Hey guys,

First off I’d like to say thank you all so much for your continued feedback for SMITE’s latest update. The team really appreciates the discussion that’s been had over the last couple of days. I wanted to give you all an update to provide some more context on Mulan’s visual design, give you some insight on our reveal plan (and where we went wrong), and let you know what we have planned for the future.

Current Plans for Mulan are:

  • No changes will be made to the base model or card art
  • A T2 version of Mulan in disguised form is planned for later this year

From the very start of Mulan’s development cycle the team had a clear vision for how she would look in SMITE.

  • A heroic woman of the ancient Chinese army. She now proudly shows her identity, wearing heavy armor but nothing to cover her face. She represents the colors and symbols of her country.
  • She will be added to SMITE at a point in her story timeline where she is already a renowned hero across China. So well known that she has inspired so much faith and gained enough followers to become an immortal goddess in the SMITE story.
  • This concept was finalized months ago and was never changed. The only thing that was done was creating additional art for the Jade Corruption event which “disguised” Mulan. This illustration was completed after her base card art was complete.

When we began planning our teaser roll out the team wanted to incorporate her well-known story into our reveal plan. This is the origin of the “Mysterious Warrior.”

The Mysterious Warrior would appear to guide players through the new Chinese Event -- Jade Corruption -- and reveal themselves as Mulan, our new Goddess, when the war against the Jade was complete.

Our teaser plan consisted of the following:

  • The introduction of the Mysterious Warrior art in the Jade Corruption event first seen by players in the Season 7 PTS client
  • An ARG style social campaign where the Mysterious Warrior reached out to content creators calling for aid in the fight against the corrupted Jade Army
  • A streamer event where those content creators participated in a Joust tournament to gain the Mysterious Warrior’s favor, enough so that the warrior would reveal themselves. The winning content creator was given an exclusive teaser showing a snippet of the Mulan trailer before the Update Show
  • The A Closer Look blog post where Mulan’s final card art would be revealed and kit details were announced.
  • Inside live 7.1 players would experience the Jade Corruption event hosted by the mysterious warrior, because Mulan will not have launched yet
  • In 7.2 the Jade corruption event art changes in the Lore and Quests sections to the final Mulan imagery.

We realize that one of the main problems with this campaign was actually the very first element. The teaser image looked very “final” and its first appearance was in the game client, a place where teasers traditionally aren’t shown. It was designed to be Mulan’s appearance in the Jade Corruption event for 7.1, before she officially was added to the game.

We totally understand how players felt confused/upset after seeing the final card art, and are taking this lesson into account when planning teaser and hype plans for the rest of the gods this year. Our goal is always to get you excited about what’s coming up next for SMITE and never to mislead you.

While we had a clear plan for Mulan internally from the start, we definitely missed the mark in conveying our overall vision and story arc for this god reveal - a Mysterious Warrior calling for aid that was a human, to an immortalized Mulan who is now a God in the SMITE Universe.

Here’s a little more insight on the art direction we chose for Mulan from our Art Director TitanBen:

Mulan’s visual depiction in SMITE was inspired by traditional ancient Chinese armor, with a focus on the Northern Wei kingdom during the Northern and Southern dynasties time frame. Which by lore is her timeframe in history.

The art team working on Mulan was not instructed to to give her form-fitting armor, but they weren’t instructed to specifically avoid it either. They arrived at a high-fantasy armor with historic inspiration; her breast plate in particular was inspired by an element common in Chinese armor to reflect sunlight and blind enemies.

They mixed these elements to create a post-disguise Mulan that incorporates the toughness of a warrior, while maintaining who she is - a courageous brave woman who fought for her family and her people.
With that in mind, the SMITE art is team happy with our final representation of Mulan in the SMITE universe, and there are no plans to adjust her base model in game. However, we know there are tons of players that loved the initial depiction of our new Goddess from the initial teaser image where her true identity was hidden, and we have scheduled a Tier 2 skin for Mulan that reflects this design that will be released later this Season.

Once again we’d like to thank you all for the feedback and discussion surrounding SMITE’s newest Goddess and we can’t wait for you to try her out on the Battleground. PTS will be live tomorrow so stay tuned to our official social channels for updates on when it’s available for play.

We also heard some discussion about Baba Yaga and would like to clarify a few things on our next Goddess.

  • Baba Yaga’s final concept and card art are already completed, and no further changes are planned
  • Baba is definitively old, creepy, gangly, and ugly

We’ll see you on the Battleground!