Paladins: How is the beta going?

You can visualize Paladins as a mix of FPS (e.g. Counter Strike) and MOBA (e.g. Smite). It is a game where aim is fairly important, but you won’t win without cooperating with your team.

If you don’t know what Paladins game is, then check this video first.

The good and the bad

I kinda like the graphical style of some heroes, the aesthetics. It is cartoony and colourful. Sadly not all heroes are great, many of them feels very generic.

I have to say I’m not a fan of skills in Paladins. Compared to e.g. Smite or Overwatch they just feel bland and uninspired, without impact and usually lacking any hint of originality.

The card progression system looked complicated, yet it didn’t feel like it was affecting the hero or your game-play at all. Maybe it could benefit from more radical changing cards or at least slight variations of graphics of skills. Diablo 3 is quite a good example of how it can be done - its runes. Every rune changes visual aspect of skill - tint, scale or even entirely different effect. Most runes in Diablo feel like game changers - you select it and whole skill is different, its colour, damage, effect of area or it feels like new skill entirely.

I have encountered some bad game design decision - like not being able to select which game mode you want to play. Not being able to pre-select your hero even when you are playing “causal” mode. Heroes of the Storm nailed this one marvellously - just select your hero and the game then attempts to find a group of people to play with. And last, the worse and actually a deal-breaker for me - you cannot select in which region you play. Yes, you can select your preferred region, but the game is free to match you with people from other continent, and in my case almost every time did. So I ended up playing on US servers and the game was laggy, unresponsive and overall terrible experience.

I don’t recommend even trying Paladins until this “feature” is gone and proper region limitation, not mere preference, is implemented.

I enjoyed most of game modes, I hated only survival. But missing region limitation, in conjunction with not being able to select which game mode I want to play and as what hero I want to play, lead to many leavings, deserter debuffs and simply switching to another game. I see this as a serious failure in game design - the game effectively punishes player for its flaws.

It has been few weeks since my try, so some info might not be current. But knowing the largest problem - inability to limit match finding only to your region - is present in other game from HiRez - Smite - for years I suspect the main issue is still there.

If I were you I wouldn’t bother trying this half-baked game. Just try or wait for release of Gigantic, Paragon, Orcs Must Die! Unchained, Heroes of the Storm. Or even better, just simply wait for Overwatch which appears to be pretty similar yet vastly superior to Paladins.