Digging our PAX Prime 2012 coverage? Here are some more highlights from our time in Seattle, in easy-to-digest, bite-sized chunks:
I snared some time with Senior Designer Travis Brown at the Hi-Rez Studios booth, who told me that his typical day goes something like this: analyzing numbers and looking at spreadsheets during the day and watching matches in their dev build of spectator mode at night. I snarkily asked if he ever actually plays the game.
All that “work,” though, is time well spent, as the team is up to 21 gods in Smite, releasing them at a pace of about one per three weeks. The goal is to launch around 30, which should be in Q1 of next year.
Other plans include the addition of clans and grouping, to make it easier to hook up with friends in-game and player-initiated tournaments. 2013 looks to be a busy year, and Smite looks like as good a contender as any to take a slice out of League of Legends‘ pie.
Speaking of which… I know that LoL was HUGE at PAX, taking up about 83 square miles (slight exaggeration) for its North American Regionals and general tournaments.
I’ll let other, more knowledgeable folks at GameBreaker analyze the action, while just commenting on the visceral nature of seeing such a large contingent of players gathered together in one place.
It’s not like I didn’t know the game was big, but to actually see it in action, so to speak, is like playing Magic: The Gathering in your local store and then going to your first convention and seeing a 1,000-person tournament. It definitely affects your perspective.
Finally, we took a tour through some of the new content in Dungeons & Dragons Online. Update 15: Song of Druid’s Deep, which went live late last month, continues the Forgotten Realms-area story introduced in June’s Menace of the Underdark expansion.
A druid has found a corrupted staff, and its magic is turning regular folk into plant people – no, not Sylvari! – and it’s up to the players to root out the source of the problem in this level 17-23 (Heroic to Epic) quest line.
The storyline dovetails into a story about the Harpers, which are sort of like the Forgotten Realms’ secret police, and will continue in future updates.
Also, there’s a new Monster Manual feature that tracks the kind of baddies you’ve encountered so far and logs their vital info, and more Epic Destinies are also part of the package.