Rogue Company is Hi-Rez Studios’ Latest Multiplayer Outing

Hi-Rez Studios has made a name for themselves in the multiplayer scene with games like SMITE and Paladins: Champions of the Realm. Today, during a Nintendo Direct, they revealed a new multiplayer IP: Rogue Company. The game is a third person team-based shooter, and it will be releasing for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in 2020.

Developed with First Watch Games, Rogue Company is actually setting some pretty lofty goals. It aims to run at 60fps everywhere, and will even feature cross play the day it launches across all platforms. As for why they made that decision, Hi-Rez Head of Game Studios Chris Larson says “we believe in connecting all players through the thrill of gaming. From day one, we built Rogue Company to be a multiplatform game with crossplay. We want all of our players to be able to game with their friends, regardless of platform.”

As for the world it is set in, the game follows the titular “syndicate of elite mercenaries” as players choose their favorite one and complete various PvP matches. While it will have a lot of content at release, Hi-Rez and First Watch Games are already planning a ton of post-launch support for Rogue Company. Creative Director Scott Zier revealed that “new game modes, maps, weapons, gadgets, in-game events, and playable mercenaries” are all already being planned.

While it remains to be seen if the game will take off, it is clear that Hi-Rez Studios is putting a lot behind this new game. You can check out its first screenshots below. Rogue Company will arrive in 2020 on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One, though alpha sign-ups are available on the game’s website. 

The post Rogue Company is Hi-Rez Studios’ Latest Multiplayer Outing by Tomas Franzese appeared first on DualShockers.

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SMITE Lead Designer Reveals Arthurian Characters That Didn’t Make it

SMITE is getting a new pantheon heading into 2019: Arthurian. The first to “gods” to fill it out will be King Arthur (of course) and Merlin. DualShockers got the chance to speak with the Lead Designer on SMITE–AJ Walker–who listed some of the other Arthurian prospects that did not make the cut.

N: “Now that you’ve got this Arthurian Pantheon, what do you think could be next for these kinds of mythic characters or ‘legendary heroes?’ Is it the Knights of the Round Table or The Lady of The Lake? ”

AJ: “We definitely discussed those options when we were talking about Arthurian. I had god pitches for all of those characters. I had a Lancelot pitch, I had a Lady of The Lake pitch, I had a Gwynevere pitch, I had a Morgan le Faye/ Morgana. She’s either a dark sorceress or Merlin’s understudy depending on the lore you read. I had pitched for all of that and they were all contenders but we didn’t want to overdo it on this new thing.”

“We didn’t want too many of those gods at first–or those ‘heroes.’ It’s on the table but I think you can see in the god video for this year that nothing else in the rest of the video looks very Arthurian. We’ll probably be taking a break from it for a little bit, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t come back to it in the future. “

This might not come as much of a surprise because you can’t have an Arthurian Pantheon without Arthur. Merlin seems like a necessary decision too seeing as he is not only Arthur’s sidekick (depending on how you view their relationship) but also a mage to balance out the year’s new character additions.

Though we’re not getting Gwynevere, Morgan Le Faye, The Lady of The Lake, or Lancelot, it’s likely that when Titan Forge does look to expand the pantheon they’ll look to these characters first. If you aren’t sure who AJ is talking about, you can check out some images below.

SMITE is coming to the Nintendo Switch next year. You can read more about that, as well as the news of the game adding cross-play and cross-progression here.

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SMITE Hits 100 Playable Characters with King Arthur and Merlin in 2019

Titan Forge, the developers behind SMITE, announced their 99th and 100th playable characters as a part of Hi-Rez Expo at DreamHack Atlanta.

But they’re not gods.

SMITE‘s tagline–“Battleground of the Gods”–doesn’t really ring true as the two newest characters to come to the game are King Arthur and Merlin.

King Arthur will apparently feature a brand-new style of melee combos and fluid animations.

“something that we have never done before” according to A.J. Walker, the Lead Designer on SMITE.

Merlin, who is a Mage, of course, will feature his mastery over the arcane arts as a mechanic. He will be able to swap between 3 stances each corresponding to a different magical element.

The characters are set to release sometime next year. Though they’re not gods, the developers behind the game believe them to fit SMITE‘s motifs. This does, however, open up the floodgates as to what can be considered a “god” or “legendary character.”

This announcement comes alongside news that SMITE will be launching on the Nintendo Switch and news that SMITE will soon feature cross-play and cross-progression between the Switch, Xbox One, and PC.

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Smite Developers Address Console Experience and Future Improvements

Smite is amidst the top-downloaded free-to-play games on both Xbox One and PS4, though in recent months these platforms have been finding more and more challenges when it came to keeping up with the game as it lives and breathes on PC. With the game’s world championship in the rearview mirror, it seems the developers over at Hi-Rez are ready to address some of the ongoing complains that have been waged in an effort to improve the overall console experience.

