Posts Tagged ‘hi-rez studios’

Latest SMITE Patch Revamps Conquest Map (Video)

19 August 2013 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Hi-Rez Studios has released yet-another patch to its god-based MOBA SMITE. Unlike most patches, the latest does not include the release of a new god. Instead, the focus is squarely on the original game mode of Conquest. To complement that recent visual overall of the user interface, the Conquest map was redone to fit the changing art direction.

Again, the focus is on an update to the art. Only minor modifications to the lane dynamics are included. The latest patch also includes new voice packs for Loki and Anubis. Golden skins for Anubis and Ra have been released as well. Naturally, there’s a few balance changes and item modifications. The biggest being that players are now restricted from purchasing items that aren’t optimized for the character.

Enough with the letters. Full patch notes and a trailer unveiling the new art changes after the cut. Continue Reading

SMITE Adds Maimed Tyr to Norse Pantheon

13 August 2013 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Tyr, incomplete with his famously lacking hand, is the latest god to be added to the roster of SMITE. Hi-Rez Studios made the addition late last week, evening off the current count of playable characters to the third-person MOBA to a healthy 40 gods. The god of law and justice is a melee bruiser along the lines of another bearlike character, Hercules.

The Tyr patch brings gamers a trio of new Golden skins (Cupid, Arachne and Neith), Tyr’s secondary skin and three new voice packs including Tyr’s. The other major change, and we do mean major, is a complete overhaul of the front-end user interface. You’ll have to login and play to understand just how dramatic a change it is.

Those players that love coordinating team efforts will be happy to see further changes to the pinging system. The all-new system is context sensitive, meaning it’ll change depending on the current focus of the screen, such as an alternate use when in various sub menus  Freya also received major modifications. Check out Tyr’s God Reveal and all the tweaks after the cut.

Perhaps Fenrir is hungry for that other hand?

Continue Reading

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Chang’e

1 August 2013 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive back story of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ upcoming MOBA.

Lore: Having a confusing, extensive or fractured history as an ancient deity isn’t original. Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the Moon takes the cake. Chang’e was originally known as Heng’e and changed to clarify the moon goddess from the Emperor of Wen of Han, Liu Heng. As if that wasn’t enough, Chang’e has three distinct origin stories. However, her overall mythology revolves around a few core elements; Houyi the Archer, an elixir of life and, naturally, the Moon.

The most retold story of Chang’e features a cast of characters, including her expert archer of a husband, Houyi, and the better known Jade Emperor. One unassuming day the Jade Emperor’s ten sons rose into the sky as ten suns, scorching the Earth and bringing ruin to mortal life. Frantic, the Jade Emperor summoned Houyi to come up with a solution before the realm was ruined. Using his innate skills Houyi targeted and shot down nine suns with his marksmanship skills, leaving one to remain. Continue Reading

SMITE Welcomes Chang’e and Her Jade Rabbit

25 July 2013 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Jealous of Torchlight players having a companion to grab and sell loot for you? Wish there was some way you could save the precious time, stay in lane and farm experience in SMITE? Well, now there is! Hi-Rez Studios has introduced Chang’e, the Faerie of the Moon. The latest Chinese pantheon participant comes with a companion, the Jade Rabbit, that will accept a purchase or sell order, head to base, and return with the item or gold.

This ability is doubly important for a character like Chang’e. That’s because she’s a heavy support character. The newest addition to the MOBA is capable of not only AoE stuns and magical damage, but AoE protection buffs, debuffs, mana regeneration and even heals. She’s not only nice to look at, but incredibly beneficial to have around you if she’s control by the correct player.

Reminds me a lot of Sona, a character that I played a ton of, from League of Legends.

The latest patch also features a handful of very minor tweaks and balances, the Golden skin for Vulcan and three new voice packs, including Chang’e’s. Hit the jump for the full run down. Continue Reading

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Chronos

23 July 2013 | 2 Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive back story of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ upcoming MOBA.

