Sometimes we take for granted the information we may have learned over the years and just assume that its general knowledge and anyone who plays should already know it by now. The communities that play MOBAs are traditionally as tough to crack as the genre itself and many new players have a hard time finding information, and in my case even players who have played these games for a while still have something to learn. With that in mind we wanted to start a series that introduces new players to some of the concepts and gameplay elements in Paragon, hopefully even more seasoned players can learn a thing or two as well. Today we are talking about Map Objectives, what they are, why they’re important, and where to find them.
If you prefer, I made a video to accompany this guide, it’s not important to watch first, but here it is!
All the world’s a stage
I had played one MOBA or another for nearly three years when I saw a new player on Dota 2 ask “so what is a the objective in this game?” and another player answered in such a perfect way that it stuck with me from then on. In any MOBA the objective is to destroy your enemies Base, or Core, or Ancient. The time from the start of the game, until you reach that point can be summed up like this:
“Kill minions to earn gold, spend gold on better items, use better items to destroy towers, destroy towers to kill enemy players, Kill players to get into the base, get into the base to destroy the Core, destroy the Core to win the game”
This run on sentence is describing the stages of the game, and while some of the steps could be taken out-of-order, while learning the game you should be trying to remember these steps and try to think of where you are in them.
Paragon has some interesting mechanics that change the first step in this flowchart from “Kill minions to earn gold” to “capture objectives to earn card points”. Card points can be looked at as just another form of currency, but exactly what are the objectives in Paragon and why are they so important?
The Importance of Early Game Objectives
Paragon is unique from other MOBAs in that the currency gained from the Jungle minions and side objectives is shared while the experience is still shared for the players in the immediate area. In Dota 2 and League of Legends the “Jungler” position exists so that they can level up and not leech experience and gold from the other players in lane. Paragon is also unique in that the majority of your currency will be gained from either the Harvesters or from clearing the Jungle camps. This means that while in Dota 2 and League of Legends the Jungle camps are optional, in Paragon, they are completely necessary.
Coming into Paragon this was the hardest concept for me to grasp. I was used to the idea of the jungle being optional, so when someone yelled at me for not capping a harvester or for heading into the jungle to help clear the camps, I was more than just a little confused.
Jungle camps and Harvesters provide Card XP, or CXP that can be used to purchase cards, and because this resource is shared by all players the faster and more frequently it is collected, the more your team will benefit. Players still gain XP from kills or destroying towers, but only as individuals, or shared between multiple players if they complete an objective together. The more Card XP you and your team collect, the better cards, and upgrades that you can purchase, and help you move onto the next steps of the game. So while in other games clearing the jungle and capturing objectives may be superfluous it is necessary in Paragon.
Unique to Paragon, the Harvesters are placed around the map, and provide a reliable way to earn Card XP.
The map above shows all the objective locations, the light blue circles are the harvesters, and for now… ignore everything else. The Harvesters are all in close proximity to lanes, and become available for capture at three minutes into the game (for the inner locations) and six minutes into the game (for the outer two). To capture a harvester a player needs to stand on the harvester for a certain amount of time, if they have a Key in their inventory, the duration is considerably less, and as a rule of thumb if you aren’t picking up wards, you should be picking up a Key.
Once a Harvester is captured, it will gather “Amber” on its own which eventually will need to be collected. The Amber will grant CXP to all players on the team, and the Harvester will start collecting more as soon as there is a deficit.
After a Harvester is captured it is possible for an enemy team to destroy it, and place their own, but be careful, attacking a harvester will alert the enemy team, and takes a considerable amount of damage, so try to co-ordinate this with your team to avoid alerting enemies to your location then dying before you can even place a new Harvester.
If you only learn one thing from this entire article, just know that Harvesters will win or lose games, capture them early, collect from them often, and if possible destroy the ones your enemy has placed.
Welcome to the Jungle
The jungle camps are similar in nature to League of Legends in that each camp may provide players with a certain buff depending on which camp they clear in addition to any XP and Card XP.
