Paladins Is Now In Beta, With Multiple Ways To Join

Paladins: Champions of the Realm [official site], the next from Smite devs Hi-Rez, is now in closed beta. It’s a 5 vs 5 shooter in which you must capture control points, escort siege engines, and destroy your opponent’s base, but where the real twist is that your character levels over the course of a match, allowing you to choose from a selection of cards and build a deck of skills as you play. You can apply for closed beta access the traditional way or get in immediately by buying a Founder’s Pack version of the game.

You can sign up for a chance to enter the beta on its site, while the Founder’s Pack costs £16/$20 and gets you immediate access, an exclusive mount, and a random assortment of unlocked cards. Keep in mind however that the servers are currently only open from midday til midnight EST, and that there will be occasional server wipes till the beta is further along.

The easiest way to think of Paladins is that it’s applying what developers Hi-Rez learned from making the MOBA Smite to a first-person shooter. It’s obviously designed to encourage cooperation between complementary classes during teamfights, and the deckbuilding rewards tactical thinking and gives an arc to the rhythms of a multiplayer match. I played the game briefly at this year’s Gamescom and enjoyed it, although I’m not sure the neatness of its card ability design compensates for shooting which felt weak.

Here’s a trailer introducing the game’s classes:


  1. swampzero says:

    Haha yeah sure I’ll for sure play a Hi-Rez f2p game. Absolutely on board.

    • swampzero says:

      no wait i got a better one:

      Hi-Rez’s Overw4tch. Starring: Windranger.

  2. Sam says:

    I was waiting for Hi-Rez’s new game. How do the card mechanic work?

    • DeVadder says:

      Currently you can only play with random cards. That means every level-up you are presented three cards from either your own collection or one of your party members (party, not team) and you choose one. Cards give passive boni to health and damage as well as “active” boni, changing or enhancing your abilities or weapon. If you die, the active boni take some time to come back online.
      There appears to be a mode planned where you can create a deck but right now you just use all your cards as deck.
      Yes, that does mean that if your first packs contained particularly powerful cards, it might be in your best interest to not open more packs for now.

  3. mukuste says:

    Still with the classical MOBA character design philosophy where male characters are permitted all sorts of sizes, body builds, races and outfits whereas female characters are big boobs in tight spandex.

    • Zankman says:

      I see their “new direction” for Smite – where they stated that they would approach female designs differently – that will “totally start after Sol, we promise guys” does not apply to this new game.


    • king0zymandias says:

      I think the lack of diversity in body types is a symptom, not the root cause behind the whole issue. The problem is that most concept artists in the industry are just really really bad and have a very juvenile aesthetic sense.

      So even if you force them to create characters with a diverse set of body types and more clothing they will still invariably come up with really tacky and garish designs. They are remnant of that often encountered and utterly ridiculous school of thought that insists that just by looking at the silhouette of a character you should be able to infer his/her personality. This is great for getting across archetypes and stereotypes at a glance, but not so good if you want your characters to have any subtlety or depth. And one of the symptoms of this disease is that whenever they are tasked with creating the concept art for a female character, they try to come up with a striking silhouette which inevitably always leads them to the impossible hourglass figure. As it is the most immediately recognizable silhouette for a woman.

      It’s not like these people are sexists, nor are they against diversity. It’s just that they are not very bright and don’t like to think too much.

      • dorobo says:

        You are deeply mistaken if you think they can decide what goes into the game :) Primarily they just do what they are told and what sells or what higher ups think sells. Originality is good but it has to appeal to the masses or certain demographic.

  4. Czrly says:

    “…where the real twist is that your character levels over the course of a match, allowing you to choose from a selection of cards and build a deck of skills as you play.”

    That sounds a lot like a skill-tree, re-branded as a trading-card-game (because those are “in”, right now), NEITHER of which is at all original. FPSes have had progression since Enemy Territory, at the very least, and skill-trees are pretty much standard in most genres.

    • DeVadder says:

      It is pretty much this but you will probably get to construct a “deck” of available upgrade options for in the game beforehand and then be offered those at random.
      I certainly like the idea of designing my own skill-tree before the game but I am not so sure about the rng aspects of it.

  5. Slabs says:

    What no Shooty MOBA based on licensed characters yet? I’m disappointed.

    • Sam says:

      So you haven’t seen 300 Heroes? Look it up. It got everyone you would possible want. Shrek, Wall-E, Ultraman, Naruto, Arthas, ‘Anti-Mage’ and many more!

  6. fish99 says:

    Looks like a poor mans Overwatch, but I like the idea of bringing in MOBA-style character builds, although that does suggest you stay with the same hero the whole game.

    This will probably get a load of players just for being F2P though.