Paragon Will Change the Way You Compete on PS4

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Paragon Will Change the Way You Compete on PS4

Paragon is a gorgeous, third-person action game with rich layers of strategy. It’s also a MOBA. Did I lose you already? Do you get anxious around that word? Don’t. In fact, forget I said it.

Let’s look at the basics, instead: Paragon is a competitive game with two teams of five. Each team tries to push into the opposing team’s base in order to destroy its core — which is protected by automated defenses. That’s it. If you can wrap your mind around that, you can wrap your mind around Paragon. Everything after that is just a few (hundred) practice matches away.

A MOBA By Any Other Name

Paragon, like the great MOBAs before it, is built on several pillars. Understanding these pillars will go a long way in better understanding the genre — and how to play!

  • The Heroes: Paragon has a stylish, diverse roster of heroes. These characters play a variety of roles in battle, from ranged damage dealers to life-saving support. Each hero has a main attack and a set of four abilities — including a tide-turning ultimate.
  • The Items: You can customize your hero in Paragon with an assortment of potions and strength-enhancing items. These items, and the subsequent upgrades you place on them, can define how a hero performs in battle.
  • The Map: Paragon is set in one map. That’s all you need. The map is symmetrical and divided into three lanes that lead from one base to the other. There’s also a labyrinthine jungle that curls and twists between the lanes, giving heroes a sneaky way to traverse the battlefield. It’s a bit scary.
  • The Minions: Each team in Paragon has an AI-controlled army of courageous minions that slowly march on the opposing base. They’re actually pretty adorable.
  • The Towers: Massive towers line each lane on the map which automatically attack the opposing team. Standing within range of their devastating shots can be lethal, so a hero should always wade towards them accompanied by the aforementioned minions.

Paragon on PS4

There’s more to MOBAs than that, of course, but keeping these pillars in mind will help you understand the flow of battle.

Fool Me Once

Paragon benefits enormously from its third-person perspective (most MOBAs are top-down), but it doesn’t control like previous Epic games. Paragon is cautiously paced, deliberate, and deeply statistical. The over-the-shoulder camera helps ground the action and also opens Paragon up to more strategies than a top-down MOBA.

You can’t, for example, always see behind you (like you could from a bird’s eye view). That means hero position and sneak attacks are — perhaps — even more dangerous in Paragon.

Similarly, the Paragon map plays with elevation much more than other MOBAs. Ranged fighters can gain the high ground and pepper enemies from above, or escape danger from the more-powerful melee heroes. Also, the sloping paths alter line-of-sight frequently, making the inevitable charge up a hill all the more exciting.

Paragon on PS4Paragon on PS4

You Can Be My Hero, Baby

The heroes of Paragon not only alter the way you play, but open windows into Paragon’s lore. Also, they look cool. You have everything from cyber angels to black hole wizards, and their personality is reflected in their moveset.

Sparrow guided me through my first few matches. She’s the archer of the group, with a tremendous potential for ranged damage. Her abilities include a charged shot, an increase in rate of fire, a flurry of overhead arrows, and her ultimate Inner Fire — a punishing triple shot that can devour opposing forces.

Paragon on PS4

Then we have a more complex character like Gadget, who uses a variety of bots to control the field. Her Gate Bot sets up a damaging wall that hinders enemy troops while granting a speed boost to friendlies.

Have you gotten over those cold MOBA sweats now? I hope so, because Paragon has the potential to open the genre up to more players through its clever mix of third-person action and lane-battling goodness. With stunning visuals, complex heroes, and a robust replay editor, Paragon promises to swallow up your free time and ask for seconds.

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3 Author Replies

  • Great write up Ryan. I’ve never cared for any MOBA I’ve tried but this one has my interest due to it playing like a shooter. I’ll give it a try for sure.

  • This looks excellent!!!

  • I think Paragon needs to hire Ryan for marketing because he sold me on this game. Never tried a MOBA before, in fact they never interested me, but this one got me. Looking forward to finding out more about this.

    • (sorry Ryan!) Ryan and I talked a lot about how we wanted to approach the game’s coverage on the Blog because a) there are millions of MOBA players out there who understand how the genre works but b) we didn’t want to assume that PS4 owners had necessarily played one (I haven’t, amazingly). So glad you liked it! Ryan did a great job as always ^_^

  • I’m all signed up for the beta, so I’d like to give it a shot. It certainly looks like fun.

  • Have you played the PS4 version? Is it 60fps?

