Teams: Before each match, players join either the "left" or "right" team that will be considered their territory on the map. You will remain on the same team and work together throughout the match to win.
Lanes: There are three clearly-defined pathways in Monolith, “Left”, “Middle”, and “Right”, which are surrounded by less-defined areas known as "jungles". Typically, at the start of each match, teammates will split up into the three different lanes to face off against opponents.
Minions: Non-playable AI that accompanies players in each lane. Their primary function is to assist players, though they are limited in what they can do.
Structures: In each team's territory will be a collection of structures that you and your teammates must protect. There are three types of structures:
Towers: The two outermost structures in each lane are called towers. You must destroy the enemy team's towers in order to advance, but be careful – the towers fight back!
Inhibitors: Inhibitors are structures in each lane that regulate minion control for the enemy team. If you destroy an enemy team's inhibitor, your minions in that lane will become stronger.
Core: The main purpose in a Paragon match is to protect your team's core structure. Each team has only one core, and if it is destroyed, the game is over regardless of any other match criteria. A core cannot be damaged until all towers and inhibitors in at least one lane have been destroyed. The Core is able to attack you as well but instead of a single target it will attack all enemies in range at once. The more minions you have in range of the Core the less damage is dealt to each target.
Note about towers/inhibitors: These structures will attack the first thing to enter their range (let the minions go in first). If you attack an enemy hero while they are standing under their tower/inhibitor, it will begin attacking you. Damage ramps up with each successive hit, so try to get out of range quickly when the tower turns its eyes towards you.
The Gold Buff
The Gold Buff is a new objective for the safe lane that we feel meets our design goals of giving players more control over team economy.
Regularly claiming the Gold Buff can ensure a strong economic advantage for the carry. The safe lane duo will also need to protect the Gold Buff from the oppressive Offlaner and Jungler in order to keep it out of the hands of the enemy team.
A notable property of Mid Lane is its location: the middle of the map! Being in the middle carries certain truths that should bleed into strategy. Aside from the Jungler, the Mid player is the most likely to rotate into one of the other lanes. If we imagine the Jungler as a role that can tilt the balance of lane pressure slightly, Mid is the role that can shift the balance much more dramatically. A Mid rotation represents a stronger team commitment to an objective. It could be to try and score a gank on the Safe Lane or hunt down the Jungler in their own territory; maybe it’s just to play defense and allow their team to farm up
As you may have noticed, we've added a river that cuts through the heart of Monolith. The river acts as a sunken road that splits the map, connecting players quickly to other lanes, both jungles, and the Orb Prime pit. The Mid player will need to use the river to make quick and undetected rotations around the map. Teams will need to keep good vision in this area as rotations from the middle lane are much harder to detect on Monolith.
In order to help keep the Mid Lane in the action, we’ve added some new objectives, we’re calling them River Buffs. The River Buffs are short duration, HIGH impact power-ups designed primarily for the Mid laner. With the addition of these River Buffs, a Mid laner can be all over the map without a ton of down time.
Guarding the Off lane is a fun but perilous endeavor. The likely case is fighting two versus one and that can be tricky. As a player might expect, it can be challenging to secure last hits in this lane as there is going to be at least one and probably two heroes poking at you every time you try to score a minion kill.
Experience is very important as it has a big impact in increasing the power of your abilities and base stats. Playing in the Off lane is about managing your resources until your experience advantage can take hold. That could mean something different for each hero. It might be a spike in your ability damage or hitting level five and grabbing your ultimate ability before your opponent.
There are also unfavorable beats for the Off lane. Eventually, the minion wave will likely end up way too close to the enemy tower. Staying in experience range will be really risky for the Off laner. During this time they’ll look to spend time elsewhere. This is a good time to look for a gank or help clear some of the weak-side jungle camps. To play the Offlane successfully is to stay within this rhythm and optimize your actions, regardless of the current state.
