The latest SMITE patch is a small, pro-feedback focused patch meant to address the concerns of professional players going into the Dreamhack Valencia Summer Split finals in a few weeks. This will be the patch upon which that tournament is played, even as we anticipate a massive summer patch to drop on us in the near future. The devs have hinted that patch will be crazy-huge. We’ll find out. Until then, we have this smaller patch, coupled with a new event focused on chivalry and knight themes.
Cú Chulainn, Hound of Ulster
I…have a lot to say about Celtic gods and mythology, but that requires me to catch-up on the Swing and a Myth series, which should occur once the SPL split ends. Regardless, here we are. Like Da Ji before him, this was an every-other patch-cycle god – for better or for worse. Given the sorry-state of Da Ji, this has to be back to a corporate decision rather than a developmental one. Again, given the previous statements, it’s disappointing. Anyway, we forge onward. Cú Chulainn is a two-form god, with his forms being triggered based on his resource. He wields Gáe Bulg – which is rad.
- Passive – Berserk: Cú Chulainn’s mana bar is 0-100, and only regenerates to 25 mana. Hitting attacks, abilities, and you or allies taking damage fills the mana bar. After being above 85 mana for 3 seconds, you go berserk. While berserk you gain power and maximum health, and your abilities change. This is an interesting way to do transformation, in that it’s not quite as controlled as the other stance changes, but provides an arguably bigger impact.
- Barbed Spear/Ground Slam: In human form, this is a line attack that stuns small minions, reduces healing received, and increases his mana by 6 for each enemy hit – to a max of 18. In berserk form, this is a root, instead. This has a lot of interesting complications, as the barbed spear is better some of the time, and the ground slam would be better at other points. Good trade-off ability.
- Vent Anger: This is mystical mail + movement speed at the cost of draining your rage. This is the mechanism by which you ostensibly control your transformation. However, it’s uh…not as elegant as it could be. It really should just be a toggle.
- Salmon’s Leap/ Furious Charge: Leap+damage with a unique targeting reticle in human form, and a charge+knockback in berserk form. It grants 6 mana for each creature hit – to a max of 18. Again, interesting trade-off potential, though likely there are more clear-cut cases where each is useful, here.
- Spear of Mortal Pain/War Cry: Any Gáe Bulg reference is good. In human form this is an AoE damage and knockup, restoring 12 mana per enemy hit – to a max of 36. In berserk form this is an AoE damage and fear.
There is a lot of potential for cool play and decision-making on this god. While not as interesting as he could have been, his kit is still very warrior-like and engaging. The multiple forms triggered by a decision to not use specific abilities is a good one, and that is definitely where the skill cap will lie. Right now his numbers are a little problematic, but that can be fixed. I think this will be a love/hate god.
Code of Chivalry
A new knight-themed event, Code of Chivalry costs 1200 gems and provides a series of quests that let you pursue “good” or “evil” options as you work through the line, earning additional rewards along the way. Regardless of it you actually work through the line, if you purchase the event you get all skins after the event goes away. The initial purchase gives you:
- Draco Knight Tyr
- Chivalry Loading Frame
- Fire Giant Ward
Completing the quests gives you:
- Black Knight Osiris
- Dread Knight Odin
- Jackal Knight Anubis
- Noble Knight Osiris
- Chivalry Loading Screen
- Chivalry Music Theme
- Awesome Chest
- Cutesy Avatar Chest
- Enigma Chest
1200 gems gets you an awful lot. Pretty stellar, frankly.
Most of the skins are locked in the Code of Chivalry bundle, but there is a skin for Nox that will be in the independence chest going live on 6/27, a Camazotz T2 skin, and mastery skins for Da Ji, Nox, and Osiris.
- Black Knight Osiris: Part of the Code of Chivalry bundle, this is the “evil” Osiris skin, based on Monty Python’s Holy Grail. He’s got an axe and flail, his powers are all red and black, just like his skin theme. He’s so eeeeeevil. This is a long anticipated skin, and it’s very good.
- Draco Knight Tyr: He’s a dragon. No he’s a man. No wait he’s a dragon man! It’s metal af. Lots of fire, lots of swords, lots of wings. A+, would Tyr again. This is part of the Code of Chivalry bundle.
