Heroes of Newerth is a game based on the popular Warcraft III map (mod): Defense of the Ancients or DotA. DotA's current designer, known as "IceFrog" granted permission to S2 Games to make their game in likeness to the original, adapting many of the heroes from Defense of the Ancients faithfully into the new game. The game will also feature a slew of new heroes from designers S2.
In true fashion to Defense of the Ancient's gameplay, the player chooses one hero out of dozens upon dozens of heroes to play as and manage. The hero is played in a "match" alongside other players who will all be playing different heroes. It is up to the team to co-ordinate and "push" towards and ultimately destroy the opposing base. Simply which heroes a team is composed of can sway the outcome of a game as tactics are critical from even during the lobby stage of a game.
Heroes of Newerth was released for digital download May 12th 2010 through the official website.
The game's open beta ended on May 12th 2010 with the launch of the retail 126.96.36.199 version.
Before the open beta, beta keys were being handed out on the Heroes of Newerth fan pageon Facebook, on fansites and by random sign-ups. There were other ways to get in as well such as friend invites. The current fan count on Facebook is 667,000. The game had been in beta for an extended period of time. On the 28th of April, S2 Games announced that the game's open beta stage would end on the 12th of May 2010 at 4pm EST.
- Username and Password account tracking for stats, disconnects, etc.
- In-game chat rooms
- Voice over IP support
- Support for all types of resolutions and graphic cards
- Enhanced graphics (to that of DoTA)
- Leaver rating to protect games from players that consistently leave a match
- Support for reconnection with a 5 minute grace period
- Matchmaking system (arranged teams and solo)
- Tournament and ladder system in-game
- Custom Map Editor
- Multiple Maps
- Supported on multiple operating systems: Windows, Mac and Linux
- Over 110 characters
- Continued support post-release with the addition of new heroes, items, and maps
- User made UI mods
- In-game Tutorial
- In-game Shop containing vanity items
Heroes of Newerth currently sports 101 heroes in comparison to the 104 in DotA Allstars. However, compared to other competitors that are actually out on the market in this genre, HoN has a leg up on the competition in this regard. A lot of the heroes are direct ports of heroes from DotA. For instance, Devourer, a tanking strength hero who is able to pull enemies towards him from long range, is a direct port of Pudge from Defense of the Ancients. There are many many instances of direct ports in this game, but the designers have also changed some of the staple characters slightly as well as created some of their own. Two of the more notable creations by the team at S2 are Puppet Master and Zephyr. Heroes have a level cap of 25 which will not necessarily be reached before the end of most games.
Heroes are what this game is all about and there are various roles for each of the heroes. First, they are broken down by what their main " stat" is. There are 3 major stats in this game and they are Strength, Agility and Intelligence. This system is a carryover from WarCraft 3's hero system. Strength increases all heroes health and health regeneration rate. Agility increases armor and attack speed. Intelligence increases mana pool size and regeneration rate. These stats also increase damage if they are a hero's main stat. For instance, Pebbles is a strength hero, so with every extra point of strength he gains, he not only gains the health benefits, but damage as well. However, increasing his agility or intelligence will not increase his damage output, but it will still give him increased armor, attack speed and mana.
After stats, heroes can be broken down further. For instance, sticking with Strength heroes for examples, Jereziah is a strength hero and so is Pebbles. So they both fill the same role, right? No. Jeraziah is generally played as a support healer whereas Pebbles is played more burst damage dealer. This is because of another defining factor - Hero Skills. Every hero has 4 skills. They have 3 main skills that can be leveled up every other level to a max rank of level 4 and an ultimate that can be obtained first at level 6, then 11 and a final upgrade at 16. The rest of the heroes points can be spent on an attribute boost, gaining an addition 2 of each stat per level until they hit the hero level cap.
Andromeda, Artilleri, Blitz, Emerald Warden, Engineer, Magebane, Master of Arms, Moira, Monkey King, Moon Queen, Night Hound, Nitro, Nomad, Sapphire, Scout, Silhouette, Sir Benzington, Swiftblade, Tarot, Valkyrie, Wildsoul, Zephyr.
Adrenaline, Arachna, Blood Hunter, Bushwack, Calamity, Chronos, Corrupted Disciple, Dampeer, Flint Beastwood, Forsaken Archer, Gemini, Grinex, Gunblade, Klanx, Riptide, Sand Wraith, Shadowblade, Slither, Soulstealer, The Dark Lady, The Madman, Tremble.
