Heroes of Newerth, or "HoN", is an action real-time strategy video game published and developed by S2 Games based on the Warcraft III scenario Defense of the Ancients. HoN, like Defense of the Ancients, is widely recognized as a competitive game and tournaments with money prizes are regularly organized and held for it.
Pre-game, players are divided into two teams of one to five people: the Legion and the Hellbourne. Players on each team choose one of 69 different heroes, each with various abilities and advantages to form their overall strategy. Both teams are based at the opposite sides of a map. Each base is defended by towers placed in the lanes belonging to the team. Every thirty seconds a wave of computer-controlled units(known as "creeps") is sent from the base to defend lanes and attempts to push into enemy territory. Victory is achieved when one of the teams manages to push into the base of the opposing team and destroy their "main" structure, the Sacrificial Shrine for Hellbourne or the Tree of Life for Legion.
Players in Heroes of Newerth control a single hero and their development from a top-down perspective, while other common features of real time strategy games such as base management and resource collection are removed. Each hero has 4 different abilities which can be learned and upgraded as the hero gains experience and level ups. Experience is gained for killing enemy heroes and creeps. The maximum level a hero can achieve is 25 and experience required for each gain in level increases with each new level. The only resource that a player controls is gold which is used for buying various items for his hero. Every hero has small periodic gold income but most of it is gained for killing creeps, enemy heroes and destroying base structures(like defensive towers). An important part is that only the hero which inflicts the final, killing blow gets gold, otherwise they only gain experience. In turn, enemy heroes can terminate their own creeps when they are almost dead to prevent the enemy from placing the killing blow and gaining additional gold and experience. These techniques are called last hitting and denying, both of which are very important early in the game. When a hero dies, he loses a part of his gold and after a certain amount of time, based on their level, respawns at the well located in their team's respective base.
Once started, average game length is around 35–40 minutes. Players on the winning team gain ranking points while the other team loses them. Ranking points are used to place players on the ladder system and it has no influence on game play- players are always on equal footing despite their ranking.
The game offers a variety of game modes, each with differing rules that determine how players select their heroes. Normal Mode offers the entire selection of heroes, for example, while Random Draft forces players to alternate picks from a smaller pool of randomly selected heroes. In contrast, Single Draft mode assigns each player three heroes, from which the player must make their choice. Banning Draft provides a selection of 24 heroes but permits team captains to remove 4 of these before they can be picked, while Banning Pick does the same with the entire hero pool and captains can remove 6 heroes. Practise mode lets players to try out heroes while not having to worry about other players. Additional "No stats" option allows to play normal games with no statistics being recorded and having no effect on player`s ranking in the ladder system.
If a player changes their minds after picking, they may pick a new hero in exchange for a penalty on their starting gold. Similarly, a player may select a random hero and receive a bonus to their starting gold. However in Banning Pick, Banning Draft, Random Draft, and Single Draft, randoming heroes gives you no bonus gold. Typically, each hero may be selected by only one player - but modified modes exist that permit duplicate heroes. Other modified modes include the ability to limit available heroes by removing heroes of a particular type - melee or ranged, for example, or heroes with a specified core attribute such as strength.
Some game modes also impact the rate at which players receive gold during the game. During normal play, players receive 1 gold per second. Easy Mode doubles this amount, and also reduces the amount of damage dealt by towers. Hardcore Mode, on the other hand, disables this passive gold gain and removes the experience gained from denied units.
Most game play mechanics and many heroes in Heroes of Newerth have a direct correlation from Defense of the Ancients. The additions that differentiate Heroes of Newerth from Defense of the Ancients are features independent from game play; such as tracking of individual statistics, in-game VOIP, GUI-streamlined hero selection (draft mode, etc.), match making, and chat features such as player banlists (with reason). Post-game MVP awards are upcoming but not currently implemented.
Several features added via updates include a Hero Compendium (a list of the heroes in the game with detailed statistics about them), the ability to set a "following" trait on a friend which makes you join/leave the games that friend joins (similar to the "party" feature in other games), and an in-game ladder system.
Heroes of Newerth was in beta from April 24, 2009 until May 12, 2010. Throughout this time, over 3,000,000 unique accounts were registered. S2 Games used a Facebook fan page and word of mouth to attract players to the game. Many people who had bought one of S2 Games' previous games also received an invitation to the game through their registered email[ ]
On August 22, 2009 the pre-sale of Heroes of Newerth began for members of the closed beta. Players who purchased the game at this time received additional benefits, including name reservation, gold-colored nameplate, gold shield insignia, and an in-game taunt ability.
Open beta testing for Heroes of Newerth began on March 31, 2010, and ran until May 12, 2010, when the game was officially released.
According to S2 staff member "Idejder," Heroes of Newerth has been in development for "34 months, but the first 13 were spent on engine development. The entirety of assets, including maps, items, heroes, and art were made in 21 months."
New features, balance changes and new heroes are regularly introduced with patches.
The game has received generally favorable reviews and currently holds a metascore of 76 out of 100 and user rating of 9.3 out of 10 on Metacritic.
As of June 2010, the number of concurrent users online peaks at about 35,000+ per day. S2 Games CTO Shawn Tooley notes that the game has "sold enough copies to crack the top 100 PC game sales of all time."
Awards and nominations
|Date of ceremony||Where||Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|March 11, 2010||12th Annual Independent Games Festival Awards||Audience Award||S2 Games||Won|
- ↑ Heroes of Newerth System Requirements. Heroes of Newerth. Retrieved on 2009-09-22.
- ↑ Heroes of Newerth (PC) Review - gamrReview. Gamrreview.vgchartz.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-27.
- ↑ Tournaments. Heroes of Newerth. Retrieved on 2010-08-27.
- ↑ DreamHack AB. DreamHack - News:. Dreamhack.se. Retrieved on 2010-08-27.
- ↑ HoN Stats. Honstats.heroku.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-27.
- ↑ HoN Front page, briefly mentions advantages of client-server. This differs from the peer-to-peer networking model used for Warcraft 3 which can cause network connectivity issues for all players when one player has issues.[http://classic.battle.net/war3/faq/features.shtml Battle.net FAQ explaining Warcraft 3's basic network model. Heroesofnewerth.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-27.
- ↑ http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/soar/Classes/494/talks/lecture-16.pdf University of Michigan lecture notes on network programming in games -- Page 7 relevant w/ regards to Peer to Peer disadvantages
- ↑ Ask S2 Games #1 Retrieved on 2009-10-31. Forums.heroesofnewerth.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-27.
- ↑ Heroes of Newerth (pc) reviews at Metacritic.com. Metacritic.com. Retrieved on 2010-07-10.
- ↑ Mark Wedel (2010-06-24). "Kalamazoo-made 'Heroes of Newerth' drawing huge online gaming crowd". Kalamazoo Gazette. http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/06/kalamazoo-made_heroes_of_newer.html. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- ↑ "http://www.joystiq.com/2010/03/11/joystiq-live-at-the-igf-gdc-awards-2010/ S2 Games presented Audience Award by IGF"
- Official Heroes of Newerth website
- Official Heroes of Newerth Partner for the South East Asia region
- WeeGames - S2 Official Reseller in Brazil
- Wiki project containing detailed information on heroes and gameplay mechanicscs:Heroes of Newerth