Syberia Review

Syberia was released in 2002, both developed and published by Microïds. This is the first game of a Trilogy: Syberia 2 (2004) and Syberia 3 (2017) also developed and published by Microïds. I bought this game about a month ago in the Steam Summer Sale.

Syberia is a point and click adventure game where you play as Kate Walker, an American lawyer who has been sent by her boss to Valadilene in the French Alps to complete the paperwork for a sale of an Automaton factory. However, things don’t go to plan and Kate ends up going on an unexpected adventure to authorise the sale of the factory as well as to satisfy her own curiosity along the way.

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It took me 12 hours in total to complete this game. It’s very relaxed with no quick time events, jump scares or anything of the sort so you can take your time and have a calm experience. You also only need a mouse to play. The puzzles aren’t difficult, maybe slightly too simple in some places and there was only one part of the whole game I had to look up (the drink machine puzzle) because the game told me I’d done the puzzle wrong even though I hadn’t, I’d probably just not pressed the buttons fast enough!

The story is pretty good although it is quite coincidental at times which ruins it a little bit, but I suppose if it wasn’t then it would go on a lot longer. There are plenty of dialogue options with other characters and certain conversations will trigger other conversations and topics with other people, so make sure you exhaust all the speech options when talking to someone new as sometimes the categories don’t actually give the answer you think they will.

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The game has a steady progression with different areas to explore as you play on. There are some cinematics and there are some items you will find to give you more information about the story which is optional to read. I found a diary which took me about 15 minutes to read but it was interesting to learn about the characters.

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You start in a hotel in Valadilene. Above is a screenshot from my game. As you can see the graphics are nothing special, but it’s pretty good for 2002. The settings are done nicely but the characters don’t quite match up… but it can be overlooked.

This is a screenshot of my inventory. Everything you collect is placed in here. There’s a hand and an eye icon at the top which signifies if you want to pick something up or read it. 

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This is your dialogue box. Here it will list all the possible conversation options you can use to interact with people. For now, at the beginning of the game, there is only one but more will become available later.

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Tip: Double click to run! It saves so much time rather than walking everywhere. There are some places it will not allow you to run though.

Overall I had a great experience playing this game. It was interesting, simple and very calming to play. The story was good and it ended well with a rounded off ending to the first game, but with a slight cliff hanger for what’s to come in the second game. The characters were relatable and there’s hints to Kate’s personal life which is nice too, but I just wish it hadn’t been so coincidental and lasted just that little while longer. The majority of the voice acting was done very well, with a few exceptions and the music is great and rather catchy.

I would definitely recommend this game to people who like adventure, story driven games and don’t mind old graphics. If you’re looking for a game that isn’t demanding and something where you can relax while you play then this is a game you should try.

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I’m looking forward to playing Syberia 2 and I’ll post about that when I’m done!

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Smite: 4.14 Patch Notes

Another decent sized patch this week filled with plenty of new content. The first thing to mention is obviously the release of Artio, the Celtic Guardian, who has been leaked a few times over the last few weeks including at Dreamhack. The Summer Split has also come to an end with the Fall Season Ticket coming with this patch. And of course, the Summer of Smite continues… follow the link for my information post.

As always, here are the Official 4.14 Patch Notes!

 

New God

So, best things first…. Artio! She is a Stance changing Celtic Guardian. Fantastic card art!

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When I first heard about this God, I was quite excited about her. I don’t normally play Guardians, but I think she has so much utility and once you get used to playing her, I think she will be a desirable pick. She can change between Druid and Bear form at the press of a button (working like Hel, Ullr and Tyr) so you can swap stance at any time, with her ability effects carrying on after you change form.

Passive: Decompose. Hitting enemy Gods with abilities in either Druid or Bear form reduces the enemy God’s physical and magical protection by 3%, last 4 seconds and can stack up to 8 times. Her passive meter also displays the cooldowns for the opposite stance you are in.

Ability 1:

  • Druid Stance: Energy Surge. Artio damages enemies around her within 55 units. For each enemy hit, she will heal herself and any other allies within the 55 units. This ability will damage minions, but it will not heal unless an enemy God is damaged.
  • Bear Stance: Maul. Artio slashes twice in a cone in front of her, one swipe to the left and then to the right dealing damage on both swipes.

Ability 2:

  • Druid Stance: Entangling Vines. Vines are summoned in an area around Artio. Enemies that are caught in these vines are crippled and output less damage while stood in the area. The vines do no damage.
  • Bear Stance: Ferocious Roar. Artio roars, stunning all enemies around her and increases her own physical and magical protections for 4 seconds. This also does no damage.

Ability 3:

  • Druid Stance: Life Tap. Artio drains the life out of enemies, dealing damage and healing herself up to 5 times (channelled ability with 5 ticks). Each instance of damage applies an increasing slow and enemies that take damage from all 5 pulses will be rooted for 1 second.
  • Bear Stance: Heavy Charge. Artio charges forward with increased movement speed, slowing and damaging any enemies she passes through.

Ability 4: Shapeshift. Artio changes between Druid and Bear form. The stance change can be active without any level points in it, but adding points will entitle you to the passive. The Shapeshift passive works alongside her Decompose passive. Artio gains movement speed and MP5 when hitting enemies with abilities, stacking up to 8 times for 4 seconds. This ability has no mana costs with a cooldown of 1 second.

