The second patch of the 2018 Odyssey brings us the first round of nerfs affecting the SPL Fall Split, a pile of Project Olympus changes, and a Norse-themed round of Odyssey quests and lore. The nerfs are a big deal, and will definitely shift the meta around quite a bit. Well, not a huge amount, I guess. I hope you like Fafnir and Ratatoskr. There are also a plethora of bug fixes focused around aural and visual clarity.
The Odyssey gives us three skins this patch, and we are treated to a T2 for my girl Nike. The other non-skin item released this patch as part of the Odyssey is a global emote. During the patch they are released, the items all have a 20% discount. Purchasing an Odyssey item gives you 3500 Odyssey Points, which is enough to give you an Odyssey level, netting you an Odyssey reward like skins, chests, and so on.
- Belly Ache Ymir: He’s an ice cream golem. He’s the enforcer of a nightmarish saccharine hellscape. It all looks good, but it’s straight up terrifying. This is a gem-purchased Odyssey skin.
- Inu Gami Fenrir: If I were to make a skin based on the wonderful game Okami, I probably wouldn’t base it around a dog-spirit created through torture. The skin is beautiful and is a direct nod to Okami, but the lack of research on the name is…staggering. Sure, you could argue with the history of Fenrir it makes sense, but it’s a biiiiiiig stretch. This is indicative of a larger problem with lore implementations, but whatever. It looks great. This is a gem-purchased Odyssey skin.
- Sequined Sadist Da Ji: It’s the 1920’s chorus-line Da Ji skin. It has some custom animations and such. It looks good, if Da Ji is your thing. I don’t understand why she keeps getting so many skins when other characters are so ignored, other than conceptually she is a favorite. Ah well. This is a reward for accruing Odyssey points.
- Harbinger Nike: A cold-weather warrior T2 skin for my girl Nike. It’s a cross-between an angel of death look and a viking warrior look. It’s great.
Project Olympus is the ongoing initiative to progressively improve the SMITE play experience. It’s brought us ranked voice chat, multi-queue, any myriad other improvements. This patch cycle brings us three changes: two major, and one minor.
- Spectator: Health Bar colors of the teams have been changed to provide more contrast, so % of current health is more visible. As a color-blind person, I had no idea the health bars were actually color coordinated with the teams in the first place, so this is a drastic change. However, the blue bars look an awful lot like the shield color, so expect that to change. Still, great first steps for usability.
- Server Role-ups: These were mostly a failure from day one. It was an attempt to better marshal the population in low-population regions, but the lag and performance-impact was frustrating from both sides. This has been removed. Glory to the multi-queue!
- Randomized Cosmetics: Now you can randomize loading background, announcer pack, jump stamps, pedestals, global emotes, recall skins, music themes, HUD skins, level-up skins, and fountain skins. You can’t randomize loading frames or icons. Sure, everyone likes this.
- Hachiman got his achievements put in. Woo.
- Players can both enable random wards and expect them to be random within the game once more.
- Blocking players should result in the expected behavior.
- Blocked players cannot join custom games created by the blocker.
- Using DND (Do Not Disturb) should prevent you from being disturbed by messages.
- Grandmasters no longer receive a -2 TP penalty just for being Grandmasters.
- Triumphant chest should be awarded correctly.
Most of these changes are audio and graphical bugs that are getting resolved. This is part of the ongoing effort to make the game as clear as possible.
The following gods receives changes to their basic attack hit boxes, standardizing them across the board:
- Ah Puch
The following gods had sound effects corrected to their appropriate sounds:
- Chaac: Storm Tech skin
- Rama: Marksman skin played the incorrect VBG line
The following gods had visual effect bug fixes:
- Hachiman: Eagle Eye was displaying the incorrect number of orbs; basic attacks and ultimate effects updated to look better
- Nox: Night Terror was playing the incorrect visual effect
- Ratatoskr: Flurry would finish the graphic, even if interrupted
- Sobek: High Seas Sobek‘s parrot should no longer glitch upon his death
- Thoth: Hieroglyphic Assault and Evade and Punish have had their visual hitboxes adjusted.
The following gods had passive description updates:
- Isis: Passive now describes her unique attack chain
- Raijin: Passive now describes the larger than normal basic attacks.
- Sylvanus: Passive now describes the AE nature of his basic attacks.
A mix of buffs and nerfs on both fronts, both of which will impact the meta. Four gods that have been very popular see nerfs, one of which changes the core gameplay of the god. A few under-represented gods see some buffs, to the delight of those players and the displeasure of all others.
- Artio: How do you solve a problem like Artio? Rethink the kit to make it not so egregious in its very nature. While the numbers will eventually be tweaked to make her not so dominate, this could be avoided if the kit was changed. Stance switching as an ultimate creates a situation where the other abilities must be powerful enough to account for it. While this is understandable, the fact stance switches get really 6-7 abilities (depending on the strength of the stance switch itself) should account for more than it does. Hel’s recent changes reflect this, and Ullr has been in a decent state for some time. It’s a shame Artio was so bloated upon release. These changes will continue to help combat that. How much remains to be seen.