    • Yes, played the PS4 version – it was smooth but not sure about the exact frame rate. It’s a very early build too. But a good question that I will pitch to the devs.

  • I’m new to MOBA’s so please explain this to me… Above they state that the game only has one map, and that’s all we’ll need. I’m sure the map is large and the reason is for us to become intimately familiar with one map instead of learning several maps in a random rotational format. But are most MOBA’s designed around one map? I was expecting multiple locales to do battle in. I am still excited for this title and it looks amazing but I am somewhat confused/disappointed to find out the game only has one map. I’m probably misunderstanding the concept of this game and will be pleasantly surprised when it ships.

    • Hey Major,

      If I can offer m opinion. I have put almost 2,000 hours into Dota 2, which also only has one map. With one map the focus is really on the characters you play as and the different strategies that emerge from different combinations. I have never once even wanted another map in Dota. Of course I haven’t played Paragon yet, and a third person Moba is certainly different . Another way to think about it is that fighting games might have different maps aesthetically in a Street Fighter for example, but you are still just on a simple 2d plane. What I mean by this is that there is no reason that there can’t be several visual variations on the Paragon map like there are on the one data 2 map. Anyways I kind of expected Paragon to have more than one map as well!

    • also new to mobas and also concerned about the 1 map thing.

      i totally get that the focus is on the heros and that’s really cool but i figured there would at least be a couple maps,.. like 5. they specifically talk here about how elevation is important to the gameplay (moreso than other mobas) which really screams for multiple maps with different plays on how elevation is used. one that is mostly flat, one that is very verticle, a couple in between.

      i dunno. i was very excited for this but the one map thing erks me. if nothing else i want more than 1 set of art to look at. most rocket league areas are the same shape but at least there is visual variation to keep things interesting match after match; night after night.

    • I imagine that the map will change visually, especially if a bunch of people play and ask for art changes. Part of the point of one map though though is so you can instantly know where you are. Last year league of legends updated it map in such a way that no matter where you were in the jungle you would know how to get where you wanted without using the map. I would assume this is an even larger problem for paragon considerin the 3rd person angle. I wouldn’t on the other hand hold out for any other mode besides the regular 5v5.

    • Here’s the reality of it…

      creating a MOBA is more about creating a competitive experience that is fair and balanced. It is much easier to balance the game for competitive play if there aren’t different maps. Blizzard’s HotS has the fewest heroes of almost any MOBA but it is also the least balanced. Why? Because there are like 9 different maps and each one causes some heroes to become broken levels of strength and others to become useless.

      The different maps thing is an interesting concept, but it becomes a gimmick that is more work than it ends up being worth.

      Visual skins are always fun, and most MOBAs have done visual skins of their core map at some point or another… and having different fun side modes (like Smite’s Arena or LoL’s ARAM) to offer a less competitive and more hectic experience is a good idea… but you have to focus on the core first and make it clear that the map you’re creating is the map you’ll be sticking with. It helps to create a more stable experience which makes it more fun in the long run for most players.

    • Think of it like a really advanced game of 3d chess where the goal is tower defense and destroy the enemy’s base. The chess board never changes, but with the huge variety of team character compositions, character abilities, items, and strategy the gameplay possibilities are nearly infinite. :)

  • This game should look amazing on my TV LG OLED 55EC9300 and beautiful this TV is

  • Thanks MUSIC-HEAD.

    I figured a single map was something that this style of game was known for. I like the Street Fighter analogy and it makes more sense to me now. Looking forward to learning the nuances of this title and trying out some other MOBA’s as well. Good looking out.

  • can’t wait to try this one.

  • I have played a handful of MOBAs but do not consider myself a definitive expert on them. With that said, you could replace every instance of [Paragon] in this write-up with the name of any other MOBA and have it mean the same thing. In all honesty, this sounds very generic and apart from the 3rd person perspective (which is significant) it does not sound like this adds anything new to the genre. Distinct characters, minions, bases, lanes; these are all generic staples of MOBA games.

    With that said, the game looks beautiful and I like the idea of a 3rd-person perspective for this genre. I just wish it had something more interesting and unique as far as gameplay mechanics are concerned.

  • I despise MOBAs (and MMOs). But I’ll give this a shot….

  • No it won’t.

  • where do you sign up for bata?

