New year, new esports event coverage! And by that, I mean let’s have a look at the Smite World Championship 2016 [official site].
Here’s what you need to know about Hi-Rez’s annual Smite-a-thon from the teams to the $1m prize pool:
RPS Feature Good gods
Hi-Rez Studios gave up on Tribes Ascend [official site] for a couple of years, but a few months back made the unexpected announcement that they we working on a big ole update for their F2P jetpacking FPS. And they did release it! The ‘Out of the Blue’ update (or version 1.1, if you have no romance in your heart – if you wouldn’t pash with a plasma rifle) arrived last week, with new maps, new weapons, exploit fixes, and a whole hovershedload of balance tweaks.
RPS Feature Playing your cards right
“It’s a card game but it’s a shooter but it’s a MOBA but it’s kinda not and there’s characters… JUST MAKE IT WORK!”
Rory “Drybear” Newbrough is laughing as he talks to me about the process of creating Paladins: Champions of the Realm [official site], Hi-Rez’s shooter where in-game progression comes comes via a collectible card system. I’ve been trying out the closed beta and had a whole heap of questions about where the game came from and where it’s going. Lead designer Newbrough (and studio president Stew Chisam) were on hand to answer:
RPS Feature Godlike
“FUCKING END THE GAME!” Jeppe ‘Trixtank’ Gylling was roaring as his team, Paradigm, bore down on the opponent’s titan – the beefy glowing final objective you need to destroy to win a game of Smite [official site].
It was the European and North American LAN event known as Super Regionals and on the line for Paradigm and their foes was a place at the Smite World Championships in January. Five teams would be making it through to the competition: two from North America, two from Europe and the winner of a match between the NA and EU third placed teams.
Spoilers after the jump if you haven’t seen Sunday’s finals:
Paladins: Champions of the Realm [official site], the next from Smite devs Hi-Rez, is now in closed beta. It’s a 5 vs 5 shooter in which you must capture control points, escort siege engines, and destroy your opponent’s base, but where the real twist is that your character levels over the course of a match, allowing you to choose from a selection of cards and build a deck of skills as you play. You can apply for closed beta access the traditional way or get in immediately by buying a Founder’s Pack version of the game.
Say, reader dear, do you like the future? Do you like jetpacks? Do you like mechs? Do you like first-person shooters? Do you like multiplayer with vehicles and bases? Do you like classic series which folks grumble go forgotten too often? Do you like skill-based movement exploiting weird physics tricks? Do you like free video games?
If you answered yes to at least three of those, hie thee to this website, where Tribes Ascend folks Hi-Rez Studios are offering (almost) the full Tribes world o’games for free, from 1994’s Earthsiege through to 2004’s Tribes Vengeance (their own Ascend, of course, being free-to-play anyway).
RPS Feature She burns like the sun
This afternoon I have been reading about Sol, Goddess of the Sun as she’s the most recent addition to Smite’s [official site] roster of playable deities. She hails from the Norse pantheon and I don’t think I knew much about her, preferring as a child to stick with the Greek myths and legends.
The lore Hi-Rez offer up has Sol being punished for her father’s hubris in naming her after the sun. Odin sends her to pull the chariot of the sun while being chased by one of the wolf sons of Fenrir. She is not exactly resigned to this fate and taunts the wolf, driven by her desire for freedom and chafing against the punishment handed down by Odin.