SMITE – Darkness Falls Update (Hirez Roundup)
Good morning, Internet! It’s time to talk about the latest patch notes for SMITE, Darkness Falls! As always, patch notes are also below. I’m not going to go over the skins that are coming, but I do want to say that Valkyrie’s Rage Thanatos, Depths of Atlantis Nox, and Snuggly Artemis are all terrific. However, Mixer chat was absolutely repulsive during the Thanatos reveal. Not everyone, but a great many people with upsetting, disappointing slurs. You guys really need to do better as people. We’re supposed to be a community, not a group of dirtbags. The Genderbend Thanatos skin is fantastic and it’s absolutely gorgeous with its Valkyrie aesthetic. Do better, friends. I also do want to say that I think it’s terrific that a god that’s getting nerfed (Pele) is also getting an amazing skin. There are some other companies that could stand to learn from this, nerf someone that needs it, not avoid it just because that champion sells skins. Not to name any names. . .
The Mixer Store also hits in the first week of April, as does the Darkness Falls Battle Pass. Now, I said initially that I was not a fan Smite having a Battle Pass, but I was able to complete the current one without having to struggle too hard for it, and I got some cool stuff out of it. So with that in mind, I’m willing to walk back my stance just a little bit. It’s also almost time to start the SPL! I’m going to try and cover that as much as I can here on MMOHuts, whether written or finding time to talk about it on our Youtube Channel. There is a nice big pile of bug fixes you can see in the patch notes, also. Project Olympus also has a ton of really cool features coming in this next update. The New Player Experience is upgrading, giving rewards for completing Co-Op Matches. It’s less than a real match, but newcomers can now actually get rewards for playing against bots and learning. XP: 100%, Favor: 30%, BP: 10%, Worshippers: 100%, up to Rank 4, then 0%. The Console Players also get new VGS inputs, to make them easier to deal with, and can also bring up the Virtual Keyboard for their console to type custom messages. Now console players can talk back! That should be a lot of fun.
There are some big Ranked Changes too. MMR is back, and players can see their Ranked MMR when viewing the Ranked Stat Page. Otherwise, MMR will not be visible in the client, unless they are Masters/Grandmasters. However, it will be visible through the API, so other sites can show players MMR. Players can, however, set their profile to “Hidden” to prevent this. The part I’m less excited for, Duo Queue is back for Ranked. Players Platinum1 and below can queue with anyone within 200 MMR of their current MMR. Diamond and Above can only queue with people within 50 MMR. Though, I am grateful at least it’s got restrictions on it. It won’t stop smurfs from dunking low-tier players, but we’ll see what happens. In this update, Qualification Games are also removed. PLayers without a previous split ranking will begin in Bronze 3. During soft resets, players will be reset between Bronze 3 and Gold 1, depending on their MMR at the end of each split. I think this system could be a better display of actual skill, instead of having to rely on having a good 10 match streak. Now, this is something I appreciate. It can be crippling to your morale to go through those 10 games, just be blasted, and have to then worry about the climb. Just start where you are, based on how last season went, and get to work.
Role Queue changed slightly too. The players’ priority will be visualized by how many Priority Points they have on the Queue screen. Those with the most Priority Points have the highest chance to receive their Primary. First Pick will always get their priority, and Second Pick will always get theirs unless it conflicts with the First Pick of your team. This is also the arrival of the remake to Assault! The Titans/Phoenixes now match the Season 5 Conquest Models, and the Towers have new artwork. Minions were also updated. There’s a new objective though – Vital Orbs. Two of them spawn in the center of the map, and a new one spawns each time a tower falls. They give 15% movement speed for the player who picked it for 10s, 15% instant health/mana heal for them, and nearby allies (60 units), as well as a 1% Health/Mana Regen Per Second Aura for 10s. These Orbs respawn 60s after being collected. I really like this, because it will force players to be a little more aggressive, and spend less time sitting under tower. This ought to make Assault maps a little more intense.
Conquest sees an absolute ton of changes. Damage dealt to jungle camps goes up 5-7% for the Primal Fury buff, as an example. The Duo Lane finally sees some love too! Junglers got new things, the Solo Lane has an objective, and Mid can roam more. But what about the Duo? A new minion arrives in the duo lane, the Spirit Minion. It spawns in the first wave on each side of the map. It gives 34 XP, has 50 Hp and 5 Physical Power. It ought to be just enough exp to get players to level 2 instead of having to suffer being a fraction away at the start of the game. While I do love this, I love the Jungle Change more. Now, killing Jungle Camps on the opposite side of the map provides less Gold/XP. At 0m, they give 33% less and decreases over time. at 15m, they give no XP. This will help prevent some Snowballing, I think, and lanes will, in theory, fall behind a great deal less. Now, players can still kill your objectives out of spite, so you don’t have them, but they waste time doing this, getting less XP, and still ultimately preventing a lot of Snowball. Junglers still can put the other team behind by taking their camps, but it won’t give them exp, while also denying the other team exp, putting them even further behind. I like it on paper; we’ll see what happens.
