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Smite Assault Mode - Is it good?
The new "Assault Mode" in smite is a 5v5 single lane conquest style battle that has no jungle. You start at level 5 with 3000 gold and can't return to buy more items until you die. The kicker to this mode is that everyone's God choice is randomized which I feel is the real Achilles's heel to this game mode.
I have played many matches of this type since it came out last week and there is something that just rubs me the wrong way about it. Conceptually, it is a great mode, but in practice it is a bit lacking. I shall lay out the pros and cons and would then like some feedback from fellow Smite players.
#1 The Map - I think the map itself is just amazing. All it is, is a long, zigzagging, lane with no jungle. You can't be taken by surprise and fights are just all out brawls, even more so than Arena. It also has a Norse theme that works really well. It is a snowy area with several battles going on in the background.
#2 Builds - Now this is probably what I like the most. The fact that you can't return without dying means you have to build differently than normal. You can't just stack damage items as a physical and expect to do well. You have to really focus on getting stats like Life Steal, MPS, and HPS, early on so you can stay in the game. It makes you completely rethink how you would normally build which is a nice change of pace.
However, I do want to point out that some Gods seem really hard to build for with this in mind. A few physical Gods seem really hard to have a proper sustain build while still being able to retain killing power. Apollo in particular seems really bad at this game mode as well as Vamana who feels fairly worthless to me.
#3 Survival - This game mode is probably the most punishing when it comes to deaths. The rez timer works as if you were in a real conquest game, so when you die late game, you are out for a minute which can ultimately mean your loss. This match is really based on living as long as possible and knowing when you should die to spend cash. It feels incredibly rewarding when you are able to go through an entire match with only a couple deaths and when you do die, have the gold to purchase a few items at a time.
#1 The Random Factor - Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of a random god pick game mode but for this match, I don't think it works. Since this game is about sustaining power, one team will almost always have an edge over the other. So much so in some cases that you know you already lost or won before the match even starts.
If a team ends up with a god or gods that can heal, they already gain an incredible advantage. Also, if a team is Mage heavy, they gain a lot of pushing power and the potential to do a lot of player damage while also not taking any themselves.
While a team that gets stacked with a lot of physical gods will have great tower killing power, they will almost always lose team fights and the match.
However, I would be lying if I said it wasn't the random factor that keeps bringing me back. It is fun to be given a random god that you try to make work. That said, I feel that a random game type would be more appropriate to the arena, where you are more likely to overcome your team composition. Currently the imbalance in this game type is just so extreme it can make for some terrible times.
#2 Matches Can Drag On - Sometimes when the random picks end up fairly even, matches can go on and on in a perpetually stalemate. I've had a couple matches where both teams would essentially run back and forth between minotaurs, winning the team fight at their own minotaur and losing the next at the opponent's. It can get pretty annoying and repetitive but this isn't nearly always the case, so a minor con.
What do you think?
I'm interested in getting fellow Smite players perspectives on this mode. Currently I love playing it yet hate it at the same time. It has a lot going for it but some matches just make it feel awful. You can say it is the luck of the draw but when the draw makes the odds so imbalanced, is it really worth it?