New champions will be available in Paladins: Battlegrounds “upon release”

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Update, January 6: New Paladins characters will be making their way to the new Battlegrounds mode soon after release.

New Paladins champions will be available in the game’s upcoming Battlegrounds mode “upon release.” In an interview with Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris, he told us that the studio will aim to bring new champions to the majority of game modes as soon as they are made available.

Here's a list of the best characters in Paladins.

New Paladins champions will be available in the game’s upcoming Battlegrounds mode “upon release.” In an interview with Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris, he told us that the studio will aim to bring new champions to the majority of game modes as soon as they are made available.

Harris says that the first hurdle for the studio is to get the new game mode ready for public hands. Hi-Rez CEO Erez Goren had previously said that the mode would be “in real players’ hands” before the end of March, but Harris says that “but we'll have to see there whether that's public test or fully released.”

But when it comes to bringing a new champion to the game, Harris says that “when a new champion is first out, of course it spends a little time on our public test server, and then we would generally want that champion to be eligible for all of the modes, other than ranked Siege.” 

Each game of Paladins: Battlegrounds offers a randomly selected group of eight champions from the game’s entire champion pool, currently sitting at a total of 35, set to rise to 36 with the upcoming introduction of new Paladins champion Moji. Harris says that “[Hi-Rez’s] goal would be that a new champion would be in that pool upon release, or very quickly after that.”

Update, January 5: Paladins' new battle royale mode will be available to players before the end of this financial quarter.

Paladins Battlegrounds will be “in real players’ hands” by the end of March. In a round table at Hi-Rez Expo, the studio’s CEO Erez Goren and COO Todd Harris confirmed that external testing would begin by the end of March. 

Goren says that the new game mode has only been in development “for the past couple of months or so,” and that getting it ready for HRX was the result of “an intense workload over the past couple of months.” Despite that short time-frame, he says that the team “doesn’t see any obstacles” to a release in early spring. Harris confirmed that the current schedule was to make sure the new mode would be out “before the end of this quarter.”

Goren has also spoken about why Hi-Rez chose to add the new game mode. In part, it stemmed from the fact that Hi-Rez wanted to provide their player-base with a game mode they knew would be enjoyed. The extent of that enjoyment, however, is fairly significant. In today’s round-table, Goren says that “when Fortnite’s servers go down, [Paladins’] concurrent player count goes up by 40-50%.”

When I spoke to Goren after the round-table, he said that Tencent, the parent company of League of Legends developers Riot Games, who have a minor equity stake in Hi-Rez Studios, had also been part of the decision to develop me new mode. Goren said that the company had been asking for new modes, and had suggested battle royale as something that they would be able to market well in China.

Original story, January 4: Paladins is getting in on the battle royale hype. Hi-Rez Studio’s hero shooter will have a new last-man-standing mode added in 2018, called Paladins: Battlegrounds.

Paladins: Battlegrounds will feature characters from the base game and, unlike other prominent battle royale games, has been built specifically to be played by teams rather than individuals. That means supports, tanks, fighters, and assassins will all feature, and must work together throughout each match to survive.

Other than that, however, it’s pretty standard fare for what was undeniably the biggest gaming trend of 2017. A hundred players will drop onto a large island, and travel around looking for loot, which they can find dotted around the map, or dropped from supply zeppelins flying overhead. Over time, fog will shrink the playing space, leaving one team left alive at the end of the game.

A trailer for the forthcoming game mode shows a varied map and even more varied forms of death, before a climactic showdown at its finale. Paladins: Battlegrounds is currently in early alpha, but a full release will be added to Paladins in 2018, and will be free for all players.

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