Epic Games has started to reveal details for the new map coming to Paragon in 2017.
Paragon is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) from Epic Games, and has one map available for play: Agora. The reveal of the new map, Monolith, is Epic Games’ offering of a more compact arena for players to battle in, and a strategy to solve some issues surrounding Paragon‘s gameplay. These issues include travel mode (TM), match duration, and the lack of a fleshed out punishment/reward system for players who make mistakes and those who capitalize on them.
Since the beginning, TM has been a central mechanic of Paragon, as it distinguishes between in-combat running speed and out-of-combat running speed. TM is needed due to the massive size of Agora – now known as “Legacy”. The expansive jungle areas and long lanes meant players needed a fast travel solution, which TM was meant to solve. In autumn of 2016, Epic Games tried working on a solution which involved teleporting players around the map. This was intended to make engagements more meaningful due to the long cool down of the teleport ability, and solve one of the main flaws of TM – ganking (player ambushes), as players would abuse the movement speed of TM and focus exclusively on team kills versus securing map objectives and winning the game. However, in play testing, Epic Games decided the mechanic wasn’t doing what was intended and decided to scrap it. This lead directly to the development of Monolith.
For Paragon, the commitment players had to give for matches was often too much. Games were often in the 40-50 minute region, and hour-long bouts were not uncommon. At extreme ends of the spectrum, players have reported games taking over an hour and a half, even up to 2 hours to play. This was a problem–sitting down for over an hour slogging away on the same match gets stale for players and can interfere with real life commitments. Epic Games has recently implemented changes to tower health and minion behavior in V.32, resulting in faster tower takedowns. This worked and game times have reduced, on average lasting around 30-40 minutes. This is much closer to Epic Games’ ideal of 32 minute long games.
Commitments and Consequences
Epic Games has been grappling with the balance of poor player decisions and the resulting consequences that affect matches. As it stands, poor decision making and bad rotations don’t have enough punishment for the players at fault, or reward for those who play well. Part of the way Epic Games addressed this is reducing TM speed in V.32, with a slower maximum movement speed that make long distance engagements no longer possible. This in turn reduces the ability of players to rotate across the map to defend an open tower, and reduces game times. Coupled with the removal of travel mode in Monolith, Epic Games is hoping to show players the importance of their decisions, benefiting good play and punishing poor choices.
Paragon has a list of issues, and Epic Games’ response is Monolith. From what play testers have said and from footage off Twitch streams, the new map is going to help massively. It’s asymmetrical, imitating the “long lane – short lane” style of SMITE, with a new range of jungle buffs. Several veteran Reddit users put together a speculation of what Monolith would look like, however the finished map may change by release. The Paragon development team are still releasing details about the map in a weekly blog post and on Twitter. With a size reduction, different lane lengths, and adaptations to the jungle, Monolith promises to bring about an exciting paradigm shift, and improve Paragon for everyone.
Paragon is a 3rd person MOBA from Epic Games, to try it, go to the website and download for free!