hi rez studios

A studio known primarily for SMITE, Global Agenda, Tribes: Ascend, and Paladins.

Grab a pair of SMITE skins in honor of Celestial Voyage, courtesy of Hi-Rez and Massively OP

SMITE is kicking off a new event today, this one sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone obsessed with Stargate or Indy IV or just "alien astronaut" sci-fi in general. Dubbed Celestial Voyage, the event will ask players to complete quests to unlock goodies and hieroglyphs, the latter of which function as a puzzle for more loot.

As is traditional for SMITE, the update comes with a ton of exclusive themed skins. We've got two extra existing skins that match the theme to give away to our readers today: Celestial Isis and Stargazer Anubis. Onward to the giveaways!

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Global Agenda may be reappearing in your Steam library

If you don't remember the whole story about Global Agenda, you could be forgiven for pushing it out of your mind; it's a bit of a sad one. The first game out of Hi-Rez Studios was not a massive success compared to the studio's later titles, and with more profitable releases from the studio, the game's support dropped and it was quietly removed from Steam. The game is still playable right now for people who download it directly, but it's not there for Steam players to find. Even players who already downloaded it found it gone... until this weekend.

We've had some reports (confirmed by our staff) that the game is indeed showing up in Steam libraries once again, although as of this writing it's not showing up on the main store page. (Searching for it uncovers a demo page that does not actually load.) This could all just be a matter of database maintenance for Steam, or it could be a subtle hint that something is on the horizon. There's nothing to do but speculate; the last update on the game's status was that the servers are going to be kept online for the forseeable future, but the studio does need to make plans for a shutdown and has no intention of selling the servers to another company or the fans.

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The Stream Team: Celebrating three years of SMITE (with presents!)

SMITE turned three years old today, and in that time it has offered players a multitude of new gods to play (many of which Massively OP's MJ has really enjoyed showing off!). Now you can get presents for celebrating its birthday with us; MJ has a multitude of gods and skins to give away as well as one special gift of 2,500 gems! Tune in live at 4:00 p.m. for the birthday giveaway and your chance to win.

What: SMITE
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, March 25th, 2017

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Only two gamers have maxed out all of SMITE's 86 toons

As SMITE continues its third birthday celebrations, it's running multiple sales and bonus events in-game. Out of game, it's produced an inexplicably weird dance-off video and an infographic to brag up the game's stats.

Of note, players have counted over 247 million hours played in the last year alone -- and mage roles are by far the most popular (it's not even close!). And never let anyone tell you MOBAs are doomed to be short popcorn games; Hi-Rez says the longest conquest match ran 3 and a half hours.

A bonus slice of cake goes out to the two players -- only two! -- who've managed to achieve diamond mastery on every single god. I just counted: That's 86 characters maxed out.

Check 'em both out below. Especially that video, because what?

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SMITE throws a week of birthday festivities

Touting proudly (and weirdly) that SMITE is almost out of its "toddler years," Hi-Rez Studios is throwing a week of celebration for the MOBA's third birthday. Starting tomorrow and running through March 27th, SMITE will boast ongoing and daily events to mark this occasion.

For the full week, SMITE is activating double login bonuses and handing out a birthday global emote to any player that gets a single win during the promotion. There's also a schedule posted of daily sales and giveaways that include free gems, a free enigma chest, and triple worshipers. The studio is also planning to run another community skin contest, starting tomorrow.

Hi-Rez recently put development of mobile spin-off SMITE Rivals on indefinite hold in favor of focusing more on a different spin-off, SMITE Tactics.

Source: SMITE

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Hi-Rez puts SMITE Rivals development 'on hold'

Bad news for those who were looking forward to another SMITE spinoff game; it appears that the digital card game version of the game, SMITE Rivals, is taking a vacation from development. According to Hi-Rez Studios president Stew Chisam, the game's development is being put on hold to focus on developing SMITE Tactics:

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Grab a Paladins closed beta key for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 from Hi-Rez and MOP

Hi-Rez's team-shooter MOBA Paladins hits closed beta for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 today, expanding the game beyond its 8 million open beta players on PC. That means the Season 1 patch -- with 22 champs, customization, trio of PvP modes, AI co-op challenges, and competitive ranked mode -- debuts today. And Hi-Rez is touting a $50,000 prize pool for what it's dubbed the "Console Wars" Paladins tourney at Dreamhack this July.

