Another week, another patch, and there is always something good, something bad, and something we wish we could have seen and are hoping to see in the future, but what about the pro players? How do they feel about the patch? After each new patch, we’ll bring you the pro players perspective (one from each of the major scenes right now) on the changes to the game. So without any further ado, let’s get started.
Patch Overview This latest patch saw a new god, and a few nerfs that weren’t really expected. The warriors got a hit and so did Vulcan. Ao Kuang doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as over powered, and Nox has been given some significant buffs, so we’ll see if she can make it in the rough and tumble world of competitive play in January. What do the pros think of these changes, and what are they looking for going forward? We got to talk a little with Psiyo of Mortality eSports and BaRRaCCuDDa of Cognitive Gaming to get their take. Both players ranked the patch rather high, BaRRaCCuDDa giving it an 8 and Psiyo a 7 (with 1 being horridly, gamebreakingly, please-revert-back-now bad, and 10 being amazingly awesome, please don’t change anything else ever again) so it is clear the patch has the favor of these two players.
The new God-First Impressions Awilix, Mayan goddess of the moon and of the night, is essentially a Mayan version of Nox, just without all the children everywhere. Depending on the stories you read, she has associations with death and sickness too, but HiRez has stayed away from that and let her background rely on her more pleasant facets. In a few smaller circles she actually ties into Xbalanque’s story of the Hero Twins as well, but, again, that’s depending on who you talk to. Now, on to what the players had to say.
BaRRaCCuDDa is looking forward to seeing Awilix in conquest, and says, “A lot of her kit is sneaking into fights and catching people in the jungle, and in all the other game modes you can’t do that, but in conquest she seems really strong. She has burst and a lot of mobility.” Clearly, this sneaking around and ability to move through the jungle quickly will make her a strong god in conquest, but this also makes me wonder if she’s not also a good candidate for siege as the map is almost entirely jungle. However, conquest is where the majority of focus lies as we all know.
Psiyo had a similar perspective when it came to Awilix. The man with the famous mustache hasn’t played her much, and at this point had only really encountered her in arena, but still commented, “I have to say that her team fighting is very poor. I can see that her laning phase and her jungle have great potential throughout the whole early til early late game, and the newly added mechanic of interfering with jumps/knock-ups adds another layer of complexity to the game, which I really like.” We will just have to wait and see if such a situational ultimate can come into play in the competitive and ranked scenes.
The Best and the Worst We all have things we like, and things we dislike. The same is true when it comes to the patch, and both players had the same positives. They both liked the buffs to the goddess of the night: Nox. (Although barra made a comment about the skins and how could you not, have you SEEN Archon Thanatos?) Here is what Psiyo had to say about Nox: “She feels stronger in team fights, and still has a very good one-on-one potential due to hitting multiple targets with the ult and not having to stay within close range in order for the ultimate to be effective. As well as her shield gaining a massive buff, this makes her a strong team fight and laning god.”
Of course we can’t get away from the things we don’t like and we made sure to get their perspective. For Psiyo, it’s Sylvanus- he did not like that they did not nerf his early game lane pressure and push which is pretty much unparalleled by any other Guardian. For BaRRaCCuDDa it was a bit more personal. For someone looking to play in the third largest prize pool in the history of Esports (up to this point) he is having a few problems practicing. “Ranked is still not working for me to get into the big boy games. It's super frustrating for me because worlds is in three weeks and my only good practice is scrimms.” We all know the ranked struggle, and hopefully it gets fixed soon; which takes us into…
Hopes for the Future BaRRaCCuDDa asked for one thing and one thing only for Christmas this year: “The only thing I want right now is for Ranked to be fixed so the games at the top elo are good again instead of putting me with 4 players separated between the lower divisions.” Is this how the ranked system will be when it’s all said and done? Who knows, but maybe by the end of the World Championship we can fulfill one boys hope.
Psiyo is looking ahead to next SPL season, and it’s obvious. He’s asked for more complexity in the game. An updated last hit mechanic, or a rune system similar to what League of Legends has. Psiyo said he’s hoping to see “generally anything that could create a significant skill gap between casual and competitive players, as I feel that the current meta of solely using AOE abilities to push the wave, gaining exp and gold regardless of last hits doesn't really need any deep thought or practice.”
That’s it for this weeks Player Patch Perspective. Next time we will grab two other players, and see what they have to say about changes in Smite. Until then I’m Wolfpack89.