Epic has announced that Fortnite's controversial glider redeploy mechanic will be making a return with the advent of Battle Royale mode's incoming 7.2.0 update - but major changes have been made since its last divisive appearance.
Glider redeploy, if you're unfamiliar, refers to the ability to reuse a glider after its initial deployment beneath the Battle Bus at the start of a match. Initially, there were only a few occasions where it was possible to redeploy a glider - namely, when using certain items such as Rifts-to-Go - but Epic briefly tested the option to redeploy at will when airborne last November.
While many praised the game's pacier, more fluid rhythm following the glider update (we're in the pro camp here at Eurogamer), others were frustrated with the inevitable changes to the meta-game. The split response to glider redeploy ultimately lead Epic to remove the option from Battle Royale's main mode, although it did remain available in others.
In a new blog post, however, Epic has revealed that, as of Fortnite's incoming 7.2.0 update, glider redeploy will return - only, this time, as a consumable item. The item will take up one slot and can be found on the ground, in chests, vending machines, and Supply Llamas.
With the item equipped, players can redeploy at will, although each deployment uses one charge. Ten charges are available per item (as confirmed in a new Reddit thread asking for feedback), and the item will disappear once depleted. Using Launch Pads, Rifts-to-Go, and LTM re-spawns will not consume a charge, as these put players in Skydiving mode.
Epic notes that Soaring 50s (and other large team modes which already had glider redeploy turned on by default) will soon feature a slightly different implementation of the system. As of 7.2.0, all players will automatically be granted a glider redeploy item at the start of a match, featuring 50 charges. This too will take up one inventory slot, although players can, of course, choose to drop it if they'd rather use the space for something else.
In its blog post, Epic explained that 7.2.0's changes are an attempt to address the split reaction to redeploy's original implementation last year. The goal with the new item "is to provide mobility and utility, but in a form that can be balanced and iterated upon. By implementing glider redeploy as an item, we can iterate on multiple different levels (i.e. redeploy height, movement speed, drop chance, charge count), including inventory slot tension."
Inevitably, the community response to news of glider redeploy's return has been mixed. While some are happy to take a wait-and-see approach to the new implementation, others are already expressing concern that, by making the mechanic accessible through a random drop, those players that find it will receive an unfair advantage, creating an uneven playing field.
As for other imminent changes expected in 7.2.0, Epic has updated Fortnite's in-game news feed to tease the advent of a new Scoped Revolver. According to its description, the Legendary-class six-shot pistol "provides perfect accuracy at range". Barring any mishaps, this and 7.2.0's other changes should reach Fortnite on all platforms some time this week.