HiRez Studios has released the SMITE patch notes to coincide with the launch of Scylla, Horror of the Deep. The list is lengthy and detailed as the game nears official release later this month.
Notable highlights include massive work on the spectator system to not only improve performance and functionality, but actual changes to some of the map designs to improve overhead views of certain twisted jungle spots on the Conquest map. Ward costs have also been lessened while given a home security alarm to raise awareness when enemies pass through their field of vision. And the entire item tree has been rebuilt into a more cohesive pathing system, though many items including the infamous Fatalis have been removed pending further testing.
As far as Scylla goes, her kit can be seen below:
Passive – Quick Learner
Each of Scylla’s abilities gain an additional effect at max rank. In addition, Scylla gains 20 magical power for each max rank ability.
Scylla sends two hounds forward rooting and crippling the first enemy hit for 1.25/1.5/1.75/2.0/2.25s, and damaging for 60/110/160/210/260 +60% of Magical Power. At max rank, two additional enemies nearby the first target will also be hit. Cooldown 10s. Cost 60/70/80/90/100.
Scylla creates a magical field that applies a 30% slow to enemies in the radius. After 5s it detonates and damages 90/140/190/240/290 +80% of Magical power. Scylla may activate the ability again to detonate it early. At max rank, enemies in the area also have thier Magic Protection reduced by 25%, and targets hit by the damage are slowed for an additional 1s. Cooldown 10s. Cost 70/80/90/100/110.
Sentinel Passive: Scylla gains 4/6/8/10/12 MP5 while this ability is not on cooldown. Active: Scylla summons a sentinel to the target area, granting 40/50/60/70/80 vision of enemies for 5s. Scylla may activate the ability again within 5s to move to the sentinel location. At max rank, the vision is granted through line of sight blockers, and placement range increases by 5. Cooldown 15s. Cost 70/75/80/85/90.
I’m a Monster
Scylla reveals her true nature, becoming CC immune for the next 6s, and gaining +35% movement speed. She may make one powerful attack during this time, dealing 400/500/600/700/800 +120% of her magical power as damage. If she kills an enemy god with the attack, she gains another 6s and may attack again. At max rank, the movement speed bonus doubles. Cooldown 90s. Cost 100.
Full patch notes and god balance changes can be found on the official site.
Appirits is set to bring a unique title, Shikihime Garden, to the west. Featuring garden building and business managing mechanics, and trading card battles with cute female warriors, what’s not to love?
Sandbox Interactive today announced it will launch a closed alpha test for its highly-anticipated cross-platform sandbox MMORPG, Albion Online beginning March 24th. Players will need to act fast as there will be a limited number of keys available.
“Though this alpha test will be the biggest we’ve ever run, the number of keys is still limited and we are looking for critical feedback from fans as we reach this next phase,” said Yasmin Babb, Community Manager at Sandbox Interactive. “Players should be on the lookout within the next few weeks for information about what potential testers can expect during the Albion Online alpha test.”
Albion Online is a free-to-play medieval sandbox MMO set in a cross-platform world where players will conquer, colonize and defend territories all in a classless character customization system tailored for dynamic full loot PvP battles where every encounter is different.
The first true cross-platform MMO, Albion Online, will run on different devices including Windows, iOS and Android at the same time and in the same world. The game will go into beta in 2014.
Prepare to conquer the deepest reaches of space in Galaxy Online II. Built your base, expand into orbit with space station construction, and then build a fleet with commanding officers capable of crushing the galaxy as your empire rises.
Commanders: Recruit and train commanders to unleash unique skills in battle.
Fight Deepspace Dogfights: Engage in massive military clashes in the cold depths of space.
Base Construction: Build an empire on ecnomonics with numerous buildings to bolster your material output.
Tech Tree: Research your style as you unlock new units and over 100 weapon types in the tech tree.
Instances: Test your leadership in various instanced PvE challenges to unlock new blueprints.
Think you know Dawngate? Think again. Waystone Games has just overhauled every aspect from the moba itemization to the map layout to their unique system of role assignment in parties in what amalgamates to one of the heaviest reworks we’ve ever seen in a single moba patch. Some of the highlights include:
Reworked Game Mode/Map – Updated feature sets to intensify various gaming scenarios
Updated Item Set – All items have been updated to enhance the player’s experience
New System Balance and Role Tuning – Every Shaper’s base movement speed and attack range has been increased by 11% with plenty of changes to Role VIM rates and other individual balance changes across the board.
