Its no secret that the Shockwave is one of the rarest abilities in Hogs, but its like that for a good reason. To be blunt - the Shockwave is extremely overpowered when in the right hands. Its locked away behind the somewhat unplayable arsenal of the Legend in Singleplayer and can only be found within Random Crates in Multiplayer (most notably on Square Off). We all know how important Knockback is in this game and how fun it can be to bloop pigs out of bounds and turn your enemies into small chunks of bacon, but the Shockwave is capable of doing this on a catastrophic scale. We've all heard the tale of the pick-pocketing Spy using the Shockwave to destroy the team of Legends on Mission 25, right?
Despite the insane amount of knockback this ability can produce - the damage is pitiful. Somewhere between 10 to 13HP worth of damage is dealt to the targeted pig, with a little bit more added on if you fail to knock them out of bounds and they take fall damage. Yet you want to know the strangest thing? The Legends are the only class to hold this ability in the entire game, but the AI is unable to use it. Even if they exhaust all other weapons in their arsenal, the AI legends will never use the Shockwave against the player. Given its unfair advantage in most situations though - its probably for the best!
I call the Shockwave an ability because technicallyyyyy there is no weapon involved, the pig doesn't hold anything in their hand, they simply... bend over and fart. Like they really let one rip. Big explosion. Interestingly the animation the hogs team used here is exactly the same as the one used for the Suicide, except in this case the pig isn't holding a TNT and they don't perish after the explosion. The original Hogs lead programmer, Jacob Habgood, mentioned to me that the Shockwave caused the team far too many headaches in the early days of the games development. As well as causing extreme knockback, the Shockwave also had a tendency to cause extreme breakage to the maps. Because of this it was demoted to a minimal role in the game today, however that's also due in part to the Legend not being a playable class within the campaign (unless cheats are used). Originally the player would have been able to promote their pigs from Hero to Ace and then Ace to Legend (back then these three classes were split into three different types of Legends - Major, Colonel and General... confusing I know) but this was eventually scrapped as the game's progress shifted between Alpha > Beta.
We also have one other type of knockback item, this time in the form of an artillery shell. It is of course the shock shell. Dealing roughly the same damage as the Shockwave, the player is only able to fire one of these shells when they control an artillery piece. You'd think a shell that deals so little damage would be able to travel quite far, but sadly this is not the case. Alongside its limited range, the shock shell doesn't actually deal as big of a knockback blow to the targeted pig. Its made even worse when you realise that artilleries are only used in 3 of the 25 singleplayer missions, all of whom are usually positioned on high ground - making it very unlikely that you'd be able to blast pigs off the map using that type of shell.
So what does the future hold for The Shockwave? Well the only way it could be balanced within both game modes is via quantity. Future changes to the weapons each class of pig holds are just around the corner thanks to modding, and at most I could see the Shockwave being set to x1 use... maximum! Its an ability that relies on the positioning of the pigs. Any pig that happens to be standing near the edge of the map is toast. Anywhere else and it actually becomes quite a weak item. Still, anything is better than the suicide eh?
Its been another fantastic year for this Community Charity Event. Rankup 2021 brought in some fresh little hogs to compete in their first major tournament, and it certainly did not disappoint! Of course what is Rankup without some kind of technical issue along the way? Thankfully this time around we were much more prepared for the worst, lets just hope that going forward we can eventually have a tournament that has no issues for any of the participants.
This years format saw changes to the amount of days the event ran for as well as the content that was shown. The first day was pretty chill, focusing more on the community side of things rather than kicking off immediately with a tournament. And I think overall it went down pretty well.
Day 2 and 3 saw the tournament broadcast on both the League Channel and my own, which in the long run really helped us get through all the designated matches. And what great matches they were! The community really rallied behind the participants and showed their amazing support in chat & via donations (big thank you again to Hogsy and Herpderp for their very large contributions!).
So what next for Rankup? How do we top this year going into the next? Well the tournament is always going to be a thing, if anything the Rankup tournament tends to act as a testing ground for us to see if new elements can be added into the Hogs League. The new changes we have made and intend to make to existing maps and classes in competitive Hogs is only going to continue and get better. We have a lot of ideas we want to implement, but for now its just a question of time. In total this year the community raised £702 for the Human Relief Foundation, which in combination with our total from last year - we have raised over £1000 in the first two years of this event. At this point the question is more what can't we achieve? How far can we go? This community is awesome. I'm proud of all of you!
Now that the community is alive and kicking, I've found myself wanting a better way to talk directly to you all directly about the state of the game and everything that is currently underway/in development across the areas mentioned on this site.
My hope is that this blog will help to accomplish that and give everyone a better insight into the workings of this community and what we actually are.
The hope is that I'll be providing you with a variety of interesting things to read, whether you are a hardcore hogs veteran or you've just started. This blog will provide the latest discussions and topics within Hogs, including upcoming events, projects, videos, art, animations, music and overall showcasing the great content the community is creating.
In the meantime, if you haven't already, come join the Hogs Community Discord. You'll find it linked at the top of the home page!