Heroes Of Newerth Is Free For A Week

By Jim Rossignol on August 3rd, 2010 at 9:38 am.


Is there a better genre name for these games than “a bit like Defense Of The Ancients”? I mean I was going to go with “Champion-based Tower Defence”, but that seems too wordy. Anyway, whatever the taxonomy of the game, it’s free to play Heroes Of Newerth for this week. I had a good old crack at this when it came out, and frankly struggled a bit with the arcane and unfriendly community, but it’s quite the game once you begin to master the rhythm of things, and figure out how to avoid getting insta-ganked when things go awry. Probably worth taking a look this week if you’re going to give it some time, that way you can be sure of full newbie servers. And I mean that in the kindest possible way. Even HoN’s newbie servers can be a little challenging for beginners.

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79 Comments »

  1. ZIGS says:

    But is it better than League of Legends, which is free… FOREVER?!

    • Gambit says:

      It is a lot better, higher quality content. Plus LoL is still kind of in Beta

    • Noct says:

      Even if it is better than LoL (and I’m not sure, I really like what they’ve done to make it more accessible while maintaining complexity), there is no way I’d put up with such a poisonous, hateful community for more than 30 seconds. The combination of super serious DotA fanatics and the closed off S2 community is possibly the most unfriendly group I’ve ever run into.

      Way back when I first tried LoL, I mentioned that I didn’t really know that much beyond they basics, and the vets said no problem, and even started giving me some pointers. The guys on HoN tended to start yelling and demanding control of my character. That’s all the difference I need.

    • Starky says:

      Seconded, I tried the beta for a week, and never before I have encountered a game community so vile – it’s like the worst of B.net and WoW combined.

      I’m sure there are nice people who play that game, but they are drowned out by the sheer volume and quantity of the assholes who play that game, swearing, insulting, unfriendly assholes at that.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      I concur. HoN is a despicable lair of trolls and all sorts of humanity rejects. Really give you the blues as far as natural selection fares nowadays, just gotta hope those will keep on playing and never, ever contribute to the gene pool.

    • LukeAllstar says:

      I must admit that the Community isn’t the best, but today its better than it was in open beta
      in open beta there were so much freeplayers with second accounts that just didn’t care

      now you only have people playing that have paid for that game, there are a lot of trolls around anyway, and a lot of ragers, but this is because this game is so competetive and you have to rely on your teammates and if one person plays bad and his/her team looses because of that person, some persons really start to rage (instead of giving that person advicec or so)

      imo it’s a great game (but with a very hard learning curve), so i hope some of you enjoy playing hon :)

    • pakoito says:

      It’s one time 30$ fee, you get everything out of the game. In LOL you pay/grind for new heroes or skins or runes to keep up the pace in high level games.

    • cyrenic says:

      I agree with everyone saying that LoL is better simply because the HoN community is so unbelievably bad.

      Also, take what people say about LoL’s leveling and rune system with a grain of salt. A team of level 1 players that are good at the game will beat a team of level 30 players that are bad at the game every single time (and this is with the level 30 players having full sets of runes).

    • DrGonzo says:

      Also, LoL is actually a new game. HoN is literally DOTA, but with shinier graphics.

    • Lagomorph says:

      I agree with the other comments here. HoN got the WORST of the DotA community. They absolutely ruin the game with their unrelenting and vicious raging and shit-talking.

      Thanks to Pendragon and the LoL devs for actually moderating their community to prevent (most of) the vile, obnoxious trolls from overhwelming LoL.

      Also, HoN is just DotA with hilariously bad art direction and voice acting.

    • Warduke says:

      Pretty much every gaming podcast I listen to and magazine/online review (including PC Gamer US review) have referenced how utterly horrible the player base is for this game. I’ve had a buddy that keeps asking me to try it with him but why would I want to subject myself to that. I don’t really care if LoL maybe “isn’t as good” I’d much rather play a game that wasn’t inundated with jerks. I understand the HoN folks recently sent out an email saying they will get serious with/ban those guys if you complain but really it’s too little too late as far as I’m concerned, much more interested in LoL at this point.

    • pakoito says:

      “Also, HoN is just DotA with hilariously bad art direction and voice acting.”

      We’re sorry HoN it’s not appealing to 12 yo animanga kids.

    • Lagomorph says:

      If you want a good laugh go to google trends and type in heroes of newerth, league of legends and look at the last 12 months data. Goodbye HoN!

    • Eggy says:

      in relation to hon’s graphics: turn down the absurd bloom and zoom in a bit and you begin to realize that despite its cartoony aesthetic, LoL is a far prettier game. Not to mention better designed.

