--What is SMITE?
SMITE is a free MOBA (or ARTS) game developed by HiRez Studios. The game features a number of gods and other notable figures from various mythological and religious pantheons such as Zeus, Odin, Anubis, Hercules, and more. Besides Conquest, the traditional three-lane mode, SMITE also contains several alternative maps such as Arena, an all-out team fight in a small coliseum; Clash, a 5v5 hybrid of Arena and Conquest; Assault, a randomized selection of gods on a single-lane; Joust, a one-on-one (or 3v3) duel in a single lane with small side jungles; and Siege, a two-lane mode more focused on destroying the towers. Here's a link to HiRez's personal FAQ for the game: http://hi-rez.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/459
--If I've played LoL, DoTA2, or HoN, what makes SMITE so special or different?
Perspective - and I don't just mean of the opinion variety. SMITE is played in a third-person view as opposed to the traditional isometric camera angle of other MOBAs. You move your character with the WASD keys, control your abilities with 1, 2, 3, 4, your active items with F and G, and your consumables with Z and C. You can, of course, rebind these keys. Your mouse controls the camera movement and direction that your god is facing while left click activates your basic attacks. Because of this, SMITE puts a lot of emphasis on skill shots and positioning. You don't have as broad a view of the battlefield as you do in those other games, so you must be especially conscious of your surroundings and enemy positioning. Plus, SMITE has collision with other gods and enemy minions, but not with your own. So the old tactic of body blocking a creep wave cannot be done in SMITE, but you can, however, body block enemy gods from escaping.
--Sounds interesting, but why should I play SMITE instead of those games?
Well, for starters, it's free just like all the rest - so why not? Secondly, SMITE's emphasis on skill shots and positioning tend to give it a very strategic feel. While that's not to say there is no strategy involved in the other games, SMITE really demands it from its players. Cooperation and communication between teammates is essential because of the lack of battlefield vision, so calling out things like an MIA or setting up a gank in the side line is paramount to success. Furthermore, SMITE's method of god acquisition is very similar to LoL's in that you have a handful of gods that are always free, another set that are on rotation every two or so weeks, and the remaining gods that can be purchased with either favor (in-game rewards received for participating in games) or gems which are purchased with real money. Special skins are available for all gods as well, with the more unique skins restricted to gems only. Also, SMITE has nothing similar to runes/spellbooks like other MOBAs; everyone is on the same level out-of-game (other than the selection of gods, of course). Finally, if you’d like, you can purchase the Ultimate God Pack for $29.99USD, which unlocks all current gods and all future gods for that set price.
--Where can I download SMITE?
--Okay, so what next?
The game's practice modes do a decent job of getting you accustomed to the controls and layout of the game, but for more in depth hands-on you can try the Jungle Practice mode, which will let you play any god in the game regardless of whether you have them unlocked or not. This is a great way to get to learn a new god before deciding if you want to spend favor on them, or to practice skill shots on gods you already own. There are also co-op game modes, which pair you up with other humans against AI gods. These game modes are nothing like playing against sentient beings, so only play these to get acquainted with a particular god's abilities.
--Are the gods in SMITE similar to the champions or heroes found in games like LoL and DoTA2?
Overall, yes, they are very similar, and as such many of the concepts and terms carry over. There is nothing quite so complicated as someone like Invoker from DOTA2, but for instance, Hel's ultimate in SMITE changes stances from light to dark and vice versa, which changes the effect of her first three abilities, giving her a total of six abilities to manage. Artemis and Drow are also very similar in look and playstyle. Many of the gods fulfill the standard roles of melee or ranged carry, support, tank, etc., so you should feel right at home with the selection.
--Can you tell me more about Conquest?
The gods are balanced around Conquest, and the competitive scene revolves around this game mode. The current meta generally involves a Jungler, a Mid laner, a Solo laner, and a Support and a Carry in the duo lane. Junglers are generally an assassin or anyone with high mobility. They spend most of the game in the area in-between the three lanes (the "jungle"), defeating the NPC "camps" within the jungle to get gold and XP, and trying to get behind the enemy lines ("ganking") to help either kill them, or at least do enough damage to give their teammate the advantage. Mid often consists of mages that can quickly clear the minion wave so they can go do useful things, like securing the high-gold/xp jungle camps near the middle lane (with the help of the Jungler) and rotating to other lanes. The Solo lane is the shorter of the two outside lanes (the distance between the outermost towers is shorter), and is often reserved for warriors or anyone else with good survivability/sustain. The Support (mostly guardians, sometimes warriors) helps keep their lane partner alive and tries to feed his teammates kills whenever possible (either in their own lane, or by rotating to assist with "ganks"). Since they can take the most damage, they should generally be in the front lines, whether to initiate a teamfight or save teammates. The Carry (mostly hunters, some basic-attack-based mages) should be getting the last hits on minions during the laning phase, "poking" the enemy duo lane for damage when possible, and securing kills while trying not to die themselves. They will be outputting quite a bit of damage late-game, so it's important for them to survive early-mid game.