HiRezIsaih posted to Reddit yesterday with a comprehensive outline of the issues that the team was going to address going forward. You can check out the bullet points below.

Issues with slow bug fix turnarounds have left some players feeling forgotten, but some of the changes mentioned in the post include a bug report in future patches and stronger communication between Hi-Rez employees and the players blowing the whistle on these bugs. Smite‘s development team has grown recently, according to the post, to include more quality assurance and marketing members who will now dedicate time to reducing the number of bugs that make it into the live game.

Similarly, players will be able to report bugs more easily now thanks to the revamped support ticket system which guarantees that QA members will review each ticket according to HiRezIsiah.

Smite is currently undergoing some huge changes to its conquest map and items in preparation for the launch of Season 5. You can read more about those upcoming changes here. You can also download the game for free on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

  • More QA Support: In the past few months, we’ve added to the SMITE team. From marketing to Quality Assurance (QA), we have been growing our teams. Our new QA lead, HiRezRedd, brings several years of console experience to the team. His main focus will be to significantly reduce the number of bugs that make it to live SMITE, and ramp up the efforts that are dedicated solely to console.
  • Bug Report in Future Patches: Every day, St3alth and I scour the forums and look for bugs that we pass on to the QA team for fixing. Each update, many of these fixes get added and go unnoticed. In 2018, we are making that process a little more transparent. With each update, alongside Patch Notes, we will share a breakdown of the issues that have been fixed.
  • Streamlined Player Reporting: In the past, we haven’t had a standardized format for submitting bugs, which can make fixing them difficult. When investigating bug reports, our first task is to reproduce the conditions that the player experienced so that we can take a look at what has happened. Sometimes minor details can make all the difference in finding out why bugs are occuring, so you can help us in fixing these issues by providing as much detail as possible, especially when a bug isn’t happening consistently. To make this easier for everyone, we’ve worked with our support team to create a more streamlined process for reporting bugs. With the new system, players can be assured that each individual ticket will be seen by a member of the QA team. From now on, we will encourage players to utilize the updated support ticket system.
  • Network Issues: There are some issues that are out of our hands. Network issues and issues that stem from connection problems are impossible for our team to control. One thing we can do is better communicate how players are able to troubleshoot on their end. I’m working on a guide detailing how Network issues may affect players and how players can best combat those issues.
  • Long-term solution: Along with these changes that will improve our ability to address bugs, we are committed to improving the technology that supports our in-game UI. These changes will make for a better gaming experience on all platforms through increased stability and decreased susceptibility to bugs.

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SMITE’s New God Cerberus’ Skillset Is Equal Parts Bark and Bite

As far as SMITE goes, one may even contend that Cerberus is the best boy, though Skadi, Fenrir, and Erlang Shen might have something to say about it. As the newest god to be added from the Greek pantheon, Cerberus is a guardian whose offensive kit and unique passive make him a terror on the battlefield.

You can check out the full god reveal video below as well as a list of his abilities.

Coming straight from the river Styx, Cerberus is the warden of the underworld and Hades’ personal pup, but he’s got three heads instead of one and his tail is a snake. Though currently, Cerberus may even outshine his master as Hades is also a guardian and one who has been struggling to stay relevant in the current meta, though that may change with Season 5 on the horizon.

To begin, Cerberus’ passive allows him anti-heal for enemies nearby while receiving 40 percent of the total healing intended. As this is his passive ability, Cerberus will be a thorn in the side for enemy teams building around sustain.

His first ability, Paralyzing Spit, is a projectile from his tail, though if his heads are alerted (though basic attacks or Ghastly Breath) they also fire projectiles. Ghastly Breath is a cone attack which reduces protections and slows enemies within the center of the cone, while his third ability, Soul Expulsion, allow him to pull out the souls of enemy gods and minions and kill them for health.

His ultimate is called Stygian Torment is is very similar to Ares’ ultimate but the players caught in the circle are instead placed in front of Cerberus instead of on top of him. I can’t wait for montages of Cerberus throwing entire SMITE teams into the fountain to start popping up.

