Hi-Rez used a previous game mode to help design Paladins: Battlegrounds: In a roundtable at this year’s Hi-Rez Expo, the company’s CEO Erez Goren, and COO Todd Harris, spoke about what the team learned from the game’s now-abandoned Survival mode.
Paladins: Battlegrounds will be released to players "before the end of March."
Survival required teams of players to fight to the death inside an ever-shrinking play area. Being the last player standing meant your team won a round, and the first team to win five rounds would win the match. But according to Goren, “the waiting was just too long.” Players could die after 30 seconds and then have to wait several minutes to be able to respawn, meaning “the wait ratio,” as Goren puts it, was unacceptable for many players, who otherwise “said that the mode itself was fun to play.”
The battle royale genre allowed Hi-Rez to circumvent that issue. Goren says that “the beautiful thing with the battle royale style games is that when you die and your team dies, you pretty much queue up for another game, you don't have to wait a long time, and you can restart the experience over again.”
Goren also says that Hi-Rez are also hoping to innovate on the genre by making loot drops “even more meaningful than any of the other battle royale games out there,” where drops are limited to weapon and armour. In Paladins: Battlegrounds, the aim is to create “over-the-top” legendary items. According to Harris, those items allowed the team to “harken back to some of the very early Paladins gameplay where we had more RNG,” and more powerful weapons, but that players wanting a more competitive experience didn’t find satisfying. Battlegrounds was, according to Goren, an opportunity to “ introduce [powerful, random elements] back in a battle royale mode which is even bigger, with more ridiculous cards, which makes it really a lot of fun.”