 

Fall Season Ticket

The Fall Split will begin with patch 4.14. Same as with the other splits, you can purchase the Season Ticket bundle for 400 gems which will unlock the Limited Dr Madlove Cupid skin, voting, quests for Fantasy Points, boosters and double FP gain throughout the Split.

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Critical.DMG Ne Zha will also be available as a FP level reward, not sure if this will be the level 20 reward or if it will be on par with the Mercury skin at level 17. As you can probably tell from the name, it is the same design as the Run.EXE Mercury skin with the colour cycles.

Ranked has had another soft reset along with some changes as part of the Project Olympus update. These changes include:

  • Pick/Ban Phase – Planning. This feature allows you to highlight the god you want to play and a god you want to ban at the beginning of the selection. This phase lasts for 30 seconds and will help other players pick and ban without banning a God someone wants to play. This isn’t as useful for PC as it will be for Console, but I’m sure it will be a really useful feature during drafting.
  • Matchmaking. You will now be able to see your Earned Division rank (only personally, not publically) and not just the public Matchmaking rank. See the official patch notes as they will explain better than myself.
  • Fantasy Point Tipping. A portion of your Fantasy Points can now be tipped to another player, so now you can let people know when you appreciate something they did in game.

A Fall recall skin will also be available to unlock by completing Ranked quests.

 

Skins

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The Awilix Midnight Dove Community skin is here! Actually really pleased with how this came out, not a huge fan of the tiny wings though. If you’ve seen my posts before, you may have seen posts throughout the process of the community vote regarding this skin.

I would just like to say good job community for voting for this skin, well done Hi-Rez for releasing this skin on time, and congrats to Oreo for designing such a great concept! To see Oreo’s concept art see my Angelic Awilix post. Oh, and Suku talks…

This Midnight Dove skin will be available for 600 gems direct purchase. I knew it would be 600 gems and I do agree that it is priced correctly, but it’s just annoying how there are only 2 purchasable skins for Awilix and they are both 600 gems… The Fallen Lord Chronos skin last year was released with an offer where you could buy it at a discounted price for the first week or so. I’m not sure they will do the same for this one, but you never know.

The new skins added to the Summer of Smite this week are SPF666 The Morrigan and Freaky Tiki Ah Puch. The skins for this event are really strong compared to last years designs in my opinion.

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I really like The Morrigan’s skin. The card art doesn’t really do anything for it, but the pentagram swimsuit design suits her character well. Although she has her original voice, new voice lines have been added which I like. I’m definitely picking up this skin and will hopefully be playing her a lot more, despite her nerf this patch (see God changes).

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Freaky Tiki is also here. I do like the design, but I’m not crazy about it. His minions have been changed into roasted pigs that explode into flames when blown up which I think ruins the skin for me. Overall nice concept and love the mask design.

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Terra and Cu Chulainn have also got Tier 2 skins (250 gems) now. I love the Terra one, especially the card art. The dark colours and the green look great together. Terra is also my highest ranked Guardian so I’ll probably pick up this skin at some point. Cupid’s mastery skins have also been updated.

Awilix and Ah Puch now have a dance emote.

 

Item Changes

Bracer of Undoing (standard and upgraded) – Reduced the amount of health and mana restored from 50% to 40%.

Atalanta’s Bow – Increased movement speed duration from 2 seconds to 3 seconds.

Demonic Grip – Reduced magical power from 60 to 40, increased attack speed from 15% to 30%, reduced cost from 2300 to 2150.

Hastened Ring – Increased haste duration from 4 seconds to 6 seconds, decreased time it takes for haste to happen again from 30 seconds to 25 seconds.

 

God Changes

Anhur – Increased Disperse damage from 50-210 to 70-230. Desert Fury’s cooldown reduced from 90 seconds to 75 seconds.

Cernunnos – Shifter of Season’s Summer Heat has had a physical power scaling reduction from 10% to 5%. Horn Charge has had a damage reduction in the early game from 90 – 230 to 70 – 230. His ultimate, Wild Hunt, has an increased cooldown from 90 seconds to 100 seconds.

Freya – Increased her base attack speed from 0.95 to 1. Increased base damage from 20 – 60 to 30 – 70.

Osiris – Removed the damage reduction on his Judgement Tether when an enemy was tethered.

Raijin – Cooldown increase on Charged Tempo from 1 second to 2 seconds, Percussive Storm now pierces through Gods and Taiko Drum’s self slow has been reduced from 40% to 20% making it easier to chase during his ultimate.

The Morrigan – Decreased Confusion’s Stealth Duration from 4 – 8 to 4 – 6 and changed mana cost from 70 at all ranks to 60 – 80.

 

Other:

From 28th to 30th July, earn double XP to boost your player levels. Anyone close to level 160?

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It’s also the last time to get your hands on the Vampiric Scylla skin which is part of the Summer Split’s Season Ticket bundle. This will no longer be available after the 4.14 patch release.

Come back in 2 weeks time for all the details on patch 4.15!

GW2: Expansion Announcement!

The release of Living World Season 3 Episode 6 earlier tonight brings an end to the Chapter.

WARNING: SPOILERS

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I recommend not reading any further until you have completed all the LWS3 story.

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Well okay then, if you’re sure! Read on!

If like me, you have completed the story already, you will have already seen a teaser of what’s next to come for Guild Wars 2…

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EXPANSION ALERT!

With the closing line of LWS3 from your playable character:

Ok. Looks like I’m going to the Crystal Desert.

