SMITE Patch Notes Discussion – Ruler of the Heavens Update
Even this editorial has a smidge of E3 in it! There’s no escaping the E3 2019 content, I’m afraid. But it’s brief, because Olorun, Ruler of the Heavens was shown off briefly at E3 2019 by Titan Ajax, so that was an awesome moment. I’m not exactly enamored by the idea of a new Mage ADC, but you know? It’s not all about me. This one can actually crit and has a terrifying ult (that does not have damage, but is still powerful). He can also heal, so you know that means I want to build him as some sort of weird Utility/Support character – shocked? Come on, don’t be. I’m not going to focus too hard on the upcoming god, as is the tradition. That will come with his update unless I can find time to hop on the PTS and record some footage or what-have-you. However, some Guardians got buffed, we received some matchmaking/VGS updates, and a few gods got nerfed. So let’s chat, friends!
I have to say, this might be the best batch of skins I’ve seen in a while. In particular, Mothman Ah Muzen Cab, Death Lotus Da Ji, and Plushie Jormungandr. That is the trolliest skin ever, and I love it. He even has a little pile of plushie corpses around the ground where he arises from! It’s just the best. The other skins are awesome too, but those are the stand-outs for me. Kudos to the Smite art team. Before I move on, one more thing – is it just me, or does Olorun remind anyone else of a more regal Teferi, from Magic: the Gathering? I imagine Teferi’s art and robes were probably inspired by the same African cultures/traditions, so it would make sense. There are of course a few important god bug fixes, which you can find in the complete patch notes in the link below.
Console players received an interesting change – a set of text-only VGS commands to communicate with each other because not everyone uses a mic. This will let people say “We don’t need any more Mages”, “Please don’t play tank Ratatoskr”, or “God, come on! We have four assassins already! Stop it!” . . . okay, that’s probably not what they’ll actually say. It’s more of an implied covenant. On the note of console players, Matchmaking sees a change, in regards to crossplay. Players are now going to be more likely matched with players of their own input type unless you’re in a cross-play group or a low population region/game mode. Then it will likely default to the majority input type in your party. I think this is a pretty neat change, but not for the reasons you might think. Whenever I’m in a solo-queue and people find out we have console players on the team, they become toxic and rude in a lot of situations. “omfg, console thana, we’re fucked, thanks gg f6” is the average chat response to having a console player – and that’s sad. Do better, friends. People on console aren’t garbage, they’re just playing with different inputs.
Project Olympus rolls on, this time with a focus on a god that might have needed some updating – Ne Zha. Two of his abilities, Universe Ring Toss and Flaming Spear had bug fixes and changes to make some things clearer, but the big change is Armillary Sash, which will apply a stun without Diminishing Returns. What this means, is there will no longer be situations where he applies the stun, and the player won’t be able to move out of the way before he gets there. The stun will always last the same amount of time. Several bug fixes also came to this ability, and it now has a new FX to clearly portray the AOE damage when he gets to his target. I may not like Ne Zha, but I think consistency is important, and this will provide it. Oh, and Scylla received new icons. I guess that’s newsworthy too. Not that I hate everything about Scylla or anything.
So, moving on to Items! Quite a few are seeing some changes. A big one for me is the Charged Bow/Odysseus’ Bow pair, who are seeing reduced Base Damage nerfs [Charged Bow: 20 to 15, Ody Bow: 30 to 15]. Ody’s Bow is super strong, and it’s in many Hunter builds, but the devs don’t want it to be the only start, so it’s seeing some damage reduction. I tend to run Odysseus’ Bow myself, on the rare moments I find myself playing a Hunter. I can see this being a sound move. Speaking of Hunters, Malice is getting a buff of sorts! It’s an amazing Crit Strike item, but it is fearfully expensive, making it a hard-to-justify purchase. So on that note, Malice is getting a pair of buffs [Cost Reduction: 3000 to 2650, CDR Increase: 2s to 3s]. That chunk of gold I think will help in the long run.
Doom Orb is simply receiving a cost reduction, because again, terribly expensive. This should make it an affordable choice, instead of a terrifying gamble that, if it doesn’t pay off, means 3200 gold [Cost Reduction: 3200 to 3000]. Finally, Gem of Isolation is getting a nerf! It’s an insanely powerful item, and don’t you Mages try to tell me otherwise. I play a Guardian, I know how potent and horrifying it is to deal with. So the Movement Speed Slow and the Duration of said slow will be [Movement Speed Slow: 25% to 20%, Duration: 2s to 1s]. Is this going to make Gem of Iso not worth purchasing? Don’t be foolish. It just means that the item is no longer going to make you want to tear all of your hair out every time you see a Guardian wearing it – just most of it.
