We are incredibly excited to formally announce Set as the fourth god in the roster of Sons of Ra. He has been in the works for a few months at this point, as after the popularity of Anubis, we wanted to make sure that he would be similarly interesting to play and thematically accurate. We spent time doing research on different gods in the Egyptian pantheon, and found a few that we thought could bring interesting mechanics into Sons of Ra. Of these, Set was the one we believed to be most well known, and who had the most distinct identity – two characteristics that made Anubis successful. With this in mind, we delved into the mythos of Set and began the design process.
Who is set?
In Egyptian myth, Set is associated with a number of concepts, but most prominently Chaos, the Deserts, and Storms. He is also well known for his rivalry with the god Horus. After all, Set’s most famous story is that of his rivalry with Horus, and the events that caused it, culminating in Set’s stealing of Horus’ eye. Specifically, he is known as the one to murder his own brother, Osiris, to take his place as king.
There was one major challenge when it came to how we were going to visually depict Set. Like many Egyptian gods, he is pictured with the head of an animal. However, unlike the others, it is uncertain exactly what the “Set animal” is. Everything from donkey to aardvark, anteater to fennec fox has been suggested to have contributed to the depiction of Set. We decided to take influence from a few of these animals, namely the donkey and aardvark, and put our own spin on them to arrive at Set’s appearance in Sons of Ra.
For his weapons and clothing, we reached more into the myth of Set and what he represented in the ancient Egyptian religion. Being seen as a trickster, usurper, and assassin, we thought Set should appear vicious and sly, so we gave him a dagger to represent this underhanded nature he is portrayed with. As god of the Deserts, his clothing is reminiscent of clothing worn by North African and Egyptian desert travelers, with a hood partially covering his eyes to again reinforce his dishonesty and trickery.
Lastly, we chose to depict him with two items that hearken back to his myths. The eye of Horus which he stole hangs on a chain around his neck, and on his forearms are golden snake ornaments that reference his association with snakes, as well as his duty protecting Ra from the snake Apophis to ensure that the sun would always rise.
Set looks like he had once held the dignity and majesty of a god, but has since become ragged during his exile in the desert. Now, he comes to offer the warring kings of Egypt power, in the hopes that their devotion will bring him back to equal or even surpass his fellow gods and enable him to claim his rightful place once more.
When we create gods, we try to distill their style down to a simple phrase or concept to guide us in development. As the God of Chaos, Set’s blessings would naturally be somewhat aggressive, and designed to cause disorder on the battlefield, so the general theme that we chose to focus on with Set was “Disruption”. His abilities would therefor revolve around thwarting the plans that the opposition has enacted, and obstructing them from establishing a foothold when used properly. Set’s four blessings are as follows:
Cost: 30 Favor
Cooldown: 17 seconds
Radius: 5 units
Duration: 10 seconds
What better way to create chaos than by turning allies against each other? When you cast Betrayal, units from within the targeted area are randomly selected to temporarily change sides and fight for the opposing team. That said, it also has the potential to affect the user’s units, so placement is important. There is also no limit to the number of affected units, so using it in a large battle has the potential to cause mass confusion. When units switch sides, they will stop to fight units of the opposing team. In other words, their former allies! This will obviously deal damage to the affected units as they fight each other, but it comes with the added bonus of stopping the fighting units in lane. This allows towers extra time to work on them, or gives you the opportunity to mount your own attack in return.
Special Blessing: Sandstorm
Cost: 20 Favor
Cooldown: 25 seconds
Duration: 15 seconds
Speed Boost: 50%
Sandstorm is the first of what we are referring to as Lane-Select Blessings. As the name suggests, upon use, Lane-Select Blessings place an effect on an entire lane, either all at once or for a period of time. Sandstorm is of the latter variety. For as long as it lasts, Sandstorm gives the user’s units in the chosen lane a boost of speed, as its winds are at their backs, while dealing damage over time to any opposing units in that lane. Fitting with Set’s theme of disruption, Sandstorm is a form of lane denial, which you can use to twist your opponent’s plans to your whim by hampering an incoming assault or forcing their hand to a desperate and immediate defense against your own attack.
Basic Blessing: Ignite
Cost: 25 Favor
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Set’s first basic blessing is the familiar Ignite. Select any tower controlled by the opponent and wipe it off the face of the earth with a fiery blast. Use it to help break through to the opponent’s keep or force a further gold advantage by removing defenses as they struggle to set them up.
Basic Blessing: Cyclone
Cost: 25 Favor
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Radius: 3 units
Cyclone has returned! Originally named Sandstorm, Cyclone was removed when Montu was reworked into Ra, but it is now back as a blessing granted by Set. Call down a vortex of sand and wind to batter enemy units in a targeted area on the battlefield.
So concludes our detailed breakdown of Set, God of Chaos, the newest patron deity to come to Sons of Ra. We had a lot of fun designing him, and spent a lot of time creating his unique look and playstyle. We feel like he has set a new bar for us in terms of quality, one that has inspired us to revisit our old work to bring it up to a similar level – especially the effects of our blessings, one of the most dynamic and intense aspects of our game.
We are excited to announce that Set will be playable in ONE WEEK at DreamHack Atlanta, from November 15-17. Please, come by, check us out, and try Set for yourselves! We look forward to seeing you there.