Aiming to stay afloat by embracing the current trend in Battle Royale gameplay, Paladins will feature its own Battle Royale mode named Battlegrounds by the end of March, 2018. Whether this will attract new players or merely help retain existing ones is unclear, but one thing is sure for now: it will be the “first-ever hero-shooter battle royale” to hit the market.
The Battle Royale Surge
The hype around the “battle royale” type of gameplay is massive. Sparked less than 2 years ago in the game industry with the huge success of H1Z1 and PUBG, which transposed the last man standing concept into a huge, yet ever-shrinking map, the trend has been rising to record highs and spreading virtually across the whole industry, with either new games being made solely on those grounds (e.g. Last Man Standing, Rules of Survival), or existing ones simply adding a Battle Royale mode to theirs (e.g. Fortnite, Infestation: The New Z).
With the market trend’s leader PUBG coming out as the most played game on steam in 2017, it comes as (almost) no surprise that the name Paladins: Battlegrounds was chosen.
Paladins’ Hero-based Battle Royale
Paladin’s new mode has been coined the first hero based battle royale by Hi-Rez Studios executives, and while this may sound a little shallow at first, it implies a significant and challenging departure from current practice. This means each player will start with a predefined set of abilities based on the hero/champion they choose to battle with, as opposed to the ongoing trend where players start virtually naked and must equip themselves by rushing into buildings to loot weapons and gear in the most timely manner.
As such, gameplay will mostly boil down to the strategic and skillful use of a different set of champion abilities. This may in turn lead to longer, more diversified, more intricate and more telegenic face-offs, but at the expense of the adrenaline-fueled armament rush. Players won’t have to worry about getting a vehicle or bumping into an armed one neither, as everyone will be able to ride its own mount from start to finish.
Whether there will be any looting, or any form of progression system involved isn’t known at this stage, but Paladins: Battlegrounds is undoubtedly an interesting take on the battle royale genre, that will introduce a significant change to its core gameplay.