For this week’s blog I decided to play Smite. Smite is a free to play MOBA, Massive Online Battle Arena, developed by Hi Rez Studios. The game was originally released in 2014 but has been rereleased on multiple platforms since then. I played the game on my Xbox One and have been playing Smite for over a year now. Smite is not like your typical game that people think of when you play Xbox. Xbox is typically associated with Call of Duty or Halo. MOBA’s are typically known for being PC games like DOTA and League of Legends. Smite for all intense and purposes is the first MOBA to come to Xbox and is why it caught my interest.
Smite World Championship 2017 NRG
Smite is not your typical MOBA as it is played from a third person perspective, as opposed to the traditional top down view. Not only is the camera placement different it is also the characters. Smite is known as the Battle Ground of the Gods because it takes Gods from different mythologies around the world. There are gods from the Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Japanese, Mayan, Norse, and Roman mythologies. Having people recognize characters like Zeus or Thor allows players to relate to the game. In total, there are 86 playable Gods in the game. Out of the 86 Gods they are split into 5 different classes Assassin, Guardian, Hunter, Mage, and Warrior.
A somewhat outdated look at the playable Gods in Smite
Smite’s top game mode, and only relevant game mode, is Conquest. Conquest is a 5 v 5 game mode where the objective is to take out the enemy Titian. Each team has an equal start and the game comes down to team play and communication. The each player has a specific role jungle, solo, mid, carry, and support.
Smite’s current Conquest map
Determining who the “artist” of Smite was difficult, but I decided to go with Ajax. Ajax is the lead designer for Smite. The games been out since 2014 and has been going steadily growing since. The question becomes why? A game 3 years old is growing in popularity because it has been able to adapt throughout the years. The reason for this has been the lead designer. Ajax oversees any change that will make it into the game and has final say on the matter. Stockburger explains, “The Artist is changing a functional or aesthetic element in an existing game. This often critical or ironic intervention is referred to as modification (mod) or patch.” (Stockburger p. 29) Smite is currently on season 4. Smite releases a new patch roughly every two weeks and is currently on patch 4.4. Each Smite patch presents several changes from God balances, item changes, and adding/subtracting elements to the map. This means that the artist, Ajax, is changing the way the game plays every two weeks. This is what makes Smite different from other games as it is constantly changing. Ajax is important because he decides on how Smite changes. For good or bad, mostly bad the community HATES Ajax, Ajax is the artist that paints the Battlefield of the Gods.
A picture of Ajax and the common sentiment of the community.