  • Passive:
    • “Spirit of Death”
    • Any time an Enemy God within 40 of Cerberus is healed, that healing is Cerberus receives 40% of the heal, and the Enemy’s heal is reduced by 20%.
  • First Ability:
    • “Paralyzing Spit”
    • Cerberus’s snake tail spits venom that passes through and damages Enemies. If Cerberus’s dog heads are Alert, they then also spit venom when the ability is fired. Each head is alerted upon hitting an Enemy with a Basic Attack, and all are alerted after Ghastly Breath. Each projectile that hits the same target deals 20% less damage, but hitting an Enemy with all 4 Stuns them.
  • Second Ability:
    • “Ghastly Breath”
    • Each of Cerberus’s 3 heads releases a cone of noxious breath in front of them, damaging all enemies in range 7 times over 2.4s and reducing their Protections up to three times. Enemies in the center of his breath are also Slowed up to three times. This attack immediately puts all three of Cerberus’s heads on Alert for Paralyzing Spit.
  • Third Ability:
    • “Soul Expulsion”
    • Cerberus leaps a short distance forward, dealing damage on impact and severing the souls of Enemies. These souls will not block Cerberus’s attacks, and killing the souls heals Cerberus.
  • Fourth Ability (Ultimate):
    • “Stygian Torment”
    • Cerberus’s haunting wail summons below him the souls of the damned, which then lift all Enemy Gods into the air while stretching the link between their bodies and souls, damaging them. A short time later, Cerberus uses his link to pull enemies to him.

Hi-Rez Expo has wrapped up and so is this year’s world SMITE championship. You can read more about this new season’s upcoming changes here. If you weren’t able to attend the event you can still gawk at some of this year’s cosplay here.

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Smite Releases Newest Adventure: Shadows Over Hercopolis

Smite, like League of Legends and DOTA 2, is a MOBA– A Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. And while we’re typically used that that playing out in three lanes with a few towers and minions in-between, Smite continues to release “Adventures” that allow you to get out of the traditional game modes and into something a little more…adventurous. Yesterday, the game released its newest Adventure, Shadows Over Hercopolis, on Xbox One and PS4 alongside patch 4.21.

The adventure acts as a follow up to one of the previous, and much beloved, Adventures: Trials of King Hercules. Other Adventures include a Mario Kart inspired racing game, a Capture the Flag mode, and a variation of the Arena game mode. While they’ve varied in replayability, the RPG-inspired Trials of King Hercules was held in high regard as it seamlessly transitioned its item-building ability-based action into a multiple-boss dungeon encounter. You even had to earn loot to gear out your gods. And this time we’re getting a similar experience.

Developer Hi-Rez Studios has even set out a challenge, awarding the world-first hard mode team that completes the event 6,000 gems.

Smite is available now for free on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. You can check out more on the latest patch here, or read up some of the most recently added gods here.

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Smite Patch 4.17 Delayed Due to Tropical Storm Irma

Hurricane-turned-Tropical-Storm Irma has passed through Florida and while much of the state is still underwater, the implications are continuing to be seen as Irma moves Northwest. While games often allow us to shut out the outside world, for those who play Smite, Irma is taking its toll as Patch 4.17 has been delayed due to “power outages and inclement weather.”

The patch was due to bring much needed changes to Warriors and the addition of a new hunter Hachiman. Irma has left millions in Florida without power with winds having reached 130 miles per hour. Now making its way Northwest, the storm has left two dead in Georgia and a State of Emergency has been declared for all Georgia counties.

It’s unclear when the patch will be rescheduled to release, though you can still try it out on the Public Test Server.

Hachiman looks incredible though, and I personally can’t wait till he hits the live servers. It is still unclear if the delay will affect the patch’s release on consoles.

You can check out the more of the changes coming to Smite in Patch 4.17 “The Odyssey” here. You can also revisit some of the game’s previous changes in Patch 4.16 “Summer Knockout” here.

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Smite Patch 4.17 Introduces Samurai God Hachiman; Mounted Archery Included

The introduction of a new god in Smite is always exciting. There are so many questions to be had: how will this impact the meta? How powerful will they be? Can I jungle with them? And most importantly, How cool is the god? While gods such as Camazotz and Terra can be mechanically interesting, it’s usually the “cool” factor that determines how much a god gets played at launch, and how hard it is to lock them in. The newest god, Hachiman, shouldn’t have any problems seeing as he is a bow-wielding Samurai whose ultimate entails riding a horse and firing arrows from its back.

You can check out the Smite god reveal video below which includes his abilities, combat tactic, and lore.

Hachiman is a hunter who is joining the Japanese pantheon in patch 4.17. His abilities include an auto-attack augmentation that has increased range and can deliver critical hits, a dash that ends in a circle attack, a banner that when placed deals damage and buffs nearby allies’ attack speed, and of course, his ultimate. Hachiman summons his steed to bring him forward, and while riding, allows you to aim in a circle separately from the direction of his horse. This is first ability in the game to unlock your traveling direction from an aimed attack.

There’s a lot of other changes, besides the addition of Hachiman, in patch 4.17 “The Odyssey” which you can read up on here. You can also read about Smite‘s second most recent god, Artio, who has brought stance-switching back to Smite here. Smite is available now and is free-to-play on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

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