YAY! I’ve always wanted to go to the Crystal Desert after reading the book “Edge of Destiny” and hearing about the story of Destiny’s Edge and Kralkatorrik.

I can’t express how excited I am for the expansion and seeing what more ArenaNet can bring to the world of Tyria following the Heart of Thorns expansion. Mounts, maybe?

To see my Path of Fire Announcement or my Path of Fire Demo Weekend posts, follow the links!

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GW2: A Henge Away From Home

With the arrival of Episode 6: One Path Ends – the finale to Living World Season 3 – coming to our screens on Tuesday 25th July, I thought I should finish off the train of Druid Stone achievement guides I’ve been doing as part of Episode 5: Flashpoint. I know I’ve been slow doing these but it’s only right for me to finish what I’ve started!

So, here’s the collection, A Henge Away From Home, in the achievements panel:

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There are 32 parts to this achievement, split into 4 sections. It is considerably larger than the previous achievements, but a lot of it is related so it’s not too daunting.

1. Blooming Druid Stone. This is the backpack you received on completing Sprouting the Druid Stone.

2. Heavy Houndskin Mantle. This is rewarded for completing 20 of the Flashpoint achievements. The Flashpoint achievement list can be found under the Story Journal header. There are 32 achievements that count towards this reward and you only need 20, I managed to do this early on after playing for a few days so it shouldn’t be too hard if you haven’t done it yet. As far as I know you can choose any of the mantles as all three skins unlock when you do anyway.

3. Element of Aestus. Awarded after defeating the Legendary Destroyer Aestus who is found on the Frothing Pedestal POI in Draconis Mons (East) as part of the Group Event “Defeat the Destroyer Lieutenants”.

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4. Aestus Runestone. Combine the Element of Aestus with a completed Druid Runestone (made of 5 fragments which are bought from the heart vendors and the unbound magic vendor).

5. Element of Ignis. Awarded after defeating the Legendary Destroyer Ignis found on the Seething Pillar POI in Draconis Mons (West) as part of the Group Event “Defeat the Destroyer Lieutenant”.

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6. Ignis Runestone. Combine the Element of Ignis with a completed Druid Runestone.

7. Element of the Desecrator. Awarded by defeating a Champion Molten Desecrator in Draconis Mons as part of the Group Event “Neutralize the destroyer champions and all destroyer burrows”. There are a few of these spawning at different locations in Draconis Mons, but I defeated the one just East of the volcano.

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8. Desecrator Runestone. Combine the Element of the Desecrator with a completed Druid Runestone.

9. Destroyer’s Rest. Bring the Aestus Runestone, Ignis Runestone and the Desecrator Runestone to Kodama. You need to have completed all these Runestones before you can give them to Kodama, she will not accept them individually. See below for Kodama’s location.

10. Element of Fire. Dropped by Fire Elementals from anywhere in Tyria. I went to the Wildflame Caverns in Metrica Province as there’s a low level cave full of embers. I only had to kill about 4 to get the drop.

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11. Volcanic Runestone. Combine the Element of Fire with a complete Druid Runstone.

12. Element of Water. Dropped by Ice Elementals in Tyria. I went to The Grekvelnn Burrows in Wayfarer Foothills as there’s another low level cave with plenty of Ice Elementals. It took me about 10 minutes to get this drop as there was an event on so people were killing the elementals before I could get to them.

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13. Glacial Runestone. Combine the Element of Water with a complete Druid Runstone.

14. Element of Air. Dropped by Air Elementals in Tyria. This one for me was quite tricky. I originally went to The Opticaluim POI near The Hinterlabs in Metrica Province as there are lots of low level sparks that I could kill in 1 hit. However, after about 15 minutes I still had no drops so resorted to looking on Wiki. That led me to the Cathedral of Eternal Radiance in Malchor’s Leap. I got the drop after killing about 8 elementals. There are also Ice Elementals here too, but obviously as they are higher levels they take longer to kill.

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15. Charged Runestone. Combine the Element of Air with a complete Druid Runstone.

16. Element of Earth. Dropped by Earth Elementals in Tyria. I went to Mon Maelstrom in Mount Maelstrom and killed about 8 before I got the drop. These aren’t difficult achievements, you just need to know where to find the right elementals.

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17. Earthen Runestone. Combine the Element of Earth with a complete Druid Runstone.

18. Elemental Rest. Bring the Volcanic Runestone, Glacial Runestone, Charged Runestone and the Earthen Runestone to Kodama. You will need to have completed all of these before giving them to Kodama as she will not accept them individually.

19. Druid’s Vision. Bring a Vision Crystal to Kodama. Vision Crystals are crafted by an Armorsmith, Leatherworker, Tailor, Weaponsmith, Artificer or Huntsman at level 500. You need 5 Bloodstone Bricks, 5 Dragonite Ingots, 5 Empyreal Stars and an Augur’s Stone (bought from Miyani for 20 Spirit Shards). This is probably the most difficult part if you haven’t been playing the game long and/or don’t craft as Vision Crystals are account bound and cannot be bought. However, they can be found in the Chest of Ascended Crafting Materials which is one of the selections from the Chest of Loyalty, the last in the chain of Daily Log in rewards.

20. A Storm Bouquet for Kodama. Bring 10 Fire Orchids and 5 Charged Lodestones to Kodama. Both the Fire Orchids and Lodestones will need to be in your inventory to be able to give them to Kodama. See below for locations.

