Finally, after 3 months of hard work and banging my head against the brick wall that is the Galaxy Editor, I'm proud to present the next big thing in skill-based MOBA/DOTA style gaming.
Smashcraft is a unique 3v3 deathmatch arena game based loosely on World of Warcraft's 3v3 arena format, but spare yourself the long gear grinds, horribly balanced RNG-favored combat, and class favoritism. In Smashcraft, there is no farming, no gear grinding, no thousands of items to confuse yourself with, you pick your character, and smash the other team.
Four character archetypes:
Guardians specialize in protecting their teammates, while dealing decent damage, their key focus is on controlling and subduing the enemies. They can take quite the beating without falling, but Psions tend to be particularly effective against them. Guardians are strong vs. Assaults and weak vs. Psions.
Assaults specialize in dealing fast, hard damage but tend to be a bit squishy. Assaults specialize in taking the squishies on the other team down and applying heavy pressure to their support. They often have abilities which can silence, slow, and deal lots of damage very quickly if left unchecked. While Assaults may be extremely effective against Psions, they struggle with Guardians.
Psions the literal powerhouses of Smashcraft, the psions can unload huge bursts of damage often times to many targets at once. Specializing in heavy AOE damage, psions are at the bottom of the food chain in survivability. They tend to crumble easily but the payload they can dish out is more than worth it. Most psion abilities will require casting times but have unparalleled range and damage capability. Psions are quite strong at dealing with Guardians, but Assaults tend to rip them to shreds.
Supports are the gears behind the machine, Support characters are not strong or weak to any other archetype, but they tend to have little to no damaging capabilities instead focusing on aiding their team and subduing enemies. Everything from buffs, to healing, to cursing enemies, supports are an integral part of any good team composition.
Skill-Based Combat (Reactionary Abilities)
In addition to aiming your skills well to get the most out of them, every character has the same reactionary skills to use in combat. These abilities are on short cooldowns and require timing to be used to their most effectiveness.
Instant Block: Blocking will reduce incoming damage significantly for a very short period of time. If timed right, you can survive a heavy focused burst attack or just use it to build increased "fury".
Instant Dodge: Dodging will get you out of harm's way, using the dodge skill is like a miniature teleport in any direction. You can use this to juke enemy fire or even to catch up to someone who is running away.
Escape Mechanisms: Every hero has an escape mechanism that will free them from stuns, roots, snares, the whole deal and most abilities will grant them other bonuses, such as HOTs, or damage absorption, even immunity to CC effects for a short period of time. Use these wisely, however, as they are on limited cooldowns.
As you deal and take damage, your hero will gain Fury. Once maxed, they can unleash an incredibly powerful attack that can quickly turn the tide of a battle. Finishing your opponents with a Fury skill will also end the round in a stylish way!
Each team starts on either ends of an arena, the objective is to KO the other team completely. Good teamwork, and knowledge of your heroes abilities is only half of the skill behind the game. The team that wins 3 rounds takes the victory in a best out of 5 round matchup. Each time a team is KO'd, the next round begins until one team hits 3 points.
Each team can have one instance of one hero, you cannot have multiple copies of the same hero on one team, however, so choose your composition wisely. Rolling out with 2 Supports and a Guardian may be incredibly hard to kill, but you also won't be killing the other team very quickly with a setup like that. Balance and good hero control are what make a skilled Smashcraft team.
More To Come
As this is a beta, feel free to leave suggestions, comments, and complaints in this thread. In addition, look forward to more features coming soon!
-20+ heroes planned for the future
-4 fully detailed arenas w/ their own unique cinematic intros.
-Player Stat tracking!
-EX abilities: use some fury to enhance your normal abilities on the fly
-Self healing: All characters will have the ability to apply a weak, channeled heal to themselves at any time, this puts some strategy into playing a team composition that doesn't include a healer, but still is inferior to having a dedicated support.
I'll be releasing the map officially for PUBLIC BETA tomorrow, January 2nd, 2011. Look for it on the custom maps list very soon!
Personally, I'm more of a fan of the ASDF hotkeys. But that'd be more because I play left-handed. If you do see the need to change the hotkeys though, do leave in an option (savable by bank) for which hotkey layout we'd like.
I've been playing this for a while now, and I've concluded that it's a very fun map. Of course, before you get to where it's fun, it's only confusing as hell.
Other than the amazing game mechanics, that have never been seen before, blatantly hit you in the face, the new button layout really makes you wonder what is going on.
For new players, perhaps you could add a summary text, or color code it; all of the abilities look the same for a new player.
There are constantly people who are just sitting there, trying to work out what each ability does, while they click aimlessly around, only to die. Many of them leave the game before even trying to figure out why everyone else knows what they're doing.
I'm working on something to replace the current loading screen, + maybe tips that pop up after you die. I remember playing a game called Power Overwhelming that did something like that when you died. Its a great idea.
I've played the game a few times. I really dig the character selection screen. It looks very nice! I think characters should be buffed if someone on their team leaves because usually one person leaves the game during the 1st battle or 2nd battle. I've noticed the fury build up for the character I use (marine guy) is rather slow. Usually I must kill one other player, damage others, and take quite a bit of damage myself before I can use my fury ability. The game is rather fun and I like the fact that you must use skills appropriately to maximize your effectiveness. I am still unsure about the hero balance since I've only tried the marine so far but it looks fairly balanced.