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Shacknews Best Loot Crate of 2017: Fortnite Llamas

Talking pinatas with bellies full of loot offered Fortnite players a smashing good time this year. 


It was a rough year overall for the mere concept of loot crates. They took a beating in both mainstream and social media, but not all loot crates are created equal. While EA and Battlefront II's pay-to-win took the issue to the dark side, Epic Games' Fortnite took a different approach with their adorable and humorous loot llamas. These quirky paper mache pack animals actually make loot crates fun and amusing. If there was a game where all I did was smash these things over and over, I would buy it. It is with great pleasure that we award Fortnite's llamas the honor of Shacknews Best Loot Crate of 2017.

Unlike every other loot crate ever these llamas have personalities. Each one has their own quirks; some are sad, some get sassy, others have llama-themed puns. There's even petite, little, mini-llamas with personalities of their own that players can earn through quests, or by helping other players with building and defending their storm bases.

As a matter of fact, earning even regular-sized loot llamas is a fairly easy task. A standard llama only costs 100 V-bucks (the in-game currency), which can easily be earned in a mission or two with light effort. They're even generous with their special currency for event-themed llamas. During the Fortnite Halloween event, I was able to earn a ridiculous amount of orange and black, slightly spooky pinata pals just by playing through the themed content. 

Beyond their colorful character and relative abundance, there's also the random chance that a loot llama will turn silver or gold while you attempt to bash its head in with a guitar, bat, or various other blunt objects, and shower you with an insane amount of swag. I haven't paid a single penny for any loot since my initial founder's pack purchase and I have a ton of legendary weapons, traps, heroes and survivors at my disposal just through their random drops.

I can't think of a single other game that personifies their loot crates like this to such a successful effect. Destiny fans may have their shopkeeps and bright engrams, but none of them can land a joke. These wacky dudes permeate iconography throughout Fortnite in a way that help it shape the game world and tone. While the Fortnite itself may basically be about surviving the zombie apocalypse, loot llamas help illustrate the oddly colorful chipperness and lightly-morbid cynical tone that give the game its personality. Fortnite's Llamas are a shining beacon of hope for this game design mechanic and is most worthy of the title of Shacknews Best Loot Crate of 2017.

Be sure to keep up with the rest of The Shacknews Awards as we celebrate the Year of the Games: 2017.

Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

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