Patch 4.6: Racer Rumble – Breakdown

Heading into the SPL Season 4 Spring Split Gauntlet and LAN, there are very few balance changes in this patch cycle. 4.5 saw the last second removal of rituals – which was huge – and a fair number of changes, so it’s not really a surprise. The biggest changes here are fairly representative of some of the trends seen in the SPL, but we can get into those shortly. I would like to spend a few words discussing the social media spoilers. In short – they use a Fantastic Voyage reference for THIS patch and passed it up for LAST patch? Man, it was even named Celestial Voyage! It’s okay. They live and learn.

4.4 Breakdown | 4.5 Breakdown | 4.6 Breakdown

Apollo’s Racer Rumble

The second adventure to come to SMITE, Apollo’s Racer Rumble is Mario Kart. I could spend more time on it, but it’s Mario Kart. Don’t get me wrong. I love Mario Kart, and being able to play it while also getting stuff for SMITE is great. This adventure costs 900 gems if you buy it while it is current – up from the 700 gems of Valley of Victory – and is priced more highly because – and I quote – “[they] wanted to make more money.” This is in the “funny because it’s true” area, but you do get quite a bit of stuff for your 900 gems.

  • Winner’s Circle Apollo
  • Racer Pedestal (upgrades through adventure)
  • Racer Ward
  • Music Theme
  • Gold Key

If you continue to play the adventure, you eventually earn back up to 100 gems, giving you something of a price break – but you need to play the shit out of it to get that done. I am not saying people won’t do it, just that I am not that dude.

The game is a free-for-all, has two maps that are randomly selected, and features SMITE relics as items you can use in the game mode. It all looks good, for sure.

Like other adventures/events, there is a track that gives rewards for interacting with it and requires no gems to be spent. Players who do not have the bundle can earn up to 1800 favor, 2 Enigma Chest rolls, and 1 Awesome Chest roll. The Awesome Chest is a new chest that can contain any exclusive skin.

You get two skins – the Apollo one a step up from the Nike one – a pedestal, a music theme, and a ward for 900 gems, with the option to reduce that to 800. It’s not a bad deal. Both skins you would get would be 400 gem skins, at least.

Skins

There are seven skins being added this patch. Three of them are masteries for Cernunnos. They look cool, and are a neat direction for animalistic gods.

  • Winner’s Circle Apollo – For some reason his voice pack has him being a Nascar dude, while his skin has a giant pompadour. I think there was some mixed messaging on theme-ing. That said, it looks gorgeous, and the effect reworks are incredible. Plus, your chariot is a car. Everyone loves a flying car. Pretty solid as the included skin. This is something people will be jealous of later on in SMITE’s life – depending on how long Adventures stick around.
  • Amazon Athena – Amazon as in the jungle, not the Amazonians from Greek mythology. Athena looks absolutely great. The voice acting is good, but the pack is sorta meh from what I heard. If you are an Athena player, it’s a must buy. If you like good looking skins and collect, it’s a must buy. It might or might not be in a chest. My guess is yes, maybe one of the 400 gem ones. We should find out on the PTS and this will be updated. It is NOT a Golden Vault skin.
  • Intergalactic Chang’e – This skin is amazing. It looks great, the voice pack is great, and it’s something you would find in a galaxy far, far away. I can’t say any more unless I want to get sued. The jade bunny is a super cute droid, Chang’e has a voice – we’ll give it a pass – and you get new sound effects on all your skills. It’s flat out amazing. This is a golden vault skin. It will absolutely be the one I pick up, when I pick this up.
  • Eager Ratatoskr – I am not a big team skin fan – I don’t think I own any – but this skin looks amazing. The voicelines are a bit juvenile, and some don’t make a whole lot of sense as he has a controller instead of acorns – making nut jokes just about testicles instead of being veiled innuendo. Still, the skills look great and the skin looks great.
  • Cernunnos Mastery Skins – I spoke about this above. They look pretty cool, and it’s a good direction for humanoid gods in the future.

Emotes

Ratatoskr gets a dance emote. Rejoice, ratlings.

Miscellaneous

A nice bug fix to appropriate show base values of god stats when you looked for them in game.

Item Changes

At the beginning of the season I said healing isn’t changed from its strength in Season 3, but the onus got moved away from the gods and onto the items. Well, the Eager-LG match showed the problems with myriad things, but sustain healing was one of them. With the slight downgrade of items and burst combinations over the last few patches, this has become more and more valid. With gods being viable in more rolls, it’s not out of the question to break out a triple healing comp. This means a single item will fulfill the roll of bolstering healing for all healing gods. That’s the downside of this approach. No approach is perfect, and I like changing items rather than gods. Still, this is a big hit.

