Paragon Welcomes Monolith

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.


From Legacy to Monolith

In a few hours the game I’ve come to love and adore, that I’ve spent days of my life in and the jungle that I could Sherpa a class of blind children through, will be changed forever. Slashed and burned to the ground in order to grow anew, the creators of Paragon over at Epic Games have, in the true spirit of a beta, decided they have learned many a thing in the past few months, culminating in the creation of a new map.

“Travel mode,” the ability to traverse the map quicker after being out of combat for a certain amount of timed was ‘game breaking’ and made the game ‘nearly impossible to imbalance.’ Said by the Devs on numerous streams. But Legacy, the land I came to love, was too big to traverse without a motorcycle, or our beloved travel mode – so they were forced to gut it.

In the spirit of change, they reworked all of the heroes from what seems like the ground up: changing damage points, abilities (along with the cards that power them) movement speed – removing travel mode altogether – and giving us a fetus of a map called Monolith. I am voicing my salt not because I don’t trust Epic Games, but ’cause change is hard. But… I fell in love with a baby (the game is currently in beta). Going into it I knew that this child was not fully grown and I might not like the adult it became. But I put in time, effort, and lots of money to watch it grow. I’ve stuck it out this long, and even if it’s due to sunk costs I’m not going to kick ’em out before they become a teenager. I will wait until the tantrums arrive, the doors are slammed in my face, and I am driven crazy by this new perversion inhabiting the one I used to love before I decide I’m done with it. (You cannot legally abandon fully grown children at fire stations or hospitals, though.)

So, I will hold my judgment until I see how it goes. And like the people that didn’t vote for Trump and are scared out of their minds – we are going to have to trust the people that have now taken control. We have to sit back, relax, and wish them the best; because to wish damnation to the people driving your plane, well…that’s just stupid.

With Added Salt In His Tears,
Slightly Judgy Gamer


Affair in Agora

Every time my ‘PlayStation On” chime sings it should be accompanied by Paragon theme music. As someone with the shortest attention span in recorded history – whose only completed game is Pokemon –  the fact that I’ve put 7 days and 13 hours into this game is miraculous. 181 hours spent playing a video game can be looked upon with confidence and shame. As I writer I wish I could say I’ve spent 181 hours writing, but I am almost 90% sure I’ve come nowhere near close that number. But when I sit and think “I should have been doing something productive.” what does that mean? When a video game offers you reprieve from everyday life and makes you happy, what better thing could you currently be doing? Yes, writing for all that time would probably have helped with advancing my career, but in that time, what I needed was a distraction, and Paragon provided that.

Paragon is my first MOBA, so talking to me about the real merits and it’s improvements over things like Smite and LOL, and how it’s competent in some places but severely lacking in others – are things I just don’t notice. I have no idea how good this game is because I have no idea what the barometer is. I don’t know how someone calculates that certain kits aren’t balanced or that certain characters need a buff or a nerf, all I know is that I don’t need experience to know I’m thoroughly enjoying this game.

Like a 7-year-old watching Minecraft videos in anticipation of their parents buying them the game for Christmas, I devoured this game – but once I already had it. When I was hype and ready to kill, I played Paragon myself; when I was passive and wanted to relax I watched the top streamers and tried to learn from them. I consumed this game more than I’ve assumed any other, aside from World of Warcraft, but I would never have been satisfied sitting and just learning others play WOW as I am diligently studying and learning this game.

I might not know if this is a good MOBA, but I know this is an amazing video game. And I will continue to post about it until my passion fades.