As we alluded to briefly in the last F2P Cast, Paladins has changed up how players acquire and improve their cards — which themselves improve the abilities their characters use in game. Troy gave it an A-bomb and it appears he’s not the only one who’s less than enamored with the new system, which is currently on the public test server.
As I only lightly dabbled in Paladins, over a year ago, I’ll mostly crib from Kotaku’s explanation of the old and new systems. In the current system, players have to obtain cards in packs or via crafting (the currency for which comes from trashing duplicates), which they then equip on their characters. Under the new system, called Cards Unbound, players receive base versions of all cards, and duplicates will instead “rank up” existing cards, making them more powerful.
The problem(s) seems to be that, under the old system, once you had a card, that was it — no more progression/grinding necessary. Under the new system, you’ll need multiples of the same card to achieve the best possible build in the game. That means you’ll need to open more RNG packs, which you can earn in game, but are also (of course) available for purchase. Also, you can’t craft cards any more.
Some are drawing direct lines between this system and Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s Star Cards, which also rank up to improve characters’ abilities, and you know where that road leads. At least the system is only in place for quick play and not competitive matches in Paladins, but it would seem to be a detriment to casual players who aren’t interested in competitive.
The page announcing Cards Unbound says that Hi-Rez has “been listening to our players” who want “an epic experience that’s even more over-the-top than Paladins is today, unconstrained by the more cumbersome aspects of deckbuilding and point limits” in quick play while reducing grind and “having to unlock cards” in competitive play. We’ll see if the backlash, which is all over the sub-Reddit, will make Hi-Rez listen to its players more.
And if you’re a Paladins player, leave us a comment and let us know what you think of the changes in Cards Unbound!