Today is the sort of day where you have to triple check an article because you're tired and you keep mis-typing Epic's third-person MOBA Paragon [official site] as "Pragon" and that is No Good when you are trying to talk accurately about its latest video about a mid-lane push. I think I've been thinking about dragons too much this morning.
It's so cinematified (totally a word) that I'm really not comfy saying it's a gameplay video but if you're curious there is some gameplay footage in there. It shows a push down the mid-lane which I shall explain here:
To start the lane momentum moving towards the enemy tower a hero called Gadget takes out a minion wave with a drone, Feng Mao downs another with a damage-in-a-line ability. No enemy minions means reduced defence and thus team starts whaling on the enemy tower or, like, the power source for a tower or something. A beefy character on the other team, Rampage, tries to defend by chucking rocks and slamming Feng Mao only to miss as Feng Mao relocates. A nippy slashy character called Kallari then shows up and slices Gadget to death. Rampage and Feng Mao posture. END SCENE.
I'm guessing the scene ends because the attacking team are about to take an objective and then outstay their welcome because of cockiness and then get teamwiped and any advantage gained by taking the objective will be lost. Or they will spend so much time faffing about whether they can take the tower that they do not take the tower. Or they will take the tower and then pick off the enemy team as they run in one by one and are surprised that they die and then tell you that you are try-harding. Look, I have played a MOBA or two.
SIDENOTE: if this is the level of drama they're injecting into a tier one tower push I'm not sure how anyone is going to cope with the core going down.
So anyway, in
Pragon Paragon there are the usual things like towers, minions, a jungle, heroes, inhibitors, cores, lanes and so on so I've been poking about in the older videos to find out what makes it different from something like Smite. Here are my findings:
1. There is a deck building element similar to the one Hi-Rez are trying with Paladins. The resultant decks appear to be part item store, part ability upgrade tree.
2. There is an extra resource in the game called amber which you can harvest by setting up special stations in the jungle, killing minions or demolishing towers. It seems to provide experience for your character as well as being used for card upgrades and the like.
3. It's gone with a sci-fi military flavour and reminds me a bit of the only level of Halo I have ever played which was about driving about on an alien planet while my partner told me things about Halo and tried to stop me getting lost.
4. In a slight change from Smite, it looks like when an opponent goes up in the air for an ability or attack they aren't automatically unable to be targetted. i.e. there seems to be some kind of vertical aiming that's possible. It's hard to work out the extent from the videos though, not least because they so often cut back and forth between gameplay and in-engine footage. STOP IT. If it's a gameplay video just show me what I see when I'm playing the game.
5. One of the videos shows a fledgling player stats page which implies matches take around half an hour. (Two games and a playtime of 1:16:29 which I'm taking to be hours:minutes:seconds with some time for queuing and menu faffing)
Pragon Paragon logo looks like a big metal bird just stamped its foot on the screen
7. It's weird how MOBAs remind me of language translation. I start learning a new MOBA and until it develops its own identity in my mind I'm constantly doing translation work from the others I know. In this video Feng Mao has an ability which sends a spiked wave of earth up ahead of him so I'm thinking of that in terms of Nyx Assassin from Dota 2 while Rampage can throw a giant rock and slam the ground so I'm approaching him in terms of League of Legends' Gnar.
I should be able to get some playtime in with it soon so I'll tell you all about it then. Alternatively, if this has floated your boat, paid Early Access will be in spring 2016 while an open beta is on the cards (sorrynotsorry) for summer.