It’s official, guys. Hi-Rez is removing that most contentious feature — Cards Unbound — from Paladins. The announcement was posted mere moments ago as part of a producer’s-style letter from the new Executive Producer HiRezChris. (Although, it should be noted he’s not new to Hi-Rez, he just worked on SMITE until about a month ago.)
The letter covers a few things, including the release of the Battlegrounds via today’s patch. But for a lot of the game’s more loyal players, the most anticipated news would be the fate of Card Unbound. And it is sealed. Despite reporting that the system has seen success in increasing player engagement and bringing in new users as well as increasing revenue per player. The devs have noted — thanks in part to things like the “bad art” on Reddit — that it’s not what loyal players want. So, they’ll be working on removing Cards Unbound from the game over “the next major release cycle” and replacing it with something that reintroduces the deck building system and implements a “less grindy” way to obtain cards.
— Todd Harris (@ToddAlanHarris) February 22, 2018
While the team is still working out the fine details on this new system, they have provided players with a list that explains where they’re at with things right now. (The list is subject to change.)
- Legendary Cards will now be called Talents.
- Talents will only have a single level.
- Talents will be unlocked for free by earning XP and gaining Champion levels (for example; level 1,5,10,15).
- All Champion Cards will now be free (No cost or grind).
- Deck creation will return to a point system where players can distribute 15 points across the five cards they select for their loadout. Each Champion Card will have five ranks to choose from.
- Talents will not have ranks, and are not included in the loadout point cap.
- Talents and Decks will continue to be chosen at match start to allow players to tailor their playstyles based on their opponents.
- New Talents will be added over time and give further varied playstyles.
- Champion Mastery will no longer be capped at level 25. Instead, it will work similarly to Player Account leveling (which has no cap).
- Card chests will be removed from the game.
- We are evaluating the best options to compensate players for their previously earned cards, and hope to share details soon.
The letter also offered some information on general future plans for the game. If you’d like to read it in full, it can be found here. (Although I’d also expect it to pop up on the Paladins site at some point.)