Smite Gameplay: 10 Things We Love About This MOBA

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What is a great MOBA made of?

What is it that you look for in a game? Is it graphics? Or do you love to have a good set of characters?

When I began to play MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas), I didn't think to ask myself those questions. Something was missing, but I couldn't quite pinpoint what it was.

And then I found a MOBA that changed my mind.

It had everything—it was gorgeous and full of opportunities for wonderful gameplay like I'd never seen. Better yet, it was still in beta testing at the time, which meant that it was only going to get even more amazing as time went on. And I was right.

It’s time to look at my favorite MOBA, Smite.

This inventive game has dazzling graphics and a wide variety of everything that you could hope for in a video game—from innovative character abilities to gorgeous settings, Smite looks at the players’ needs and puts them first.

What do you like about MOBAs? Well, the best parts of these games are made even better in Smite.

This game takes you to the world of the gods and drops you right into the middle of the biggest battle the universe has ever seen.

Let’s start with what drew me to it when it was just in its beta stage...

1. The Clever Concept

Thor, Awilix, Bellona, Ymir, and Sun Wukong stand victorious in Arena mode.

Thor, Awilix, Bellona, Ymir, and Sun Wukong stand victorious in Arena mode.

Have you ever said “my gods can beat up your gods”?

Smite takes your favorite deities and puts their mythological abilities all in one place. Is Thor actually stronger than Loki? What would happen if you pitted Ares, the Greek god of war, against Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead?

Put your skills to the test by fighting against other players in Smite: the Battleground of the Gods.

Various gods face each other in this beautiful cinematic trailer.

Something that really appeals to me about this concept is that I've always been fascinated by mythology. Bringing all of these characters together lets us create new stories of our own, unlike any other game out there.

2. The Inventiveness of Its Over-Shoulder Feel

So other than the concept, just what is it that makes this game so different from other MOBAs? Take a look at this video and see for yourself.

Smite: not your average MOBA.

Instead of the distancing overhead view, Smite throws players right into the throes of battle.

Much like many MMORPGs, Smite keeps you close to the combat and forces you to think quickly, as if you yourself are fighting for your life.

Bellona, the Roman goddess of war, chases down Mercury, the Roman Messenger of the gods.

Bellona, the Roman goddess of war, chases down Mercury, the Roman Messenger of the gods.

3. The Playable Characters and Their Endless Variety of Abilities

Guan Yu, the Chinese Saint of War, takes a breather before resuming his fight with Thor.

Guan Yu, the Chinese Saint of War, takes a breather before resuming his fight with Thor.

For me, one of the biggest draws is the variety in the gods. I played League of Legends for 3 years but eventually got tired of it because it felt like the same game every time. It seemed to me like every character and ability set was the same as a previous character.

Having even a basic knowledge of mythology makes the game even more fun. You might find yourself squealing when you see your favorite deities all in the same place, using abilities that you can recognize from the stories you heard growing up.

Of course, their abilities aren’t always going to work perfectly! Smite’s version of skill shots means that you have to use the best of your skill to destroy them like the god you truly are.

Here’s the god-reveal video for one of my favorite goddesses, Freya:

The Smite staff is nothing short of prolific. They have many playlists on their YouTube—from comedy to patch overviews to tutorials and much, much more. They even have chibi lore videos to add a simple, cute explanation onto the official ones

Here’s the charming lore video for Freya:

This is the god-reveal video for one of the newest playable characters, Amaterasu:

For a list of all the currently available gods and their abilities, go here:
http://www.hirezstudios.com/smite/nav/game-info/gods

As a note, Smite is constantly updating their gods and skins, so they might look different in the game itself if you are reading this article sometime in the future.

4. Its Rewarding System of Masteries

In this video, diamond skins are introduced, using Hercules, the Champion of Rome, as an example. Diamond skins are currently being modified.

Something else unique to the game is that Smite offers something other than experience points for leveling up. Every time you play with a god, you earn worshipers—even if you lose the match. Get enough worshipers, you get a mastery rank.

I love that it makes me feel like I’m progressing in the game. More mastery ranks equal more ego points—and awesome, exclusive skins based on your rank. The Golden, Legendary, and Diamond skins are beautiful and unique to each god.

Isis, the Egyptian goddess of magic, shows off her shimmering, blue-and-gold plumage.

Isis, the Egyptian goddess of magic, shows off her shimmering, blue-and-gold plumage. Isis was one of the first gods to have her Golden skin updated.

5. The Different Game Modes

A glorious look at Olympian territory on the newly-updated Conquest map.

A glorious look at Olympian territory on the newly-updated Conquest map.

One of the best things about this game, as you can tell, is the sheer amount of variety it offers—and this extends to the different types of playable matches.

The big one is Conquest Mode, the standard 3-lane MOBA map.

As with the other match types, the goal is to destroy the other team's Titan. But you must first destroy their turret towers and phoenixes to get into their base to attack the Titan.