Lore: Literally translated as time, Chronos is the god of exactly that. The personification of never ending Time, Chronos protected the early world egg in his serpentine form. In his serpentine form he was represented as a three-headed beast of man, bull and lion. He and Ananke (Inevitability) circled the fledgling world, eventually splitting it in three to form the ordered universe from the Aether. The realms became the earth, sea and sky. The egg also produced Phanes, who gave birth to the first generation of gods and became the creator of the cosmos.

Either confused, merged or identified with the similar Titan, Cronus, Chronos’ distinct history ends. So here’s Cronus!

Born of the realms of being, earth and the sky, Gaia and Uranus, respectively, Cronus championed the so-called Golden Age of Greek mythology. The youngest of the original titans, Cronus overthrew his father by castrating him with his weapon of choice, the sickle. This act created numerous gods from the mighty bodily fluids, including Aphrodite.

Continue Reading

Hi-Rez Defends Tribes: Ascend Decision, Community Tools Incoming

22 July 2013 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

A little over a week ago, COO of Hi-Rez Studios Todd Harris answered a few tough questions from the Tribes: Ascend community. The main crux was if the Georgia-based developer planned any future content updates, major bug fixes or additional maps. The short answer was that Tribes: Ascend would not see development in the short-term, defined by the developer as the next six months. Harris stated that Hi-Rez has shifted its focus to SMITE and Global Agenda 2.

Players were a bit upset. A vocal portion of the community felt that Hi-Rez bit off more than it could chew. Or that the company didn’t understand the community, couldn’t balance or pull in new players or properly monetize the game. Some went another way, requesting that Hi-Rez leave the game in the hands of its active community. Basically, they were pretty vocal.

Todd Harris returned to the Internet by way of Rock, Paper, Shotgun to set the record straight. First and foremost, the sought after user creation tools are forthcoming. Harris told RPG that “we’re going to be working on next is a path for users to basically add their own maps.” He added that “it’s at a good point to have users maintain it.” Continue Reading

Amazon Unleashes Summer Sale with F2P Store

18 July 2013 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Amazon, the long-time wallet killer of the Internet age, has become all the more deadly in recent years. The introduction of the dedicated Amazon Games section furthered the flurry of moths coming from my pocket. The advent of the Summer Sale by Steam, quickly copied by Amazon Games, was bad enough. Now the sales have entered this realm, the realm of MMOGs.

Amazon kicked off its summer sale this week. With it came the advent of the F2P store, allowing players to link game accounts with their Amazon account for special perks. The feature is a bit more cumbersome than our Item/Beta Key giveaway system, but no less effective. A few hoops of linking accounts between publisher and Amazon could score your upcoming character with exclusive items, in-game currency or unique titles.

Aside from being a glorified affiliate network, Amazon Games sells F2P packages too. Current deals include a free Age of Wulin (aka Age of Wushu) Stallion pack and the Tribes: Ascend Game of the Year pack for only $9.99.

The deals aren’t as fast and furious as Valve’s, but it’s a start.

Hi-Rez Studios’ Current Development Focused on SMITE, Global Agenda 2

12 July 2013 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

That headline means that the hardcore niche shooter fans are going to be quite upset. In responding to a user inquiry on the status of Tribes: Ascend updates, Hi-Rez’s Todd Harris delivered some very bad news. “There are no major dev updates planned for Tribes: Ascend in the next six months.” he said.

He elaborated that the focus of the F2P company is its upcoming products, SMITE and Global Agenda 2. The god-based MOBA SMITE is slowly approaching its release date with an ever growing community behind it. That is currently the focus of development.

We spoke with Todd on the state of Global Agenda 2 at PAX East and were glad to hear of its continued development and lessons learned from the original, which has also ceased development. GA2 would become the focus after SMITE, and T:A2 after that more so than continued T:A work.

The news doesn’t mean T:A is dead. Only that nothing is planned in the short-term. Kate continues to work on the title as time allows, mainly map making. Should time allow, these maps, along with general bug fixes, may see a final polish and release. Support also remains for servers, community events, offline events and live-streaming.

Seems the niche was a little too niche to bring in the appropriate ongoing dollars. Or that the business model, which was modified, didn’t fit the company’s return on investment requirements. Or community expectations.

Regardless of the reasoning, Redditers are not happy.