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Absolutely Shocking!

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?


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