Jing Wei, The Oathkeeper is the latest god to join the pantheons of Smite [official site]. I'm now trying to find out where I put the Smite public test realm on my hard drive. Wait - it's live on the actual servers! WELL. While I update the client I am watching videos to learn more about Jing Wei and her oaths...
First, let's look at her role and abilities. She's a high mobility, ranged hunter. That just means she's more lethal in the late game and is set up to be good at changing position for escapes and attacks.
In case you're somewhere you can't watch the video here's a quick breakdown of her abilities:
Passive: Rapid Reincarnation
When Jing Wei leaves the fountain (that's the bit of your base where you spawn and where you return to heal or buy items) she takes off. While airborne she can fly over obstacles and gets a speed boost. It's good for getting into lane or will help you swap lanes and rotate the character around the map.
1. Persistent Gust
This one creates a gust of wind on ground that looks like a kind of air vent. Enemies walking over it get knocked up and damaged but if Jing Wei walks over it she gets knocked up and gains an attack speed buff. I really wish "knocked up" wasn't official MOBA terminology because in the UK it means you "got pregnant" rather than "got inconveniently launched into the air by an opponent in a game".
2. Explosive Bolts
This one buffs Jing Wei's next three basic attacks, making them wider, giving them increased critical hit chance and dealing area of effect damage.
It's a dash. The important thing to remember here is that you can travel further if you were airborne when you triggered it so Jing Wei's bread-and-butter combo is to use 1 to knock herself up into the air and then 3 to glide a long way.
4. Air Strike
Jing Wei channels the ability for a brief period then takes to the sky. She flies forward and up covering the area below her swoop in explosions. She then hovers briefly and lands at a ground target location. It's a kind of carpet bomb ability. I guess.
Here's game designer, AJ Walker with a bit more about how the goddess works:
"The primary goal for Jing Wei was to make her fun! Ok, we try to make all the gods fun, but her personality and art style were pushing us very hard to make her even more lighthearted and new player friendly than usual. Her passive and her Explosive Bolt abilities both succeeded in this. Returning to lane quickly really prevents players from ever feeling too punished by their mistakes and having wider basic attacks on a hunter makes you feel like a pro even if your aim isn't great.
"Having an ultimate with a cinematic feel that can be used as a finisher, an initiator, or an escape also contributes greatly to this goal. Even though she was designed with this in mind, she still has some tools that only experts will use optimally. Her Gust/Agility combo can be difficult to use optimally but, in my opinion, having a very clear 2 ability combo is a lot of fun for players of all skill levels. Diamond level Jing Wei players will still have many ways to show their skills by utilizing Agility to its highest potential."
Having now played her a bit (albeit only in a bot match) I'd say she feels a lot more fragile than I was expecting so I get what they mean by having a high skill ceiling. Getting back to lane so fast is pretty fun, though. No more marathon trips to the top lane...
OH. Also the oath. The oath in question is one she pledges against the ocean. The ocean drowned her and now that she has returned as a bird she has vowed to fill the ocean up and thus destroy it. I feel like I would have decided to do other things with my time as a bird. Pooping on my enemies and making loud noises in people's lofts at 4am and stealing their chips when they go to the seaside - those are all understandable bird goals. Dropping pebbles into the sea for millions of years would get boring really quickly. I guess if I were a Smite character I would be Pip, Oath-Non-Maker-Because-Seriously-Who-Has-The-Time.
I'm guessing the Air Strike ability is maybe an homage to the pebble business, though. Jing Wei carpet bombing the sea.
Fun fact 1: If I was a god who wanted to destroy the ocean I would suck it onto a giant spaceship and then send the spaceship to dump the ocean into the sun.
Fun fact 2: Jing Wei lends her name to a gene found in a group of African fruit flies which is translated into a chimeric protein.