I tried to wait out the Smite: Trials of King Hercules microsite loading loop by listening to the Disney Hercules soundtrack. Alas, the loading loop is indeed an eternal loop for me and I moved on to Moana before remembering I was supposed to write/finish/publish a news story. Let's listen to Moana's You're Welcome and then I'll explain Smite's new MMO dungeon-style event:
RIGHT. You're welcome.
The Smite thing is an Adventure which aims to provide an MMO dungeon-type experience to players as a different way of playing with the gods and goddesses in your MOBA toybox. In case you missed the Adventure thing, those are just limited-time modes which offer different experiences to the main game. The karting minigame was the previous Adventure if memory serves.
“The Trials of King Hercules is our most detailed Smite Adventure to date with unique methods of progression, quests, mobs, bosses, and loot drops," sez project lead Travis Brown. "If you ever wondered what it would be like to take your favorite Smite gods on an RPG dungeon adventure now is the time to live that fantasy."
What this translates as in the game is a free 3-player PvE challenge open to all players. You start in a town hub and can take on quests before heading out. The usual loops are there - you complete the quests to earn equipment and the gold you pick up in the dungeon lets you buy buffs and other bits from the hub. The actual dungeon fights are focused around teamwork and coordination. To me that's an interesting aspect because I'm wondering whether it will lead to any lessons which carry through to solo queue on the 3v3 Joust mode or Conquest which is the 5v5 map. Oftentimes in those (as with all MOBAs) you can feel like everyone is playing their own game. Cooperation emerges either from a series of arguments or from the points where these individual pathways happen to intersect.
Maybe if people get used to seeing particular synergies with characters they might start to employ them in the other game modes. And yes. I'm an incorrigible optimist! Let's ignore the capacity of the MOBA-playing world for instalocking desirable characters, forcing other people into less enjoyable/showpiece roles whether they want them or not and then shouting relentlessly that they are failing when they aren't doing your bidding.
Oh. I just booted up the game and while trying to figure out what was going on the other people on my team told me to learn to play and used a surrender vote to ditch me.
"Once players have unlocked the more advanced hard mode they will be able to face the Lernaean Hydra in the final boss encounter for the ultimate loot and in-game rewards." The Lernaean Hydra was the second of Hercules' labours. It was a multi-headed water monster with toxic blood and, I think, toxic breath. Some stories have it growing two heads if you hack one off which Hercules deals with by lopping off a head and then cauterising the neck stump. Hercules actually used the poisonous blood to coat his arrows for later labours. I think he uses them to take out the man-eating Stymphalian birds as well. Oh, and himself sort of. The latter is because Hercules shoots the centaur Nessus for trying to assault his wife, Deianeira, but as he was dying Nessus persuades her that his now-poisoned blood can act as a love potion. She anoints a tunic with the blood and when Hercules puts it on the hydra blood is so toxic and painful that Hercules crawls onto a funeral pyre.
Maybe I should have said "don't you mean LERNAEAN to play?!?" to my teammate when I tried the mode.
I feel like if I were Hi-Rez I would have either gone with the Lernaean Hydra, the Nemean Lion or the whole dognapping of Cerberus. The Stymphalian birds are more of a target challenge thing and cleaning the Augean stables would probably be better modelled as a chat moderation/community comment moderation task.
Pip is bringing the hot BC mythological takes today.
The Trials of King Hercules is live now and will be open for a few weeks so if you do dip in let me know what you reckon as I won't have a chance to Lernaean to play until at least this evening.