Saturday, November 3, 2012

Smite - New Arena Game Mode

Yesterday, Hi-rez Studios, the creators of Global Agenda, Tribes: Ascend, and Smite released a rather large game changing patch for Smite. The patch included a new god, the Norse Trickster God, Loki, a reworking of the ability item system, and a new game mode. This new game mode is called Arena and is taking the focus on player vs player combat to a new extreme.

An Overview of the Smite Arena

If you didn't already know this, Smite was created with the intention of having a MOBA that is less farm or creep score based with a bigger focus on team fights and interaction between the enemy players. Hi-rez did manage to succeed in doing this in the traditional moba game mode, now known as Conquest. However, Arena has taken it to an entirely new level. Instead of 3 lanes divided by jungle, Arena takes places in... well... an arena. A battleground heavily inspired by the Colosseum; Arena features only one central "lane" if you could call it that. The entire arena is open but each creep wave travels a similar path down the middle of the arena towards the enemy base.

The point of arena is to reduce your enemies ticket count to 0. Each team of five players starts with 500 tickets. Earning kills on the enemy team will reduce their ticket count. Futhermore, if the above mentioned creep waves reach the enemy base, they will lose extra tickets.

I'm not going to lie, I was a little skeptical as to how much I would enjoy the new game mode. I felt like it was too much of a transition from traditional MOBA play that it would lose some of its charm. I am incredibly proud to say that I was wrong. Jumping into the game, I was immediately thrown into the action. It is actually fairly accurate to say that arena is essentially a 15 to 20 minute team fight. It is nothing but action all the way through and it is glorious.

I can already tell that arena is going to be a great addition to Smite simply because of the difference between it and Conquest. Anyone who has ever played a MOBA knows how stressful it can get at times. Arena is a breath of fresh air in that regard because it allows someone to just hop into a game, get kills, practice with new gods, and just not be bothered with the stress of Conquest. Its a game mode that will ideally simply be played for fun without all of the negativity that comes with traditional MOBA gameplay.

All in all, this new patch shows that Hi-rez is incredibly capable of keeping Smite going ridiculously strong from here on out. They are amazing developers who really seem to have a great grasp on what they're doing. The design team behind Arena should feel incredibly accomplished for succeeding in creating another game mode in a MOBA that is actually tolerable and fun for more than a few games.

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