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Yu Huang: A Closer Look

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Forum » News » Yu Huang: A Closer Look 2 posts - page 1 of 1
Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Branmuffin17 » April 12, 2022 9:20am | Report

By: HiRezHoney | 2022/4/12


The Jade Emperor
Chinese Mage – Magical Damage

"The Supreme Heavenly Sage, the Greatly Compassionate Jade Emperor of the Azure Vault of Heaven, was sitting surrounded by his immortal ministers on his throne in the Hall of Miraculous Mist in the Golden−gated Cloud Palace."

– Journey to the West, 1592, Authorship Disputed

The supreme sovereign of Daoism has many unique names and titles. Yu Huang literally translated to “Jade Emperor” and so that is the name we will use for SMITE. This decision makes his title repetitive to his name in Chinese, and in that language he will be titled as “The Heavenly Lord.”

For the rest of us Yu Huang is the Jade Emperor, and both names will be used interchangeably. Yu Huang was born to a royal family and was clearly unique and powerful from the beginning. He spent his younger days helping the poor and needy, until he was eventually crowned as Emperor. After he created the perfectly peaceful kingdom, he sought to strengthen his inner self further. He departed to a cliffside where he meditated for eons, cultivating his Dao. After billions of years of time, he was first able to attain golden immortality, and then finally reached his form of the Jade Emperor.

He returned from his isolation to the realm of Heaven and Earth where he immediately began to help those in need, and to vanquish any demons and evil that sought to disrupt the benevolent life forms, culminating with him destroying an evil demon that not even the other gods could stand against. This earned him the everlasting respect and admiration of the gods, who unanimously considered him to be their leader, and the supreme ruler of all of Heaven and Earth.


Yu Huang’s representation in SMITE is strongly inspired by the source material. He will feature a variety of specific details from the historical clothing of Chinese emperors, and his personality and attitude will align with his altruistic nature. We will seek to add impressive levels of detail, and powerful imagery that make him awe-inspiring to look at, while still staying true to these cultural goals.


  • Theme - Authority – Yu Huang is the supreme sovereign, and thus displays a mastery over not only humans, creatures, and gods – but of the elements themselves.
  • Visuals - Chinese Royalty – A unique crown, flowing robes, and ornate patterns will combine into a portrayal of a royal emperor unlike any other in SMITE.
  • Personality - Wise and Benevolent – Many gods in mythology are flawed, vain, and arrogant. Yu Huang is not like those other gods.
  • Perspective - Respect – The various pantheons of SMITE will understand the prestige and power of the Jade Emperor, and will behave accordingly in his presence.


The appearance of the Jade Emperor is quite well defined in historical imagery. We followed those details closely but also added some unique fantasy touches to give this emperor a new groove.

The garments of an emperor are robes with a distinct shape, which form the core of Yu Huang’s silhouette and make him stand out on the battleground. The emperor’s crown is golden and flowing with impressively detailed metalwork. It has 12 beads that hang from it, which are meant to symbolize an emperor’s calm demeanor, as someone who is being careless or hasty would cause the beads to sway chaotically. And who would the Jade Emperor be without a feature sculpted from the divine mineral itself, jade. Yu Huang has a jade emblem featuring a Phoenix and a Dragon that floats along with him. When these two symbols of royalty are combined, they are attributed to the principle of Yin and Yang, with the Phoenix symbolizing fire, beauty, and rebirth and the Dragon symbolizing water, power, and success.

In early iterations we contrasted the possible options of a more realistic, or more fantasy version of the god. Ultimately we felt that the extra fantasy elements added a lot to the character design, gave us more room to show his symbolism and majesty, and fit in better with the expectations for a new SMITE god. We also paid careful attention to his age, and facial features. Although he is billions of years old, he is also immortal, and is often portrayed as a middle-aged man, which we felt was more fitting than the older aged option.

The final concept brings all of these elements together with vibrant colors and details. Further adjustments were made throughout the 3D art process in order to make sure his flowing cloth and solid accessories worked well together, as loose cloth often creates significant technical challenges in video games.

The final product is overflowing with majesty and grace. The Jade Emperor’s demeanor even in combat is cool and collected, and his wise words are reassuring and welcomed by all.


Yu Huang doesn’t seem like the type to get his hands dirty, so in SMITE he will be a traditional ranged DPS Mage, most likely thriving in the Mid Lane.

The Jade Emperor’s specific abilities and powers are vaguely defined, even with multitudes of ancient texts that mention him. He is clearly a strong leader, and often relies on giving directions and making decisions in order to apply his influence. To convey this, we used a variety of elemental themes and mythical creature themes within his abilities. He is able to summon the flames of a phoenix as well as a complete chinese water dragon character.

The concepts of “pets” in SMITE can be controversial, and were also explored in our last 2 Mages, so those were avoided in Yu Huang’s kit. Instead, his abilities, and his dragon, function through action packed ranged attacks but with an additional artistic flare.

Yu Huang’s kit also explores the cultivation and usage of Dao. The concept of Dao is difficult to define, and is best described as an essence of natural order. It is not tangible or easily identified, but it is a fundamental force of nature that drives all living things. Yu Huang meditated for eons to cultivate his Dao, which was the key to unlocking his powers. In his kit his passive and an ability will revolve around this theme: rewarding Yu Huang with extra effects to his abilities if he has cultivated Dao through taking his time and pacing himself in combat, or through channeling his ability.


  • A resource management passive: Dao
    - Can gain Dao slowly through taking breaks from combat
    - Can gain Dao more quickly through a charge up ability
    - Having enough Dao will attune his abilities and/or basic attacks with enhanced effects

  • A new targeter shape:
    - Circle with an intersecting lines in an X shape

  • A new targeter type:
    - Hinged Line Targeter
    - Spawns a projectile at range, that charges toward him
    - Simultaneously a projectile fires from his location, and successfully intersecting these together create an additional explosive effect

  • A unique movement ability: a slow moving self-banish

  • A new Chinese Dragon character model to be used in 2 different abilities

  • Non-combat animation set
A new, 3-chapter story has begun within the Chinese pantheon. This short story will reveal new events occurring with the SMITE universe and provide new looks into the personality and behavior of various Chinese gods. Most importantly, it will provide a reason for the Jade Emperor to make himself seen and set foot on the battleground for the first time in eons.

Another pantheon-leading god is coming. One that potentially rivals the likes of Shiva, Zeus, and Odin. The Supreme Sovereign is here to stay, and this highly requested god will be playable soon in SMITE!


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Permalink | Quote | +Rep by DV-8 » April 12, 2022 9:42am | Report
The new ability targeters sound interesting.


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