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Bake Kujira: A Closer Look

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Forum » News » Bake Kujira: A Closer Look 1 posts - page 1 of 1
Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Branmuffin17 » December 7, 2023 1:48pm | Report


By: TitanAggro | 2023/12/05



WHO IS BAKE KUJIRA?


YOKAI OF DESPAIR
JAPANESE GUARDIAN SOLO LANER


The tale of Bake Kujira is one of sorrow and revenge. In ancient Japan, hunting whales was seen as an auspicious and prosperous event. A single whale could provide food and resources for an entire village, a veritable sea bounty! That being said, hunting is not without consequences. With each whale killed, anger churned in the waters as the fallen spirits cried out for their brethren. Bake Kujira is the manifestation of that despair, the reckoning the humans must face for the pain they caused to the sealife.


OUR VISION


We are always on the lookout for interesting and unique deities. When the idea of doing Bake Kujira, a ghost whale from Japanese mythology, was floated (see what I did there), we couldn’t resist. A whale in a MOBA is a crazy idea, but just the right amount of crazy to get us excited. What would a whale do? And what would a ghost whale do? Probably nothing particularly flashy or over the top, but controlling space and bringing a slow, steady, inevitable death to his enemies fit perfectly. Add in the “curse” motif from his lore, and we knew that Bake Kujira would make for an excellent Solo lane focused Guardian.


CORE THEMES

  • Theme – Vision of Despair – We wanted Bake Kujira to feel inevitable, draining his enemies of their will to fight. His enemies might not even realize why they lost a fight so badly, but chances are Bake Kujira’s presence made the fight much harder than his enemies realized.
  • Visuals - hale Mode – Being able to put a fantastical whale creature like Bake Kujira into our game was super exciting. We wanted to make sure that he represented the aquatic creature well but still felt ominous… a looming terror. Getting the right feeling in for his floaty movement was also a big focus for the animation team and we can’t wait for you to experience it!
  • Personality - You reap what you sow – Bake Kujira is a bringer of plagues and destruction, but it is not out of malice or anger. He wishes that there was no need to deliver justice upon those that have wronged the ocean, but he is firmly grounded in reality. There are those deserving of punishment, and he will deliver their punishment without mercy or hesitation.
  • Perspective - Grave Omen – To see Bake Kujira is to drown in hopelessness and despair, where he goes, bad things follow. Some mortals worship the drowned whale in feeble attempts of appeasement, others seek the aid of gods to break his curse.


ARTISTIC PROCESS


Bake Kujira didn’t have a lot of the usual questions that we have to answer for the artistic portrayal of a deity. He wouldn’t need any clothing, he wouldn’t wield any weapons. We really only had to make sure we nailed it on the theme of “Skeleton Whale.” I think we got there.




Say what you will, but you have to admit, those are some impressive ghostly Skeletal whales. The biggest focus for the team was making sure that we captured some of the fantasy of Bake Kujira, but that anyone could tell at a glance that he is a whale. While these are all awesome, the team felt like A best merged the clarity of the whale shape and the fantastical ghost whale motif.





Since we normally have more to discuss about clothing or weaponry, I’m gonna break some rules. We typically only show off the main card art, but the illustration team cooked up one of my favorite card arts we’ve ever done. Here are some concepts for Bake Kujira’s Mastery Skin card art.





All great ideas, but the illustration team took F and turned it into a masterpiece.





All of Bake Kujira’s card art turned out incredible, but this is my personal favorite.


GAMEPLAY


We knew we wanted Bake Kujira to be a Solo lane focused Guardian. That requires a few things, like the ability to clear the wave and the ability to trade effectively. I think when most players think of Solo Guardians, they think of gods like Cthulhu and Sobek: great teamfighters that can lane effectively, but they aren’t looking to gain a significant advantage in the laning phase. But Solo Guardians don’t need to have an average laning phase – Jormungandr has one of the strongest laning phases in SMITE. We felt that exploring more lane dominant gameplay loops was worthwhile, as long as his teamfight still managed to feel impactful.

Pulling heavily from his lore, the design team really loved the idea of Bake Kujira being this inevitable force in a fight. He shouldn’t necessarily hit an enemy with a lot of burst damage, but instead have good tools to stick to his enemies and steadily knock them down. We felt like we really found his identity when we went back to his lore again and doubled down on the idea of him Cursing enemies around him, making them less effective in the fight.

There’s a lot written about his gameplay and still we haven’t even touched on the most unique aspect of his kit! His gameplay loop is all about applying your Curse to as many enemies as possible, as often as possible. Oh yeah, and using his one-of-a-kind basic attacks. We decided that Ghost Whale Solo Guardian wasn’t crazy enough, so we made a Basic Attack focused Ghost Whale Solo Guardian.


UNIQUE GAMEPLAY FEATURES

  • A brand new type of Basic Attack that is the primary source of his damage, even into the late game
  • Bake Kujira converts multiple types of stats to help augment his Basic Attacks
  • An ability that has its cooldown reduced when you Basic Attack enemies
  • A debuff on his Ultimate that we’ve only ever used once before
  • A flavorful and powerful disruption to a player’s senses
Bake Kujira may be our final god of Year 10 of SMITE, but he’s certainly going to make a splash! (I’m sorry, but I’m a dad now so I’m required to make jokes like this.)


Source: https://www.smitegame.com/news/bake-kujira-a-closer-look/
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