Removal of Binding Respawns - This unique element of gameplay seems to have disappeared with the patch.
The rather lengthy full details including a complete listing of the itemization changes and numerous Shaper rebalances can be read of the official site.
Have you ever wanted to play as your favorite superhero? Happen to be too swept up in the MOBA craze to dedicate the time to games like DCUO? Then Infinite Crisis might be the game you should delve into. In this free to play MOBA game, your favorite superheroes from the DC Comics are featured and then twisted in ways only the minds behind the Infinite Crisis arc could have imagined. Play Batman, Superman or perhaps a villain like the Joker in a frantic battle unlike any other.
I am just going to say it right off the bat, Infinite Crisis is a game that tries to get people to play this game by using characters many people including non-gamers are familiar with. And I am not saying this to sound negative about the game, but the marketing behind it is sound. Getting more gamers reading comics and more comic readers gaming is a good venture in my view. If you are unfamiliar to the MOBA genre, let me give you a brief explanation on how a MOBA game usually works.
In a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) you take the role of a hero, and together with other people in your team you will have to work together to either destroy or capture objectives while trying to crush the opposing team whenever they get in your way. The concept of the game is fairly simple and anyone can learn and play it in only a matter of minutes. The heroes you play as each have a special set of tools and skills that you can use to gain various attacks, cc, or movement buffs, to oversimplify it. For each kill, minion kill, or objective destroyed or capture you will earn money. With this money you will be able to buy items, and with these items your hero will get stronger. If you haven’t been living under an e-stone for the past few years, you should definitely be familiar with this genre, since it is the most successful genre at the moment.
Since Infinite Crisis spins around villains and heroes, you should know what some of these characters can do, especially since the team behind this game tried to make these characters feel as real to the comics as possible. Everyone has 5 abilities and 4 of them are usually abilities that you can use that have some sort of special power. And I think Infinite Crisis captures these individual personas through visuals and skill sets that paint an overall picture showcasing their personal missions. Take for example the Joker. Straight off the bat you know that this is a champion that likes to fool around and trick people with vicious surprises. And his skills portray his personality well, particularly his signature delayed exploding present attack that goes off when enemies near its proximity. To avoid getting so serious, there’s a hefty bit of humor involved in Infinite Crisis to keep the skills feeling comical without disregarding the comics. And it feels to hit the middle mark right between what gamers and comic fans would expect.
Currently there are three available maps that you can play on. On each one of these maps there are objects like cars that you as a hero can pick up and throw around. Since you are a champion you can use your heroic and villainous powers to cause real destruction to the world you are playing in, and you can tear down whole structures trying to bring down your enemies. I must admit that as a MOBA fan I was a little bit shocked to see the enemy Flash pick up a car, and throw it over towards me while I was just trying to focus on do my thing, i.e. killing him. The sheer destructive force of battles immerses you in the realm of the superhero fights we’ve all read and watched growing up, and separates this MOBA from others on the market.
Besides knowing your surroundings, and knowing who you are fighting against the most important thing is to know your champion. You will want to build him in the correct way with the money you earned from minions that are also known as drones. The items in Infinite Crisis are called artifacts, and there are three sorts of artifacts: Attack, Health and Power. Different artifacts scale better with different hero types, so some research is required to get the most out of each new hero or villain you pick up. Players not wanting to put in said time though can still get by decently with the recommended item list though.
Besides the destructible nature of the maps, the three modes available in Infinite Crisis stand out as rather unique. While the goal of eliminating enemies and gathering gold as fast as you can remain the focus, the way it plays out changes quite a bit.
This map stands as that good bit of ‘comfort food’ to put more experienced moba players at ease. It consists of the usual three lanes plus “urban jungle” that you will have to duke it out with against the enemy team. In each one of these lanes you will find towers, these towers are your guardian angels in the early levels of the game that help prevent either side from getting bullied to harshly. Just like in other mobas, destroying them is key as they offer a hefty gold boost to your team. Each lane spawns endless waves of drones that push lanes and offer a source of income when not killing other heroes. Money buys you artifacts. It’s as simple as that. Between all the zones you will find the famous jungle, a neutral area filled with monsters offering income on a set respawn timer. Eventually one team will push all the way down a lane and destroy the Power Core to end the match.