Paladins will be free-to-play on launch; in the meantime, you'll need keys to play on console. Guess who's got keys for both platforms? You betcha! Click the Mo button below (and prove you're not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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SMITE reveals playable Cernunnos, The Horned God

I would be lying if I said that the latest god reveal for SMITE isn't provoking goat jokes. He is. He's Cernunnos, the stag-antlered Celtic deity of "wild things," of fertility, and of the underworld too. In SMITE, he'll wield a glaive, thorns, a horn-charge, the boards of the Wild Hunt itself, and the literal power of the seasons to kick your butt.

But it's cool, go ahead and make your goatman jokes.

The 4.4 patch should also introduce new skins for Kuzenbo, Bellona, Kukulkan, Chronos, Loki, Morrigan, and Izanami. It's on the PTS right now, but you can get caught up on Gernunnos and the notes in the videos below.

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SMITE's first Adventure mode, Nike's Valley of Victory, is live

Players logging into SMITE today are in for a treat: Adventures are officially live with the game's latest patch. Adventures are planned as limited-time special game modes that change up every six weeks.

The first such mode, Nike's Valley of Victory, is a capture-the-flag event that runs on PC through March 28th (console versions will lag behind start and end dates by week). Hi-Rez notes that the map is free, but not so for the Adventure Bundles and limited edition skins, which will go up in price come the next cycle. "The Bundles with each Adventure will be available for a discounted price during the 4 weeks that the game mode is live, then available at full price during all 2017 Adventures," says the studio.

Check out the explainer vids down below!

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Paladins bumps up Essence gains significantly for players

The Paladins community was not terribly happy with the changes made to the game's microtransaction model for, let's face it, entirely understandable reasons. Introducing Legendary cards, swapping things out for Essence, and then making Essence accumulate at such a slow rate as to be irrelevant? The good news is that the developers have heard the complaints and are rolling out fixes to make Essence easier to acquire from all sources.

Players will need 12,000 Essence rather than 18,000 to purchase Legendary cards, while duplicate Common cards will offer 250 Essence rather than 60. Players can also earn 1000 Essence per achievement, and Mastery bonuses achieved before the chest rewards were put into place will retroactively award a large amount of Essence rather than retroactive chests. That doesn't necessarily mean that players will be totally all right with the changes made so far, but it's a step in the direction of correcting course.

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Hi-Rez addresses the Paladins pay-to-win uproar

The Paladins community has been flipping tables this week over the game's new Legendary cards and Essence currency, which players argue are blatantly pay-to-win. Hi Rez's latest patch essentially nerfed gold grinding -- and therefore, the players' ability to save gold to simply buy what they want -- by handing out the new Essence instead of gold to players who receive duplicates in their reward chests. If you're sitting on a huge stock of gold and cards, you're fine, but newbies are finding that gold is almost worthless, RNG can wreck them, and Essence accrues too slowly to be of use. And as MMO players all know, when you can't compete without whipping out your credit card, the words "pay-to-win" aren't far behind.

Good news, though: Hi-Rez said late last night that it's working on the issue and will have some sort of update today, so you're not going to have to make good on those threats to go play Overwatch after all:

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The Stream Team: Celebrating SMITE's new Kuzenbo with codes

Have you always wanted to play as a ninja turtle in SMITE? Are you itching for a new god to rule the map with? Well you can possibly kill two birds with one tortoise thanks to the new god Kuzenbo. Massively OP's MJ is diving in to check out this new hard-shelled killer with the crazy grin, and she's got a handful of codes to give him away with his Yokozuna costume. Join us live at 4:00 p.m. for your chance to win!

What: SMITE
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 18th, 2017

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Kuzenbo, King of the Kappa, joins SMITE's roster today

Live in SMITE this very day is... OK, you know what, before we do this, let me just head off all Kappa jokes. Get it out of your system. OK. Kuzenbo, King of the Kappa -- the kappa of Japanese folklore, darnit, this is a real thing! Well not a real thing, but you know what I mean! -- is rolling out to SMITE PC players today. Kuzenbo's mechanics revolve around his head-bound water bowl, shell spikes, slams, and an epic ult called Watery Grave, which is as creepy as it sounds: "Kuzenbo pulls himself inwards under his shell and spins, summoning fierce currents that knock Enemies back, increase his Movement Speed, and allow him to move freely in all directions."

There's much more to the 4.2 patch, including Valentine's Day sales, the Clash map overhaul, and new skins, so check out the vids and pics below!

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