Our entire world changed on December 6th. The Overlords decided to slash and burn to start a new and used Travel Mode as their excuse. “It was impossible to balance around,” was their mantra. I had and still have no idea what they meant, but if the amazing game they’ve created up until now is any indication – they must know what they’re doing. They’ve elaborated numerous times, but I was so appalled by the fact that they were removing what I thought was an essential feature, that I noticed their mouths moving, but heard no sound.
I’d spent almost 150 hours traversing Legacy, and to change all of that for a new map – I had to admit, was terrifying. People were arguing the point weeks before it’s arrival, dipping their torches in kerosene before they even knew who they were planning to hang – or what they were hanging them for. But what made people the most apprehensive is the complete rebalancing of the Hero roster. Not one was left unchanged, the card system revamped over 100 of the ~270 cards, and physical and magical abilities no longer had a distinction when building your deck. Epic’s move to Monolith was almost the birth of an entirely new game. And seconds after it dropped I found myself logging onto Twitch instead of turning on my PlayStation, so I could see what the pro’s and the community were saying before I took my first bite.
Aside from the asymmetrical map and Twin Blast’s rework, the game appeared the same. The travel mode animations were disregarded as easily as travel mode was, but almost everything seemed a carbon copy… it was the change in movement and feeling in gameplay that was different. Affinities and abilities might have changed when building your deck, but none of those changes were noticeable on the battlefield. What one did notice after landing softly from the brand new jump pads was that although travel mode was gone characters naturally moved at a quicker pace. Their movement speed would never reach what it was when in travel mode, but the speed at which the heroes moved made it easy to get in and out of battle, penalizing you less for trying to run from a fight you never should have started. Actions were quicker, team fights ended almost as soon as they begun, and the new lane configuration made it so that whenever a fight did happen, it usually took place in mid lane, giving you or the enemy multiple ways to escape a fight.
Knowing the way of the internet more than I know the ways of the world, I expected comments to trend towards the negative, but I didn’t expect Monolith to turn seemingly cordial people into trolls. They complained about every aspect; from movement speed and character nerfs / buffs, to the fact that they no longer could gank as easily due to the smoke walls. They probably would’ve complained about the incomplete texturing if they’d seen it.
I went into this expecting the best but being fully anesthetized for the worst, and I was pleasantly surprised. Twin Blast, someone I always wanted as my main was finally deemed worthy of a chance at being picked on the Character Select screen, and even while still in beta Epic Games managed to create an entirely new map, balance their characters, and be open and honest about the coming changes to their current build. This write up isn’t what I expected it to be. I anticipated writing my first “hard-hitting” piece of journalism, but it became just a letter, letting the team of amazing developers over at Epic HQ know the changes they made were good for the long-term health of the game. And although they may lose a few players along the way, they will make them back in droves if they manage to end the creation of this game as well as they started it.
What do you guys think of Monolith? Do the changes that were made to your mains make the game more or less enjoyable for you? And what changes do you think they should implement in the future (both the map and gameplay)?
– Epic Games has replaced Paragon’s only map with a smaller one.
– They have removed travel mode, revamped every hero and changed over 100 cards.
– Although I’m enjoying it, whether or not the change is for the better depends on who you talk to.