Anyway, this advice is about as basic as it gets. The meta changes frequently, so for more in-depth advice, ask around the thread or watch some pro players.
--So why the hell do I need...?
Favor - earned through matches (more from the first win of a particular match each day), used to purchase gods, recolor skins, emotes, and gold/legendary/diamond skins.
Gems - purchased with actual money or by doing occasional Smite gem events / promotional surveys, used to obtain premium skins and emotes, voice packs, player icons, and custom wards (as well as everything earned by favor). You can claim log-in rewards every day (top-right corner of the home screen), to earn up to 50 gems each week (only on the sixth and seventh consecutive days, though).
Chests - purchased with gems or gifted after purchasing other things, gives you a random item. There are several items that can only be obtained through chests.
Worshipers - earned through matches, specific to a god. Earning enough worshipers will increase your mastery level for that god.
Mastery level - you need a minimum of 16 total gods with at least mastery level 1 to play conquest league, and you can only play gods in conquest league with whom you have at least one mastery level. A particular god's "Gold" skin (with blue trim) is unlocked at Mastery level 1, "Legendary" (black trim) skin at level 5, and "Diamond" skin at level 10.
Clan honor - obtained by winning games if you're in a clan, more earned for partying up with clan members. Required for shitty shadow skins at the moment.
Goodwill - increases each time you complete a match (up to 100%), drops to 0% if you disconnect (or if you get enough player reports). Earns you extra favor per match.
--Who are these shitters I'm getting paired up with?
SMITE is currently marketed towards NA, EU, China, Latin-America, and Australia.
--Any Pro Tips?
- Turn off Auto Skill Level and Auto Item Buy ASAP. These build bad habits and don't allow you to truly learn the gods you play as. The recommended builds only fulfill a single archetype for each god, where any veteran LoL or DoTA2 player can tell you that you need to build to match the situation, so you'll rarely build the same set of items in the same order twice in a row. Get familiar with the items and abilities in Practice mode first if you feel overwhelmed or too self-conscious to do it in an actual live game; you'll be better off in the end.
- Enemy minions that are damaged by your tower offer no gold and less experience, so try not to get outpushed too hard.
- The best way to juke abilities is by moving forward while turning with the mouse; strafing with A and D lowers your movement speed.
- Everyone that participated in a kill will get experience and gold for it. KSing does not exist. It's much better to secure a kill rather than risk the enemy getting away.
- Get familiar with the in-game voice command system, which you can use to issue commands such as setting up a gank, calling for defense, or pointing out an MIA. Hit V to bring up the list and the corresponding prompts to call out what you like. Example: VF1 calls out "Enemy missing left!," while VF2 and VF3 call out MIA for mid and right, respectively.
- Ward up! Vision is incredibly important in this game, whether to keep your teammates alive or to know when it's safe to attack. Yes, that means you too, non-support player. They're cheap enough that everyone should be getting them.
- Always be aware of what's going on by checking the minimap often. Rotate to help other lanes whenever possible (but not if your lane opponent is pushing the lane, otherwise you'll lose your tower).
- Don't be afraid to ask questions in the thread. We're (almost) always happy to help.
-Hi-Rez's official forums
-The previous "official" forums. Currently more active than the one on their site.
-Site that stores player matchmaking ranks, league trends, casual queue stats, and more.
-Good site for item builds
-The Word of Thoth: a very in-depth manual on game mechanics
-The Tome of Athena: a list of more useful guides
-Site that displays the current operational status of Hi-Rez games
https://hirezstudios.statuspage.io/ or alternatively https://twitter.com/HirezOps
-A few other item and stat mechanics
-Player ranking and common item builds
-List of free skins and how to get them
-Link to submit feedback on the game to Hi-Rez
- Hi-Rez's streaming channel
-Site that lists how items are trending
-List of Voice Actors