To call this the mid-season patch is something of a misnomer. This is the first of several mid-season patches. Not only will the Summer of SMITE event be kicked off – extending through patch 4.16 – we also see the advent of Project Olympus, massive item changes, some map changes, god balancing, reward overhauls, and a prestige system (for ego only, I guess.) Lots and lots to discuss. Let’s do it.
The majority of skins this patch are from the start of the Summer of SMITE, though we get a slick Freya skin, Cú Chulainn masteries, and a Cernunnos T2. We also had the T5 skin for this year’s Odyssey. In a surprising twist, it was not Hou Yi. In fact, Hou Yi didn’t even make the top three. The top three consisted of Jing Wei, Medusa, and Ullr – all of which focused on an elemental theme. Of course, it wouldn’t be SMITE without drama. Players contend two things:
- Only Ullr’s concept art was fully fleshed out
- HiRezPrettHair told Paladins players to vote for Ullr
This is kind of silly on both accounts. The Jing Wei art looked good, and the Medusa art was fine. Hi-Rez just wanted to knock out the elemental concepts out after long time requests to do so. Further, PrettyHair is an Ullr player. Sure, he’s an employee. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a fan. It’s all silly, frankly.
- Kaijuzenbo: Joining my main cai-man Kaiju Sobek, Kuzenbo receives the second skin for the giant monster theme. Unlike Sobek, Kuzenbo’s voice pack is actually the god saying things. I love the Kaiju Sobek voice pack, but many people are rankled by it. Having it be a news reporter separates it from the herd, and it would have been neat to get a Tom Brokaw-style “distinguished man” reporter for this one. No big deal, though. It also could have been cool to do something like a found footage narration – since the NeNe Kappa reminds me of Cloverfield. Regardless, fun skin and part of Summer of SMITE 2017.
- Foxy Lady Da Ji: I like the trend to move to more skin-theming. The Rock-a-Bellona skin is cool – even if it doesn’t do it for me – and Da Ji is definitely a goddess that would work well with this theme. The voice pack is pretty much just Grease. It’s possible to say it is New Jersey or Lorna from Orange is the New Black – like the weird VP for Messenger Mercury. It looks great, though. An Athena rockabilly skin where her spear is a checkered flag would be fun. I digress. This is from the Summer of SMITE 2017.
- Ordo Aurora Freya: Another case of adding to an existing skin-theme, Ordo Aurora Freya joins Ordo Solarus Amaterasu (and possibly Intergalactic Chang’e) as a kick-ass space babe. She looks very Asari, but some say Twil’ek and I could see that, too. The voice pack has a bit of a lisp thing going on, which is a little distracting at first, but is forgotten fairly quickly. This skin is not part of the Summer of SMITE and is likely in a small chest – though that remains to be seen.
- Head Over Heels Cupid: An exclusive skin from the new chest system, I…don’t get this skin. Cupid with a deep synth voice and what looks like a recolor (mostly?) Ok, I guess. It’s a free skin, so tempered expectations are the order of the day. It won’t replace his other skins any time soon, certainly.
- Warden Cernunnos: Hooray, a Cernunnos skin. Sure, it’s a T2. He looks like a wolf man with an emerald jewelry fetish, and ram horns. The card art isn’t my favorite, but the in-game skin looks good. It might be one of the few cases of this happening, rather than the reverse. This will run 250 gems.
- Cú Chulainn Masteries: Yes, he has these now.
Da Ji gets a dance. Of course she does.
A salt shaker. It’s so sad, but so accurate.
Summer of SMITE
This is an ongoing event stretching through patch 4.16. It’s such a big deal that it gets its own webpage. This event is very similar to the Egyptian event from earlier in the year. You buy a god skin and get to select another item to go with it. These add-on items are called souvenirs, and are things like pedestals, themes, etc. You rent these items for the duration of the event unless you complete the two quests that come with selecting the souvenirs. If you collect everything, you are rewarded with a cool Bacchus skin where he is a bear with a pot of honey. This will be a plethora of gems in order to get all of the items – right around 3200 or so. It’s crazy, but you will get quite a lot for the purchases. Kaijuzenbo and Foxy Lady Da Ji are the first two skins available as part of this, with Cú Chulainn, the Morrigan, and others to come in the future.
