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Paladins hits the big 3-oh with its champ roster, plus new map and new-look Ruckus

A new challenger

I remember when team-based FPS Paladins [official site] only had eight characters, when all this was fields *gestures expansively* and when Beanie Babies were a financial investment on a par with an art collection or a real estate portfolio. Cut to the present day where Beanie Babies are now Beanie Millennials drowning in debt and avocado toast, fields are something I invoke only in jokes and Paladins is welcoming a THIRTIETH champ: Jenos, the Ascended.

Jenos is a support champ "with an astral flair". Nothing concrete on his kit yet, but you know me and support champs - it's like a cat to the butter dish! (My cat liked to lick butter if you left it out on the counter. Your cat-mileage may vary.)

With that in mind I got in touch with Hi-Rez to see what support gaps Jenos was intended to plug. Associate Game Designer, James Horgan, explained the general thrust of the role as follows:

"No two support champions play alike and with Jenos our goal was to introduce a support champion who strikes a balance between interesting healing decisions and familiar gunplay. We want a character that feels natural both using his weapon and healing his teammates."

So Jenos sounds like he's in the middle when it comes to the balance of healing versus offensive capability rather than full-on healing-only or someone who is mostly a flanker but has a splash of support to their skillset.

Accompanying the new champ is a new map: Splitstone Quarry which ties in with the visual rework of the frontliner, Ruckus. Ruckus is the goblin one in the mech suit and apparently his lore now involves him having been a miner in said quarry. The visual rework is apparently "to better root him in Paladins’ vibrant fantasy world".

I'm taking that to mean that his snippet of character lore didn't really seem to end up going anywhere. It was all about how an Elven King's soul ended up bound to a sword which Ruckus fashioned into a wearable war machine. Maybe the mining will explain how the sword got found or something? But in terms of the aesthetic it looks like the mech now has the look of the buildings within the quarry so perhaps it's an expertise and craftsmanship thing?

In terms of what players can expect from the map itself, I think Splitstone Quarry was one of the test maps which regular players could try out in a blocky form to see what they're like to play. That means it's possible you've played it already in its super-basic incarnation.

For the fully realised version of Splitstone Quarry Horgan added that its main point of difference is that: "Not only is the objective in the shadow of the massive Stone Saw but also it has very different angles of attack than our other live maps."

It's been a while since I Paladinned and I'm actually curious to try the Quarry out. There have been so many champs added since I last played that I'm a bit wary of the learning curve. If you've played recently let me know how you think the champion cadence is shaking out. Is the rate of adding them too fast? Too slow? Are there still many role gaps to plug?

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Philippa Warr


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