Paladins starts the year with a bang with today’s Season 5 Update – the biggest one in recent years. Hi-Rez is aiming for 2022 to be the best year yet for their free-to-play fantasy shooter, especially focusing on making the new player experience more welcoming.
To kick off the new competitive season, the Season 5 Update is teeming with all sorts of new content. It features the new Champion VII – pronounced ‘Seven’ – the 2022 Season Pass, the Abyss Hunter Academy Event Pass, changes to core gameplay mechanics, free progression rewards, and more! Major improvements to Siege, Paladins’ most popular mode, will be deployed later during this Update with a special patch.
New Champion: VII
Paladins’ 53rd character, VII, is out today as the first Champion in 2022.
For true justice to prevail, the Realm needs more than pious Judges. They need VII, the Executioner, and Hand of the Outer Tribunal. Unburdened by the trappings of mercy, he ensures that judgments cast are judgments kept.
All about ambushing his opponents, VII can grapple onto walls and use the terrain to his advantage to get the drop on enemies. His weapon mode can be changed on the fly, swapping between automatic fire, burst fire, and unloading the entire clip.
Always nifty, VII is able to dodge-roll out of danger, leaving behind an explosive trap. And as he pronounces the Decree 77 during his ultimate, he makes targeted enemies run away in sheer terror – a rare skill for a Flank Champion.
VII can be unlocked just by playing Paladins. Upon release, he boasts six skins of alternative colors, including two unlocked for free through progression, and two included in the new 2022 Season Pass.
Throughout 2022, Paladins players will get to play three augmentations to Siege, the most popular and most competitive mode. Sure to freshen things up, these iterations – called Schisms – will begin later during this Season 5 Update, with the launch of Siege: Beyond.
This first Schism will feature a brand-new item shop made of one universal track, plus three focused tracks – Support, Tank, and Damage. At any given stage, players choose between three available items instead of the entire selection, making the shop easier for new players to learn. At the same time, with a total of twelve stages of items to choose from and new types of items, it allows for greater strategic depth and deeper customization of Champions according to different play styles.
This first Siege: Beyond Schism will last for about four months. During each Schism, designers will be scrutinizing player sentiment in order to accordingly expand on the changes or revert them. And Siege players who want to stick to their guns need not worry, as Siege: Core will remain available in parallel.
Ranked & Commendation Rewards
Paladins’ Season 4 rewards have just been sent to eligible players. Those who reached Gold in Ranked play have received a Loading Frame based on their highest rank, while another exclusive Loading Frame was granted to everyone who managed to be commended 500 times by their teammates during the past Season.
And now that Season 5 has started, players will receive the Epic Will.0 Willo skin as soon as they win 75 Ranked games.
New Season Pass and Event Pass
The most valuable yearly bundle in Paladins, the Season Pass, has made its return! Featuring the new Jurassic Ying skin and the Dino Dash Mount, the 2022 Season Pass also unlocks each Champion in 2022 and special cosmetics for them, 1500 crystals, and more – all at a compelling price.
Today also marks the release of the Abyss Hunter Academy Event Pass. Whether they are crushing classes or destroying demons, Rei and Maeve are ready to teach foes a lesson to the energizing tunes of the music from hit YouTube artist AmaLee.
The Class President Rei skin can be unlocked for free just by playing matches, while Schoolyard Maeve is an instant unlock granted as soon as players purchase the Event Pass. It also unlocks the second version of each skin and a total of 24 rewards through progression.
As a new Pass, the Abyss Hunter Academy Event Pass comes with new Trials of the Realm, popular in-game challenges to reward dedication, all accessible for free.
Changes to Core Anti-Heal Mechanics
The Cauterize item has been removed and its Healing reduction effect transferred over to a global default stat. This high-impact change aims at putting an end to frustration for newcomers in Paladins, often advised to ‘always buy Cauterize’ without always knowing why. The new system should also please seasoned veterans since it allows for more freedom and impact when choosing which items to purchase.
In theory just one of many available in-game items, Cauterize was in practice the best way to reduce Healing in Paladins – a game where Healing is so important. In any match at a solid level, it ended up effectively required to buy Cauterize. It is now gone from the shop and its Healing reduction is automatically applied to everyone’s weapon, starting low in intensity but increasing throughout the game.