Project Olympus is an initiative to improve the performance, usability, and gameplay of SMITE. This will stretch from 4.13 to 4.15 (unless things change), and should bring major improvements. This patch brings the following:
- The return of DirectX 11 (after an awful first try in the past)
- 64-Bit client support (finally)
- High Resolution texture packs you can individually download
- Fine Control over Resolution Screen Scaling
- Parallax Occlusion Mapping (shader depth)
- Prestige levels that show off your xp levels (bragging rights)
- The Wisdom tab is being renamed and significantly updated
A new system where you can earn chests of three different tiers (winner’s, champion’s, hero’s) based on your wins during the week. Once you open enough (20 in any combo) of these other chests, you get a roll on a yet-better chest (godlike). The new Head Over Heels Cupid skin comes from this chest. This is a good change for players – despite people who complain about having to win. It’s purely a competitive game though, so…I miss this one. Free stuff is good. Better when it’s earned through victory.
Changes – Map – Conquest
Lots of changes going into the Fall Split. Some of these target pro play, some target casual play, and some…need more time to bake before they are ready.
- General: These are just the right changes to make. QoL and balancing randomness. It also adjusts the start, again.
- Global audio plays when the Fire Giant and Gold Fury are slain. Good stuff
- Lane minions meet at 30s, which should change starts a bit
- Brute minions no longer spawn until the third wave. This addresses randomness prevalent in the early game, allowing for lane pressure.
- Jungle Adjustments: I am not certain these changes do what Hi-Rez will want them to do. The decreased xp in the jungle is meant to reduce snowballing, but what it will do is force lane-stacking like we saw in the past. Health is being increased in some cases, further punishing splitting. It’s counter-intuitive. This pushes us back towards the end of season three in terms of game play. It’s…not my favorite.
- Fire Elementals: xp reduced from 30 to 20. Health increased from 90 to 160.
- Elder Fire Elemental: xp reduced from 105 to 80.
- Oracles: xp reduced from 85 to 65.
- Mini Cylcops: health increased from 90 to 160
- Mid Harpy: xp increased from 55 to 58
- Gold Fury: xp reduced from 100 + 10/min to 50 + 5/min
- Tower Adjustments: Prepare thyself from more Emperor’s Armor. The late game will just keep getting later.
- Tier 2 Towers: Health increased from 2000 to 2500.
- Phoenix: Health increased from 2000 to 3000. Respawn health increased from 5% to 25%. Max respawn health increased from 40% to 70%.
Changes – Map – Siege
Siege is a long forgotten (and insulted by the staff) game mode. It has issues that transcend the mode itself – solo queuing, for example – but it has a plethora of game issues, too. Some of these are addressed in this update. Others are not. Still, better than nothing.
- Map Improvements: Better trees and plants. Cool, I guess.
- Pre-game time reduced from 90s to 60s.
- Defeating a siege juggernaut grants the team 75 xp and 100 gold
- Pre-game jungle timers added
- Jungle Adjustments:
- Purple buff is now yellow speed buff
- Wild Juggernaut scaling increased by 20%
- Wild Juggernaut regenerates health over time
- Bug Fixes: Hou Yi’s ricochet can’t get stuck in a wall now
Changes – Game Mode
Some much discussed changes finally make it live. These address the weirdness of builds and xp being in wildly different places.
- Clash: Decreased xp spooling from 6 xp to 4 xp
- Joust: Decreased gold spooling from 8 gold to 6 gold
Additions – Items
A lot of item additions in this patch. Several of these are interesting as it indicates a shift from previous ideology that didn’t want to split items by role if it could be helped. Yet, we have seen it happen in the past, and now we see it again. The hastened ring is suspect. We’ll see if it keeps Freya fresh.
- Hastened Fatalis: DELETED!
- Hastened Katana: New item that builds off the katana tree (making it melee only). Rejoice, Bakasura and Kali.
