Late last week, Hi-Rez dropped a new patch - OB44 - for their free-to-play hero shooter Paladins that introduced a new currency called Essence and lots of grind, among other things. You can read more about it here, but basically it made getting ability-augmenting loadout cards and the new Legendary cards a complete chore. Players were naturally not happy.
Hi-Rez have heard the complaints, and thankfully they intend to address them. Their plans on the matter were detailed on Reddit, and reading them should restore - at least some - faith in disgrunted players.
The first thing they addressed was the cost of the Legendary Cards, which they plan to reduce from 18,000 Essence to 12,000. Players who purchased them at the original price will be refunded Essence as compensation. On a related note, they will also keep an eye on the balance of the Legendaries and make the appropriate adjustments if necessary.
Perhaps more important than the price drop of Legendaries is the increase in amount of Essence earned from duplicate card drops in Radiant Chests. Originally, a measly 60 Essence was given per duplicate; now, that amount is 250. "Note that we are also looking at additional ways to make sure players have more ways to earn gold and essence, and will continue to evaluate the pricing over time," wrote Hi-Rez. An example the gave was "the ability to disenchant unwanted cards for Essence".
One of the big concerns over the Essence system was the sour experience new players would face. In response, Hi-Rez said that in the future, they will grant 1,000 Essence per earned achievement and will retroactively grant Essence for achievements that are earned prior to that change.
"We will also be adding new achievements in a future patch for new players that provide a boost in Essence - an example might be “Build your first custom loadout” which will provide 12,000 Essence," the post said. "Additionally, we will be increasing the First Win of the Day (FWOTD) reward Gold from 300g to 450g which can be obtained 3 times daily."
The new patch had also updated Paladins' Mastery Rewards structure, meaning that players now "now receive a Radiant Chest for the levels of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 10 for each champion". For players who were active before the patch dropped, Hi-Rez are rolling out refunds in the form of Essence due to servers being unable to handle the number of chests needed to be given out.
In the post, Hi-Rez also stated that their intent with the new system wasn't to "create an impossible grind", but to reward players "for the time they put into the game".
"We are committed to finding the right balance and thank you for your patience as we tune the system!" they wrote.
Aside from continuing to monitor player feedback, the studio is also working on "another big update" for Paladins at the moment and says that players can expect OB45 patch notes next week.