I have a feeling Cu Chulainn will be wielding at least one of these items in some builds going forward.
There are only two Item Changes in this latest patch. They’re focusing on Hunter bridge items. These gave a tradeoff between early game power, at the cost of late-game efficiency. Asi and Ichaival have, with this in mind, been reworked to be full Tier 3 items, giving players access to more full-fledged items. This was aimed at Hunters, but if you think for even a minute that Warriors won’t pick these up, you’re only fooling yourself. I’ll list the new stats below. Asi is an amazing Physical Lifesteal/Attack Speed item, where if you drop below 35%, you gain additional Lifesteal for 5 seconds. It can only occur every 15 seconds though. Ichaival is still a great boxing/dueling weapon, but now it’s an Anti-Attack Speed item, while still giving Power and Attack Speed. I see this being built on gods like Bellona, in conjunction with Frostbound, to really bully people. Look forward to these two items going on Warriors too.
New Asi Stats:
- Builds from Balanced Blade
- 2550 Gold
- + 20 Physical Power
- + 20% Physical Lifesteal
- + 25% Attack Speed
- + 15 Penetration
- Passive – If you drop below 35% Health, you gain an additional 30% Physical Lifesteal for 5 seconds. Can only occur once every 15 seconds.
New Ichaival Stats:
- Builds from Hunter’s Bow.
- 2450 Gold
- +30 Physical Power
- +30% Attack Speed
- Passive – Every Successful Basic Attack increases your Physical Power by 15 and reduces enemy Attack Speed by 10%. (Max. 3 Stacks).
It’s time for God Changes though! There are tons of nerfs this patch, pretty much all of them were desperately needed. There was some outcry about these from people who main those gods – Merlin, Freya, and Vamana, just to name a few. Not all the updates were nerfs though! Jormungandr, as a prime example saw at least a bit of a buff. He received more Physical Protections [18 up to 21]. His ultimate, The World Serpent‘s Cooldown was adjusted to be 100s at all ranks, instead of being baseline 120 and going down. He still has the damage that makes him fun, but now he’s a little beefier, to be in line with the rest of his Guardian brethren. Hun Batz saw a quality-of-life change that could be seen as a buff, at least for his wave clear. Sacred Monkey can now rehit minions. It still only hits Gods once but can redirect back into the minion wave. This should make his camp/wave clear just a little better. Ra also saw a tiny increase, receiving a change to his Physical Protections [3 per level, up from 2.5 a level]. Not gigantic, but should make everyone’s favorite bird a little more reliable. Finally, Rama saw a quality-of-life change/buff. Pick Me Up‘s Mana Cost sees a major reduction – 80/85/90/95/100 to 60/65/70/75/80. This will let him use the power a bit more frequently, decreasing time he has to back off because he’s now out of mana.
Let’s talk about nerfs though! That’s what everyone really wants – OP gods to be taken down a notch. Let’s start with my favorite out of these – Merlin! My initial review saw him doing fairly well, but then a few weeks in, his damage really started to shine. He was doing ridiculous, unreasonable amounts of damage, just because he was Merlin. Eclipse‘s initial hit scaling is down [70% to 60%], and Frostbolt is seeing a major change. Gem of Isolation’s slow now applies after Frostbolt does damage, and does not get the bonus damage unless the target was already slowed. That means you have to actually work to get the bonus and have Blizzard deployed. Frostbolt also has a bonus damage reduction [20% to 15%]. Blizzard had issues fixed where it was dealing far more damage than intended. Finally, Flicker‘s Cooldown went up! Not by a huge amount, but by 22/21/20/19/18 to 24/23/22/21/20. Will this be enough to make Merlin reasonable to deal with? Let’s find out in the coming weeks!