- Costs 2400
- +10% movement speed
- +25 physical power
- +25% attack speed
- Passive: hitting an enemy with a basic attack grants Haste for 1s – causing you to be immune to the basic attack penalty
- Hastened Ring: New item that builds off the enchanted ring tree (mage only). Will it save Freya? Maybe. Maybe not.
- Costs 2300 gold
- +50 magical power
- +25% attack speed
- +7% attack speed
- Passive: hitting an enemy with a basic attack grants Haste for 4s – causing you to be immune to the basic attack penalty. Internal cooldown of 30s.
- Hunter’s Bow: New item that builds from Short Bow.
- Costs 1200 gold
- +10 physical power
- +20% attack speed
- Atalanta’s Bow: New item that builds from Hunter’s Bow. This is meant to bridge the movement speed gap left behind from fatalis, but uhhh we’ll see. It’s a weird item.
- Costs 2300 gold
- +30 physical power
- +20% attack speed
- Passive: hitting basic attacks increases your Movement Speed by 7% per Stack. Stacks up to 4 times, stacks last for 2s
- Toxic Blade: New item that builds from Adventurer’s Blade. This can be summed up as “witchblade sucked, our bad.” This is the Winged Blade, but not.
- Costs 2200 gold
- +100 health
- +10% movement speed
- +20% attack speed
- +10 penetration
- Passive: Enemies hit by your Basic Attacks gain a stack of 20% reduced Healing. Stacking up to 3 times, stacks last for 5s
Changes – Relics
The relic system is undergoing a massive overhaul to try and make them more attractive to use. The problem is the changes all slow down gameplay. I understand the motivation to alter the gameplay from the fast-paced snowball-heavy meta that dictated the start of season four. However, this appears to be a bridge too far. The changes seem to push the game into a slower pace, and promote a tankier meta. This will be a boon for teams familiar with the older style of play, and those who had trouble with the aggression of the earlier season. The shift in power during the Summer Split speaks to this. Concerns aside, here we go.
- Aegis Amulet (Base and Upgrade): No longer cures roots and slows
- Blink Rune: Decrease cooldown from 130s to 100s
- Blink Rune (Upgrade): Take 10% less damage for 2s after blinking
- Bracer of Undoing: Increased lost health and mana restore from 50% to 60%, no longer reduces cooldowns by 3s
- Bracer of Undoing (Upgrade): Increased cooldown from 100s to 120s, cooldown reduction retained
- Cursed Ankh (Upgrade): Decreased healing reduction from 65% to 50%, increased cooldown from 100s to 120s, New Effect: Enemies afflicted by Cursed Ankh have their Mana costs increased by 20% and have the Cooldowns of Abilities fired while afflicted increased by 2s
- Heavenly Wings (Base and Upgrade): Allies affected by Heavenly Wings are now Slow Immune
- Horrific Emblem (Upgrade): Increased cooldown from 90s to 130s, New Effect: Enemies afflicted by Horrific Emblem deal 20% less Damage to all targets
- Magic Shell: Now provides AoE health shield, at the rate of 100+15 Health per Level (shield lasts for 3s)
- Magic Shell (Upgrade): In addition to the health shield, all allies in range also receive 2x “Block” stacks for the duration. These stop up to 2 Basic Attacks.
- Meditation Cloak (Upgrade): Removed HP5/MP5 buff, New Effect: Applies a buff to yourself and allies hit for 5s that causes Mana costs to be decreased by 30% and have the Cooldowns of Abilities fired while buffed decreased by 1s
- Phantom Veil: Removed 40% Crowd Control and Knockup Immunity for allies affected by Phantom Veil
- Phantom Veil (Upgrade): Increased cooldown from 130s to 150s, Removed 40% Crowd Control and Knockup Immunity for allies affected by Phantom Veil, New Effect: Allies affected by Phantom Veil now take 15% reduced Damage for 5s
- Shield of Thorns (Upgrade): Increased cooldown from 100s to 120s, effective enemy lifesteal decreased by 50%
- Sundering Spear: Changed damage dealt from 30 True Damage + 12 Damage per God Level to 15% of the targets Current Health, Removed Debuff that caused the target to take increased Damage
- Sundering Spear (Upgrade): Changed damage dealt from 40 True Damage + 14 Damage per God Level to 15% of the targets Current Health, increased damage taken debuff from 15% to 20%
- Teleport Glyph: Can no longer teleport to wards
- Teleport Glyph (Upgrade): cooldown upgraded from 160s to 200s, retains ability to teleport to wards
Changes – Items
Oh boy. As if the new items weren’t enough, we get a heap of changes. It’s a plethora of changes, Pepe. Some of these are incredibly necessary (Frostbound, let’s just be friends). Some of these are minor, but some are massive.
