Is Paladins really secretly Pay to win?

I’ve seen many YouTube videos from Paladins veterans voice their opinion that the “grind” in Paladins is unreasonable. I used to think “really?” because I didn’t feel it. Every character and player level granted me some gold and sometimes a treasure chest. I quickly became super rich (in game) and I bought a lot of cosmetic items and many, many treasure boxes. That was in the past and I find myself in a very similar situation as these PC veterans who have stuck around long enough.

Part of the reason why I didn’t feel the same way as the PC crowd is because console players are roughly two patches behind. So whilst the platform I was playing was still generously giving away currency/chests, this was taken away from PC platform. I can’t remember which patch the change came with but all that has disappeared. Previously, there is a reward tied to every level you achieve for your champions be it gold or treasure chests. This gives players a reason to play as other champions. This made the mad nature of random drops of the treasure chests a bit easier to swallow. As of right now, only the first, fourth, sixth and twentieth character levels (20 is the level cap) will give you a treasure chest. Levels two and three will grant you gold. That’s it. Everything in between there are no rewards. What’s the point of playing other champions?

The treasure chests are also problematic. All the drops are random so you are not guaranteed to receive any new items at all. Meaning you could be stuck with the basic loadouts after 20 chests. In fact, you are not guaranteed to completely own all skills even if you had a million pounds (of real money) and spent it on these chests. This is bullshit. Why should my Makoa not be as good as another because I haven’t had the “luck” to unlock another card? This isn’t a level playing field anymore.

I would like to see the chances of getting something new when opening chests. Anecdotally, I’ve gotten way, way, way more duplicates than new skills. In fact, I reckon Hi-res have tweaked the system to heavily favour duplicates. This is disturbing. I would be more happy to spend money on skins than on champion skills. I have spent £120 on Dead or Alive 5 costumes, £30 on Street Fighter 4 skins, but I haven’t invested in games that require money to “win” because it’s not fun.

I really like playing Paladins but I don’t think I will be happy to grind forever – and I’m a new-ish player! I started in May when the open beta was available for the Xbox One (it’s now July).

Although throwing more money at Paladins will have a higher chance of getting a new card, you’re still not guaranteed to so it also screws up people who are throwing money at the game too! So Paladins isn’t a straight forward pay to win. It’s pay to maybe win more. This needs to change.

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