Welcome to the Hi-Rez Expo, Hi-Rez Studios' yearly event that celebrates the developer's library of games. Hi-Rez had big news for Paladins: Champions of the Realm
fans at the HRX kickoff keynote conference, including new battle royale and team deathmatch modes, details on the next champion, and more.
It's no secret that the battle royale genre dominated the industry in 2017 thanks to smash hits like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
. Hi-Rez had much to share about Paladins
' battle royale mode, which the developer is calling the "first-ever hero-shooter battle royale," while still leaving much to the imagination. Paladins
' iteration of battle royale will be called Battlegrounds. According to Hi-Rez, the map is massive and sprawling, 300 times the size of a standard Siege map. Despite the size, Todd Harris, Executive Producer of Paladins
, thinks players will find the mode has "the feel of open-world MMO PvP but all within a 20-minute match."
Battlegrounds was designed as a team-based, class-based mode with ability-based combat, similar to Paladins
itself. The game mode will also make use of Paladins
' mount feature, which lets players ride into matches on horses. Battlegrounds features "more than four dozen outposts" and staple features of battle royale modes like a shrinking play area, looting for gear, and scouting for zeppelins high in the sky, which will drop "legendary gear" onto the playing field. The last team standing wins the game in the 100-player mode. An alpha of Paladins
' Battlegrounds is playable at this week's Hi-Rez Expo, and the full release is expected later in 2018.
Hi-Rez also announced another new mode for Paladins
: the classic team deathmatch mode. Players will be able to throw away the usual objective-focused gameplay of modes like Siege, Payload and Onslaught in a mode where taking out the enemy team is the only thing that matters. Team Deathmatch will go live with a new map, Trade District.
Of course, players could not expect a major event to go by without mention of a new champion. Meet Moji, the newest member of the Flank class. The magician "rides a summoned two-headed dragon into battle, feeding it snacks to reload its magical energy."
Hi-Rez also sent off 2017 as a successful year for Paladins
, releasing 14 champions, seven maps and two game modes in the 12-month timespan. A new, cinematic trailer has been released to start off the year.
According to the developer, 2018 will be just as fresh with content, evidenced by the Battlegrounds and Team Deathmatch modes and the new hero that was announced during today's conference. Paladins
' first patch of 2018 will launch on January 10th for PC with consoles following on January 17th.