21. A Frozen Bouquet for Liriodendron. Bring 10 Fire Orchids and 5 Glacial Lodestones to Kodama. Both the Fire Orchids and Lodestones will need to be in your inventory to be able to give them to Kodama. See below for locations.

22. An Earthen Bouquet for Broadleaf. Bring 10 Fire Orchids and 5 Onyx Lodestones to Kodama. Both the Fire Orchids and Lodestones will need to be in your inventory to be able to give them to Kodama. See below for locations.

23. An Infernal Bouquet for Rosewood. Bring 10 Fire Orchids and 5 Molten Lodestones to Kodama. Both the Fire Orchids and Lodestones will need to be in your inventory to be able to give them to Kodama. See below for locations.

All these Lodestones can be purchased from the Black Lion Trading post, currently ranging in price from 50 silver to 1 gold & 60 silver per Lodestone.

24. Dierdre’s Orchard. Plant 3 Fire Orchid Seeds in the Fertile Soil patch in Diedre’s Steps. Dierdre’s Steps is located in Mount Maelstrom and can only be accessed by portals which spawn over the map. There is also a jump puzzle here.

In order to open the portals, a boss needs to be killed at specific locations: The Keeper of Light, Earth, Winds and Waves. You only need to kill ones of these Keepers for a portal to spawn. The portal opens at the boss location upon their defeat.

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Once you are inside the garden, head to the West on the ground level and you will find the Fertile Soil Patch. Interact with it to plant the seeds (again they need to be in your inventory to be able to plant them).

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25. Maguuma’s Orchard. Plant 3 Fire Orchid Seeds in the Fertile Soil patch in the Oasis in Dry Top. Easy one to find as long as you have the Vine Bridge Waypoint unlocked. If you haven’t uncovered the Dry Top area you’ll have to go the long way round.

The Fertile Soil patch is located in the top left corner of the Dry Top map, just North of Vine Bridge Waypoint and next to the patch where the harvesting plants are.

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26. Melandru’s Orchard. Plant 3 Fire Orchid Seeds in the Fertile Soil patch at the Cathedral of Verdance in Cursed Shore. From Verdance Waypoint, go up the ramps towards the karma vendor, and the Fertile Soil nearby. The Fire Orchid trees will not be here until a while after you have planted the seed, my originally screenshot vanished so had to renew it.

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27. Seaside Propagation. Plant 1 Fire Orchid Seed in the Fertile Soil patch located on one of the Islands in the Eastern Boiling Sea. The Island is West of Frothing Pedestal and can be glided to easily. The Fertile Soil is found on the North side, on the lowest section of the Island.

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28. Wind Rider Ledge Propagation. Plant 1 Fire Orchid Seed in the Fertile Soil patch in Wind Rider Ledges, Draconis Mons. You need to use the Oakheart Essence for this one although there probably will be another way of getting to it (Gliding from the Fertile Soil patch at the Ancient Hollow Propagation will get you there). Use the Essence to grab onto where my arrows lead and it should shoot you upwards on top on the rock and to the Fertile Soil Patch. This might take a few tries as you might have to use your 3rd Essence in the air to pull you further up the rock.

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29. Rata Arcanum Propagation. Plant 1 Fire Orchid Seed in the Fertile Soil patch located in a cave beyond the Rata Arcanum Inquest base. You will need Oakheart’s Essence to get there. From the area where Champion Power Suit Mark III spawns, use the Oakheart’s Essence to climb over the Asura Gate, leading to a cave. Head south in the cave and you will find the Fertile Soil patch in an enclosed cave area on the ground level.

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30. Seaside Ledges Propagation. Plant 1 Fire Orchid Seed in the Fertile Soil Patch near the cave entrance leading to Kodama. From Kodama’s Cave, walk up the thinner section to where my arrow is pointing. There is a small opening in the rock, walk through and the Fertile Soil Patch is there.

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31. Nu II Propagation. Plant 1 Fire Orchid Seed in the Fertile Soil patch located at the end of the Nu II Vault. It’s fairly easy to navigate the vault, the Fertile Soil is found at the end in a more enclosed cave area.

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32. Ancient Hollow Propagation. Plant 1 Fire Orchid Seed in the Fertile Soil patch in Scolding Gorge, an upper level cave accessed by updrafts and mushrooms from Ancient Hollow waypoint. The Fertile Soil patch is located at the very west of the cave on the upper level.

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Pictures/Diagrams for the Druid’s Locations:

Kodama: Kodama can be found below the Heathen’s Hold Waypoint. Just run directly West of the waypoint, drop down a level to a ledge with a cave opening. If you drop down you should be directly above this platform. She is at the far end of the cave marked with the “Druid’s Grotto” POI.

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Liriodendron: Start at Heathen’s Hold Waypoint, again go directly West and drop off the end but this time open your glider as soon as you can and glide directly East. You can land on this level at any time, but keep going East and turn at the last moment to find the Peace Grounds and Liriodendron.

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Broadleaf: This is probably the most awkward one to get to as Broadleaf is all the way over the other side of the map. Start at Heathen’s Hold Waypoint and use the Thermal Tube directly North of the Waypoint, this will put you by the Volcano entrance. Turn around and glide into the updraft and then glide South-West without dropping otherwise you won’t make it… just keep gliding and leaning when you can. See the photos for more detail.

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It was difficult to see the dots on this one so I added some arrows to show where you need to go.