  2. yo says:

    Aeon of Strife

  3. televizor says:

    I’ve been playin HoN on a friend’s account every now and then. Now that I got Starcraft 2 I’m sure I won’t be getting HoN. All I have to do is wait for a Aeon of Strife or DotA remake using Starcraft 2′s engine and if I really want a moba fix, I’m gonna go back to LoL.
    I’ve been watching the community, HoN’s numbers are around 25.000, now 30.000 with the free week.

  4. Butler` says:

    Got a lot of love for the game competitively. Just wish I had the drive to play it.

    It’s no coincidence that they’re doing this shortly after the release of SC2.

  5. Butler` says:

    Oh and it’s unofficially called the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre, apparently.

  6. gulag says:

    How about Tower Defence Heroes (TDH)?

    In the future, games writers will describe Fifa 2025 as a ‘Sports Simulator with TDH-esque elements.’

  7. the affront says:

    Just call it a “AoS/DotAlike”, depending on if you want it to be correct or understandable to a wider audience, similar to “roguelike”. Really no point in making up arbitrary shit just to avoid naming what it cloned, to be honest.

  8. Jake says:

    Depends. I don’t like that it ripped off DotA with no ideas of its own, but if fancy graphics and some gameplay improvements are enough, this game is worth it.

    I do hate the shop, though. LoL’s shop is nice and clean, and there was no shit about some ‘secret’ shop that everyone can find. It’s just a pain, even in the original DotA.

    • Frenz0rz says:

      The “Secret” shop is just a name, its not intended to be secret in any way. It exists for a reason – the most advanced items require expensive components purchased from the secret shop, and therefore require you to go out of your base to purchase them. This punishes teams who lack map control, warding etc., and as well as meaning you dont have to trek all the way back to base or require some dumb bastard to share a courier for you to get the items you need in a lane.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Ripoff implies HoN was created without the DoTA creators permission, which is not true at all. DoTA is stuck on an out-of-date engine and required a port for the sake of the competitive scene. S2 did a stellar job of doing just that and providing almost everything the eSports lot wanted. It’s a fine game (and not for everyone)

  9. BooleanBob says:

    I do like the idea of an unfriendly and arcane community. A bit like moving into a suburb of introvert wizards.

  10. Daniel Klein says:

    MOBA. We want you to call the genre MOBA. (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). Yeah, I know, that’s not going to happen. Not going to stop us from trying, though.

    I’ll give it a good long look again. Surely there’s still a lot LoL can learn from HoN.

  11. TRJP says:

    If you want DOTA without the nasty community I’d recommend Demigod over HON or LOL perhaps

    I think the reason these communities have their rep is that there isn’t a decent single-player aspect/campaign between them, meaning you need to be competitive about it from the off ?

  12. Jeffrey says:

    Ten days for everybody to realize the community is made up of pathetic momlivers that have never seen a vasjin and decide not to buy it.

  13. Longrat says:

    HoN has some nice people, but people get VERY bitchy once they see they’re starting to lose. The solution is simple: Play in nostats till you don’t die instantly, and then get to noob games, and then get to pro games.

    The inherent flaw in MOBAlikes is that your team is as strong as its weakest link. And the weakest link is bound to get shat on.

  14. Yfel says:

    I happened to meet (and subsequently defeat) Jim in this game once. It was a memorable occasion.

  15. Sigma Draconis says:

    In all likelihood, most of the “Newbie Servers” (particularly those labeled as such) will exist for far more experienced players to griefstomp anyone who’s barely had any seat time with Heroes of Newerth, or any MOBA in general. The steep learning curve is enough of a barrier to entry, and the shitty attitude of some players don’t help matters. Newbies would be better off getting together with a group of similar skill/friends they know and learning the game from there.

    MOBAs do have a negative reputation of being havens for raging, trash-talking neckbeards; this isn’t entirely undeserved — I like these games, but I won’t be an apologist for that shit. However, it should be noted that the devs behind both Heroes of Newerth and League of Legends recognize this and have made good strides in improving their player communities, each with their own features that let you Report Players for various forms of hurfdurfery within the game.

  16. Burningpet says:

    As i said in the lol post a few weeks ago: After playing Hon, Demigod and Lol (never played Dota) my opinion is that Hon is much better than the demigod and lol, in the gameplay aspect.

    community wise, well, Hon has the worst i have yet to see. but it can be fun sometimes to grief and get griefed. kinda like shit talking while playing basketball in the hood with tha bros (like i saw on american movies)

  17. the affront says:

    How does “MOBA” in any way describe the mechanics of the thing?
    It’s simply ridiculous. Nearly anything would qualify as a “multiplayer online battle arena” – most FPS definitely would, RTS probably too, not to even mention beat em ups. And I could probably write up another half dozen genres.

