21/11/2014

Of gods and… More gods.




 
Ra-merica...
So how do you kill a titan, I guess the answer will come down to who the titan in question is. But it is related to both my musings today.
 
Angry not pandas are cool
First off Blizzard have announced that they sold 3.3 million copies of Warlord of Draenor and that they have an active subscription base of about 10 million active subs. Now that is BEFORE they have the numbers from the Asian and Oceanic market. This marks not only the best reaction to any expansion of WoW but also the single largest increase of players in the history of the game. Now these are very impressive numbers but can almost hear some of you muttering in the bushes that a population spike is good but the real proof is in the retention of these new subs.

I agree and we all know that a good chunk of these people will drop from the game over the coming years but I think that enough will stay for long enough that Blizzard will have not only secured the next expansion but also have a little extra to put towards Overwatch. I am generally not a big Shooter fan but that game looks to be fun as heck.

But this does prove that not only are people inclined to return to the game they “started” in but also that peer pressure is a powerful tool. After all Mists of Pandaria was not bad expansion and for some of us war weary veterans it was a nice change of pace in the beginning. But there was a strong “trollolol kung fu panda” attitude among the more serious gamers… and I use the term serious very loosely here. This attitude have been pretty much absent with this new expansion and in fact there has been a opposite effect where a healthy dose of nostalgia and Orcs (who it would seem are a lot cooler then talking pandas.) have as we noted brought back the swing to WoW´s step.


So with WoW gaining more players with an expansion then most games doe in their lifetime I do not think we need to worry much about WoW going away any time soon and with Blizzard broadening their portfolio in the shape of the upcoming Heroes of the storm MOBA and earlier mentioned shooter Overwatch. I think it is safe to say that Blizzard as a company is not going anywhere any time soon. I will get back to Overwatch this weekend, but while Blizzard sits on godlike power and followers in other places god fight to the death to keep the creep going and juggle in the jungle.

Looking forward to Heroes of the storm I decided to dip my toes in to the MOBA scene. Now I never got in to DotA and I have played a grand total of two matches in LoL before it felt that I had better things to do then being verbally abused by people with the social grace of a drunk rhinoceros. But I got a free SMITE character code from Loot Crate so in order to research what I was putting in my loot giveaway pile I got reading up on SMITE.


Smite is a MOBA, in every way and shape but it breaks some new ground by being third person and forcing you to aim your basic attacks as well as your abilities. If you feel a bit fuzzy on what a MOBA is you can click here. The setting is also very funny. Imagine that all the gods of myth and legend decided to duke it out in an arena. So you have Tor teaming up with Osiris and Rama to kick the ass of Sun Wukong and Artemis backed up by Fenris. It is in my mind impossible to dislike the premise. But as I mentioned beyond that it is your standard MOBA with lanes, creeps and hiding in bushes. But the third person view give you a lot more control and lets you act and react to things in a much more dynamic way than the usual point and click top down view.

I have had some very nice fun with it. A lot more then I thought from the start and while I know that HotS is a standard top down MOBA, SMITE will give me a good sense for how a MOBA works without all the annoying click and clack. The gameplay of SMITE plays a lot like a mix between Diablo and a regular third person shooter, especially if you play a range characters. How you use your basic attacks to pummel your opposition and then spice it up with special attacks themed to the god you play, often very flashy and satisfying.


It is also fun to see how much respect they pay to the gods, most designs pull a lot from the mythos around the gods and you can often find small hidden gems if you know the lore of this or that god. It is also fun to see the use of Mayan gods, a mythos often overlooked in this part of the world. Each god is also fairly distinct and visually interesting. Now with that being said there is a lot of divine booty flashing and cleavage deep enough to hide Bacchus in. All hidden behind a flimsy excuse that they actually dressed a lot of the goddesses in more clothes tan they had in their original source material. Now I have nothing against a well-shaped human being and since we are dealing with gods such banalities as armor and other types of proper protection is easier to explain away… Would it hurt to even it out between the male and female characters?
Aphrodite... More dressed then Venus from the sea... But only just.
Neith... I guess she flash less then some ancient art. Still pretty much a pinup.


By comparison... Tor Odinson.
But the game itself is very fun and since it is pretty much free to play (if you do not mind the grind and random access to gods in the beginning.) I see no reason that you would not check it out if you like weird MOBAs or third person brawler games.

That is all today…. Come back Sunday for a trip on the hype train fo