Rosewood: Travel to Ancient Hollow Waypoint, slightly to the North you will find a Bouncy Mushroom sending you up a large branch to another Bouncy Mushroom. This will take you to a mossy platform with a large rock next to it. Rosewood is at the end of the rock.

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Use these mushrooms to get to the platform I’m stood on. Rosewood is just off screen to my right in the 2nd picture.

Smite: Summer of Smite 2017 & Project Olympus

This year’s Summer of Smite has already begun with the first editions added a few days ago as part of the 4.13 patch.

*Edit: Summer of Smite will end with the release of Patch 4.17 (12th September for PC, 19th September for console). All skins past these dates will not be available for direct purchase, Sand Dollars cannot be spent and the Limited Bearly Buzzed Bacchus skin will be gone forever! 

This event features 9 skins, 7 bonus rewards and some quests which can be completed for free. Buying a skin will grant you 1 Sand Dollar which you can use to unlock one of the bonus items of you choice. Firstly though, you will need to complete the 2 quests assigned to that item in order to unlock it for purchase.

The skins are:

  • Kaijunbo Kuzenbo (4.13)9o78riukjytdgfnb456ydtrcgfh640x250
  • Foxy Lady Daji (4.13)89ltukimyjhgn56edurtcjgfh640x250
  • SPF 666 The Morrigan (4.14)SM-PC-16dba307fabbd2b5f5d9ef19bd0f8f7d
  • Freaky Tiki Ah Puch (4.14)AP-PC-b53de347baaebd245ea7aaa718f2698f
  • Fabulous Chiron (4.15)DG0RCW1VYAAlxAx
  • Sun Kissed Amaterasu (4.15)DG0MonuUQAA_Oli
  • Bae Watch Cu Chulainn (4.16)DH8N-U4UIAAPng8
  • Fire Dancer Xbalanque (4.16)DH8NlmBUIAA9UXQ
  • Bearly Buzzed Bacchus (4.16)DH8Qpd_UMAEzioJ

The Bacchus skin will be a Limited skin (never available again) where all the others will be exclusive. In order to claim this Bacchus Limited skin, you will need to purchase all 8 of the other Summer of Smite skins, then the skin will be unlocked at no extra cost (or maybe with the remaining 8th Sand Dollar). These skins should all cost 400 gems, but there might be a few 600 gem ones too (since there was last year).

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The bonus rewards are:

  • Nene Kaiju Avatar
  • Poolside Fun Loading Frame
  • Surfer Bro Announcer Pack
  • Happy Sun Jump Stamp
  • Cheery Rainbow Global Emote
  • Tropical Aquarium Pedestal
  • Summer of Smite Loading Background

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Each of these bonus rewards come with 2 quests each, making 14 quests in total. These quests can be completed by everyone for free while the Summer of Smite is active and rewards (Favour, Fantasy Points and Enigma Chests) will be granted to anyone who completes the quests, whether you have purchased skins or not. Only one quest can be activated at once, and the first quest for each item has to be completed before the second becomes available to select. Quests have to be selected before playing games otherwise any progress will not be counted.

Once you have completed both quests for a particular item, it will now be available to buy with a Sand Token. The only way to get Sand Tokens is to buy the skins listed above.

As you can see from my screenshot, there is a requirement box in the bottom right corner. The green text shows the requirements I have completed which is bound to my account. I now only need 1 Sand Dollar (from buying a skin) to unlock the jump stamp as the quests have already been completed. I bought the Da Ji skin as she is one of my favourite Gods right now and chose the Pedestal as my bonus item.

 

Project Olympus:

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Project Olympus was also introduced in patch 4.13. The main features of this were the DirectX 11 update, the addition of the 64 bit processing and the new Texture Pack DLC.

*Edit: The Smite Texture Pack can now be downloaded through Steam! Go to the Smite Texture Pack store page to download it for free! If you’re using Smite through Steam you won’t be able to download the Texture Pack through the Manage DLC tab on the Smite launcher, you can only download it from the Store Page.

Unfortunately this isn’t going so well at the moment. I played using the DirectX 11 feature which did make a small difference to how the game looks, but throughout my games the FPS was dropping rapidly. It’s rare that my FPS drops below 150 normally, but last night I was playing with 30 FPS which made the game so difficult to play. I didn’t actually realise that it was the DirectX 11 that was causing the FPS drop until I noticed a lot of other people were having the same problem and it was recommended that this feature was turned off until it’s been fixed. There was a hotfix to sort out this issue today, but unfortunately my game is still dropping and staying at 90 FPS. I think I’ll be turning this feature off for the time being. If you did want to try DirectX 11 out, check the “Use D3D11 (BETA)” box in the Video Settings tab shown below.

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Running the game in 64 bit doesn’t seem to make much of a noticeable difference to me, but maybe because I had DirectX 11 on causing issues. To enable this feature, you need to login to the launcher but don’t click the play button. Click on the cog icon on the bottom left of the screen and type -64bit into the first bar and click Apply.

I’m also really annoyed that I can’t use the Texture Pack yet. I run Smite through Steam – this is an issue because Valve haven’t approved the DLC Texture Pack yet, and normally Valve take their time with these things and it’s not uncommon that things get refused anyway. Hi-Rez should’ve sorted this out before the release as it’s unfair that people who run Smite outside of Steam get to use this DLC, but Steam users can’t. It’s 3 days after release now and there is no news as to when this Texture Pack will be available. I’ll update this post as soon as I hear anything.