- Decompose (Passive): The protection shred decreases from 3% per stack to 2% per stack, decreasing the total from 24% to 16%. This helps, but it’s still an awful lot of free shred for hitting your abilities, which you will be doing in team fights anyway.
- Life Tap (Heavy Charge): The cooldown increases from 15s to 17s. This matters more early, than late. With the CDR you will be stacking later on, it’s only a 1s difference, or so. Still, this reduces the pressure can output.
- Camazotz: The Deadly God of Bats has been a vicious killer for a large portion of Season Four. His sustain and poke are so good, especially coupled with his mobility and excellent damage. Screech provided a huge physical power steroid, allowing Camazotz to He was the total package, and his stats reflected that. These changes reduce his damage by a non-trivial amount. These are just flat nerfs.
- Screech: The physical damage bonus provided by the echos has been decreased by a flat 10 per rank, decreasing from 20/25/30/35/40 to 10/15/20/25/30.
- Vampire Bats: The damage of this ability has been decreased significantly from 70/120/170/220/270 to 70/110/150/190/230.
- Kuzenbo: Kuzenbo isn’t actually that bad. He’s been slowly getting better as time goes on, and these changes do quite a bit to thrust him into the spotlight. Rejoice.
- Sumo Slam: The cooldown decreases from 16/15/14/13/12s to 12s at all ranks. this should provide significantly more damage and control.
- Watery Grave: In a much-needed move, the cooldown decreases from 100s to 75s.
- Ratatoskr: After his nerfs in 4.3, Ratatoskr fell off in play and scaling. Those changes affected his early and late power spikes. This change buffs a single ability in order to allow the rest of his kit to be more impactful. It makes sense to pack it in here, allowing for a more combo-centric approach.
- Flurry: The physical power scaling has been increased from 20% to 25%, and the protection shred has been increased from 2/2/3/3/4 per tick to 2/3/4/5/6 per tick.
- Skadi: Our favorite blue girl continues to be a thorn in everyone’s side. Unlike most of the other changes, these address some of her core functionality issues. From this point, it will be interesting to see where she lands strength-wise. The plethora of other changes she faced prior to this round toned her down considerably. Will this be too much and see a sharp drop off in her success? I expect long term she gets a slight damage increase to compensate. She won’t need much.
- Rune of the Hunt: People didn’t like Kaldr mauling their faces. They still won’t like it, but it shouldn’t be as awful for them. In short, the dog probably won’t solo someone, but it’s still a big threat. It just requires more investment. The dash scaling decreases from 100/125/125/150/150% to 70/85/100/115/130% of Skadi’s basic attack damage.
- Permafrost: Finally, the change that should have been one of the first made. The radius of permafrost decreases from 16/18/20/22/24 to 16/16/18/18/20. Why they didn’t make it 16/17/18/19/20 is a question for the ages.
- Terra: This can be spun however you want, but this is a huge nerf to Terra. There was some official discussion about using the pillar to block more hits – and you totally can – but the zone pressure and control from the pillar shatter is gone. You can also leave the monolith up for longer, since it will be tankier – allowing you to take advantage of the passive more easily. Of course, the ultimate remains untouched other than the initial cooldown change from ages ago. Sure, makes sense.
- Monolith: Shattering the monolith no longer roots the targets in range, but instead applies a 30% slow for 1.5s to those in the area when it is shattered. The hit points for monolith were increased from 3 to 5.
- Thoth: The Thoth change is an interesting one. It’s meant to help the casual player, while nerfing him in competitive play. I suspect this ends up just being a nerf.
- Final Judgement: The power scaling has been decreased from 120% to 100%, and the charge up damage has been increased from 25/50/75/100% to 40/60/80/100%.
- Tyr: Tyr see some sustain changes in order to make him more viable in the state of the solo lane. Oh my yes.
- Fearless: The mana cost decreases from 60/65/70/75/80 to 50/55/60/65/70.
- Change Stance: The cooldown decreases from 14/13/12/11/10 to 12/12/11/11/10.
- Ancile: I thought we learned from shifter’s shield, but I guess not. Oh well, enjoy this while it lasts. The power has been increased from 25 to 40, and the magical protections have been decreased from 60 to 50.
- Atalanta’s Bow: This will still be an item without a place in builds, but it might see some very specific niche play. The attack speed increases from 20% to 25%
- Chronos Pendant: No one picked up this item at the current price point of 2900, luxury item or not. The cost decreases to 2750, but it’s still just too high when things like spear of desolation exists.
- Witchblade: This will be a sweet counter build item, and fill a specific role. These are the best kinds of items. The adjustment should help flesh the item out a bit more. The 15% lifesteal is removed, and 10% CDR is added.