Twenty-nineteen is already shaping up to be an important year for Paladins, with Update 2.01 marking the beginning of a heavy polish-centric, bug-fixing focus.
Take The Hunt for example, which is an initiative dedicated to elevating Paladins to the best it has ever been by focusing on polish. So much in fact that 20%-40% of each development cycle will be devoted to polish and bug fixes.
The biggest, coming in 2.01 is the addition of Callouts, which are essentially map locations allowing players to strategise and counter more effectively. Calling out the location of an enemy sniper or Bomb King hiding around a corner will be easier than ever, or serving as a way to launch a counter-attack. Using the above example, teams could express the desire to or set up an ambush at Cliff, which promotes easier team communication.
In a similar vein, bots have been provided with improved pathing to help them get unstuck during matches.
Event Modifiers such as Battle Pass Boosters and the like will now be applied after all other match calculations, meaning players will get a true 2x experience…experience.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg; from changes to Items to Champion Fixes and Polish, The Hunt is already shaping up to be great for the Paladins ecosystem.
We are currently still in the midst of the EDM Battle Pass and while it is stupendous and full of great cosmetics, it is time to look to the future and even greater cosmetics. Battle Pass Four focuses on Battle Suits, similar to the style of Voltron or Gundam (which I must confess I have never seen so please forgive me if I made a terrible comparison).
Costing 600 crystals for the paid path, the Battle Suit Battle Pass opens up over 100 new rewards, but if you don’t wish to pay for the premium path, you will still earn Battle Pass Experience and rewards for free just by playing the game.
Purchasing the BSBP (Battle Suit Battle Pass) will provide you with a few instant rewards, the first being a new type of mount. As opposed to being a living creature of fantasy, or a typical horse, this mount is known as the Alpha Speeder and is a rather sleek-looking hoverbike.
You will also receive the Paladanium animated Loading Frame, ‘High Command’ Announcer Pack and a 50% boost to Battle Pass experience, Champion experience, Gold, and Account experience for the duration of the BSBP.
Reaching Level Ten, which can be done in literally no time will grant you with the keen eye of Battlesuit Eagle Eye Kinessa, which is already shaping up to be a new favourite.
Level 30 is the domain of Battlesuit Angel Furia, dispensing justice with uncanny precision and ferocity.
Finally, at Level 50 you will gain access to the lethal Battlesuit Godslayer Androxus…because the one thing a cursed, former-justicier with an insatiable appetite for souls needs is a battle suit.
Of course, those are not the only things you will be able to earn with this Battle Pass; a large number of static sprays, animated sprays, Emotes, MVP poses, Avatars and Crystals will be available for those dedicated enough to earn them. Reaching level 50 and completing all the Challenge tiers that arise will earn you the title of ‘The Commander’ and open up Battle Pass Plus.
Similar to Encore with the Remix Battle Pass, Battle Pass Plus is another 50 levels for those players that finish it quickly, opening up new rewards to earn, and challenges to complete. With more Emotes, the Suit Up Animated Avatar and the Limited title, ‘The Ace’ on the line, you’ve gotta go fast.
There will be a new Battle Pass every two months.
With the arrival of 2.01, Evil Mojo is releasing another Season Pass, for the pretty expensive price of $39.99 USD, which will definitely be hard to swallow for some players. If you want to splurge on the Season Pass you will unlock 1500 Crystals and the following for each and every new Champion released in 2019:
- MVP Pose
- Voice Pack
- All Talents Instantly Unlocked
- Season Pass Limited Skin
- Uncommon Skin
You will also earn the Legionnaire Viktor skin, Legionnaire War Horse and the Fire and Ice animated Avatar, which is a tiny little Dragon.
Having mentioned it just above, it is important for you to know that with 2.01 and beyond, all Champions are going back to a three Talent system, which means that there is going to be a wide sweep of Talent removals across the board. The reason given was to make each Talent pick more impactful and decisively its own, so fingers crossed your favourite stays out of the firing lines.
Crossplay and Cross Progression
With the arrival of 2.01 comes a new day of glorious cross-platform play, between PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. In Quickplay these players will be grouped together, while in Ranked it will be restricted to players utilising the same input method – PC players against PC players, Xbox v Xbox etc. If you don’t wish to go up against a particular platform you can turn crossplay off, but your wait times may suffer as a result.
Cross Progression will be available with the arrival of 2.01 but after the patch first drops. PC and Xbox One players will be able to progress their accounts on both platforms. Hooray for inclusivity.
Season 2 Ranked play will be receiving some changes, first of all being broken up into six splits, one every two months. Players will need to qualify for each split.
Rewards for playing ranked matches are also quite impressive. During Split One, you can earn a Gold Chest by simply playing ten games and the Shield Bearer Avatar by playing 25 games.
If you play 100 games across the entire season you will earn the ‘Battle Hardened’ Title and 200 games played will earn you the above Chieftain Grohk, which is definitely something to strive towards.
And for all those players that put in the work in Season One of ranked play, you will be rewarded with a Loading Frame based on the highest tier that you reached.
Imani, the Last Warder
The 40th Champion to enter the Realm is the Last Warder Imani, bringing the elements of ice, fire and dragons to bear against her foes. A new damage Champ with 2200 health, Imani revolves around synergistically applying crowd control and dealing impressive damage.
Imani’s Passive, Clearcast, generates mana as she deals damage. Once her mana is full, the next Frost Bolt or Pyre Ball she casts is instant. Now for her abilities.
Elemental Shift: Despite being her second ability, it is important to understand that much like Koga and Strix, Imani can alternate her range of attacks depending on the situation. Elemental Shift alters her alignment, giving her access to new abilities.
Imani’s weapons are known as the Dragon Gauntlets and with them she can either fire a Frost Bolt that deals 650 damage, every 0.8 seconds, or charge a Pyre Ball for 1.6 seconds that deals 1000 damage at max charge. You can activate this ability with less charge but it will not do as much damage.
Imani’s alt fire allows her to utilise Frost Bomb in Ice Form, dealing 800 damage at max range and rooting enemies hit for 1.5 seconds. You can conveniently detonate the orb in mid-air by activating the ability again. Fire Form unlocks Inferno Cannon, which is a three-second stream of fire that deals 110 damage per second.
Her movement ability is known as Frostfire Glide and sees her zoom forward on a raft of ice propelled by fire…hence Frostfire.
Finally, in what is perhaps one of the most glorious Ultimates out there, Dragon’s Call summons a giant Draconic Avatar, breathing a stream of frostfire. The range is not enormous, nor is the damage but the sheer blanket capability and terrifyingness of the Draconic Avatar makes this Ultimate formidable. When this Ultimate is activated, you will gain control over the dragon itself, which comes with its own health pool and a timer…you can’t stay dragonised forever.
Imani will undoubtedly enter the PTS soon for PC players to eagerly test out, but in the meantime I highly encourage you all to check out the Patch Notes if you are interested in the Balance Changes, smaller details not mentioned or which Talents are disappearing.
See you in the Realm Champions.