If you are familiar with the map Dominion on League of Legends, then I do not need to explain Gotham Heights any further. This stands as the premier mode first revealed in Infinite Crisis though so it receives a bit more love in comparison to Dominion mode. In Gotham Heights you will find yourself on a big circle, with five different capture points scattered on the outer ring. In this map you will have to capture more than half the control points to earn more points than your enemy, simple as that. Gotham Heights essentially plays out as more of a team deathmatch, with group fights happening early and often. Smart players can turn the tides in their favor by utilizing various item pick-ups scattered around the arena such as health packs, speed boosts, and even special jungle monsters that drop buffs when defeated. Most of the map is clear of fog of war, but you can still set up ambushes by utilizing the shadowy central parts of the ring. Holding more capture points than your opponent will tick points away from their team score until one team runs out and is defeated.
Coast City Marina
This map is really interesting, and probably the most original map Infinite Crisis offers. Basically the map is a pentagon with two lanes; the make-up of each lane works akin to Gotham Divided in terms of turret placement and minion spawn. The jungle sets itself apart as a vast space between the lanes, ensuring roaming between lanes is a more costly and time consuming process. Beyond this, the possibility is there to have more than one dedicated jungler as there’s simply too much there for a single player to deal with effectively. This map is ideal for players that just want to focus on outplaying their laning opponent in a head to head battle as jungle ganking occurs less frequently here than any other mode. I personally didn’t enjoy this map as much since it took a lot of the rewards for map awareness and team coordination out of the genre, but that may just be from having too much experience on smaller moba maps to adjust my expectations.
The map overall finds cohesiveness when the Dooms Day Device activates, a central turret that forces players to come together for an epic team fight to acquire a type of satellite laser that can blast a huge area clear of any enemy players. It’s ideal for pushing heavily defended turtling foes out of lane long enough to take an objective, just hope that whoever on your team gets the device know what they are doing as it can easily be wasted.
Playing as your favorite recognizable hero or villain added a new level of immersion to the moba genre I haven’t experienced elsewhere. Since playing as a character you are familiar with, you really get the ‘I am a hero’ feeling and want to show the enemy your special powers. But besides that Infinite Crisis tries to be even more different than many other MOBA games. But with the introduction of alternate reality heroes, roughly resembling the standard heroes but with unique steampunk and radioactive twists, the game not only expanded my knowledge of the DC Universe, but made me want to read more about these otherworldly versions of Batman and the Joker.
The more dynamic maps with fully destructible environments added new tactics that even a veteran moba player like myself was unable to immediately master. There’s certainly new strategies and ways of thinking about ganking here that should give that bit of “wow” factor to those bored with their current static moba. Unfortunately the game hasn’t caught on much in Europe, and my servers were a bit empty. This resulted in long queue times that could be a bit frustrating when I just wanted a fast match during short breaks. But if you don’t mind waiting a bit longer, and enjoy playing as a super hero or villain, you should definitely check out Infinite Crisis.
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), Wraeclast Karui Seer
Oh I’ve seen the horrors of the Vaal. You thought they were merely a legend? Long lost civilization that destroyed themselves? Arrogant outsider. The creators of the Tears of Maji were not so simple as to destroy themselves with their own devices. Eternal life was always their goal. Their vision. Well, I shouldn’t say that goal speaks for all. Certainly not the countless souls sacrificed in pursuit of it anyway. But perhaps old Queen Atziri wasn’t so mad after all.
Countless disasters I’ve suffered in this lifetime. Countless Exiles I’ve watched march to their deaths in search of treasure and fame. Long I wondered why a crippled old man such as myself was spared a painful demise by the hands of the walking dead, rising demons, and power hungry emperors. Now I finally understand. It was to witness the horrors to come. And perhaps with my warning, give you a fighting chance in the battle that will soon reshape Wraeclast into a living hell. The Queen returns.
Vaal Content Update for All
Unlike most previous expansions and mini-expansions, Path of Exile‘s The Sacrifice of the Vaal update brings with it meaningful content for all players from those just starting to the maxed out end-game veterans. It’s been a challenge for Grinding Gear Games to implement such an update thus far without impacting the flowing storylines of each branching area prior to this, but with the clever use of dynamically spawning instanced portals, this is now a reality.
