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!
See: Hi-Rez Studios
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.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, March 25th, 2017
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?
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.
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:
— HiRezStew (@schisam) March 15, 2017
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!
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.
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!
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.
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:
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 18th, 2017
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!