Smite is a 2014 free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by Titan Forge Games and published by Hi-Rez Studios. Players control a god, goddess, or other mythological figure and take part in team-based combat, using abilities and tactics against other player-controlled gods and non-player-controlled minions. The game has multiple PVP modes, many playable characters, and has a successful eSports scene with multiple tournaments, including the annual Smite World Championship.
The largest game mode is "Conquest". Players are formed into two teams of five and, before entering the map, are granted gold to buy starting items, which grant special bonuses or abilities that enhance the player's god. Three continuous "lanes" run from one side of the map to the other, each defended by a "Pheonix", accompanied by extra defensive towers, which deal large amounts of damage to enemies to near it. Players are accompanied by small, weak soldiers called "minions" that spawn at the Phoenixes and run along their lane until they meet anything and attack. Between the lanes is the "jungle", where AI monsters such as cyclopes and Furies periodically spawn. The goal is to destroy the enemy team's Phoenixes and a giant warrior called the Titan. If a game is going badly for a certain team, they can decide to surrender after at least 10 minutes, though this requires a majority of the team (4-1) to agree.
Players can choose from over 100 characters from 14 different pantheons: Arthurian, Celtic, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Japanese, Mayan, Norse, Polynesian, Roman, Slavic, Voodoo, and Yoruba; character classes include Assassin, Guardian, Hunter, Mage, and Warrior. Each god has a basic attack, a passive trait, and four abilities with varying effects, such as area damage, crowd control, buffs, etc. Abilities are acquired and upgraded when the player's character levels up by gaining experience, with a maximum level of 20. The maximum level is 20 and each successive level is harder to reach. Gold, which is used to buy items, potions, wards, and abilities, is accumulated through standard periodic income, slaying enemies, or selling owned items.
Smite has received positive reception and has a large and successful eSports scene, with a yearly Smite World Tournament taking place since 2015 with a prize pool of one million dollars. Since development, however, some Hindu leaders were upset at the inclusion of several Hindu gods in Smite and the fact that they are player-controlled. Despite the protests, Hi-Rez has continued to expand the Hindu Pantheon roster.
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