makes them the last line of defense should the enemy breach your walls.
For this reason, constructors should always keep a powerful shotgun or assault
rifle on hand – if you die, your team will likely be left with no one paying
attention to repairs or upgrades.
I didn't play as the constructor in our multiplayer matches much,
but I saw the difference between good ones and bad ones. Setting up the
B.A.S.E. and Containment Unit combo by your team's statue ensures any invader will
eventually die from the persistent damage it deals. Another successful constructor
built a huge enclosed environment around their statue, then lined the floor
with spike traps (each player spawned with a new spike trap in their inventory
when they died, which the opposing team members were smart enough to always
hand off to their constructor). The massive arrangement of spikes caused
constant deaths that round.
During another round, our team found modest success by just
building a tiny enclosure around the statue and heavily upgrading it. It wasn't
as complex as the other team's stronghold, but it ensured our defending commandos
always had a line of sight on encroaching opponents. The tides of battle shifted
when our overzealous constructor erected an outer perimeter wall; the other team's
ninjas effortlessly double-jumped over the barricade, while our commandos were
forced to run around the outside looking for the entrance. These memorable moments
have me excited to see the ever-evolving methods that design-minded players come
up with to thwart their opponents.
For more information
on Fortnite's classes, check out our character profiles for the commando and
ninja. Come back next week for a look at some of the monsters you'll be
fighting, along with more information on Fortnite's procedurally generated
worlds. To see all of this month's bonus Fortnite features, click the hub
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