As players travel through the now corrupted lands of Wraeclast, they will stumble upon eerie red Corrupted Portals. These offer new option zones packing some seriously wicked challenges with sixty new bosses awaiting to challenge players to think critically. By utilizing the Exile skill building system, these bosses have been designed from the ground up to fight back just as another player would, using the same player skills you’ve used to crush so many foes prior against you. If that wasn’t enough, you can expect special rules placed in these areas to further complicate the situation and take you outside of your comfort zone.
Secrets of the Ancients
While any proud Exile would be happy to see these new areas just for the entertainment they provide, the glory of taking down the revived forces of the Vaal Civilization won’t leave you empty handed. New Vaal Artifact chests will drop upon successfully clearing the zones, offering plenty of sweet rewards for you to cash in on. But these all pale in comparison to the introduction of Vaal Artifacts, the revived Tears of Maji offering skill gems with unparalleled power to the game.
Vaal Artifacts are slotted into your equipment just like normal skill gems. Most in fact are just extensions of existing skills in the game, only buffed to hellish levels. This unbalanced power comes at a price though, and rather than extended cooldowns or massive mana costs, you will need to kill countless monsters to fill a soul charge on the skill. Once achieved, a beating heart icon will confirm the power is ready to be unleashed. Here’s a few examples I witnessed:
Vaal Frost Nova – Just list the AoE explosion of ice that normally spreads in a radius in all directions from your character. Only now every enemy impacted by it will generate a second circle of ice cold death that continues to spread and reactive down the line of foes.
Vaal Chain Lightning – Sure lightning can already jump between foes. But now it can jump between them sixty times! *Insert Evil Laugh*
Vaal Spark – Sparks everywhere. I mean everywhere. Nothing is safe so long as its within your field of vision.
Vaal Firearrow - Send a blazing arrow through the heart of the enemy’s lines, exploding and adding burning status to everything even remotely in the way.
Vaal Detonate Dead – Exploding a corpse for damage is cool. But luring your enemies into a field of corpses before watching them blow up like C4 covered toppling dominos is better!
Vaal Fireball – Twirl your spirit stick as you unleash a Mario style fire chain in a circular pattern around your character. Sure to add some heat to any horde that dares surround you on all sides.
Vaal Cyclone – Relive the movie Twister as you spin to win with intense winds sucking all foes on screen into your cyclone of death. I actually saw an enemy survive this by getting stuck on an environment obstruction so it’s not 100% effective everywhere. Also beware doing this when low on health as the enemies can hit you just before getting diced in your living blender.
Vaal Molten Shell – Sure Molten Shell is alright I guess. But don’t you hate when you time it wrong and a trash mob wastes the explosion? With Vaal Molten Shell you will explode with vengeful flames each time you take damage for the duration.
It seems that these artifact drops are meant to be quite rare, though Chris Wilson and Jonathan Rodgers did tease that a method of crafting them was being tested. Unfortunately I don’t have further info on that.
Corruption Does a Build Good
Another interesting piece of the spreading Vaal corruption of the land is the ability to utilize corrupted artifacts to experiment on your armor. This can only be done once per armor piece and corruption isn’t always guaranteed, but when the gamble pays off, it can set you above even the Exiles parading around in end-game Uniques by creating normally unattainable mods on Rares or granting white skill gem sockets. Some examples I witnessed while scrolling through my inventory included culling strike on a sword, and life leach on a set of boots. And for those adverse to gambling, rest assured that there’s no danger of destroying your equipment during the corruption.
While on the topic, special support gems combining with corruption are now able to push the limits of gem levels up to an unheard of (but surprisingly Q&A tested) level of 29! If you’re one of the ultimate min-maxers, I wish you luck in the quest for discovering the method of recreating this.
A Tale of Two Leagues
More into the competitive scene than the story driven main game? Two new leagues are on the way as well to scare up some competition and push players to their limits.
The more casual friendly league known as Ambush hides special identifiable chests on maps for players to unlock. The odd part about it though is that you can reroll these chests and visibly see what modifiers, and dangers, lurk upon opening them. Thus where the name Ambush comes from as you’ll be faced with some pretty unusual and nasty battles to earn the right to acquire the loot within. I don’t want to spoil too many of the combinations, but a particularly nasty one to watch out for is freezing minions along with the chest that explodes upon activation, putting you at a nice health disadvantage right from the start.
Chests are typically themed as well, whether it be a weapon chest, armor chest, map chest, currency chest, alchemist chest, and so on, and each item dropped will carry the marked quality listed on the chest description. This adds a bit more tactics to the normally mindless looting prospect, and should give economically minded Exiles some interesting forms of currency based competition as this feature is expanded on in future Leagues.
