Long ago, Paladins had a rather fantastic customization system, which I talked about here. It is somewhat similar to Call of Duty’s Pick Ten System. You have 5 card slots, which you can fill the slots with a choice of 16 cards. The cards each boost a specific attribute of the champion. Each card can also be boosted up to 4 points, and the total point limit per loadout is 12. You need all five slots filled, and all cards must have at least one point allocated to it, making point allocation and prioritization something worthy of study.
All the cards can have up to 10 points allocated to them, players now have every single card instead of needing to unlock them, and the game was split into two modes, Bound and Unbound. In Bound mode, all cards are set to 4 out of 10 points each, meaning that the careful consideration of coverage VS specialization when it comes to loadout building and point allocation, the main bulk of customization, was gone. But that is still better than the other pile of nonsense that is Unbound mode.
Now, when you open up chests, you get three random card duplicates. You need to collect enough duplicates to upgrade your cards from the starting Level 1 cards, which are about as useful as a knife in a nuclear war, to Level 10, which is as devastating as bringing a nuke to a knife fight. And you can either grind to hell and back to get the damn duplicate cards, or hand over your cash.
Leaving aside the disgusting “Pay4Chance2Win” RNG lootbox business model, they just ruined Paladins’ customization system in one fell swoop. That got me pissed enough to just drop the title, like the tens of thousands of people that did so as well.
Since then, more things have happened. We’ve already finished mourning the death of Paladins. Hi-Rez went on to announce Paladins Battlegrounds. One small bit of news then came by: Battlegrounds will be played in Unbound mode.
And then, the first spark appeared in this dark corner of despair.
Reddit user /u/CrankisDank made a post, I Will Make Shitty Paladins Art Until Cards Unbound Is Removed, in which he posted a somewhat crude MS Paint drawing of Grohk.
The movement then spread like wildfire, burning through the Paladins subreddit, ten shitty arts at a time. Jim Sterling summed up the event in his video here:
Less than a week later, we got a response.
Paladins’ Executive Producer, Chris Larson, posted an addition to the shitty Paladins art on /r/Paladins. He also commented a link to a Twitter post of his. The cryptic text “@Paladins Reddit – We heard you and hopefully will have an announcement tomorrow on some changes. <drop mic>” left everyone in suspense.
Not long later, this post arrived.
The Google doc attached to that post made me felt like it’s Christmas. Unbound is gone. The points system is back. We were almost all in a tizzy, although some of us were expecting it to be the biggest jebait of the century from Hi-Rez still.
More than a week later, the patch notes for OB67 dropped, confirming what was said in the Google doc. At this point, we stopped the clock. The war is over. We now have Paladins back. And as horribly-drawn MS Paint Androxus said,
Sure, the game wasn’t fully back yet. There were a lot of balancing done in OB64, OB65 and OB66 to try and force some sense of balance into Unbound, and those will now have to be fixed to fit the 15-point loadout system (15 points, 12 points, same system different numbers). Balancing is going to be a real pain. But now, everything is on the right track. Everyone has every single card (except the Legendary cards which are now called Talents, but you can now just play normally and level up a hero to unlock all the talents), we get the fantastic loadout building back, and all of the gameplay-affecting RNG lootboxes are gone! Here’s an overview of the new system by Joshino:
Things are now back on track, and I for one cannot be happier. I can’t wait to go back and play with the Champions again. Like Ash, Barik … Wow, my champion pool is that limited. Huh. Well, guess I can start training other champs. I remember liking Fernando, Ying and Grover when I first started out, maybe I can pick them up again. Or I can try someone else like Grohk or Tyra or maybe Ruckus. Or just anyone except Vivian. Man that’s another pile of mess that needs cleaning up. Preferably with fire.