Paladins Update OB44 Disappoints Playerbase

Last year I reviewed Paladins: Champions of the Realm for our YouTube channel, and while my review was overall positive, I noted that many players were wary of immersing themselves in the new IP because the developers have a bad habit of ruining their older titles in the name of making a cheap buck. Well, as far as I’ve heard from my friends who took the plunge anyway, that day had sadly come.

For those who don’t know anything about Paladins, it’s a hero-based shooter with gameplay very reminiscent of Overwatch. Everyone selects a hero and then both teams fight over an objective, usually something like a payload or a control point. The main difference in Paladins comes from the card system, whereby you equip several cards in your loadout that alter your hero’s abilities to a certain extent. This lets you adjust your hero into exactly the sort of playstyle you’re looking for and the cards are mostly balanced between each other, not to mention purchasable with an in-game currency that you can easily obtain by just playing the game.

Until now. With the release of Update 44, cards now come in rarity tiers, with the Legendary ones containing far more powerful character buffs. Cards are now purchased with Essense, which is obtained by buying chests with either in-game Gold or premium Crystals. This changes the card system from an overall-balanced series of sidegrades to more of a progression system where the lucky, hardcore, or paying customers get better characters than those just starting out, especially because the drop rate for Essence is far, far, lower than that of Gold. This also has the unfortunate side effect of lowering character customizability, because if you craft a legendary card for a hero, you will never want to use the weaker non-legendary cards again.

Edit: Minor correction, Medicinal Warlock informed me that Legendary cards have their own equip slot, and do not take the place of the non-legendary loadout cards.

Doesn’t help that chests love to give you skins, emotes, sprays, Gold, or duplicates instead of Essence. The RNG is even worse than in Overwatch since it locks away stat-altering bonuses. Picture by Tomaatt1

Now, just because the system is flawed on release doesn’t mean they won’t redeem themselves through future adjustments. It’s certainly possible, as the Payday 2 devs proved. But it’s also far more likely for the game to never recover and wither away into a shadow of its former self, as Loadout and The Respawnables did when they abandoned all concept of sidegrades in favor of pumping their game full of microtransaction-encouraging rarities and pay-to-win bonuses. Also, this is Hi-Rez we’re talking about. They killed Tribes Ascend, they killed Global Agenda, they have a documented and proven track record of doing this to their otherwise-great games. I applaud those who were optimistic enough to give Paladins the benefit of the doubt, and I hope the devs take the necessary steps to fix their game turning into an RNG grindfest, but I stopped playing the game back in September because of the warning signs from their older IPs.

3 thoughts on “Paladins Update OB44 Disappoints Playerbase

  • February 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Calling it a disappointment is an understatement.
    I personally play and enjoy Paladins since a few months ago, so I was peeved when I saw the new patch notes. The Reddit posts and YouTube videos detailing how the system works doesn’t help matters. And after all the comments, arguments and legitimate proof that their system is flawed, this is what we get:

    • February 24, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Forgot something. Legendary cards are actually a separate thing from the normal deck-building system. By default, you’ll have one deck consisting of five cards, same as the previous system. On top of that, you’ll use one legendary card which is not part of that deck system. So every time you play you’ll equip 5 cards + 1 legendary card. Every champion gets one default legendary card and two other unlockable options. So yeah, everyone gets to equip one legendary card every time, no more, no less.

  • February 24, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Thanks for the correction Warlock! Updated the article. Yeah, that’s a pretty tasteless post from a dev and I suspect he’ll be apologizing for it soon, either once he’s settled down or he gets an email from PR.


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