- Rangda’s Mask: This item never found a home in season 4. It didn’t do enough soon enough. These changes try and adjust that. Keeping it early focused, and upping the power. NEW Passive: Each time you get an assist you gain a Stack, or 2 Stacks for a kill. Stacks provide 1% Movement Speed and 1% Cooldown Reduction. At 10 Stacks Rangda’s Mask Evolves, gaining 15 Penetration. New icon at max stacks.
- Frostbound Hammer: People don’t like a massive, stacking slow from range. Who knew? Literally everyone. Ranged slow application decreases from 30% to 20%. Melee unchanged.
- Rage: New icon at max stacks.
- Lono’s Mask: New icon at max stacks.
- Bumba’s Mask: Finally attempting to address the problem of all roles grabbing Bumba’s for sustain. Healing from defeating a jungle monster decreased from 15% to 10%.
- Bancroft’s Talon: This item has been huge this season. This is a moderate change that might move it from being near universal to situational. Cost increased from 2300 to 2400. Base lifesteal moved from 20% to 15%.
- Dynasty Plate Helm: “Sorry, friend. Only non-mages get bridge items.” I feel strongly about this being a wrong decision. This is a silly nerf for cases that rarely crop up. Decreased physical protection from 30 to 25. Decreased physical penetration from 15 to 10.
- Celestial Legion Helm: Oh. The DPH nerf is to create space for the new Celestial Legion Helm passive. Uh. Ok, I guess. This is neat, at least. It’s an engage item. It promotes re-engaging. NEW Passive: Every 2s you receive a Stack of 10 Physical Protection. Stacks are removed upon taking Physical Damage from Gods. Stacks can only be gained after not taking Physical Damage from Gods for 5s.
- Vampiric Shroud: Some much needed changes for this starter item. It’s moving to a hybrid style tankier item, and a limited death’s toll. Lifesteal removed. +10 Physical protection added. NEW Passive: Damaging enemies with an Ability restores 6 Health and 3 Mana. Can only trigger once per target per Ability.
- Cursed Blade: Removed from game.
- Ancient Blade: 50hp added to reflect new build path.
- Adventurer’s Blade: Decreased hp from 150hp to 100hp to smooth stats into T3 items.
- Witchblade: Full-on item re-design. This is part of the fatalis shift, providing more options for 1:1 options in lane…which should appear more in the second half of season 4.
- Builds off of Adventurer’s Blade, costs 2050 gold
- Decreased health from 250 to 100
- Attack speed increased from 15% to 20%
- Added 15% lifesteal (magic/phys)
- Added aura – Enemies within 55 units have their Attack Speed reduced by 20%
- Healing debuff removed
- Winged Blade: Finally nerfed a bit. This is a response for it showing up on ADCs late in summer. Oh, and it just doing too much. Removed attack speed.
- Relic Dagger: Massive Rework. The new passive will shift this to being picked up be supports and maybe at least one other. This is a big deal. It should be looked at.
- Costs 1850
- Increased health from 200 to 250
- Removed attack speed
- New Passive – Your Relics receive 30s Cooldown Reduction
- Demonic Grip: Lots of ring changes as part of the fatalis/shaman’s ring rework.
- Increased magical power from 60 to 65
- Decreased attack speed from 20% to 15%
- Added 7% movement speed
- Shaman’s Ring: Redesigned as an evolving item. This is their new hotness, so we deal with it. It used to be a sustain item with not great stats, but now it is a damage increase item with not great stats.
