Smite: Mythology Takes Over MOBA

WoW Meets LoL…

 

While freemium gaming on mobile devices is a mostly yawn-inducing affair, the PC freemium gaming market is much more refined. When Microsoft’s Riot Games released League of Legends into the freemium market in 2009, the gaming world slowly started paying attention. League‘s Conquest mode, based on the popular Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne “Defense of the Ancients” mod. Now Indie developer Hi-Rez Studios has taken the obvious next step, throwing a World of Warcraft perspective and mythological gods into the mix to create Smite.

 

Smite Be the Best Game of 2014…

 

I played League of Legends for a little over a year. After losing my job at the bank, I ended up having to sell most of my gaming consoles and scale back my subscription services. I cancelled my WoW account, let my Xbox and PlayStation subscriptions run out, and cancelled Hulu Plus, Netflix, and my cable service. I relegated myself to LoL my Steam library, and a few emulators as my only decent gaming options. The instant I heard about Smite, I was hooked. By using mythological gods from various human civilizations as characters, Smite created a universe that’s easily recognizable, providing a low barrier to entry.

 

Anyone who loved the PvP aspect of World of Warcraft will love Smite, but it’s by no means limited to that audience. With a variety of game modes, mastery levels, and more, this game has a lot to get excited about. Hi-Rez appears to have solid support behind this game. I played over a dozen games so far, and I haven’t experienced any downtime or connection issues. My laptop (a three-year-old Samsung I threw off the second story of a building) reset at one point during the character select, but other than that, my machine handled the load, as did their servers.

The guys at Hi-Rez clearly know what they’re doing, and their open beta of the game is more polished than many final releases. The Smite tournament rankings are working well, livestreams of matches are running, and competition between the various game modes is already stiff. Once they start implementing prizes and upgrade trees for each character, things are going to heat up. Currently, each time you play a match, you rank up the individual God while raising your overall mastery. These stats will inevitably be used for some type of reward system that should be in place sometime before the official game launch in March 2014.

Smite Be the Best Freemium Game Ever…

 

 

The menu interface in Smite is a bit confusing at first, but, once you figure everything out, it’s quite intuitive. Controls within the game were smooth on my laptop, one roommates’ tablet, and the other roommate’s gaming desktop. I was especially impressed with the responsiveness on my laptop’s trackpad, as using a mouse is difficult when lounging in bed. In LoL, this meant I had to use slow characters such as Heimerdinger, but in Smite, I was able to utilize mages, hunters, and melee characters.

Thus far, the rock-paper-scissors balance of the game holds up well. There are currently 44 gods to choose from, representing a cross-section of Greek, Egyption, Norse, Roman, Chinese, Mayan, Hindu, and more. Characters can either be ranged or melee, cause physical or magical damage, and use a variety of secondary skills, such as stuns, confuse, grab, etc.

Each character works best as a Tank (draws damage, i.e. Odin, the Norse Allfather), Support (crowd control, i.e. He Bo, the Chinese God of the Yellow River), Sustain (healing & bonus stats, i.e. Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Beauty), or DPS (pusher or attack damage, i.e. Ah Muzan Cab, the Mayan God of Bees). In order to win the 5v5 modes, your team needs a balance; in 3v3 and below (such as Arena and Joust), stacking can overcome balance.

Smite Master the Gods…

 

 

Choosing a character (and the items to build that character) that’s suited to you in Smite can seem daunting at first. It all depends on what and how you like to play. If you’re the type of person to rush head on into people, you’ll want a Tank or Pusher. If you like staying behind people, choose Sustain or ranged DPS. If you want more information on the characters, click here for the Smite God Quick Reference Guide

Regardless of how you decide to play, Smite is a worthy addition to any gamer’s rotation. It looks poised to bring freemium gaming to the next generation. Gaming giant Microsoft keeps finding competition from Indie developers, and this offering from Hi-Rez Studios looks to be big enough to compete with both League of Legends and World of Warcraft. If they implement a saliva-worthy drop system, Hi-Rez could Smite the competition and WoW the entire gaming industry.

Brian Penny Versability Whistleblower Anonymous smokingBrian Penny is a former business analyst at Bank of America turned whistleblower, consultant, troll doctor, and writer. He’s featured on The Huffington Post, MainstreetLifehackMoney Side of Life, Gaiam, HardcoreDroid, and more.

Versability

Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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