To activate the DLC (for those of you that aren’t on Steam), log in to the launcher and before you hit play click on the cog in the top left of the screen and select the Manage DLC option. Check the box that says Smite Texture DLC and click Apply. This should then start the download for the DLC.

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The new Triumphant Chest system is also up and running. I love this already! For every game you win, you win a chest. Each week (starting on a Tuesday) you unlock 4 chest slots meaning you can win up to 4 chests. You can also unlock more chest slots by buying them with either 75 gems or 2750 favour. When you have opened 20 of these chests, you will get a Godlike chest which has the chance of dropping the new Head Over Heels Cupid skin.

I’ll probably buy a chest slot every week with 2750 favour, then I’ll get a Godlike chest every 4 weeks. I got the Chocolate Rabbit Avatar, Obsidian Shard Ymir and a few recolour skins for my 5 chests so it’s great to be able to get rewards so fast. I wonder if Hi-Rez will sack this idea in a few months like they did with the weekly gem rewards…

Lastly, multi-queue has also been added. You can check the boxes of as many game modes as you like (apparently not MOTD) and search for all of them at the same time to find a game quicker. I haven’t tried this myself yet as I just prefer to pick the game type I want to play.

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The green boxes show which games I have selected to queue for. It’s a nice feature and I’m sure it’ll help with finding games faster.

Let me know your thoughts so far and if you have had any problems or updates on Project Olympus yourselves.

GW2: Living World Season 3, Episode 6 FINALE: One Path Ends

Last week the final episode for Living World Season 3 was announced for release on Tuesday 25th July. Earlier, an official trailer for the final episode was posted, click here to see the “One Path Ends” Trailer.

During the release of “Flashpoint” (episode 5), it sounded like there would be 2 more episodes to the Living World Season, but “One Path Ends” (episode 6) has been confirmed to be the finale.

I’ll be sad to see the Season end, but I hope the story ends with something to remember as personally I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by the story so far. I’m looking forward to seeing the new area brought to Tyria with this episode as I was really impressed with Draconis Mons. And who knows, maybe ArenaNet are working on another expansion…

*Edit (19/7/17) 5pm GMT: On that note, this Guild Wars 2 Teaser Clip was released 5 minutes ago with the caption “Where one path ends, new growth begins”. Could this be a teaser as to what’s to come after the events of LWS3?

Again, I don’t really want to mention anything about the story in case some people haven’t played the other episodes yet, but let me know any theories you might have about how it’s all going to end! I’ll let you know my thoughts next week after I’ve completed the final part of the LWS3 story.

So, are you ready to save Tyria?

Smite: 4.13 Patch Notes – Mid-Season Patch

This Patch is a big one! For those of you that didn’t see that Patch Notes show last night, it went on for an hour and a half, an hour of which was just Hinduman and Ajax reading out all the changes to relics, balance and gods. My head hurt. Because it was live from Dreamhack, Valencia (which started today on twitch.tv/hireztv) they didn’t have their usual set up so it seemed to go on forever.

Anyway, here are the 4.13 Official Patch Notes as usual.

There’s so much that I don’t even know where to start! The Summer of Smite is returning this patch and a new reward system has been added, but I will talk more about those later.

Project Olympus:

Project Olympus is a new project designed to make the gaming performance better for players. Listed below are all the features that are being added with this patch but there will be more added in upcoming patches running up to Season 5!

Engine and Systems (all added with patch 4.13):

  • Support for DirectX 11 video cards
  • 64-bit client support
  • High-definition texture DLC for PC — improves the performance and visual quality of gods and maps.
  • Screen Percentage Graphics Support — allows players a finer control over video performance.
  • Multi-Queuing for Casual Modes
  • Brand-new Wisdom Video area with 30+ tutorial videos for both new and experienced players.
  • Prestige Levels – Allowing players to go from level 30 all the way to level 160!
  • Triumphant Chests — This is a new system that allows players to collect chests in a systematic way for each win! Players will have the ability to speed up their acquisition of chests with favor or gems.
  • Siege Map optimizations and improvements! Game rules have been revisited and map environment optimized.
  • Console Notifications Log — This is a long-awaited feature that allows console players to see events that have occurred during their play session.

I took this from the Official Smite Project Olympus page, so check that out if you want to see what will hopefully be added in patches 4.14 and 4.15!

Just to highlight a few things from Project Olympus:

Prestige Levelling – comes with new achievements.

  • Follower Prestige – Reach Level 31.
  • Acolyte Prestige – Reach Level 51.
  • Elder Prestige – Reach Level 71.
  • Ethereal Prestige – Reach Level 91.
  • Divine Prestige – Reach Level 111.
  • Immortal Prestige – Reach Level 131.
  • Godlike Prestige – Reach Level 151.
  • Ultimate Prestige – Reach Level 160.

According to Ajax there are fewer than 100 people who are the maximum level of 160 (works out about 5.5 million XP), so I’m interested to see what level I come out at.

Triumphant Chests:

You can now earn chests weekly by winning games. Not 100% sure how this will work yet but it sounds like you have 4 slots to win chests per week which will be reset on Tuesdays. You will be able to buy extra slots to unlock more chests with 2750 favour or 75 gems each week. There will be different types of chest, including the new Godlike chest which will include the new Head Over Heels Cupid skin (his head is even bigger than usual).

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Map Changes:

There have been so many changes to conquest. I suggest you check the official patch notes for those as there are too many number changes for me to list here. The main change has been experience decreases during the game and the Phoenix base health and respawn health being super buffed (respawn health from 5% to 25%)!