Who else wound up being too damn powerful? King Arthur, that’s who. He was missing something when he launched, then he received some buffs. This allowed him far too much access to his Ultimate, so he’s seeing a few targeted changes. Overhead Slash is losing Melee Bonus Damage [50% to 30/35/40/45/50%]. The energy gained from Twin Cleave [Bladestorm] also was reduced [2 to 1.5 a hit]. Sundering Strike/Excalibur’s Fury has both abilities costing 40 mana, so now you can’t just spam one of them with impunity. I’m sure King Arthur mains everywhere are throwing their blades back into the water – but it’s not that bad. Freya also sees nerfs, and bless them for it! I think Freya might be the most changed god in SMITE. She’s not nerfed into the ground with this patch, but she’s definitely losing a chunk of that overwhelming burst she has right now. Northern Lights is seeing Reduced Base Damage [11/27/43/59/75 to 10/15/25/40/60], Decreased Slow [25% to 15%] and Decreased Minion Explosion Damage [50% to 25%]. These numbers might seem pretty big, but Freya was really causing some havoc and making the early game virtually unplayable in more than one mode. Aurora Blade is seeing Decreased Range Damage Magical Power Scaling [15% down to 10% per hit]. Her clear was absolutely obnoxious, and this might make her more reasonable to battle.
While I’m always sad to see a Guardian nerfed, Bacchus definitely went from “Why Bacchus?” to “Can you pick Bacchus please?” in one update. He’s hard to fight, hard to kill, and has a fairly easy time securing kills wherever he goes. First, Drunk-o-Meter was changed, Decreasing Damage Mitigation [7% to 5%] while Tipsy and while Smashed [14% to 10%]. Belch of the Gods has Decreased Base Damage [25/40/55/70/85 to 20/35/50/65/80 per tick]. I know there are people happy Drunk-o-Meter was lowered slightly. I don’t think this will make him unpickable but will make Bacchus players (like myself) be a little more cautious. Ne Zha is seeing a few changes as well, mostly aimed at how powerful he is in the Support Role. Boy am I ever tired of seeing Ne Zha/Fenrir supports. I think the changes to both gods will help that a bit. Wind Fire Wheels has a note now that states being caught in it is not counted as CC. It also has Reduced Base Damage Per Hit [40/60/80/100/120 to 30/50/70/90/110] and Decreased Damage [80/130/180/230/280 to 50/105/160/215/270]. In addition, Universe Ring Toss has Decreased Protection Debuff going down [15 to 10/11/12/13/14]. When it finally gets maxed out, it will be slightly less than what it is now, but it won’t be such a soul-crushing tool in the Duo Lane.
Few things make me happier than seeing Vamana nerfs. He’s been in such a strong position and just mows people down without consequence. His Base Movement Speed went down [375 from 380], and his Armored Umbrella’s Damage Went Down [85/140/195/250/305 to 85/135/185/235/285]. In addition, Umbrellarang has a Decreased Attack / Movement Speed Slow [30% to 25%]. Don’t worry, his ultimate is still infuriating to deal with, that hasn’t changed. This just reduces his ability to get around and hold people down by a little bit. Pele isn’t safe from change either. The Volcano Goddess has pretty reliable burst and is a solid jungle pick in many situations. She’s mobile, has sound damage, and her ganks are pretty great. Her Volcanic Lightning is seeing Decreased Inner Damage [80/125/170/215/260 to 70/115/160/205/250] to make her less frustrating right off the bat when she’s right up against you (and that’s not difficult for her to do). Volcanic Lightning, her ultimate also has Decreased Initial Damage [200/280/360/440/520 to 180/265/350/435/520] to ultimately reduce some of that insane burst of hers. She can still secure kills, but they won’t feel quite as free.
Ao Kuang caught a punch to the face too! It’s not a major one, but it should curtail his early game strength a bit. Dragon’s Call is seeing some Decreased Attack Damage [35/50/65/80/95 to 30/45/60/75/90]. Fenrir is seeing some adjustments too. Brutalize will now always cleave, but the Damage is being Reduced [75% down to 50% of total]. At Max Runes, it will deal an additional 15% of your Physical Power per hit. Unchained is seeing a reduction in Base Damage [95/155/215/275/335 to 75/135/195/255/315] as well as a Decrease of Cooldown Decrease on Successful Hit [50% to 30%]. Fenrir’s always been in a sort of weird place. Not the best, but far from the worst. I feel like he’s seen a resurgence in the Duo Lane, but I’m hoping this will make me see “less” of him there. Bakasura’s Regurgitate is being weakened, ever so slightly. Once Baka gets rolling, there’s not a whole lot that can be done to stop him. With that in mind, its Cone Autos have a Decreased Duration [6s to 5s] and CC Immunity Duration is Decreased [1.5s to 1s].
That’s this latest patch for SMITE! What do you think? Sad about the nerfs? Hoping to see someone else nerfed/buffed? Let me know below!
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