  • Considering I don’t “compete” on PS4, I doubt Paragon will change that.
    It’s not that I dislike MOBAs. I simply don’t care at all about games that consist solely of competitive modes. I get games to enjoy playing the game, not competing against other players. Just Cause 3 is all about pure gameplay and blowing things up. Fallout 4 is all about getting engrossed in the world and either following the built-in story or making your own.
    MOBAs are about beating other live players over the head to show you’re better. That’s just not something I can get behind. I also don’t understand how a mode (online play) that used to supplement a $60 game can suddenly be sold by itself for the same price. Kind of like how Blops 3 got away with being $50 on last-gen consoles.
    Same reason I didn’t care about Evolve, and why I’m not interested in Overwatch either.

    Nice write-up, though. Ryan can always be counted on for that. And thanks for being active in the comments, Sid. Thumbs up!

    • Thank you for the thoughtful comment!

    • That’s completely fair… but for some people, what you care about means nothing – there are huge segments of people for whom the story mode, the single player campaign, etc… is a waste of development time.

      I’m kind of the middle, I appreciate most forms of gaming, with the exception of sports games and first person games… but there are people on the extreme ends of the scale(the hypercompetitive and the more experience-driven gamers), and it’s a damned good thing that we’re in a position in gaming right now where there can be games designed to cater to both extremes! :)

    • oh, sorry, there was one point I meant to address that I didn’t.

      The reason that ‘a mode that used to supplement can be sold as a standalone’ is twofold…

      First of all, what I said above. The fact that there are now a group of gamers who ONLY care about the competitive modes…

      But far more notably… the amount of effort that goes into these pure competitive experiences is so far beyond what used to go into online modes in most games, that it absolutely justifies a full pricetag – for those interested in a competitive online experience.

      BTW if you’re looking for a built-in story game, I cannot recommend Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel enough. Unquestionably the best story I’ve seen in years. :)

    • @ Seluhir: Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of people who buy CoD every year and barely touch the campaign. I’m not a stranger to the concept. I just personally don’t understand it. It doesn’t make sense to me.
      As for your second comment, again, I completely understand the “how”. It’s the logic behind the why I don’t get. They’re paying the same price for less content. If the developer announces that all post-launch content will be free, then sure, pay a full $60 up front. But they are literally getting less game (the entire campaign) but paying the same price. Sure, they may not have cared about it, but they were still paying for it.
      It just worries me about the trends that can be caused by an apparent devaluation of the campaign in other games, if too many companies decide to jump on this esports/competitive-only bandwagon. It’s a slippery slope.
      And also, I game on console because previously a lot of these experiences were reserved for PC gamers, where the competitive scene thrives. It kinda bothers me personally to see them encroaching into “my” territory on console (said tongue-in-cheek).
      Thank you for the non-aggressive discussion!

    • The thing is though…they’re getting a BETTER game for the part they care about.

      If you told me I could get a mediocre 200 hour experience with poorly implemented, buggy multiplayer and a co-op mode that would provide me up to 400 hours of kind of enjoyable entertainment for 40 bucks, or a 50 hour experience that I’d have a blast with the whole way through for 60 bucks… I’d gladly pay more money for less game.

      That’s basically what is happening here.

      Before, developers were releasing mediocre campaigns and decent multiplayer modes that received a small amount of post-launch support and had relatively stable servers. Now, a lot of multiplayer developers are releasing extremely polished multiplayer games with stable servers and amazing post-launch support… but they’re not doing a campaign. The quality of the multiplayer is far better, so the people who are primarily interested in the multiplayer see it as them getting BETTER content, even if slightly less of it. And to make it even better for them, the stuff that they’re trading for this ‘better content’ is stuff they didn’t want anyways.

    • It’s not really a slippery slope… it’s just the logical progression. For a while, game developers were throwing EVERYTHING into every game… that’s where things like Uncharted and Mass Effect getting multiplayer came from. People complained. So now we’re swinging in the opposite direction, where devs are starting to focus on one element in stead of the kitchen sink approach.

      (I hate this blog’s absurdly low character limit… lol) If any CMs or Mods are reading this, can you please pass the feedback onto the web team that the site should retain a cached version of your post if you reach the character limit. It’s extremely frustrating to be 20 or so characters over and have the thing completely eat the entire post, never to be heard from again. lol