Siege has been looked at as well this patch. New trees have been added to reduce frame rate issue, the attack speed buff is now a movement speed buff, pre-game has been reduced to 60 seconds and now when killing a Siege Juggernaut (in lane) the team who defeats it will receive 75 XP and 100 gold.

Clash XP spooling was 6XP now down to 4XP, and Joust will have reduced gold spooling from 8 gold to 6 gold.

 

Relics:

  • Aegis (Upgrade) – No longer cleanses roots and slows.
  • Blink (Upgrade) – Gives 10% damage reduction for 2 seconds after blinking.
  • Bracer – Increased health and mana lost from 50% to 60% in last 5 seconds, and no longer takes off 3 seconds from abilities currently on cooldown. (Can’t believe they actually buffed this!)
  • Bracer (Upgrade) – Added the 3 second subtraction back to all abilities on cooldown but increased cooldown from 100 seconds to 120 seconds.
  • Cursed Anhk (Upgrade) – Now increases mana costs for enemies by 20% and increases enemy cooldowns for of abilities used during cast time by 2 seconds.
  • Heavenly Wings – Now gives slow immunity on both standard and upgraded versions.
  • Horrific Emblem (Upgrade) – Now all enemies in the radius deal 20% less damage to allies.
  • Magic Shell – Now gives a health shield for 3 seconds on activation (like Geb’s shield) for 100 health and 15 health per level. The upgraded version also blocks 2 basic attacks.
  • Meditation (Upgarde) – Now gives a buff reducing allies mana costs by 30% and reducing cooldowns to abilities cast by 1 second. HP5/MP5 buff removed.
  • Phantom Veil – Removed 40% crowd control reduction and knockup immunity.
  • Phantom Veil (Upgrade) – Added 40% CC reduction and knockup immunity and reduced damage taken by 15%.
  • Thorns (Upgrade) – Enemies can only lifesteal up to 50% on people using thorns.
  • Sunder – Removed True damage and added damage dealing 15% of target’s current health. Removed increased damage buff (this is basically now useless). Upgrade gives 20% increased damage taken to the target.
  • Teleport – Can no longer teleport to wards until upgraded.

 

New Items:

HASTENED FATALIS HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GAME!

Although this item has been removed, the haste effect has been separated and added to three different, but similar, items:

  • Hastened Katana – For Melee Physical Gods only. 25 Physical Power, 20% Attack Speed and 10% Movement Speed.
  • Hastened Ring – For Magical Gods only. 50 Magical Power, 20% Attack Speed and 7% Movement Speed.
  • Atalanta’s Bow (Build from Hunter’s Bow) – Not sure if this is just for hunters or if it is for any physical God. 30 Physical Power and 20% Attack Speed.

Witchblade has also had it’s antiheal passive removed and another antiheal item has therefore been created. Toxic blade is a new antiheal item designed for antiheal on basic attacks, great for hunters and some assassins. Each basic attack adds 20% reduced healing which can stack 3 times and lasts for 5 seconds.

Shaman’s Ring has been re-designed into an evolving item. The passive now gives you a stack each time you deal 100 damage to an enemy which can stack up to 50 times. Once you reach 50 stacks, you can mark an enemy by hitting them with an ability. Then for 5 seconds, damage dealt by you will increase by 10% on the marked enemy.

 

Item Changes:

Rangda’s Mask is now also an evolving item. Now you gain 1% movement speed and 1% cooldown reduction per stack (gaining a stack for an assist or 2 stacks for a kill) and upon reaching 10 stacks, the icon will evolve and grant you 15 penetration.

Frostbound Hammer has also been nerfed for ranged Gods. Ranged basic attacks give a 20% slow, but a 30% slow still remains for melee Gods.

Celestial Legion Helm has also been changed. Every 2 seconds you gain a stack of 10 physical protections as long as you have not been hit by physical damage for 5 seconds. When you are hit with physical damage these stacks are removed per instance of damage.

Vampiric Shroud has had its lifesteal removed, and now gives 6 health and 3 mana per target hit. If you hit a minion wave with 1 ability, you will get health and mana per minion, not per ability.

Relic Dagger has had its attack speed removed, health increased from 200 to 250 and it now reduces all relic cooldowns by 30 seconds.

Telkhines Ring has had a huge change. The 20% attack speed has been removed and replaced by 10% movement speed and, the new passive, each time you deal damage with an ability you gain a stack of 20 magical power which can stack up to 3 times and lasts 5 seconds.

 

Raijin Rework:

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  1. Passive – After casting 5 abilities, Raijin’s abilities that are on cooldown will have their cooldown reduced by 1 second.
  2. Percussive Storm – Increased damage from 25 – 85 to 35 – 95, decreased mana cost from 80 – 100 to 50 – 70 and the first 2 shots have been adjusted to travel down the centre of the targeter.
  3. Raiju – Deals 15 – 55 damage every 0.5 seconds over 2.5 seconds. A slow of 15% has also been added to the marked target and when Raiju is triggered, the target is slowed by 30% and the 15% slow spreads to nearby enemies. The cooldown has been reduced from 18 seconds to 15-11 seconds.
  4. Thunder Crash – Raijin is now targetable until he leaves to his new location.
  5. Taiko Drums – Damage on the Taunt and Fear has been reduced from 50% to 30%. The sounds and animations have also been changed to help distinguish which drum is being used. The cast time has also increased from 4.5 seconds to 7 seconds.