For an Off laner to live in this rhythm they’ll need a certain set of tools. A durable or slippery hero is recommended for the Off lane position. A durable hero will be able to take more harassment in lane while a slippery hero might bait enemies into taking unfavorable trades from minion or tower damage. Heroes with good base damage on their abilities and high-impact ultimates are a nice bonus.
Why the Off lane?
We really want each position to feel unique. Let’s take a given hero, Sevarog for instance. He remains one of our most flexible heroes on Monolith. He is a solid Jungler, a decent Support and a good Off laner. Playing Sevarog in each of these positions feels completely different on Monolith. The position you play changes the way you think about the hero. You’re going to want to accomplish different things, so you’re going to want to make different card and ability choices.
The Monolith Jungle is divided into two sides adjacent to the mid lane. For now, we’ve been referring to these two sides as the strong and weak side. The strong side (next to Safe Lane) is called strong because it has more minion camps and access to the new Jungle Buff, which we will get to in a bit. The weak side (next to Off lane) is called weak simply because it has access to fewer minion camps. In order to alleviate some of the monotony of running from side to side, we’ve added a jump pad to the strong side Jungle that players can use to get to the weak side faster. Part of playing the Jungler role well is to develop fast and effective routes through the jungle that help you maximize your role.
A lot has changed about the Jungle minions on Monolith, so let's start with the things that are the same. To start, minion spawning and respawning has been reworked in Monolith. The common “white” camps work on a brand-new reinforcing system. Each minion camp has an initial spawn group, usually two white minions. After the initial group has been spawned, an additional minion will “reinforce” his buddies on a regular cadence. Additional minions will continue to reinforce until a hard cap is met. For now, this cap is set to five minions. After a white camp has reached it’s cap, it will stop reinforcing until one or more of its inhabitants are killed.
Players will regularly want to clear the these Jungle camps when they get too full of minions as they are technically losing potential experience and card power by leaving fully stacked minion camps on the map. A good rule of thumb for a Jungler is to make sure that none of your Jungle camps are capped before you go run for a gank or some counter jungling. Keeping your white camps uncapped will give you a strong experience and card power bonus over someone who lets them all cap up.
Buff camps on the other hand, are much more simplistic. Once a buff camp is killed it will respawn some amount of time later. The respawn time is based on when the buff was last killed. Most of you may already be familiar with this as this is similar to how the Jungle minions used to work in older versions of Legacy. Keeping control of the buffs on your side of the map will prove very beneficial over the course of a match.
The Jungle Buff
We’ve added a brand new buff to the game that we feel creates some really unique scenarios. Claiming the Jungle Buff will give the owner a damage shield. While the shield is active, every time the owner is struck, the shield will apply some damage to the attackers. Once the shield is depleted it will explode, dealing damage to nearby enemies. These two components make the Jungle Buff really useful for efficient Jungle clearing. It also is a great tool for tower diving and ganking, providing some extra mitigation and an additional burst of damage on depletion. Controlling the Jungle Buff at all stages of the game provides great utility.
The Amber Link
Once a match starts, players will notice that they already have control of their Link. Over time, the Link will fill with card power. At regular intervals, it will then take some of it’s cached card power and automatically distribute it to the entire team. At a basic level, this mirrors the drip mechanic from Legacy; generating a small amount of card power over the duration of the match.
In addition to the small amount of card power that happens over time, the Amber Link will also fill with card power every time a nearby Jungle Minion is killed by a teammate. An efficient Jungler will be able to make a sizable contribution of card power to the team. The Link becomes a key objective on the map, and enemies are going to want to somehow target or restrict it. As we discussed, the Link cannot be placed and can also not be destroyed. It can however, be stolen from. A bold enemy can sneak over to your side of the Jungle and attack the Link, stealing some of the cached card power for themselves. The Jungler becomes the manager of the Link, needing to both protect it and boost its value with Jungle minion kills. It also opens up some interesting counter jungling opportunities that a good Jungler will want to consider in their route.