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Hi-Rez Studios seems to have really found their way with Smite; the game is a huge success and they've been regularly updating their MOBA title with new content. For Season 3, they have made some significant changes to trinkets, a new Japanese god and how quests and matchmaking work.
PC Gamer did a very detailed rundown of all the big and small changes being made to the game that will start going into effect on January 11, next Monday. Some of the more significant additions to Smite include the new trinket system that players will be able to use at the start and middle of the game, drastically changing how the power of a god scales throughout a match.
The trinket system will arrive with the new Japanese god, Amaterasu, who is detailed over on the Smite 2.21 patch notes page, revealing that she has the ability to illuminate enemies she hits with a basic attack. The Illuminating Strike is a passive skill that exposes an enemy's weakness for five seconds and causes them to take 10% more damage. Any enemy who comes near another enemy affected by Amaterasu's Illuminating Strike will also be weakened and affected.
She has a Divine Presence active skill to heal herself, along with a defensive buff known as Heavenly Reflection, where she takes decreased damage. If it seems as if her abilities seem to be designed to solo that's because she has been designed for soloing a lane.
In addition to adding Amaterasu to the game, Hi-Rez Studios has also added new skins for various gods in Smite, including skins for Amaterasu, Poseidon, Sol, Isis, Neith and more. A new clap and wave emote was included along with voice packs for Sobek, Neith and Poseidon.
Apparently, Amaterasu will be one of many new “Shinto deities” that will make their way into the game, representing more of Asian mythology than what's currently present in Smite.
The developers have also decided to upgrade the quests and matchmaking in the game to include more variety for those looking to earn gems. They will have very specific tasks made available for gamers to experiment with playing some of the other gods on the roster outside of those they're normally comfortable with playing. These tasks may include playing a specific god on a specific map and completing a specific condition. These tasks will replace the daily rewards and give gamers more of a variety of things to do in Smite to keep the game feeling fresh.
PC Gamer described the new quest system as a Heroes of the Storm-style design and that's pretty much what it sounds like.
A dynamic matchmaking system is also being implemented, set aside for the top 100 players within the world who will constantly have to battle to keep their place as the best of the best. I imagine the obsessive types will have a hard time letting go and seeing their name fall off the board, but that's sometimes just the way it goes.
You can look for some of these changes for Smite to start going into effect on January 11 next week, and for the finalization of them to take effect by February 2.