Invasion on the other hand will test players’ ability to react and counter bosses from throughout the game appearing at unexpected locations. Interestingly enough, since the bosses are randomized and some may be too powerful for certain early levels, their skill sets will be limited and scaled based on the party’s level. As such facing the same boss repeatedly as you progress through the game may result in new tactics being thrown at you so never let your guard down. Facing them in certain cramped spaces as well will surely add some level of epicness to these fights.
PvP A Plenty
Those looking for more of a visceral unscripted fight can turn to the new Cutthroat system, in which memorizing battle tactics against PvE creatures won’t be enough to ensure victory in races any longer. That’s because your instanced battles can now be invaded by another bloodthirsty player looking to end your life, and collect loot from your corpse like any other fallen creature in Wraeclast. Should Grinding Gear add in an element of permadeath in future Leagues featuring Cutthroat, this could be an intriguing spectacle.
Casual players looking for quick pick up matches should also be thrilled at a new free for all arena portal appearing in the third town. This mode offers fast and furious matches for the busy Exile trying to sneak a bit of gaming in on work break or between bouts with the wife. Future plans are also promised to open up tiered arenas to allow players in different level brackets to fight it out against others in their power range.
Queen Atziri and the Vaal Relics
Perhaps you have been collecting them already wondering their purpose. The four shards that together seem to make a circular pattern? With Sacrifice of the Vaal their purpose is finally known, as you can open a portal to Queen Atziri herself to face the most intense raid Path of Exile has yet seen.
Upon placing the four relics on Atziri’s altar, arrogant Exiles will open six portals to her hellish world. Those seeing the end should either consider themselves gods, or travel in a group with plenty of synergy built up from repeated successes together. For inside you’ll face hordes of foes with regenerative abilities and maximum health bars beyond anything you’ve faced prior. And if you can withstand the onslaught, three powerful boss battles are ready to finish you off. Just be cautious, as each failure will take away one of your portals. And once they’re all gone, you’ll be out scavenging Corrupted Portals recollecting pieces for another shot at her.
The first boss’ agility may leave you confounded at first. You may wonder if you’re facing two entities as you futility chase the denizen of hell around the chamber, smacking legions of minions out of your way in the process. Finally it will hit you that you are up against a boss and its shadow. And defeating one will only feed power into the other, eventually reviving the first. Plan your attacks accordingly and take them out in unison to avoid a truly menacing finale.
The next triple boss combination will test your agility as a shielded tank, marauder, and giant witch fight as one to poison, cripple, and cut off your escape routes. Expect the grasping hands of the dead to reach from the ground to weigh you down as the marauder cyclones across huge distances of the map. Utilize the four pillars to your advantage to block the enemy’s advance while unleashing hit and run tactics whenever an opening allows for it.
This fight becomes a real nightmare as you fell each boss as not only will it open a portal to hell, unleashing an endless stream of minions fighting with a similar style to their fallen master, but the remaining enemies will grow in power and size. I ended up facing a marauder the size of a house that could cyclone halfway across the arena in two seconds, with tons of body blocking ghouls and ranged medusa looking witches offering support fire before finally ending the battle.
Queen Atziri’s Chamber
The battle with Atziri though is on another level. Even with my advanced ranger, one accidently push of the menu delayed me long enough to kill me off. Atziri surrounds the entire arena in small and large circles that explode upon reaching their maximum expansion. Get too close to her and she’s not afraid to use all four arms to cut into you with her various melee weapons. And all her talk of sacrifice comes into play when she surrounds herself in an impenetrable shell before summoning minions from the four corners of the arena. Any that reach her are disintegrated and fed into her health bar.
Perhaps the coolest trick up her sleeve though comes from her division into four copies of herself, each holding a different weapon. The mirror self reflects damage back at the attacker as the other three blanket the field in fiery explosion. Focus fire one of the three weapon wielders quickly to eliminate them from the fight. Just be ready as just like the previous battle, whichever weapons you leave her with will only grow in might as the fight continues.
The battle for Wraeclast begins anew on Wednesday, March 5th. I’ve told you all I can to prepare you for the coming days of darkness. Hone your skills, sharpen your minds… and your weapons, and gather strength from your comrades. For the greatest wealth soon awaits those capable of standing against the Mighty Vaal Empire.