 

God Changes:

Ao Kuang – New passive: Each time Ao Kuang executes an enemy God with his ultimate, he gains a permanent stack of 15 magical power and 5% magical lifesteal. This stacks up to three times. His base mana stats have also been adjusted due to his passive change.

Bakasura – Upon eating a large minion at 33% health, Bakasura gains two minions for his ultimate. His ultimate has also been decreased to from 90 seconds to 90-70 seconds level permitting.

Chronos – Wheel of time (old passive) has been featured into Accelerate. The new passive gives Chronos 3 magical power every 2 minutes which can stack up to 25 times (50 mins fully stacked with a total of 75 magical power).

Chiron – Training Exercise now adds marks to enemies hit for Masterful Shot.

Kuzenbo – Nene Kappa now slows upon the initial shell hit. Sumo Slam now has a sharper turn radius and the cooldown has been decreased from 16 seconds to 16-12 seconds. Watery Grave (ultimate) now knocks enemies up more and doesn’t push them away as far.

Ne Zha – Increased the time by 0.25 seconds for an opponent to use beads before being taken into the air in Wind Fire Wheels. Also, players who have been ulted by Ne Zha will have their beads silenced while in the air so they cannot be wasted, as at this point using beads will do nothing to save them.

Nemesis – Slice and Dice damage increased from 80 – 280 to 100 – 340 and slow decrease from 30 – 50% to 30% at all ranks.  Protection shred on Divine Judgement has been decreased to 30%.

Nu Wa – Clay Soldiers can now be selected to target a certain enemy within 40 units. They do not need to have a target selected to be cast, but selecting a target will cause the minions to run through everything to get to the target and chase the target until the enemy or the clay soldiers die. The clay soldiers can also dash through other targets and add the debuff (magical protection shred), but they will only damage the target

Susano – Susano has a new passive. Each time he damages an enemy with an ability he gains a stack up to 4. At 4 stacks, his next ability will do 25 + 60% of his physical power.

 

Skins:

Lets break all this text up with some card art! Not many skins this patch, but Cernunnos has a new T2 (250 gem) skin, Cu Chulainn has Mastery skins and Freya has a new sci-fi themed skin (not sure how you get this one, but it looks like a 400 gem skin to me).

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Daji and Kuzenbo also have new skins as part of the Summer of Smite event. These are exclusive skins and will be directly purchasable in game during the time of the event (most likely 400 gems each).

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I actually can’t believe Kuzenbo has ANOTHER skin! He has so many and is pretty new himself, and I don’t see him picked much at all. Maybe his buffs will alter that as well as how different this skins is. I personally like the Foxy Lady Da Ji one even though I didn’t think I would so I’ll probably be buying it at somepoint. I’ll see what other skins the Summer of Smite has to offer first!

 

Summer of Smite:

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The Summer of Smite will have 8 skins. From the pictures I have seen it looks like the skins will be for:

  • Kuzenbo
  • Daji
  • The Morrigan
  • Cu Chulainn
  • Amaterasu
  • Chiron
  • Bacchus
  • Xbalanque

I’m not sure if these skins are all purchasable exclusives (while the event is active) or if one of them will be the Limited reward for purchasing all the other ones. The way Ajax was describing it sounds like you buy a skin, complete 2 quests and then you can pick your extra reward, e.g. pedestal. If that’s the case then there will be 7 bonus rewards that you can earn alongside the skins.

There are seven keepsakes to claim, plus an ultimate reward only available when you collect all eight Skins: one honey of a Limited Skin, only available during Summer of SMITE 2017!

Sounds like the Bacchus Bear skin could to be the limited reward… but if so then what will be the 8th skin you will have to buy to earn this reward? I guess we’ll find out soon.

*Edit: The 8th skin is Freaky Tiki Ah Puch which will be available for purchase. The Limited skin is indeed the Bearly Buzzed Bacchus skin which is only obtainable through purchasing the other 8 skins.

For any other information please visit the Official Summer of Smite page.

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Other:

The Odyssey 2018 T5 skin has been announced. Check out my T5 winner post to find out the result!

Artio is the next God coming to Smite in patch 4.14. She is a Celtic Guardian and will be a stance changing god (like Hel) with a Druid form and a Bear form. I’m looking forward to seeing how she will turn out and maybe I might actually find a Guardian that I like to play!

If you haven’t linked your Smite account to your Twitch account, do it now! Watching Smite tournaments will award you with chests such as the Regular and Big Event chests which can drop fantasy points, gems, the Twitch Ymir and Bellona skin as well as other chest drops and Exclusive skin drops. Today I got an Odyssey 2017 chest (giving me Agni’s VP) and I won a Ra’Merica skin!

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To celebrate Dreamhack, you receive double fantasy points until 16th July so it’s time to earn those next level rewards. I’ve been saving my fantasy point boosters for this so I know what I’ll be doing all weekend! Heads up – the Fall Season Ticket is due to release in patch 4.14.

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Gem Packs are 33% off on all platforms until July 19th! If you’re thinking of buying anything from the Summer of Smite, now is a good time to get prepared.

Lastly, the Venus Aphrodite skin is now available as part of a Hand of the Gods bundle. The bundle is on sale for $14.99 (25%) off at the moment (about £11.50) but will later be available for purchase at $19.99 if you want to purchase it at a later date.

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Congrats to anyone who read this far, you deserve a medal!