Hi-Rez Studios has detailed the new update for Smite, and it has a decidedly Christmas-y theme to it.
Update 3.22, titled Fafnir's Wonderland, draws its name from a new co-op mode of the same name. This is essentially a revamped version of the limited-time co-op mode Xing Tian's Mountain, pitting teams of five against AI-controlled enemies in a series of encounters. There are 15 new levels in all, each featuring a new look and enemies wearing the holiday-themed skins being added in 3.22 (more on those later, but here's a peek at one):
This won't operate exactly the same way as Xing Tian's Mountain, at least in terms of difficulty. Whereas that iteration of this mode could be incredibly difficult, there are now Easy and Hard versions. On Easy, you'll play through the 15 encounters at "Tier 1" difficulty. This then unlocks Hard mode and immediately sends you into Tier 2 difficulty levels starting at round 16. Tier 2 versions introduce new elements, like additional enemy abilities, to make things more challenging. Easy and Hard modes will each have their own separate leaderboards.
A new in-game achievement will also be available that's tied to the mode and provides some real rewards. There are five tiers to the achievement, and you make progress toward them by completing rounds (more points are awarded in Hard mode) and quests that are only available on weekends. Each tier will award you Odyssey points, with the fifth tier also providing a roll on the Cutesy Avatar chest, which will include the Cutesy Fafnir avatar.
Alongside Fafnir's Wonderland are six new skins and two updated Mastery skins (for Mercury and Thor). Half of these are holiday-themed, while the others are your standard--albeit very good--variety. These include Captain Quick Mercury, which makes him look like a superhero; Barbarian Thor; and Hail to the King Tyr, who looks like an '80s action hero.
Those are all good, but the holiday ones might be even better. Snowman Geb turns him into a walking snowman who talks about eating yellow snow; Festive Ratatoskr gives him a Christmas sweater and a Rudolph nose; and Slay Bells Chiron features a much classier look than the name suggests.
Balance changes are somewhat limited this patch, with only two items receiving any changes. Poisoned Star gets a physical power buff from 30 to 40, while Odysseus' Bow now costs a fair bit less (2100 gold instead of 2450) but loses some of its passive physical power scaling (down to 30 percent from 50).
There's a bit more happening on the character side, but those changes are also limited in number. Mercury gains some movement speed and can now remove Slows by using Maximum Velocity (also making him immune to Slows for the duration). Thoth's Evade and Punish ability now has a much shorter cooldown (particularly when leveled up), while Izanami's basic attacks do more damage and scale higher. Fenrir's Seething Howl now provides a fixed amount of lifesteal at all ranks so that's it's more consistent. And finally, two of Bellona's weapons have been adjusted to bring them more on level with each other, forcing you to make the correct decision about which to use. Her Bludgeon now has a longer cooldown, while Scourge's cooldown reduces as you rank it up.
You can check out the full patch notes on Smite's website.