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Fortnite's black hole event was a serious game changer

Who would have guessed that turning off a game would be so exciting?

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It's back. 

Epic

After a delay of a week, Fortnite season 10 finished up Sunday with The End event that would have introduced season 11. But "The End" turned out to be more literal than anyone could have imagined -- the game was no longer playable after the event started. 

An explosive season-ending moment caused the destruction of the island and apparently the game itself. It looked like Fortnite ended, but it's back after being offline for 40 hours

Fortnite Chapter 2 is a reboot of the game adding new features first seen in a leaked trailer from data miner SkinTrackerCom.

The leaked trailer is for the Fortnite Battle Pass for the next season. Starting off is a shot of one of the additions shown in the App Store leak from Friday: boats. Players will be able to travel by water around the island, which appears to have changed, and can shoot other players in their boats. 

Fortnite chapter 2 boats

Take to the seas with new boats. 

@SkinTrackerCom

There appears to be another way to level via medals. Players could improve climb tiers by gathering materials along with the normal combat experience points received throughout the match. 

Fortnite chapter 2 medals

New medals for chapter 2

@SkinTrackerCom

For those wanting to relax in the game, fishing seems to be available. This could be an emote or a "toy" -- that is, special in-game actions. 

Fortnite chaper 2 fishing

Just relaxing on the island

@SkinTrackerCom

Another shot in the leaked trailer shows a player diving into a river. This could mean that players can now swim, instead of walking slowly through the water. 

Fortnite chapter 2 diving

Jump in, head first. 

@SkinTrackerCom

Also seen in the trailer is one player jumping out of a trash bin. It doesn't appear that this is an item to wear like the bush disguise. 

Fortnite chapter 2 dumpster

Get the jump on other players. 

@SkinTrackerCom

Then at the end of the trailer, a new action is available to help teammates. A character is shown carrying a downed teammate. This could be a way to grab players who are about to die and carry them to a safer spot before reviving them. 

Fortnite chapter 2 carrying

This will change the meaning of being carried by your team.

@SkinTrackerCom

A handful of tweets that featured the leaked video have been removed and now show a message of their deletion that could be due to copyright issues. 

It appears Epic walked back on its removal of posts and is allowing data miners to post the trailer. 

Fortnite has seasons?

Yes. Many games, especially free-to-play games, incorporate seasons as a way to keep content fresh for players. In Fortnite, each season is split into 10 weeks and culminates in a finale. Season 4 in July 2018 was the first to have an event when it ended with a rocket launch

What happened?

As in season 4, the season 10 End event started off with a rocket launching into the sky and exploding to create rifts. As before, the rocket went out of one rift into another. This time, however, there were several more rockets. The spacecraft then flew around into multiple rifts again and again until they all entered one final rift. 

After a moment of calm, the rockets appeared above the meteor over Dusty Depot, which is near the center of the island. One by one they entered another rift below the meteor. Dozens more rockets than previously seen appeared only to slam into this final rift, which caused the rift to grow. The meteor that was frozen over Dusty Depot throughout season 10 began to move, and then it, too, disappeared into the now large rift.  

For a moment, the meteor and rockets were gone. 

Then the music of the event began to swell, and far above the island was one giant rift. Players were then sent into the air, floating uncontrollably. Finally, out of the rift, six rockets and the meteor reappeared. The rockets changed directions to fly off in different directions while the meteor crashed into the singularity located northwest of Dusty Depot at Loot Lake. The dome surrounding the area attempted to shield the island, but it failed when the meteor finally smashed into the island as it did at the end of season 4 -- but with much more of an impact. 

An explosion then began sucking in everything. The island, the Battle Bus and even the players were gone in a blink. 

All that was left was a black hole.

The official Fortnite Twitter account and website only showed the black hole. The game's Instagram account showed the same.

Since then, developer Epic deleted all of the more than 12,000 tweets on the Fortnite Twitter account, aside from the link to the stream of the black hole. 

The Fortnite YouTube channel had a livestream of the event that showed the explosions and was streaming just the singularity. A total of 1.6 million people tuned in to watch the event unfold on Twitch, making it the most-watched live event on the platform, beating out the Fortnite World Cup in July, according to Twitch tracking site GitHyp

During the stream, keen-eyed viewers saw a set of numbers appear around the black hole: 146, 11, 15 and 62. 

Some tried to decipher these mystical digits and came up with their own season 11 theories. One person entered the numbers in Google maps, and it appeared to be a location of some sort of "crab rave." 

Even Twitch got into the fun with a tweet offering some theories. 

Maybe it was actually Elon Musk's fault!

Some Fortnite data miners speculated something might happen at 5:07 p.m. ET/ 2:07 p.m. PT. Since then, more numbers appeared near the black hole. So far, the numbers are: 11, 146, 15, 62, 87, 14, 106, 2 and 150.

One Twitter user had a theory on what the numbers mean. In the Fortnite season 10 Overtime challenges, players had to gather a set of recordings from The Visitor, the antagonist of Fortnite. Using the numbers as a guide, the corresponding words in the monologue from the character make the phrase "I was not alone. Others were outside the Loop." The story for Fortnite season 10 is that the island is in a time loop and the Visitor is one of several entities trying to stop it. 

Another set of numbers appeared near the singularity: 11, 146, 15, 62, 87, 14, 106, 2, 150, 69, 146, 15, 36, 2, 172, 8, 160 and 65. A data miner reviewed The Visitor's recordings and now the hidden meaning of the numbers is "I was not alone. Others were outside the Loop. This was not calculated. The moment is now inevitable."

Monday afternoon saw a new set of numbers: 176, 11, 146, 15 and 62. Data miners were able to decipher these new numbers and come up with "Moment I was not alone." 

Epic also pulled the plug over at Twitch. A visit to the Fortnite page came up blank. The entire category of Fortnite no longer existed. 

Fortnite Twitch

Fortnite, gone from Twitch. 

Twitch

Players who tried to play the game were greeted with a "technical difficulties" screen and then nothing. However, one player did discover that Epic added a little secret. During the screen showing the singularity, players could enter a Konami code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start). A minigame similar to the classic Galaga began, in which players could shoot Durrr Burger heads for a high score. 

Fortnite minigame

A minigame if players can enter the Konami code

Epic

It appears some concerned gamers reached out to Sony about their game. The Ask PlayStation Twitter account tweeted Sunday about the "Fortnite Blackout," saying that players' inventory and V-Bucks, Fortnite's in-game currency, were still available. 

It also appears that Fortnite: Save the World -- the non-battle-royale mode in which players survive against waves of enemies -- is no longer available for purchase on various platforms. There's speculation that Epic will make this mode available for free instead of $39.99. 

What about season 11?

After an unprecedented move for a wildly popular game, the next season of Fortnite is here but under a different name. Fortnite Chapter 2 makes some big changes to the battle royale game along with plenty of smaller ones. 

Fortnite is available on PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, and Android and iOS devices.

Originally published Oct. 7 and updated as new information is revealed.

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Originally published Oct. 7 and updated as new information is revealed.