Since Paragon’s Early Access, it’s been our goal to be transparent and communicate openly. We got that right some of the time, and other times, didn’t do enough. For 2017, we’re doubling down.
We’ll be providing regular updates on what’s to come for Paragon, both in the short term and beyond. That means that you’ll hear about plans that may change, or features and ideas that don’t always ship, but we think that’s better than keeping you in the dark. We hope you agree!
First, A Quick Recap of 2016
We launched a MOBA (Okay, that was hard). We got a ton of feedback from players, made some mistakes, but — most importantly — we learned a lot. We’re excited about the growth of the game and progress we’ve made so far.
- Paragon is growing! There are now 5.7 million registered players.
- Released 25 Heroes in 2016.
- Shipped 132 updates since March.
- Introduced a bunch of features, including draft mode, improved matchmaking, and card crafting.
- Shipped Monolith. New map, new balance, and a new version of Paragon.
- There were 830,000 active players in January, up from 650,000 in November before the release of Monolith. There are also 44% more players playing each week — meaning more players are playing more often.
- Since Monolith, matches that end in a surrender are down by 17% and we’re working to reduce that further. Progress!
Heroes Every Three Weeks
In 2016, we shipped a hero every three weeks, except when we launched Monolith and over the holidays (the team needed a break to spend time with friends and families). In 2017, we’ll again ship a new hero every three weeks. Except maybe over the holidays or when we’re shipping something really big that requires the focus of the whole team. So mostly every three weeks!
On a side note, we realize that we’ve released a string of melee heroes in a row. This was unintended and a result of some very long hero development pipelines. Sorry. Starting with our next ranged hero in April, you’ll see more balance in rotating the types of roles that are released.
All New Card System and New Game Modes
The existing card system has a lot of flaws and doesn’t deliver on the promise, so we are redesigning it right now. We haven’t locked down the details yet, but we are rethinking the entire thing. The goal is to make cards more valuable and impactful to gameplay and increase clarity and ease of use.
There is a ton of demand for new and different game modes. We hear you, and know that launching them will help to grow the game. We have two in experimentation and development that are a lot of fun and bring a new dimension to Paragon.
The first mode is PvP, and will offer a shorter, faster version of Paragon that can be played in 20 minutes or less. It’s radically different than the current PvP mode. The second will be a PvE co-op mode. With both of these, we’ll be starting small and change them throughout the year. Again, they’re experimental, so expect anything and everything to change and evolve as we get feedback and learn. Timing TBD, and details to come.
One other complication that we’re thinking through — we need to figure out when and how to launch them so we improve, rather than degrade, the quality of matchmaking. It’s a hard problem that we haven’t yet solved.
More New Things on the Way
In the next few weeks and months, we’re also lining up these features for release:
- Matchmaking system V2. All new from the ground up.
- Lots of balance changes. We know many things need to be improved and we listen intently. Expect continuous improvement and a handful of mistakes along the way.
- Banners: add your signature to every kill with this new system (screenshots and videos coming soon). It’s experimental but we think it’ll be cool.
- New Skins and Skin Variations: We’re giving you even more skins and a new system that will allow players to unlock more variations for almost every skin.
- “Hero Mastery” improvements. More content, more progression, and more rewards for getting Heroes to max level.
- Loot Crates: More loot (with more variety) will be rolling into crates over the next few months. Expect to find some rare banners and skin variations coming soon in crates.
- Hero Reworks: Revisiting old Heroes with new kits and balance.
What About Competitive Play?
We firmly believe that you can’t rush competitive play. Games that push ranking, events, and tournaments before the game is actually competitive are missing the point and going through the motions. Our guiding principle has been to work with you to figure out when Paragon will be ready, and we’re getting there.
Step one is to begin learning how to do it right. In the first half of 2017, we’re planning to roll out competitive play in stages so we get it into your hands and improve as we go. After that, we’ll deliver a full Ranked Mode that’s balanced for hardcore competitive gameplay.
As for events and competitions, we’ll be starting with laddered competitive events that transition into Paragon Invitationals. We’re also working on prized events that will provide real money rewards for players across many different regions and skill levels. Yes, the investment is real. We want everyone to be able to compete, not just the Pros. Expect more details on this over the next few months.
Growing the Community
Right now, we’re spending very little on marketing, letting Paragon grow mostly by word of mouth. Once the game is more complete, sometime later this year, we plan to get the word out to more players and help the community grow. Our goal is to make it much, much bigger over time. Until then…
…we know that Paragon only exists because of you, and we can’t thank you enough. We are grateful to all of the people who came in during early access, who took a chance and bought founder’s packs, and who support the game by playing and giving us feedback. You rock. Our commitment to you is real, and we’re just getting started.