    • Also just to clarify the whole charging a full price issue… This is going to be a free to play game. It’s only if you want to play for the entire closed beta session that you have to pay. If you want to try the game without paying you only have to wait till summer so probably only 3-4 months. I understand your point in saying that a game with little depth background wise shouldn’t be charging that much cause it feels like an incomplete game, but these guys really aren’t. I for one am glad that some developers are doing strictly multiplayer competitive games cause I enjoy competition. This is just gaming coming in to a new era where developers can put there sole focus into either a rich campaign/story mode , or a competitive multiplayer mode… Instead of splitting their time and focus to do both. I don’t think you’ll ever have to worry about gaming going into a competitive only direction because I know plenty of gamers that soley play single player games and their are plenty of companies that don’t ever want to go in that direction. I think you brought up valid concerns and I hope this might’ve helped at least a little

  • I’ve never played a MOBA before but this one has me interested. My biggest thing for me personally is that I don’t play matches online until I feel comfortable with the gameplay and know what I’m doing. But based on what MOBA stands for, it has me worried there is no single player option or practice mode. Is that true for this game or MOBA’s in general?

    • Most MOBAS have a vs bots mode, where you can learn new heroes against ai opponents, though I don’t know if paragon will.

    • There’s usually some form of low-competition game mode. Be it bots, or a silly fun mode, or a practice mode. Some games have multiples of those.

      But there is virtually never a single player component to this genre.

  • Color me extremely interested

  • Going to be a very nice game :)

  • “MOBA MOBA” — Ryan Clements

  • So, if I understand correctly. The only thing different than a generic MOBA, is that it is in 3rd person and is full price instead of free to play?

  • If this is a MOBA without filling up the screen with a billion colors and numbers flying all the time, I might be interested

  • I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do…

  • “MOBA. DOTA. SOMA.” – Clem voice

  • The only thing I’m scared of is that 3r person view model. Because I think players can’t have good overview of the battlefield so the fights will turn in to bunch of random fights without any strategy. But maybe I’ll be surprised, I’m looking forward to beta test.

  • Hm. I’m a little concerned that this will fail for the same reason Age of Conan, WHO, etc. all failed: its nearly impossible to compete with established giants. That being said, the change in perspective and the console versions may help a lot with that.

    Definitely interested.

  • Can’t wait for it (:

  • I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do…

  • Can someone give me the link to sign up for the beta. Looks amazing

  • I have been signed up for the closed beta since day 1. At the beginning you guys claimed that you were committed to ensuring all ps4 users who signed up would get access to the closed beta before it ended. I have been waiting and waiting for the ps4 beta to finally start and then I finally get an email claiming that early access starts soon and I find out that instead of getting our closed beta, we have to PAY for an access pack or wait 3+ more months to play the open beta. What. The. ****? Are you kidding me? If I had gotten to access a closed beta, like promised, before these founders packs went on sale, I would have bought one, if I liked the game. Now, 0 ****s given, I’m done with this game.

    • I think you’re looking at this wrong. The game is not actually in closed beta at this time. The title is actually in closed alpha at this point. IF you watch or read at this point, or try to, they’ve said that they will be running multiple closed beta weekends for those who signed up for testing this fall. With that being said, I understand your frustration, but I think you didn’t pay enough attention.

      The founder’s pack variations are to ensure closed beta access to those who want to play now and not wait till this spring when they start inviting people into the closed beta weekends/test periods. It’s all over their website and even their Facebook. They’re just now starting to lift NDA’s on Alpha Testers. Hope you give the game a chance and follow them on Facebook or something. That’s how I’m keeping up to date.

    • I think you’re looking at this wrong. The game is not actually in closed beta at this time. The title is actually in closed alpha at this point. IF you watch or read at this point, or try to, they’ve said that they will be running multiple closed beta weekends for those who signed up for testing this fall. With that being said, I understand your frustration, but I think you didn’t pay enough attention.
      The founder’s pack variations are to ensure closed beta access to those who want to play now and not wait till this spring when they start inviting people into the closed beta weekends/test periods. It’s all over their website and even their Facebook. They’re just now starting to lift NDA’s on Alpha Testers. Hope you give the game a chance and follow them on Facebook or something. That’s how I’m keeping up to date

  • As someone who has played SMITE since 2014, It’s a 3rd person MOBA where 95% of your abilities are skill shots, and enjoys his FPS games quite a bit i can honestly say Paragon has a pretty sweet concept, i’ve been checking out gameplay for a while and i can say with my full honest opinion that it is awesome! I already purchased my Founder’s Pack via playstation store and i’m pumped to get in the game and learn a new MOBA again. Paragon is like an Arena Shooter/ Arena fighter 3rd person shooter, well nvm that’s exactly what it is, they mixed in a few genres and somehow Epic games created this fine piece of work called Paragon. Can’t wait to see you guys on the battlefield.

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