Hirez Roundup #24: The Times are a-Changin
Can we all just take a moment and praise the powers-that-be for a Ganesha announcer pack in SMITE? That should be fantastic. I missed most of the patch notes because I was preparing dinner, but after going over the patch notes on their site, I think this could be a great update. Unfortunately, I did not make my ranked goal for this split, and since I’ll be away on business this weekend, I will miss my shot. But there’s always the Summer Split, which begins in this update (5.7). I do not think this is a major update but it is certainly an important one. Quite a few gods that needed nerfs got them, some gods that needed some love got them. Is it time for me to play Bacchus again? I sure think so! The change to Belch of the Gods was something that frankly, should have happened years ago, but I’m glad it’s happening at all. It’s important to look at the positives. I also want to say (again) that Mixer has been a positive change, not just for Smite, but for me/Bottom Tier (our Mixer can be found here. It’s a much more positive outlet, with better technology.
FTL is wonderful and really allows for a game with a more social setting to be that: social. I think it would be interesting if they had a cam for the Smite team (say, Analyst Desk) to just chat with the audience while the match is going on, to actually interact with them, but they also have to focus on the game too. It’s not a perfect thought, but I think it could be pretty fun to do. There are plenty of new things coming to Paladins too, from lots of gorgeous skins, updates, and a bit of tidying up, as we get closer to what their vision of Paladins is. I do want to say, this is a very exciting time to be playing Paladins. We’re getting closer to the ideal vision of Paladins. It’s been fascinating to see how it’s grown since the Alpha. I’m also glad that there is a mechanical mount, finally. Without further ado, let’s get started!
SMITE 5.7 Patch Notes in Brief:
A Soft Reset hits this patch to Ranked! Hope you got where you wanted to be (I sure didn’t)! There were also some adjustments for this split with where players are being placed. They were doing what Overwatch did (that I hated), placing people considerably lower than they placed, giving them room to grow/prove themselves. This is such a frustrating thing, doing amazing in placements for the first time, and still getting low Silver/high Bronze? Nothing stings worse. So in this split, they’re reducing that gap, and players will qualify closer to their estimated MMR, and will qualify higher than in previous splits. I’m sure people are going to throw a fit though and scream “WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE IN MY PLAT GAMES?!?!?” and to Hell with you. If they earned that rank, then that’s where they belong. Pipe down, and stay in your lane. I’d also like to say that I’m glad several “Recommended Builds” were updated with all these item changes. Also the new Season Ticket will come in this update, and with it, players will once again earn Fantasy Points by playing SMITE, voting on matches, and completing quests. I love the Season Ticket, and it’s certainly worth it.
Some of the Chests (Awesome/Godlike) are getting new additions to them, and I hope they keep doing this. If they do, there’s a chance something I missed out on in Season 1/2 might come to them! You have to stay positive. the Fiendish Skins, and some of last Season’s exclusives are joining the two quests, and it’ll be dandy for people who missed out. It’s not hard to get Awesome or Godlike chests. Just work hard, and you’ll get cool stuff. Let’s see … already ticked off the new Announcer Packs, there’s a Bollywood Music Theme coming, which I love, and the Inner Demon Arena’s seeing a few buffs. Respawn lowered, and the Titans are getting the HP buff they desperately need. It’s so deflating to summon one and watch it just vanish in a puff of smoke. Before I get into the important stuff, I’ll list off the new skins. Colton creamed his jeans at the Odin skin, Jaime is probably going to have nightmares from the new Artio skin, Trunath is no doubt excited for a new Ravana skin, and me? I love ’em all. Sun.God is probably the most visually appealing to me, but Mixer getting a skin is a sign of good things, if you ask me.
Ravin’ Ravana: Another of the digital, color-changing skins. Some have said “It’s about time he gets a skin to keep!” and I say “Meh!” to them. Ravana can stay in the dumpster where he belongs.
Celestial Guard Odin (Limited): It has a very angelic, Diablo look, and I love it. The mixture of gold/white/blue is a very sharp look for the father of the Norse pantheon.
Mastery Skins (Odin): He was long overdue, and they look as sharp as the other reworks. Good stuff.
Plushie Artio (Exclusive): This is the stuff of nightmares. Her voice is so sweet and kind, and that bear … that bear. That said, I cannot wait to use it.
Sun.God Ra (Exclusive): Another color-changing skin, I love the “dot” line of skins. Digital God Ra is not to be missed.
Mixer Skadi (Exclusive): I imagine she’ll be bundled with the Mixer Avatar/Ward skin. It’s simple but effective. Use Mixer. It’s awesome.
Item Balance is actually pretty brief this time. I have a feeling 5.8’s going to be a much heavier patch. Mace/The Crusher were both nerfed, given an increased cost of 50 gold (Heavy Mace/Warriors Bane have also been adjusted to keep the same cost), and The Crusher was just such a powerful item. Almost anyone could build it and have effective use, even if you don’t care so much about the power. The Crusher went up by 100 (to 2400) and saw its Passive Base Damage per tick reduced (15 down to 10). It’s a bit less of a catch-all, and players will have to invest in it to make it worthwhile. The other item change I’m a little upset about, and that’s Magi’s Cloak, because I love it. The cost went up (2050 to 2150) and the health on it was lowered (350 down to 300). This was another catch-all item that virtually anyone could use (and did) to spectacular results. These changes really feel aimed at the SPL, because well . . . just look at how often you saw that Magi’s Cloak!
