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Paragon

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4
Genre: Action
Developer: Epic Games
Release Date: Early 2016

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PS4/PC Preview - 'Paragon'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on June 16, 2016 @ 1:15 a.m. PDT

Paragon is a MOBA game that puts you in the fight with explosive action, direct third-person control, and deep strategic choice.

Paragon is a MOBA with a few twists. Rather than the Warcraft-inspired gameplay of the big-named MOBAs, it's focused on something more action- and twitch-based. The team at Epic is big fans of action games and MOBAs, and they're looking to leverage that into something that stands out from the market of me-too MOBAs. Verticality and accuracy are big parts of the game, with the ability to attack enemies from above and below offering an interesting twist on the genre. It's also a PC- and PS4-exclusive, with cross-play between the two. You can even transfer a character from one to the other. According to Epic, they've gotten tons of support from Sony, and players on PS4 and PC can expect plenty of cross-platform fun for the foreseeable future.

Paragon is still in beta, but the developers are eager to show their love for the genre and the game. One of the ways they do this is with frequent updates in response to fan praise and fan complaints. This includes updates to the UI, movement speed, and the card system that determines how characters level up and grow stronger. They're dedicated to releasing new heroes on a regular basis, with a new hero coming every three weeks. The latest of these is Khaimera, a melee-focused character who focuses on dueling single enemies and will be available next week. The developers have said they know that new characters and new abilities make the game more exciting, and they're dedicated to supporting the game with new champions every three weeks for the foreseeable future. They're interested in supporting the game with champions, but they're also interested in providing updates to the game's balance and design.


One of the big upcoming changes to Paragon will be in the form of the teleport spell, which replaces Travel mode, the current high-mobility option in the game. Players can enter a high-speed mode, where they can run quickly across the map. The developers found that this was too high-speed and offered no downsides, so players frequently moved across the map or escaped from overcommitment attacks with no danger. Instead, teleport will make travel a more satisfying but risky maneuver. Players can teleport to allied structures instantly, but once they do, the move goes into a 90-second cooldown. This means you can respond to danger more quickly, but once you do, you're committed. They're also investigating other methods of fast travel, such as shadow pads giving speed boosts or a "fast track" section of maps.

There are other things being done to speed up the game. One of these inclusions is drop pods, which sound similar to couriers from DotA. Players can summon drop pods to bring cards to them, but the drop pods are going to also be on the risk-and-reward paradigm. By default, the pods have a one-minute cooldown, but when summoned, enemies can see and potentially destroy them. Not only do you lose your hard-earned item, but your pod also goes on a longer cooldown. The balance is still being adjusted, but it offers a new shift to the game, allowing players to bring in new items without returning to base — but with potentially far greater risk.


They're also very interested in making sure that Paragon works as a competitive game. Players are already doing informal tournaments, but Epic is aiming to officially support the tournaments and give the community everything it needs to enjoy the game, including  replays and spectating supports. They're also working on a Ranked game mode to allow the informal tournament structure to become something more formal and defined. Details on the Ranked mode are still being fleshed out, but it should be coming in the not-too-distant future.

Paragon's E3 2016 showing has a lot of potential. Every change and new feature is made with the fan response in mind and a focus toward making Paragon a truly competitive and exciting MOBA. From new champions every month to huge shifts to the game's core mechanics, the future of Paragon looks quite bright. The game is currently in for-pay closed beta, but an open beta will be available Aug. 16. Players can purchase a Paragon Founder pack now to gain early access to Paragon as well as special in-game content.



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