- Dread Knight Odin: Solid, evil dragoon Odin skin. He’s a dragoon, but he’s evil! That’s all I’ve got here. It’s part of the Code of Chivalry bundle. He’s no Ornstein, but I guess it is what it is.
- Jackal Knight Anubis: A strange crusader knight skin for Anubis. It’s cool, but man, Hi-Rez loves them some doggo. I would have liked to have seen a different mage get it, even if Anubis isn’t all that bad from a thematic perspective. Like the others in the set, it’s part of the Code of Chivalry, and is a good looking skin.
- Lady Liberty Nox: Statue of Libery Nox that shoots fireworks. You should know if this is for you or not. It’s part of the Independence Chest available on 6/27. It should run 400 gems.
- Noble Knight Osiris: He’s a rad Diablo Crusader/Paladin. That’s his look and deal. He’s part of the Code of Chivalry bundle.
- Xibalba’s Shadow Camazotz: They really wanted to get in the basketball, but with a skull reference in somewhere. So he’s got a skull face. It’s a good looking skin, just like all of their recent T2s. I actually prefer the T2s in a lot of cases. It costs 250 gems.
- Da Ji Mastery: Yep, she has these now.
- Nox Mastery Rework: Yep, she’s not all gold and diamond now.
- Osiris Mastery Rework: Yep, he’s not all gold and diamond now.
- Cú Chulainn gets wave and clap.
- Osiris and Nox get a dance.
- A notification has been added to alert you if you are going to queue without a quest active that you could otherwise activate. Thank goodness. Man, I messed that up on the last event more than once. Funnily, the devs said the same thing so it’s probably a personal experience change.
Bug Fixes – Gods
- Bacchus: He still had golden arm pits on his mastery skins, probably because of the extra skin from the weight loss.
- Mercury: Captain Quick was playing multiple sounds at once because he was so fast and broke the sound barrier.
Changes – Gods
- Da Ji – Paolao: Landing reticle should appear immediately when you cancel the ability. After all three shots are fired, you re-position to dismount rather than waiting for the ability to time out. All QoL changes that I guess you can count as buffs because it makes her more fluid. Sure.
- Fafnir – Cursed Strength: The slow no longer scales from 20-40%, and is now just a flat 20%. This is the second round of nerfs on Fafnir, after the first round didn’t impact his play all that much, though his win rate did decrease meaningfully. The idea is to not make him a one-trick pony…but other areas were also nerfed. This might be the change that sees people move away from him, but it might also not be the case. I guess we’ll see. Regardless, it’s a straight nerf that makes him easier to personally fight into.
- Ganesha – Dharmic Pillars: The slow from Dharmic Pillars no longer scales from 20-40%, and is now a flat 35%. Saying this is an adjustment rather than a buff or nerf is a fair statement. Overall it’s good, though a slight dip at the very top.
- Nemesis – Scales of Fate: Nem is in an interesting spot. She is a primary ban – mostly due to the meta – but her success greatly depends on the individual in question. There are indications that the mid-season patch will provide more re-balancing, which should shed even more light on where the minds of the devs are at right now. Anyway, Power Gained and Power Lost from this are reduced from 6% to 5%.
Changes – Items
- Gauntlet of Thebes: Health reduced from 350 to 300 (a second nerf in this area), and protections nerfed from 20 to 15. This is to address the ability to fight from behind that teams felt was lacking in early to mid season 4. We’ll see if that’s true, because it feels like this and the Sovereignty change below will just increase the potency of physical characters that are ahead, and further impact the support that is behind. However, the rest of the team might be in a better spot. I am not sure about this one.
- Shifter’s Shield: 2350 gold to 2500 gold. Yep, expected change with the gold increase. More lenient than I had expected, as I assumed it would go to 2600. Solid change.
- Sovereignty: Personal physical pro increased from 30 to 40. Team granted protection decreases from 30 to 15. I like this change more, as it doesn’t greatly impact the personal safety of the support, but it does impact the rest of the team. Still, these changes run the risk of directing the meta towards bruiser guardians/supports, which will have massive impacts across the board. I’m intrigued to see where this goes.