- White Camp- XP and Card XP
- Red Camp- XP, Card XP, and Red Orb. The Red Orb grants energy and physical damage, as well as stacking movement speed.
- Blue Camp- XP, Card XP, Blue Orb. The Blue Orb gives 20% cooldown reduction and bonus mana regeneration.
- Black Camp- Xp, Card XP, Black Orb. The Black Orb causes your hits to burn structures on hit causing massive damage over five seconds. This doesn’t stack, but the duration is refreshed on each hit.
With the exception of the Black Camp all the colors spawn at the 90 second mark. The Black camp spawns at the 6 minute point of the match. Since Card XP is shared, anyone who clears the jungle will be helping their team, and just like with the harvesters, if you don’t clear the camps you are actually hurting the team since your enemy can enter the jungle and give the CXP to their own team.
There is only one black camp, and although it spawns at six minutes, you may need more time before you can capture it. The buff only helps you take down towers, and if you aren’t ready to attack a tower, the buff won’t help you. Pace yourself and take this camp when its going to help, since there is plenty to do before you should be pushing down towers!
The Orb Prime, or OP is the purple camp on the map, if you have played Dota 2, or League of Legends this is closest to Roshan or Baron Nashor (trivia: Baron Nashor is Roshan backwards-ish) but the buff provided from Orb Prime is much more powerful than in any other game.
After clearing the Purple Camp, the player who delivered the killing blow will gain the Purple Orb or Orb Prime. This orb will travel along with the player and grant them a pretty big buff, but getting the Orb is only the first half of the fun.
After Picking up Orb Prime the player who picked it up will be shown on their enemies minimap, and if that player dies the enemy can pick it up for themselves. Why would anyone want it you ask? Well, if a player manages to pick up the Orb then deliver it to the Alter on their enemies side of the map, the OP buff is applied to all players on the team, not just the one carrying it.
The OP buff activates any Helix cards in a players deck, as well as an AOE that buffs any minions nearby.
The OP buff pretty much ends the game if its captured. It takes a lot to stop a team after they grab the buff, but since it alerts all the players when its captured, and it needs to be delivered to the enemies side of the map, there is no excuse for letting anyone capture this without one heck of a fight.
All Along The Watchtower
Once you’ve gotten some levels, and hopefully picked up a few cards, you should start looking to push and destroy some towers. If you try to attack one of these too early you will likely get obliterated since they dump a ton of damage out, and can take out the tankiest character in just a couple hits, but when they do go down they will grant a decent amount of XP for heroes nearby and Card XP for the entire team.
An interesting note is that in Paragon you don’t actually attack the Towers, but instead hit a crystal in front of it. The number above the crystal tells you the amount of minions that are within range of the tower, giving you an idea of when its time to run in and get some damage in or when its time to turn and run before you take a hit. Towers will not regenerate after they are destroyed so make sure you destroy them if they are low on health since taking one out means less room for your enemies to work with.
Every road comes to an inhibitor
At the end of each lane is an inhibitor, these will attack just like a tower, but six minutes after being destroyed will regenerate similar to League of Legends. During the time between destruction and regeneration the team that destroyed the inhibitor will spawn “Super Minions” which deal additional damage and have more health. You should try to push these with your team since capturing them too early could lead to one lane getting pushed too far, but remember if you can’t close the game out in those six minutes, get out!
The Core of the Game
The core is the final objective in the game, destroy it and you win! The core does defend itself by pulsing damage out to all units in the area, however the damage gets distributed evenly, so if there are a lot of minions hitting it they all will only take a little damage, but if only one lane manages to get by, the minions who get to the core will get blasted before they can really get a crack at it. Make sure that when you do attack the core, you bring the fight to it, and that everyone attacks at once, the faster it’s down, the faster you win!
Hopefully this guide helps you learn a few of the objectives in Paragon, and maybe show you that it’s not as simple as you thought. The objectives in this game are incredibly important and shouldn’t be ignored.