It is no secret that Paladins has undergone some positive and decisive changes over the last few months with the arrival and subsequent removal of Card’s Unbound, numerous system changes and the very first in-game event. There is still a lot that the amazing team over at Hi-Rez can add to Paladins to make it the best possible version of itself. Here are a few things I want to see added to Paladins: Champions Of The Realm.
Restored/Increased Progression Goals
Paladins is a team-based shooter with a huge roster of eclectic Champions to choose from. Gameplay is generally fast, intense and incredibly fun but there is not a lot of progression to be seen in the game. The main form of progression that has been available in the game for a long time has been Titles, which are earnable, and wearable status symbols that show off the time you spent playing (and mastering) a specific Champion. My very first Title I earned was ‘Oracle of the Abyss’ for the otherworldly healer Seris, which took me around 250 hours played with her to acquire. It was a way to show off your achievement and dedication and usually meant that a player was at least semi-decent with that particular Champion. Titles become easier to earn a few patches ago with the arrival of Golden Booster Weapons, which were alternate (and better) versions of a Champion’s default weapon, which provided a significant experience boost for three days when equipped. However, the biggest slap in the face with the Title system has come out with the latest patch (OB68), where you can purchase each Mastery Level with a certain amount of Gold.
This means that a player can essentially pay their way to a high Mastery rank and earn that Title without playing even a single match. It is not a pay to win system by any means but my issue with it stems from the fact that it ruins the achievement in a game where there is no real progression besides an arbitrary level system. Before the full release of Paladins Hi-Rez should either reverse the ability to buy Titles as well as add other progression rewards. Many players, like myself, enjoy having games that provide decisive goals to reach and overcome (besides my current which is attempting to get every single cosmetic) and Paladins is decidedly empty of that.
While I am on the topic of Titles, some of the harder achievements need to get their own Titles. I am talking one similar to Witness to History which is an achievement a player gets for having an account over a year old that only rewards a negligible amount of Gold. Now while you really don’t have to do anything for this achievement other than survive for a year, it would be nice to be able to showcase how long you have been around and it is just another way to reward veteran players.
More Things To Spend Gold On
Having a larger pool of items to spend gold on within Paladins itself ties into progression in a sense that it is something to strive towards and earn. Ways to spend Gold has always been an apparent challenge for the team over at Hi-Rez to accomplish with players earning way more than they know what to do with. If we look at the current list of things to buy, we have Mastery Skins, basic level Champion skins, and the Champions themselves and that is about it. Recently, Hi-Rez announced that they are removing the Mastery Skins from the game, basically leaving Gold in a pretty useless slot, as the Cosmic and Obsidian cosmetics were really the only thing to spend it on.
New Mounts, unique cosmetics, auras or other types of boosters could help alleviate some of this by basically rewarding players for their dedication to the game. Especially after the removal of Cards Unbound, which has left many veteran players and even newer ones with a metric f**kton of Gold. Personally, I am sitting on 2.5 million with nothing to use it on except to buy my way through Mastery Titles which I refuse to do.
PVE Needs To Make A Comeback
Ahhh PVE, a unique game mode which featured fun little mini-games with fun modifiers like fighting against a team of Fernandos, throwing fireballs like no tomorrow. Even if it doesn’t return in the same form, I do think having a PVE mode, or PVE based events would flesh out the game a bit more, allow the lore to be expanded in a decisive way as well as break up the occasional frustration of a team-based shooter.
Having a mode that relies on your skills as a solo player, or even matchmade with others going up against AI enemies in a setting that is designed to be challenging as well as entertaining could be a real win for Paladins. Especially if it is mixed with the lore. Focusing on Tyra for the moment, who is essentially a monster hunter, eliminating the beasts of the Realm, we could have a PVE mode/event with that as a focus, maybe an Evolve/Monster Hunter style mode. In this, we could have to combat a giant beast, solely as Tyra. Repeat the equation for any of the Champions of Paladins.
PVE will provide the perfect opportunity to live out the lore of the game, because the lore is what is truly making this game special, at least for me. Not to mention, the opportunity to have just wacky modes and rules all round, like make the entire match comprise of Support Champions or Front Lines. There is so much potential.
Events Make The Realm Go Round
Currently, the Paladins Realm is in the throes of its very first event, Siege of Ascension Peak which sees the forces of the Magistrate led by Khan pitted against the Paladins in an attempt to capture/destroy Jenos. While it is undoubtedly a fun event, with raining firebombs and 50% reduced cooldowns due to Jenos’ magic, the event has a little more work to do.
Expanding the playable roster will be a big deal for the replayability of the event, instead of being locked into one of ten Champions. However, for the very first event of the game, Siege of Ascension Peak is pretty damn good, presenting a level of hilarious Ultimate-infused fun.
Paladins needs to continue this momentum and create more events much like this one, that builds on the lore of the Realm and provides an overbearingly entertaining mode. In the above example where I talked about Tyra and her monster hunting, that could be a type of event, a drug-induced battle through venom clouds as Wekono decides who to provide her boon to could be another. Even the inevitable conflict that will take place between Androxus and his former partner Lex will make for a prime-time event, with great new skins, awesome borders and other limited time goodies.
I have played Paladins since the very first day it arrived on console (I would’ve played sooner but my PC is never good enough) and I instantly fell in love with it. Despite it being a free game I have freely spent hundreds of dollars on all the limited edition collectibles and sunk a lot of time into mastering my Support Champs. While Paladins is a good game, it can always be better, especially heading into launch later this year. I don’t agree with a lot of the changes that Hi-Rez have made recently but I can see that they are generally positive steps in the right direction and I can only hope that the game will continue to grow and be even more awesome.