I’ve played a lot of League of Legends. Probably too much considering my busy schedule and having a full and active family. I enjoy the game though simply because I get a mental workout alongside the enjoyment of playing a great game. However, for the last few weeks, I’ve put maybe 2-3 hours into League. Why? I could blame the time I’ve been spending on Charlie Murder and Saints Row 4 but I’d be lying. I started to play more of the game SMITE.
Back when the game was barely out of Alpha, I was given a code to this game that would allow me to access every god ever released for this 3rd-person MOBA. I probably put in about 2 hours of time playing the game. A few weeks back, after dealing with a particularly toxic afternoon of League of Legends players, I decided to spend some time playing SMITE for a break. I also convinced @jonathan to join me. Since then, we have spent some time learning the characters and the game modes, all while our League accounts sat around collecting dust.
The thing about SMITE is that its community is still in its infancy. You’ll encounter the occasional troll or feeder, that is to be expected. Something that wasn’t expected though was the fact that most feeders that I have encountered were just new players trying to learn and my troll game ratio was about 10:1. If you have ever played a game of League of Legends, you know those are odds that you would kill for. The young, budding community is a far better and much more welcoming place that you will ever find on a League server.
That is the major thing here, playing SMITE I lost games because of a lack of my ability, a lack of my team’s ability or because we didn’t understand how our opponents worked. It was very rare that we had a player on the team that went out of their way to try to make you lose. This is unfortunately an incredibly common occurrence in many other MOBA games. Now, will SMITE forever be a haven of good sportsmanship and friendly players? No. Nothing like that lasts forever. For now, though, it’s a great place to try something totally new.
SMITE is also a definite deviation from what would be considered the norm in a MOBA game. Instead of the typical RTS-style camera view, you control your character from a 3rd-person view. This means that every ability you have is a skillshot (a manually targeted and activated attack) and you won’t catch someone sneaking up behind you. Combat is chaotic and big fights feel like watching mythical deities battling it out. Winning a game is really done off of your own merit, not just because someone picked the stronger characters. SMITE does of good job of being itself, yet also including traditional concepts that long time MOBA fans will recognize.
Something that is very interesting about SMITE is the fact that you may recognize some of the gods from their counterparts from other MOBA games. Zeus plays very similar to DOTA 2′s Zeus, while Neith plays quite similar to League of Legends’ Caitlyn. As a long time League player, I was always pointing out these similarities (IE Ra’s ult is just like Lux’s ult, Apollo’s skills are very similar to Ezreal’s skills, Shaco and Loki are cut from the same cloth, etc). I found that this makes playing new gods much more adventurous and keeps a certain level of familiarity about the game.
Back in the days of primary school, I was also quite into mythology. With that being said it is very cool to see a literal pantheon of gods that I grew up reading stories about. These aren’t crazy characters inspired by stories or typical archetypes; these are the beings that inspired the archetypes to begin with. Yes, there is definitely some copying going on but Artemis was the Goddess of the Hunt well before archers like Varus, Ashe, Drow Ranger or Windrunner.