The next SMITE patch is 4.14, and is entitled “Ursa Major”! It could be more appropriately named, with the inclusion of the Bear Goddess, Artio! She’s a Celtic Goddess, a Guardian/Tank, and a stance-changer! She’s incredible, probably going to get nerfed into the floor, and has a fun kit, since I tried it last night. Much in the same vein as Fafnir, when she stance changes, the cooldowns change. The Druid form has a set of cooldowns and Bear form has a set of cooldowns. From healing, mauling as a bear, the D&D “Entangling Roots” spell and more, Artio’s going to be a wild success in the Battleground of the Gods. She’s a Crowd Control Monster, and her ability to pop a power, stance shift, use another one [even the same button!], stance change yet again and continue forward into the backline, slowing everyone on the way. Then she turns around, stuns everyone before her! Oh goodness, Artio’s incredible and she’s on the on the Test Servers! Feel free to play some Arena Matches with me there this weekend! These are just a few of the exciting things coming up in Patch 4.14!
Then the skins: There is an absolute pile of skins being added, a fair amount of them being in the Fall Split, which is definitely arriving. First, we have the Fanservice skins, the Tier 5 Awilix Skin [which I do not believe will be available just yet?], SPF 666 The Morrigan in her skimpy bikini. I’m also fascinated that the 2010 King of the Ring, Sheamus, has a skin! The latest skin for Cu Chulainn, “Bruiser Cu Chulainn” is the spitting image of him. Big Red Mustache, the Celtic Crown that he wore, clad in green and ready to fight! Was this intentional? Oh goodness, I hope so. It’s probably my favorite even if it is the least elaborate of the skins in this update. Cupid’s Mastery skins [thank God] got their overhaul, he also received a “Mad Love” skin, which makes him look like Doc Brown as a tiny Supervillain. Like, Mr. Myxlplyx cosplayed from Back to the Future. I feel like that reference is going to be kind of esoteric. We’re also getting a lovely new skin in the “dot” series, with CRITICAL.DMG Ne Zha. It looks cool, but I’m awful with Ne Zha. …Still want it. Freaky Tiki Ah Puch and Crystalline Terra round out the bunch, and the Terra one looks especially shiny, if you’ll pardon the expression.
The Fall Split is here! I … did not play much in the Summer Split, so I have some catching up to do. But what I am excited for is how they are changing Ranked. I plan on going back into ranked this season to see what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown as a player of SMITE over the past few months. It’s a huge part of the game, and adding a new phase [Planning] will likely help teams not ban each other out and determine who wants to play what. During the 30 second planning phase, players are able to highlight Gods they’d like to play, as well as who they’d like to ban. If multiple people want the same God banned, a number will appear next to them, denoting their importance. That’s not the only change, but it’s certainly a large one for the “planning” of teams if you will. In addition to your “Earned Division”, Gold, Bronze, what have you, there will also be a Matchmaking Division. The Matchmaking Division is the division the system believes you are at, the people you’re being matchmade with. This way you can see what the game estimates your skill level to be, in addition to what division you’re actually at. Here’s a quote from the patch notes:
“In SMITE Ranked play, your rank is not what determines Matchmaking. It is a progression system that over time will represent your actual skill.
Previously, players qualifying were given a rank as well as a hidden matchmaking rank. As the system became surer of a player’s skill these two ranks meet. This can cause confusion as a Silver player who is very much on his way to earning Platinum gets paired against other Platinums.
Starting with this patch, this Hidden Matchmaking Rank will be visible. With this extra information, players should be able to have a better understanding of what the system thinks about them as a player while giving more information to determine the quality of Matchmaking.“
Several Gods and Items received buffs and nerfs in this patch. So, who got buffed and nerfed? A few items received changes, such as the Atalanta’s Bow and Demonic Grip Ring, the much-needed nerfs to Cernunnos … I’m still not sure if it’s going to be enough. This isn’t his first time to the nerf bat as far as I’m aware, and he still outperforms most Gods in casual play. It’s pretty damn ridiculous. Freya is back, though! She received a nice little buff, and I think the increased attack speed/base damage to Pulse will see people picking her up once again. Some other miscellaneous changes to The Morrigan and Raijin to make their lives a bit better. The full details can be read right here, but I’m glad to see that Project Olympus rolls on and continues to make the game better for their players as a whole. 4.14 drops next week, and from gorgeous new skins, item changes, and a wonderful [wonderful] new Guardian, it’s an exciting time to be a SMITE player!