  • Rod of Asclepius – Passive in-combat healing bonus has been reduced from 20% to 10%
  • Rod of Healing – Passive in-combat healing bonus has been reduced from 10% to 5%
  • Runic Shield – Added 100 Health. This is to make the item tilt towards defense a bit more. It’s not a bad item to pick up against burst mages, and I could see this being a core item people use against double-magical damage comps. It remains a counter-build item. I like it.

Relics

Shield of Thorns gets a tooltip correction. People knock these, but knowing what does what is a huge part of making better decisions.

God Changes

I try not to venture into hyperbole when discussing changes. I am on record stating I like the incremental approach to changes that Hi-Rez is now taking. That said, I think the changes proposed in the patch are a little too much – Hades gets a bit too strong, and Skadi gets a bit too weak. I get it, Hades has been out of favor for a while, and Skadi has been incredibly strong all season – even with earlier nerfs. I think these are just a little much, but that’s what the PTS is for.

Athena

Just a bug fix here. Her collision detection was busted after her ultimate against allied units. This will no longer be the case.

Awilix

Another bug fix. She could get stuck in her T-pose when she got ulted by Cernunnos. This will no longer be the case.

Hades

Lots and lots of changes. This is to move Hades away from the Guardian role he used to have, and push him more as a Mage. They are touching a lot at one, and I think it’s going to do more than people think to make him viable. I love Hades, but I think he’ll end up slightly too strong.

  • Base Stats – His physical protection scaling drops from 3.2 to 2.6. This places him in the middle of mages. His base health drop from 490 to 450, which is still high. His attack speed goes from .87 to .95, which is a big deal. Sol and Chronos are at 1, but most others sit at that .87.
  • Death From Below – Big ol’ damage increase. It starts off 20 points higher and scales an extra 15 per increase per rank. This moves from 50/85/120/155/190 to 70/120/170/220/270.
  • Shroud of Darkness – Mana decrease from 80 to 60. Sure, I guess?
  • Devour Souls  – It now deals damage to the detonate target, which it wasn’t previously. This is a significant damage increase. Mana decreases by 5 per increase per rank. This moves from 65/75/85/95/105 to 60/65/70/75/80. They also made it easier to see, and understand visually.
  • Pillar of Agony – You now gain more protections per rank. I understand the thought, but math-wise it’s weird. You end up with more overall protections while using this skill than you had before, and you only lose around 10 protection from the base changes. The amount of tankiness he loses is only minimal, and gains more during ult. I get it, but man. Maybe just a touch much. Blight is also no longer consumed by it – which is a big deal, too. Protection shred is also applied before the first tick of damage, which is a slight damage buff.

Hou Yi

Apparently Hou Yi is under performing. I guess? I dunno, I feel he’s middle of the pack. However, his changes are minimal so why not? His base attack speed increases from .9 to .95 and his base damage changed from 38 to 40.

Kukulkan

A bug fix to make his basic attacks in the Kuku skin visible. Always good.

Medusa

Some bug fixes to make Lacerate highlight the right people, and some bug fixes to make Acid Spray highlight the right people.

Nemesis

A bug fix to make her second dash castable even if you don’t have enough mana for the skill (since you already cast the skill when you dashed the first time).

Raijin

A bug fix to allow ensure Raiju was consuming Raijin’s passive.

Ravana

A buff to his ultimate to ensure he can initiate better, and give it some team utility. The second part is important, as synergy is really important in the current meta, and ensuring you can burst down targets is the difference between winning and losing.

  • Mystic Rush – Increased damage at every rank by 50. The linked portion is removed. Once you land you take 50% less damage. Whenever you hit a god with it they take 10% more damage from all sources for a duration. Finally, it can hit minions. Good stuff.

Skadi

Skadi has been incredibly strong this season. The Permafrost changes were a big deal, but the point of frustration is Kaldr. He deals a ton of damage, scaling incredibly well, but during Winter’s Grasp he was immune to damage. This meant you could just focus someone incredibly easily late game. Putting Kaldr on someone, letting him get whittled, and then popping the ult for the heal and immunity was all but a guaranteed kill. However, this might be slightly too much of a change. Allowing him to be hit – but not die – during Winter’s Grasp might have been a good first step. Kaldr could have died as soon as the ult ended, in that instance. Still, I’m willing to see how it plays out.

  • Winter’s Grasp – Kaldr is no longer immune for the duration of this skill

The Morrigan

Fixed a bug for spectator mode. Woo.

Zeus

Fixed a bug where charges wouldn’t display.

 

Overall Patch Grade: B

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