Aluna, Blacksmith, Bombardier, Bubbles, Ellonia, Empath, Kinesis, Martyr, Monarch, Nymphora, Oogie, Ophelia, Pearl, Pollywog Priest, Pyromancer, Qi, Rhapsody, Skrap, Tempest, The Chipper, Thunderbringer, Vindicator, Warchief, Witch Slayer.
Artesia, Circle, Defiler, Demented Shaman, Doctor Repulsor, Fayde, Glacius, Geomancer, Goldenveil, Gravekeeper, Hellbringer, Myrmidon, Parallax, Parasite, Plague Rider, Prophet, Puppet Master, Revenant, Riftwalker, Soul Reaper, Succubus, Torturer, Voodoo Jester, Wretched Hag.
Armadon, Berzerker, Behemoth, Bramble, Drunken Master, Flux, Hammerstorm, Ichor, Jeraziah, Keeper of the Forest, Legionnaire, Midas, Pandamonium, Pebbles, Predator, Prisoner 945, Rally, Rampage, Salomon, Shellshock, Solstice, The Gladiator, Tundra, Xemplar.
Accursed, Amun-ra, Apex, Balphagore, Cthulhuphant, Deadlift, Deadwood, Devourer, Draconis, Electrician, Gauntlet, Kane, King Klout, Kraken, Lodestone, Lord Salforis, Magmus, Maliken, Moraxus, Pestilence, Pharaoh, Ravenor, War Beast.
Once in game, you fight alongside "creeps" which are monsters that continually spawn in your base and fight in "lanes" which are areas that creeps follow into the enemy's base. The creeps provide a renewable means to gain experience and gold that your hero can use to level up and buy powerful items to increase their power. The real objective is to make your way into the enemy's base and destroy it. Each base has a major structure that, upon being destroyed, ends the match in favor of those who destroyed it.
The core experience of the game, however, is to kill other players' heroes. Getting the killing blow on any enemy unit or structure in this game grants you gold, but on heroes you gain the most gold (aside from towers... unless you have a kill streak or kill someone with a kill streak) and announces it in the game. If you kill multiple heroes in a row without dying yourself you will get a streak and earn bonus gold. If you get the first kill of the match you get a bonus 200 gold. If you kill someone with a streak you will gain bonus gold. Killing a hero denies them from gaining any experience for a short while as a killed hero must wait on a respawn timer to come back. This respawn timer increases as a hero's level increases. This incentive for quick gold gains and denying the enemy from growing in power, as well as being the "best player" is what drives competition in Heroes of Newerth both against the opposition and amongst the team (coop-competition).
There are also neutral creeps that are off the beaten path for players to fight for gold and experience, out of the view of the enemy. There is also a unique monster called "Kongor" who is a gigantic ape that generally takes a team of heroes to take down. Kongor drops a Token of Life that works like a 1UP in that if you die while carrying it, you will respawn after a couple of seconds at the location of your death with full health and mana, ready for action. Upon his third death and onwards, Kongor will drop an item called "Bananas". This item has a one time use of restoring 2500 health and mana instantly. However unlike the Token of Life, this item is not bound to the first hero who picks it up.
A lot of stress is placed on tactics in Heroes of Newerth. One popular tactic is to "gank." Ganking is when a player or group of players takes another player by surprise. Most ganking is done by coming out of the "jungle," the area that generally surrounds a lane, but can also be done if a player has an invisibility ability/item and the opposition does not have a means to reveal the cloaked units. There are many other strategic elements such as the aforementioned team composition, what items you choose for your hero, how you play, your mobility, etc. etc.
For global ranked or ladder play, Heroes of Newerth has a ranked matchmaking system. The player joins the matchmaking pool and is assigned to a match with nine other players of a similar ranked match ranking. Winning the game will increase the ranking and losing it will cause a decrease in the ranking of the losing players.
As of December 13th 2010, players now have the option of joining matchmaking with a group of players and in a variety of different modes. There are 5 modes available for players to pick from: All Pick, All Random, Banning Draft, Banning Pick, and Single Draft. Players can thumbs down up to 4 of these modes (making it so they will only get put into a game of the type the did not thumbs down). Any less and they will be guaranteed to get one of the modes that they did not thumbs down. Players can also pick from 3 possible regions to play on. These are US West, US East, and Europe. Players can thumbs down up to two of these regions. The players also were given the option to pick between the 5v5 map, Forest of Caldavar, or the 3v3 map, Grimm's Crossing.