- Costs 2200 gold
- +60 magical power
- +10% movement speed
- Passive: Dealing 100 Damage to Enemy Gods gives you a Stack. At 50 Stacks, Shaman’s Ring Evolves, gaining a new Passive that allows the wearer to deal an additional 10% Damage to targets hit by the wearer’s Abilities
- Telkhine’s Ring: Another rework. More rings moving away from attack speed. This item moves further to a weird burst item. This might be terrifying on He Bo and Chang’e, and probably others.
- Cost decreased from 2800 to 2700
- Magical power decreased from 80 to 0
- Added 10% movement speed
- Removed 20% attack speed
- NEW Passive: Every time you deal Damage with an Ability you gain a Stack of 20 Power, up to a maximum of 3 Stacks. These Stacks last for 5s.
- Enchanted Ring: Modified to match the T3 changes.
- Decreased cost from 1400 to 1200
- Removed 15% attack speed
- Added 5% movement speed
- Emerald Ring: See above.
- Decreased cost from 650 to 600
- Removed 5% attack speed
- Added 3% movement speed
- Void Stone: Another rework to re-align the item as slightly more defensive. Effective health increases, and damage is lowered.
- Decreased cost from 2200 to 2150
- Decreased magical power from 40 to 20
- Added 150 health
- Druid Stone: Adjustments to smooth to new void stone stats
- Decreased cost from 650 to 600
- Increased magical protections from 10 to 20.
- Decreased magical power from 20 to 10
- Ward Stone: See above.
- Decreased cost from 1450 to 1350
- Decreased magical power from 30 to 20
- Added 50 health
- Genji’s Guard: A hardly used item, the power is being increased. This continues the defensive power increases.
- Increased MP5 from 25 to 40
- Added 150 health
- Increased passive cooldown reduction from 2s to 3s
- Oni Hunter’s Garb: Another niche item that hasn’t seen much use. The passive was interesting, but it wasn’t enough to warrant purchase. This is not likely to change, even with stat increases.
- Increased MP5 from 25 to 30
- Added 100 health
- Increased passive damage mitigation from 15% to 20%
- Decreased passive internal cooldown from 90s to 60s
Changes – Gods
We are almost through this, but the god changes are many and important. Raijin looks . The rest look interesting, at the least.
- Ao Kuang: After dominating in season three, he’s been a rarity in season 4. These changes target his sustain, making him a bit less darting in and out.
- Increased mana from 200 to 240, mana per level from 36 to 38, MP5 from 4.5 to 4.8, MP5 per level from .2 to .41
- New Passive: Each time Ao Kuang executes a god, he gains a stack 0 capping at 3 stacks. Each stack grants 15 magical power and 5% magical lifesteal.
- Bakasura: Eating only tiny minions is a big part of his play, and it sucks to continue to have to do it or when you miss out. These changes help smooth this out.
- Eat Minion: When you eat a Large minion, you get 2 minions towards regurgitate
- Regurgitate: Instead of a flat 90s cooldown it now scales per rank, 90/85/80/75/70.
- Bellona: Yeah. She’s getting nerfed. Her win rate was crazy good, across all levels of play. Osiris isn’t getting nerfed, but he doesn’t dominate as hard as Bellona. These are all reasonable, frankly.
- Base power reduced from 39 to 36
- Bludgeon cooldown increased from 10s to 14/13/12/11/10
- Chiron: Despite performing fairly well, Chiron is seeing increases in power to help his clear and poke. It’s certainly not going to hurt.
- Training Exercise: Now applies a mark for Masterful Shot to all targets hit
- Chronos: Chronos gets a real passive…sadly it is not interesting. You gain a stack of 3 magical power every 2 minutes. This caps at 25 stacks. So, after 50 minutes, you have 75 extra magical power. Sure. Ok.
- Accelerate: Now includes the information of the old passive rolled in.
