The fourth mid-Summer patch brings us the end of the Summer of Smite event, a preview of the event coming in 4.17 (why is another question…), and another round of changes for items, relics, and gods. The most important feature this patch is part of the Project Olympus initiative – and it’s one that a lot of people have been asking about for quite some time. Of course, with it come a boatload of reservations. For those curious, the massive hunter item redesign in 4.15 doesn’t see much in the way of changes this patch – but we can bet 4.17 will bring us some further changes to a few of those buffed items – or at least some additional tweaks to other items to compensate. Until then, let’s snap into it.
We come to the end of the Summer of SMITE this patch, leaving us with the capstone skin from that event…should you also procure the two skins available from the event in this patch. Even though the event is still active, a precursor to the next event – a charity event for Connor’s Cure, coming in 4.17 – is also available this patch. Ganesha finally gets a skin – understanding the challenges inherent in the cosmetics of Ganesha – and Vamana goes Bladerunning.
Summer of SMITE Skins
Each of these exclusive skins gives you a sand dollar for use in procuring the other Summer of SMITE content. The Bacchus skin is rewarded after you purchase all of the Summer of SMITE exclusive skins.
- Bae Watch Cú Chulainn (Exclusive) – I like the whole in-world “these characters, but as if they were doing X” thing the two Summer of SMITE beach-wear skins have going on. I don’t like that he’s even more overwhelmingly Scottish. Then again how do we end up with him over Conall Cernach at this point? Nevermind. That’s a rat hole I’m not going down. The point is, this skin is probably fine if you like big, buff dudes and will laugh at Monster-In-A-Speedo. I really do like the in-world stuff, though.
- Fire Dancer Xbalanque (Exclusive) – Good idea, good effects, decent voice pack. It’s a solid skin for a god that still needs some love.
- Bearly Buzzed Bacchus (Limited) – This is what it is all about. If you have purchased the other skins available during the Summer of SMITE, you get this limited skin. It’s fantastic. You are a cartoon bear that gets drunk and has fantastic animations. This is the content I am here for, folks.
One from a bundle, one in a chest. The whole concept of exclusives is interesting. Many of them are available for direct purchase for a limited time, and then get tossed in chests afterwards. A section of the community loudly decries this, wanting them to be direct purchase forever.
- Dropkick Terra – Natalya Neidhart Terra would be another name, frankly. There is a lot of inspiration behind her actions, look, and voice pack. Still, if you aren’t a wrestling fan, it’s probably an okay skin. The best part of it is that a portion of the purchase proceeds go to Connor’s Cure, a foundation that fights pediatric cancer. This is part of a 450 gem bundle that also includes the Punching Bag Ward, Cutesy Dropkick Avatar, and the Wrestling Bell global emote.
- Serenity Vamana – He’s a robot monk from the future. He reminds me of the Bladerunner aesthetic. It’s the laser umbrella, more than anything. It’s alright, all things considered. I would have preferred a more monotone voice pack, but it’s quibbles. This is a chest exclusive – likely in the Petal to the Metal or the Electro Lights chests.
Ganesha finally receives a skin, and Artio gets masteries.
- Maha Rakta Ganesha – His…second Ganpati skin. Well, it’s cool looking – and adheres to the modern depictions. Sure, just a weird choice.
- Artio Masteries – The bear changes colors. Do you need to know more? Probably not.
Xbalanque gets a dance. Bearly Buzzed Bacchus gets chased by bees.
Integrated Voice Chat (Vivox)
Integrated voice chat is here and will be available in ranked and custom games. Audio settings will hold all of the relevant choices. You can still mute people. Let’s hope the QoS and hardware are good enough to make this strong and viable.
Learn Tab Glossary
Ostensibly for MOBA terminology, I can’t wait to see the entry for “potato.”
Pets don’t spawn lava pools underneath them any more. Hooray pets.
Two more bans. Woo. I can’t wait for the Season 5 changes where surely two more bans will be standard in other modes.
No more queue countdown timer sound for FP tipping. Panic decreases.
- Ah Muzen Cab – Stinger now has the correct range.
- Arachne – Players immune to slow will now leave trails behind from Web, and the Pet keyword added to apply to the broodlings.
- Ganesha – Good Fortune will now show the amount of kills bestowed.
- Kuzenbo – NeNe Kappa now has the Pet keyword.
- Loki – Decoy now has the Pet keyword.
- Raijin – Raiju now slows appropriately.
- Sun Wukong – Somersault Cloud now has the Pet keyword.
Hey, look. More Artio nerfs! No shock here. There are a few other expected changes here – particularly Chronos and Skadi. The rest are mostly buffs or QoL changes that are more buffs than purely QoL.