Buffs: Malice, Doom Orb
Nerfs: Charged Bow, Odysseus’ Bow, Gem of Isolation
Minor Adjustment: Rod of Asclepius/Rod of Healing
I’m going to highlight the most interesting/best god changes I think, and the rest will be available over on the patch notes from Titanforge/Hi-Rez. I’m not so sure about these Achilles buffs though, I won’t lie to you. It’s not a major change, but will make is clear a bit easier, and give him a bit more tankiness in the late game. He didn’t get some overwhelming amount of damage for players. Gift of the Gods will increase his protections by a minor amount [Protections Increase per Level: 1.5 to 2], and Shield of Achilles will see increased falloff damage [Falloff Damage: 70% to 85%]. While we’re at it, Ao Kuang is getting a beautiful nerf! Any nerfs to Ao Kuang are good ones, in my opinion. His Basic Attacks fixed some text, but nothing changed about it. Dragon Call‘s slow was lowered, and Wild Storm is getting a cooldown increase [Dragon Call: 30% to 20%, Wild Storm: 7s to 9s]. These are again, minor changes, and shouldn’t make him become completely useless (don’t tell that to an Ao main though – you’ll hear a two-hour lecture on why these buffs are ruining the game).
A few Guardians were updated in this patch too because they were performing poorly in key areas. This is wonderful news for me because I actively play at least three out of the five that were updated. Athena saw a little love too, with Preemptive Strike‘s slow duration being increased [Duration: 1.25/1.5/1.75/2.0/2.25s to 2.25s], and Shield Wall was more adjusted than buffed. The Initial Damage went up, but the Explosion Damage was decreased [Initial Damage: 60/95/130/165/200 to 70/110/150/290/230, Explosion: 80/150/220/290/360 to 70/135/200/265/330]. Honestly, I see more of the initial damage than I do the explosion damage, so I think it will ultimately be pretty impactful. Set saw a few changes as well, because let’s be honest, he too was underperforming. Kingslayer had its prefire time lowered (Why does it have a prefire time?) [Prefire: 0.8 to 0.33s], and his Relentless had its duration increased, but also fixed an error on the time for it [Duration: 4s to 5s].
Horus got a little love in this update (and I mean a little), but it’s a change that I think needed to be addressed when I first reviewed him. One of his cooldowns was decreased, Updraft [Cooldown: 18/17/16/15/14 to 16/16/15/15/14]. His Updraft is very important to the overall kit, and having to wait so damn long to use it again was a no-go. Sure it caps at 14, but that’s not thinking about whatever CDR he’s using. Speaking of brief, Cu Chulainn is getting a brief but impactful buff to his Barbed Spear (Ground Slam), in that it will see greater scaling [Scaling: 45% to 55%]. It will give him a little bit of a boost, without being overwhelming and insane. He Bo saw a few nerfs as well, but if you don’t think he deserved them, I don’t know what to tell you – other than “Yes he did, shhh”. Water Cannon saw an overall damage decrease, and Atlas of the Yellow River saw a decrease to Movement Speed and Slow [Water Cannon: 70/125/180/235/290 to 70/120/170/220/270, Atlas: 30/35/40/45/50% to 25/30/35/40/45%]. I cannot imagine these were change for changes’ sake either. He Bo performs quite well and receives a lot of reward for very little in the way of risk.
Finally, I want to talk about Khepri. He’s easily one of my favorite gods but feels so terribly underwhelming to play. It feels like he has an ult, and that’s about it. So with that, he’s seeing some updates, so he’s more than an ultimate. Rising Dawn will deal more damage per tick [Damage: 10/13/16/19/22 to 10/14/18/22/26], Solar Flare will gain a lowered cooldown [Cooldown: 16s to 14s], and Scarab’s Blessing was updated to make it clear in the text that it won’t revive executed targets. The Rising Dawn damage will help him clear a little, but the biggest part to me is Solar Flare, making his stun just apply pressure with. He just didn’t feel important, and that’s not fair to Khepri.
Buffs: Achilles, Athena, Cerberus, Cu Chulainn, Horus, Khepri, Set, Ymir
Nerfs: Ao Kuang, He Bo, Jormungandr
Minor Adjustment: Freya
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