Hi-Rez responds to Paladins complaints, lowers Essence costs and increases rewards

In response to loud and long complaints about the new Essence currency in its free-to-play hero shooter Paladins, Hi-Rez Studios said today that it will modify the system by reducing the cost of Legendary cards from 18,000 to 12,000 Essence, increasing the amount of Essence granted by duplicate Common cards from 60 to 250, and upping the amount of Essence given to players for performing tasks in the game. 

Essence, as we covered yesterday, is now used instead of Gold to unlock Legendary and loadout cards. But the cost is tremendously high, and the rate at which Essence is doled out so low, that making any sort of real progress through the game without dropping cash on it is effectively impossible. Nor is dropping cash any guarantee of success, because all you can buy are temporary boosters or chests, which are subject to the vagaries of RNG. As one unhappy player put it, "spending money wont get you ahead, unless you spend a fortune."   

The changes are meant to alleviate the need to blow cash on the game to gain access to the good stuff, particularly for newcomers. Veteran players were allowed to keep any Legendaries they'd accumulated prior to the rollout of the Essence currency, but newbies are going into it completely empty-handed, which puts them at a serious disadvantage.   

"We are committed to ensuring new players can earn the cards they want at a very reasonable pace and get rewarded for the time they put into the game. As such, in a future patch we will begin granting 1000 Essence for each achievement earned, and will be retroactively granting Essence for achievements earned when that change goes live. We will also be adding new achievements in a future patch for new players that provide a boost in Essence—an example might be 'Build your first custom loadout' which will provide 12,000 Essence," Hi-Rez said. "Additionally, we will be increasing the First Win of the Day (FWOTD) reward Gold from 300g to 450g which can be obtained 3 times daily." 

The studio said that anyone who purchased Legendary cards at the old price will be given a refund for the difference. It also apologized for the delay in getting out Radiant Chest refunds for changes in the Mastery Rewards system in OB44, explaining that its servers are simply unable to cope with the strain of opening all those chests at once. Hi-Rez has thus decided to hand out Essence directly at a rate of 2250 per owed chest, a process it said should be completed by the end of today. 

"In the coming updates, we will be evaluating Legendary card balance and making adjustments to bring them all in line," Hi-Rez said. "We appreciate your continued feedback on this system as we move towards a further balanced state!" 

Patch notes for the next update, OB45, are expected to be ready for reveal next week. 

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.