- Artio – Alright, so here’s a queue to know the core concept and kit behind a god has problems. When the god is built to have constant pressure…and the problem is that the god has constant pressure. This oversimplifies the problem with Artio, but the nature of the design is at conflict with the ability to play against it. Lockdown is too much lockdown. The pressure is too much pressure. The kit is built upon the efficacy of the sustain it brings to your team and how it shreds down the opposing team. In short any changes are dangerous when gods are designed this way. That isn’t to say these changes will kill Artio – just that minor changes have the opportunity to do so because of the design. Anyway, the changes.
- Maul Prey’s scaling decreases from 35% to 30%, and the base damage decreases from 50/80/110/140/170 to 40/70/100/130/160.
- Lifetap’s slow decreases from 20% per stack to 10% per stack and the healing decreases from 15/20/25/30/35 to 10/15/20/25/30 per hit.
- Chronos – It’s like changing the passive makes a big impact when coupled with sweeping item changes! Chronos got crazy strong, crazy fast. These changes should address that while keeping him fairly viable. These are “death knell” changes. They are “make him not OP” changes. Since this just addresses damage, it’s easy to correct if it proves too much – it probably won’t.
- Time Rift’s scaling decreases from 85% to 80%.
- Accelerate – Section IV’s scaling decreases from 45% to 35%. If one proves too heavy-handed, it will be this tone.
- Cú Chulainn – More of a standardization than anything else, really. Anti-heal is either 50% or 100%…except for Cool Chillin’. As such, the anti-heal of barbed spear is increasing from 40% to 50%.
- Khepri – Scarab’s Blessing will now come out instantly, rather than having a 0.1s cast time. Thank goodness. This was the most annoying thing.
- Skadi – As it turns out, nerfing Kaldr was not her death knell, either. She remained incredibly strong, just as suspected. Some counterplay doesn’t mean useless. The double dip with the doggo means she can remain potent very easily. Anyway, the potency of permafrost has been a big deal for a while, so it’s getting touched. I believe this addresses the wrong aspect of the ability – which is the scaling size of the patch – but the initial speed being lowered and turned into scaling is a great change. The damage? Eh, ok. The power scaling decreases from 60% to 50%. The speed boost granted has been changed from 40% at all ranks to 20/25/30/35/40%.
- Susano – He got nerfed a lot a few patches ago, and has struggled ever since his passive redesign this summer. He definitely needs the power boost. His base movement increases from 365 to 370, and the cooldown of wind siphon decreases from 18s to 16s
Some interesting interpretations of “buff” getting tossed around, when really the word “change” should just have been used. Changes can be neutral, as some of these are.
- Dynasty Plate Helm – In the ongoing effort to reduce some of the warrior prevalence, this physical protection on this item has been increased from 25 to 35.
- Shaman’s Ring – Essentially, the buff portion of this item post-evolution was proccing when it shouldn’t have been, allowing some abilities to benefit without comboing. This has been fixed, which is a nerf in every case it applied – albeit a good one since it was bugged interaction. To compensate, the power on the item is increasing from 60 to 80, but the price is also increasing from 2200 to 2300. So, another slight nerf to go with that buff. It’s…sort of a wash. Ok, I guess? We’ll see.
- Telkhine’s Ring – This is a neat change. The cost is decreasing from 2700 to 2400 and the stacking effect will now stack from Damage Over Time effects. The effect has also been clarified as it only applies to gods. With 70 power and 10% movement speed, this becomes a really interesting item for a couple of gods. Core on Isis, Kukulkan, and Poseidon maybe? I look forward to seeing.
A few nerfs, a few buffs. Two team-fight relics get nerfed, while sundering spear sees a reversion.
- Heavenly Wings (Base and Upgrade) – As it turns out, movement speed is incredibly strong when it’s at very little cost and is provided to your entire team. Oh, and it’s a haste effect, too. Seeing this nerfed was only a matter of time. Movement speed decreased from 40% to 30%.
- Magic Shell (Base and Upgrade) – It really seems like Magic Shell is hard to get balanced. It was too good, then too bad, and then too good. Now, it’s seeing nerfs in two areas. I would rather have this been staged and see the result, but there are likely numbers to support this. It’s probably a tad too much. The health shield scaling is decreased from 15 to 12. The cooldown is increased from 140s to 150s.
- Sundering Spear – After all of the other nerfs to this relic, and the buffs to other relics, sundering spear was basically garbage that no one ever picked up unless they were screwing around. All this change does is let it be used more frequently, which is a good first step. Like other relics, the balancing point on this is tetchy. The cooldown is decreased from 160s to 140s.