Smite's Pet Treant Goes Solo, Joins Paladins Roster
"Gonna wash that man right out of my hair."
This is both a fantastically useful response to a) a failed relationship and b) to being a long-suffering treant in Smite who has spent their entire time having to carry an elderly god in your branches and have now decided it's time to go it alone in Hi-Rez's FPS game, Paladins [official site].
[Translation: A Smite character's mount is joining the Paladins roster as a standalone hero.]
The idea of Smite/Paladins crossovers was something I talked to lead designer Rory 'Drybear' Newbrough about back in November last year. He told me at the time that Hi-Rez were trying to separate their IPs so if they did have any Smite references it wouldn't be a god popping up as a playable character in Paladins. It was more likely to be nods to a shared creator.
Taking the treant and making it a champion in its own right fits with that sentiment (although it's a little more overt than I expected after that conversation).
The treant in question is called Grover which I like, both in terms of basic punning and as a name in general. In Smite he carries the god, Sylvanus around in his foliage. He's actually the more prominent of the pair visually and I think, particularly when Sylvanus was first introduced, a lot of people thought the god was actually the treant.
How I'm conceptualising this crossover/role switching right now is like how Frasier Crane was actually a character from Cheers. He was a regular on that show but then escaped Norm, Cliff, Diane and Woody and had his own show with a different set of characters and a few crossover plotpoints.
To join the FPS roster Grover did need a weapon so the team have awarded him a mystical lantern. I have absolutely no idea how you shoot people with a lantern. Maybe it's something like Thresh's lantern in League of Legends and you throw out and clonk people in the face with it. Or maybe you can use it as a flamethrower somehow? Look. I have never used a lantern. Who on earth knows how you could weaponise them properly. I'll see if Alice knows when I get back to the UK.
You can see slightly more of the lantern in this image. I had to crop the header for site reasons:
As with everything in the Paladins beta, the fine details are still being hammered out. I mean, heck, one of the questions in the Q&A after the announcement caused an impromptu onstage design meeting, and another - whether Grover, who is technically a mount, would get to ride around on a mount of his own in Paladins - was pondered live before the team plumped for "yes".
Oh. And while I have your attention for Paladins things:
There's going to be a new map called Glacier Keep. It's apparently got a Fortress of Solitude-y vibe and plays more with verticality than the two current maps do.