- Isis: Her passive sucks, so this is an attempt to make it suck less. Stacks aren’t lost on death any more. When you reach ten stacks, you gain 10% CDR.
- Kuzenbo: Kuzenbo. Kuzenbo. Kuzenbo? Kuzenbo.
- NeNe Kappa: Now slows targets by 20%
- Sumo Slam: Cooldown reduced from 16s to 16/15/14/13/12s. Turning radius improved
- Watery Grave: Targets are now knocked more up than out.
- Ne Zha: A nerf due to fixing the interaction with beads and his ult. Not a big deal, as most people still won’t be fast enough to prevent it.
- Enemy players hit by Wind Fire Wheels now have additional .25 seconds after the hit to use Purification Beads, and avoid the Ability. This matches the current animation more accurately.Enemy players hit by Ne Zha will NOT be able to fire beads on their way up into the air. If you miss the window to escape you will have your beads protected to be used later.
- Nemesis: Nemesis is receiving a rework to adjust her strength from ult-bot and CC-bot to a more damaging presence through the entirety of team fights. It’s a sustain change focused on also making her less frustrating.
- Swift Vengeance: Scaling increased from 50% to 60% (30% per hit)
- Slice and Dice: Increase base damage from 80/130/180/230/280 to 100/160/220/280/340, increase scaling from 50% to 60%, reduced slow to 30% flat
- Divine Judgement: Decrease protection shred from 50% to 30%
- Nu Wa: Control the clay soldiers, control the world. About time, I guess.
- Clay Soldiers: Nu Wa can mark an enemy and tell her soldiers to kill them. They ignore other opponents but debuff them as they pass through. If Nu Wa’s target dies, they attack the closest target.
- Raijin: There is a lot going on here. It’s supposed to be more frequent damage with some control, but also with kit bloat reduction? It’s also supposed to be a way to allow some counterplay. I don’t know how it is going to end up working, but several rounds of number and scaling adjustments are likely.
- Charged Tempo (Passive): This passive will get a tad reworked is my guess. For every 5 Abilities cast, Raijin reduces the Cooldown of all Abilities currently on Cooldown (including the one just cast) by 1s.
- Percussive Storm: Buff-nerfs. Numbers need to be looked at. Projectiles travel more towards the center, shot radius increased from 3 to 4.5, increased damage by 10 at each, decreased scaling from 30% to 25%, decreased mana by 30 per rank
- Raiju: Reworked for “counterplay.” It now deals its damage over time, and provides CC. Increased damage from instant 60/100/140/180/220 to 15/25/35/45/55 every .5s for 2.5s. Target is slowed by 15%. When Raiju is triggered, the slow increases to 30% on the marked target, and enemies around the target are damaged and slowed.
- Thunder Clash: No more immunity frames. This should allow better balancing on a kit level.
- Taiko Drums: I don’t see how this isn’t a straight nerf minus the CC immunity. Projectile speed reduced from 120/s to 100/s. Fire duration increased from 4.5s to 7s. Reduced the Damage on Beat Two (Taunt) and Three (Fear) from 50% to 30%
- Sobek: Great change for one of my favorite gods. Protections from Blessing of the Nile are increased from 3s to 6s.
- Susano: Like Nemesis, Susano is seeing a core redesign of the kit to allow space for strength increases and decreases. This will likely take more than a round of tweaks. His passive is fairly punishing now.
- Gathering Storm (Passive): Each time Susano successfully deals Damage to at least one enemy god with an Ability he gains a Stack. At 4 Stacks, his next Ability that hits an enemy god will deal bonus Damage. Stacks last for 5 seconds. Bonus Damage is equal to 25 + 60% of your Physical Power.
- Storm Kata: Another nerf. Base damage decreased from 40/70/100/130/160 to 45/65/90/115/140, and scaling decreases from 65% to 55% of physical power
- Ullr: A series of changes focused on early sustain. He could use the early love.
- Bladed Arrow/Axe Throw: 50 mana at all ranks
- Expose Weakness/Invigorate: Reduced cooldown from 18s to 16s, power changed from 10/20/30/40/50 to 25/30/35/40/45.