Delightful nerfs all around. A few gods were shifted/adjusted, and they could even be called buffs. But lets look at some nerfs first, because I love them all! Assassins took it right in the face this week. They aren’t serious changes, but ones that are necessary I think. Da Ji saw nerfs to Horrible Burns (CD increased to 9s), and Trickster Spirit (Decreased Phys Power Scaling from 100% to 85%). Few things are less fun than Da Ji leaping out of nowhere, and before you have time to react, you’re back in base, waiting to come to life again. Camazotz is another god that’s just honestly doing too well. He’s just stomping everyone in solo, jungle, and hell, in the support role. Tank Cama’s real. He can still do all the crazy things he’s known for, but a little less potent in every dept. Most of his kit was adjusted, with Essence Drinker losing some of the Vampirism Buff (5% down to 3%), Devour seeing some decreased Heal-per-hit (15/25/35/45/55 to 10/20/30/40/50), and Bat Out of Hell saw some decreased Damage-per-hit as well (120/165/210/255/300 to 100/145/190/235/280). This won’t make him unplayable, but less of a catch-all. That’s the theme of this patch, isn’t it? Stuff that’s just good all of the time needs adjustment? Sounds right.
Glorious Ullr nerfs! His Thrown Axe combo will still hurt, but he’s seeing some damage off the top of Bladed Arrow/Thrown Axe (Scaling down from 70% to 65%, Base Damage losing 10 across the board). In addition, Hail of Arrows/Glory Bound Is seeing decreased Physical Power Scaling on just the Arrows (110% down to 100%). Why was it ever 110%? That doesn’t even make sense to me. Kali‘s Lash CD is now 12 at all ranks, which is okay I guess. It makes her early/mid game a lot more reasonable, and should get her cussed out less in game. Hades’ Devour Souls doesn’t use Blight anymore, but still detonates and heals Hades if the target had Blight. The CD’s also now 11 at all ranks. This should let Hades players combo with a lot less frustration. Bacchus‘ Belch of the Gods saw a damage increase (20/35/50/65/80 to 25/40/55/70/85), but most important, now the Healing Reduction is applied no matter his level of Drunkeness, and it lasts 4s (up from 3s) now! Bacchus mains, rejoice! Janus is another god that’s just insanely, unreasonably powerful. Unstable Vortex saw a CD increase (8s up to 10s) and lost 5% off the top of its Bonus Damage (15% now). Threshold will be on the map a little less time, too, which won’t be a deal-breaker, but will require Janus mains to think about what they’re doing…just a little more (3/4/5/6/7s to 3/3.5/4/4.5/5s). Anything that I did not cover can be found right here.
Paladins OB70 in Brief:
I’m going to briefly touch on OB70 because I want to get this out ASAP. The new Battle Pass is going to be amazing though. It’s 500 Crystals to get in, but you will be able to unlock some truly incredible skins and rewards, simply by playing the game. It also has 100 Crystals within it, so you’ll be getting some of the money back. You can choose not to buy in and simply unlock the rewards just by playing the game, and that’s great. Players who have purchased the Battle Pass though will get additional rewards per level. 500 Crystals is about the cost of an epic skin, so I think it’s going to certainly be a bargain. The only Boosters will be through the Battle Pass, from what I’m aware of. The Founder’s Pack is going away though, and being replaced with the Champions Pack. It will offer all current/future Paladins champions. There’s also the Season Pass 2018, for all three Battle Passes immediately (when they release). There’s also the Digital Deluxe Edition which will include the contents of the Champions Pack and Season Pass 2018 for a greater discount.
Another thing I love is that they are working on putting some of those incredible Paladins Strike skins on Paladins. Because let’s face it, the skins in the mobile game are amazing. The first one is Strike Maeve, which comes from the Account Link. There’s also Covert Ops Lex, and you unlock it by playing Paladins Strike. Unlocking it on the mobile unlocks it in the regular Paladins. I really love the visuals in Paladins Strike, so I hope to see many more of them. They have to rebuild the skins from the ground up but using the system they’re working on, it should be wonderful. And HUNTSMAN ANDROXUS, the Community Event skin! Holy. Damnit. This is one of the coolest skins in the game, hands down. He even has a sick tall hat. There is nothing I do not love about it. Oh, and I guess Viktor got a visual rework too. It’s very sharp, a new hairstyle, and I like the look. I just think Viktor needed to be punished more. Gold Weapons are also available for purchase, but they no longer provide a buff. I adored the weapon styles for the gold weapons, so I’m glad to be able to acquire them once again. They are now available at Champion Mastery 50.
As far as balance, quite a few nice changes. Drogoz, for example, is getting increased projectile speed for his Launcher, which is great for long-range fights, not such a big deal up close. though. Khan is seeing some love too, for which I’m incredibly excited for. He’s so fun, and they increased the damage on his Heavy Repeater (180 to 200). It’s kind of a slow shot, but this should make it feel more impactful. His Bulwark will now activate instantly, and won’t have that lock-down where you aren’t doing anything. Commander’s Grab will also have reduced lock-out time after the initial throw, leaving him less vulnerable during it. These should make him considerably more viable as he enters the ranked scene. I am so glad that Jenos Luminary no longer offers a 15% Weapon Damage buff to himself. I hope this means I will see fewer Jenos in my game, deciding they want to “just deal damage” and not heal. Also Ruckus is losing the 10% slow on Emitter, and I’m elated. I hate seeing Ruckus as a Torvald main. There are several other minute changes to cards across a few characters, which can be seen in the patch notes.
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