Last night, live on Bottom Tier, we played SMITE’s new PVE Mode: Xing Tian’s Mountain Challenge. Myself and Colton, along with some of our loyal stream followers tackled the mountain! I’m going to give you a little rundown of how it works, and how I feel about it. The queue is pretty much instant, since everyone is doing it, and it’s a PVE mode. You pick a God [Xing Tian is banned], level 13, and I believe 9000 gold? You are standing atop a little floating island, where Xing Tian sits on a massive throne, silently judging you. You can buy whatever you want, but you don’t get more gold or more levels, so build wisely. They reset cooldowns/give health between each round. You have 30 seconds to win. As long as one person is alive when your team wins, everyone comes back! You’re pitted against absolutely ludicrous challenges, each with their own specific way to strategize and win. For example, some of the ones I’ve seen:
- Drunk Town: Three Bacchus, ult on the ground. You start drunk, and will probably stay drunk the whole time. Focus them down one at a time. I activate invulnerability to get out of as much of the initial pain as possible.
- Arachne’s Web: I. HATE. ARACHNE. This only made it worse! She’s huge and has a wall of her stupid webs/spiders. She can pull one of you in [like she used to] and you have to leap over/traverse the web to get to her. She can also leap to the other side. Fuck.
- Buffalo King: A souped up Ra, Artemis, with the Giant Bull Monster from 3v3 Joust. You have to kill Ra/Artemis first, or you’re getting #rekt. We decided to focus Ra because of his stupid ult and heal.
- Tower Time: A ton of creep and a huge tower. This one’s pretty simple. Kill the minions and then the tower! This one is kind of like a break.
I don’t know where it ends, but I know the longer you go, the more crazy it gets. There is no rhyme, no reason, no order. Just chaos, and Xing Tian just sits there. Watching. Judging. You might think there’s some salt flowing here, but there isn’t! I LOVE this mode. It’s challenging, it gets people together for fast queues to challenge everything they know about this game. Do you think you know how your favorite Gods work? No you don’t, shut up. You build on a budget, figure out what is going to work and what isn’t. And just when you think you figured it out and bring all the CC in the world? You get pitted against something immune to magic, when 4/5 of your team are magical tanks/CC specialists! But there are things that work and things that I’ve found just don’t.
- FAFNIR: My. Homie. Fafnir. I start every match the same way: TURN INTO A DAMN DRAGON. Leap in, Dragon, start hitting stuff in the mouth.
- Skadi: Kaldr is best doggo. Maybe Erlang Shen’s. . . But she has the damage, the kit to make waves in this mode.
- Chang’e: Damage, heal, she brings the heat. I’ll pair her with Aphrodite, because I think she’d be fun here.
- Ymir: How can you not love him? Tanky as damnit, lots of damage. His wall can really save lives, but it’s super situational. Him and Bacchus I put on about the same level.
- Guan Yu: Insane heal, tanky, he’s got some damage too. I wonder if he can just ult and clear all of Arachne’s web. . .
All told? I love this mode. I may have seemed frustrated, and that’s because it’s genuinely challenging! I love it though. I understand this is probably a temporary mode, but I hope it isn’t. It’s a PVE mode that isn’t easy. Most PVE content in MOBAs are pretty goddamn easy, bot matches and the like. But kudos to HiRez for creating the Xing Tian Mountain, and I think a lot of good is going to come of it. You can also see Bottom Tier giving away some skins and challenging our way to the top of the mountain on Bottom Tier’s official stream! We hope to see you there!
Are you climbing the mountain? How are you doing in it? Let me know!