Two new additions to the Paladins beta test have been announced ahead of the Hi-Rez Expo, held as part of this year’s Smite World Championship.
The first is a champion who will be familiar to anybody who plays Hi-Rez’s god-battling MOBA. Grover is a lumbering treant who acts as a mount for the Roman god Sylvanus and apparrently moonlights as a competitive FPS character. Hi-Rez revealed his in-game look (see above) but didn’t say anything about how he actually plays. His weapon is a magical wooden forest lantern, because of course it is, and this presumably works a bit like a gun but who can tell with magical wooden forest lanterns, really.
According to lead designer Rory ‘Drybear’ Newbrough, they’ve retained the services of Grover’s existing voice actor to ensure that his wordless treant groaning is consistent across both Paladins and Smite. This is a huge relief, to be sure.
I managed to confirm after the presentation that Grover will, like any other Paladins character, be able to ride a horse. This makes him a rare example of a mount in one game that is granted a mount of their own in a different game, a bit like if Blizzard released a racing game where your collection of sparkling celestial steeds could ride around in cars. In the interests of fairness, I think they should release a Grover cosmetic for Paladins where he can swap out his mount for Sylvanus himself. Alternatively, they should release a Sylvanus skin for Smite where Sylvanus is riding Grover who is riding a horse. All of these things would be an excellent use of everybody’s time.
Right, yes: they also confirmed that cosmetic skins are coming to Paladins relatively soon. There’ll be whole-character makeovers as well as gun skins, so you’ll have something to look at in first person.
Also: the next map will be called Glacier Keep, and it’ll have a wintry theme with Fortress of Solitude-style ice structures. Expect greater verticality than usual as well as tighter corners. They only showed a single picture of it, so there’s not much more to say than that at the moment.
Smite will undoubtedly rule the show in Atlanta this weekend, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more Paladins snippets—and beta keys—made an appearance during the event. Watch this space!
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