Paladins Removing Controversial 'Pay to Win' Card System Soon

paladins
(Photo: Hi-Rez Studios)

Paladins has emerged as one of the most celebrated free-to-play games of the generation. Many of you heard about this game due to accusations that it was an Overatch clone, but the more time people spent with Paladins, the more they realized how special and unique its characters, mechanics, and fantasy world actually are. One unique aspect of Paladins, however, was not as celebrated: the Cards Unbound system.

Hi-Rez introduced this card system to augment character loadouts in really significant ways, but players immediately pushed back against the system, calling it a blatant pay-to-win cash grab. Many players didn't mind Cards Unbound, but most did, and Hi-Rez just published an update to let everyone know that they're bringing down this house of cards, and erecting something new.

"We know this system has angered many of our most loyal fans," Paladins executive producer Chris Larson said in the update, "and become a point of continuous contention in the Paladins community (and even inside of Hi-Rez). Your voice has been heard loud and clear." To that end, he outlined some changes that will be taking place over the next major release cycle:

  • Legendary Cards will now be called Talents.

  • Talents will only have a single level.

  • Talents will be unlocked for free by earning XP and gaining Champion levels (for example; level 1,5,10,15).

  • All Champion Cards will now be free (No cost or grind).

  • Deck creation will return to a point system where players can distribute 15 points across the five cards they select for their loadout. Each Champion Card will have five ranks to choose from.

  • Talents will not have ranks, and are not included in the loadout point cap.

  • Talents and Decks will continue to be chosen at match start to allow players to tailor their playstyles based on their opponents.

  • New Talents will be added over time and give further varied playstyles.

  • Champion Mastery will no longer be capped at level 25. Instead, it will work similarly to Player Account leveling (which has no cap).

  • Card chests will be removed from the game.

  • We are evaluating the best options to compensate players for their previously earned cards, and hope to share details soon.

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We expect that these changes will see their own fair share of push-back as well, especially from those who invested in the Cards Unbound system. We think it's a step in the right direction, however, and we're glad that it's happening. We'll keep you all updated as this develops.

You can find the Steam page for Paladins right here. It's also completely free on PS4 and Xbox One.