Arena Mode takes you back to the days of gladiator fights. Matches in Arena Mode are intense but, most of all, very fast-paced. Two teams of 5 fight it out in close quarters, and if you even yawn at the wrong time, then the Loki (the Norse trickster god) on the enemy team can sneak up and shank you to death.

I can personally say that this is a great learning experience, even if it sucks in the moment. But you get drawn back into the heat of the battle so quickly that you don’t have time to sit and lick your psychological wounds.

Recently, the developers revamped the map. It's an all-new, crisp, clean experience.

Siege Mode is a match type unique to Smite, and it's a shorter version of Conquest, with four players on each team and only two lanes.

The goal is to get the Siege Juggernauts to help you take over the lanes and get to the Titan more quickly.

Assault Mode is pretty much All Random, All Middle. It's a great way to show off how good you are with any god you play as. It also has the benefit of your opponents often getting gods that they haven't played with much.

Joust Mode is single-lane Conquest, boasting intense 3-on-3 action. There are fewer opportunities for miscommunication and stumbling over each other.

Smite also has several practice modes, which is unique in that you can run around Jungle Practice with any god—not just ones that you own.

6. How Skill-Oriented It Is

Thor, the Norse god of thunder, swings his mighty hammer.

Thor, the Norse god of thunder, swings his mighty hammer.

When I first began playing Smite, I almost gave up. I had expected the learning curve on Smite to be similar to that of League of Legends. It was not.

Every death made me feel worse and worse. But I’m no quitter, and Smite has made me so glad for that fact.

It has never been so rewarding to start becoming skilled at a game.

Smite brings a whole new meaning to skill shots. It’s fast-paced and in your face like no other game. In fact, some of the amazing plays in this game are submitted to “Top 5 Plays,” which are published on the Smite YouTube channel on a regular basis.

Below is a video displaying the top 10 plays of 2015.

This video highlights some of the best, most interesting plays of last year.

7. How Beautiful and Fluid the Graphics and Animation Are

Nemesis, the Greek goddess of vengeance, swings her blade as she enters the lane for a surprise attack.

Nemesis, the Greek goddess of vengeance, swings her blade as she enters the lane for a surprise attack.

Running in Unreal Engine 3, all of Smite’s abilities, emotes, backgrounds, characters, and costumes are quite stunning. You can see the movement of fabric, the rain hitting the cobblestone, the sparkly glimmers of your enemies’ blood spattering against the unforgiving ground.

A release video of the coolest skin for Nox, the Roman goddess of night.

8. Its Integration of Curse Voice

Curse Voice, a system for voice-chatting, allows players to seamlessly communicate with each other during each match for strategy coordination.

This program even gives you a free skin for Apollo, the Greek god of music, if you play 5 matches while using Curse Voice.

 Apollo sports his free Curse Voice skin.

Apollo sports his free Curse Voice skin.

Since the World Championship was sponsored by Curse Voice, take a look at this video for the tournament:

A gorgeous cinematic trailer for the World Championship.

9. Its Large Variety of Flavor-Based Purchases

In addition to the Curse Voice skin, there are loads of other flavor-based additions.

The cleverness and variety of skins are pretty amazing—each skin brings something fun and new to your experience of the game.

Uncle Zeus and Ra-Merica pose together.

Uncle Zeus and Ra-Merica pose together.

Smite also has a system of voice commands that are used by hitting short sequences of keys. For example, typing “VVGH” will cause your character to say “hi.”

If you don’t purchase that god’s voice pack, it will be in the announcer’s voice. Some skins have different voices from the standard, so if you buy the voice pack for a god, then you’ll have access to the proper voices for each skin of that god.

There are also fun emotes, such as waving and dancing. While there aren’t any official videos of the dance emotes, here’s a skin-reveal video for Bastet’s (the Egyptian goddess of cats) Kawaii Pop skin that will make you want to dance in your seat!

Bastet is so kawaii, yes?

The best thing of all is the Ultimate God Pack. For $30, you can get every existing god and every future god—forever.

Each time a new god is released, that god is unlocked on your account. I legitimately can’t exaggerate how awesome the Ultimate God Pack is. Don’t waste your time getting frustrated with playing the same 10 gods over and over. Trust me: $30 is a steal.

10. How Responsive and Committed the Game's Staff Are

Smite staff often respond to posts on the Smite subreddit.

Smite staff often respond to posts on the Smite subreddit.

There’s one more thing that makes Smite stand out above other PC games: the staff.

While some companies are known for their terrible customer service, the staff of Smite go above and beyond to listen to and communicate with their player base.

Smite’s staff members are open and communicative, most of them sporting a Reddit account. They also post on Twitter when there are sales or special events.

They sift through a ton of posts and try to take their fans’ ideas and complaints into account when working on development for the game. They obviously can’t do everything, but it’s easy to see that they care.

In fact, let’s finish this article off on a warm-and-fuzzy note:

The staff took the time to make a visit to the Make-a-Wish Foundation in Georgia, where the Smite headquarters are.

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Gamer Since: 1993
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Smite, Lollipop Chainsaw
Top 3 Favorite Games:Guild Wars 2, Torchlight II, Amnesia: The Dark Descent
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