Epic aims to make Paragon feel more like a MOBA

Epic is looking at making some big changes to its MOBA Paragon, to address what Lead Hero Designer Cameron Winston described as shortcomings in some of the game's “key areas.” The problem, he said in a blog post entitled “Committing to Change: The Future of our Meta,” is that Paragon doesn't have the “core 'feeling'” of a MOBA, and the reason for that is mainly that it doesn't require players to commit to their actions. 

“Those things that MOBA players know: understanding how, and when, to trade map position for objectives; how to capitalize on a team wipe; how to rotate; where to be safe and where you’re at risk. We want more of all of this! Everything comes down to one core concept: commitment,” he wrote. “Commitment means making meaningful choices that matter. Choices that have pros and cons and beget consequences. This is the soul of what makes MOBAs tick, and it’s what we’re trying to improve most right now.” 

One of the biggest changes will be to the way players get around the map. Currently, the Travel Mode speeds mean “lane commitments are not meaningful, fight commitments are not as significant as they should be, and lane rotations happen too quickly without consequence.” Players can move too quickly, which diminishes the game's strategic element and can cause matches to run too long. To address the problem, Epic will do away with Travel Mode, “or any other version of on-demand dynamic player movement that does not stem from specific hero kit or card abilities,” entirely. 

Instead of Travel Mode, Paragon players will be able to teleport directly to where they need to be. The tradeoff is that the teleport ability will have a cooldown, so you'll want to be sure about where you're going before you make the trip. “That all goes back to the original goal: commitment,” Winston wrote. “This is important for fight engagements and for a lot of the other things we need to fix. These changes mean that fights will actually happen and that players don’t have a free escape (aka Travel Mode) making heroes that have an escape ability more meaningful.” 

There will also be changes to Card Power sharing, set to roll out next week, that will discourage the tendency of players to roam around in large groups, and Jungle kill CP awards will go entirely to the final hitter, with no credit for assists, to emphasize that “the Jungle is intended to be a solo-person operation.” The number of minions in lane is being reduced to four, and their movement speed is being cut as well. Changes to shorten match length and address vision control are also in the works.   

Winston warned that some of the changes he talked about may not make it into the game precisely as he described. “Game development is a messy iterative process in which the best laid plans of mice and men often get checked in at 3 a.m. by some guy whose Perforce name you can’t quite recognize,” he wrote. 

Some of the changes he talked about will come in the .27 update set for release next week. The full release notes are available here, or you can just catch the high points in the video below.

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Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.