The game also features many different varieties of play. All game types fall under Normal or Causal Modes, wih normal being the standard set of rules for play, with longer respawn timers, gold loss on deaths, and low experience points per kill in comparison to Casual mode. Due to these differences Casual games tend to be faster with less teamwork than normal game as the penalties for dying are much reduced. All games whether public or Ranked matchmaking must follow one of these two rule sets.
Note that the following options can only be used in the Public Game creation screen as ranked matchmaking games are standardized to always be a Banning Draft match.
The most popular is "AP" which stands for All Pick. All Pick allows you to pick your hero and you can pick any hero at all, no matter if they are a Hellbourne or Legion hero.
"AR" is All Random in which you do not pick your hero, but are instead given a random hero from the pool of heroes to play as.
"SD" is Single Draft which gives all players 3 random heroes to choose from, one from each attribute, Strength, Agility and Intelligence heroes.
"BD" is Banning Draft is similar to Random Draft where players has 24 heroes and the top players on both teams (blue or pink) alternate banning 1 hero each until 4 are banned. Picking proceedes like a normal RD match after bans, everyone picks their own heroes
"BP" is Banning Pick is similar to All Pick, but each team gets 4 bans (in total, 8 bans). Then alternates everyone picking their own heroes out of the remaining choices.
Finally, "DM" or Deathmatch, was originally in the game as a mode in which each time a player's hero is killed, he respawns with a new one until either all of the heroes allocated for their side are used up, or the game is won by destroying the major structure in the enemy's base. However, this game mode was deemed incomplete and not working properly, so S2 decided to remove it from the game for the time being. It is unknown if it will return any time soon.
In all modes, players can swap their heroes with other players during the setup phase. This is helpful in AR, and SD if you get a hero you do not like.
Additionally, there are "Advanced Game Options" , in which more specific modes can be added, such as "No strength heroes", "Drop Items" (where every player's inventory is completely emptied upon death, and their items will be up for grabs for any nearby player), as well as "Duplicate Heroes" (The same hero can be picked by every player) and other non-conforming game options.
These Advanced game options have lead to plethora of custom style games, with the most popular being Mid Wars, where instead of following conventional strategy of multiple heroes in multiple lanes, all heroes will mass in the middle for a more chaotic slugfest.
As of version 2.0.0, S2 have implemented the Goblin Store. It features many vanity items which can be bought from silver coins earned through the matchmaking system. There are also gold coins that are available through micro-transactions.
The store has some premium items which can be bought from both silver and gold coins, however, should gold coins be spent, the item will cost significantly less. All items from the Goblin Store allow the player to customize their experience without affecting game play or allowing the purchases to change the level of competition.
- Alternate hero avatars
- Account icons
- Alternate announcer packs
- Alternate couriers
- Name color options
- Account symbols
Developer S2 Games has also stated that it intends to continue doing many free post-release updates that add new heroes, items and maps down the road, as well as new game modes. S2 also mentioned that the SDK will eventually be released to the public.
The game became free-to-play with effect from 29th July 2011. They also announced three different account types in line with this announcement. "Legacy" account players are those that have previously purchased the game and will have access to all heroes and game modes. Verified accounts are for those players that have reached level five or purchased gold goblin coins. The developers see this as a way to signify that a player takes their account seriously and enable the account holder to participate in matches other than casual "basic" matches. Basic account holders under the new free-to-play model are those players that have just started out and have limited access until they earn or buy the right to a "Verified" account. The table below illustrates the differences between the three accounts.
|Basic matchmaking access only||Verified or Basic matchmaking access only||Verified or Basic matchmaking access only|
|All Hero||All Hero||All Hero|
|All game modes||All game modes||All game modes|
|Report a player: Unavailable||Report a player: Available||Report a player: Available|
PC System Requirements
- Processor - 2.2GHz Pentium 4 / AMD 2400 or faster
- RAM - 1GB of RAM
- Video Card - GeForce 5 and ATI 9800 w/ 128 MB VRAM
- Windows XP, Win2k or Windows Vista
- Network Connection Required
- Processor - 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo / AMD 3500 or faster
- RAM - 1.5GB or higher
- Video Card - 256MB Geforce 7800 or Radeon X1900
- Network Connection Required (Broadband)