    Admit it already that the game you’re such a raging fanboy of ripped off nearly all its ideas (BUT WHO FUCKING CARES IF IT’S WELL MADE? UNDERSTAND IT ALREADY), your non-existent balls might spontaneously materialize.

    Stupid-ass PR-speak to avoid mentioning the “competitor”.
    (FYI: I actively play none of these games)

  18. WBD says:

    When I first started playing this (when it was in closed beta) I did get flamed a bit for sucking majorly, as I had no DOTA experience or whatnot. But now that I am experienced it is one of the most rewarding games that I ever played. Its great fun if you can get a friend that will play with you and teach you the basics.

    I can see why people hate the community though, very noob unfriendly, though I think that it isn’t as bad now as it was when it was in Beta.

    Unless your an experienced DOTA player I suggest watching a few youtube videos on the basics before your first matches.

  19. Sobric says:

    Played LoL beta for quite a while, but don’t really have any further interest in this genre. I didn’t think that much of the LoL community either tbh, and although the game is pretty addictive it seems to tied into what DotA did. Needs a brave developer to step away from the formula, while keeping the really fun stuff.

    NB: The fun stuff is the in game levelling, the map control/tower defence thing, and to a certain extent the “builds” with different items.

    The things that hold it back, IMO, are the view-point, control system and strange obsession with millions of oddly designed heroes that overlap/make some obsolete instead of fewer, but better designed, heroes.

  20. pakoito says:

    If you wanna watch high-level games to learn something or just for fun: http://www.honcast.com

  21. clragon says:

    Why would it be paid? On second day of release there was already a DotA map. Just because Blizz give the option for devs to charge, doesn’t mean they will. Free maps will always be more popular than paid maps. (they really should have put in a donation button instead, imo)

    Also, SC2 custom games can have stat tracking (I’ve seen some games display a high score list of all the people that has played), which means leaving penalties shouldn’t be too hard to implement either.

    of course it’ll not be the same as LoL or HoN. but it’s too premature to assume that it’ll be not as good

  22. apa says:

    Oops, wrong vid above, please discard that comment mr. Moderator. Ska vi spela lite Dota? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_cCsFU6pak
    Seems to attract hot chicks!

  23. LOLPATROL says:

    I have to agree with community thing in HoN. But. HoN is so much better than LoL as a competetive game. I have actually played both, unlike most fanboys.

    I gotta say, LoL is the baby version of HoN. Not just by look, but the pacing is so painfully slow.

    The short range of spells (compared to view distance) is really killing the fast paced gank game. And even if you get som kills, there is no significant punishment for them or gain for you when killing other players. It’s all about getting the towers first. You can die 10 times and still not be very far behind. Other things that makes LoL the baby version is; that there is no denying creeps/towers, fewer heroes, fewer items, free spells like heal, runspeed and townportal.

    When I played LoL I honestly felt like it was the tricycle before getting on a real bike – like HoN.

    Play HoN with buddies, play nostat games or just ignore the jerks. HoN is hard to learn and hard to master. But if you do, it is an awesome competetive game.

    • LintMan says:

      Have you plaued Demigod? How would you that compare to LoL and HoN? (I’ve played Demigod but not the other two or DotA, so I don’t have a good basis for comparison)

  24. Torguemada says:

    HON is a hella good game and community wasn’t that bad, at least not in europen beta servers.
    I just dont really understand what is S2 hoping to gain from this free week, as free players are limited to no-stats games you cant really get a good game as noone cares about leaving. So this is great for people like me who have planned to buy the game since beta ended, nice to see whats new.
    But for someone who just heard about the game and wants to try it out, its pretty bad as you really dont get to see what the real games is like in the no-stat servers.

  25. Choca says:

    You mean I can get insulted by prepubescent teens for free all week ? Now, that’s a great deal !

  26. Minty says:

    Incredible game btw, probably the best I’ve ever played. Obviously this place is full of casual gamers or there wouldnt be a single post saying that LoL is better. You need to be extremely thick-skinned and preferably play with friends to learn this game. Its hard, you get raged at a lot, theres a seemingliy infinte pot of knowledge that you have to know, but when ts at its best, HoN is probably the most engaging, fun, and exciting game you’ll ever play. Been playing it for over a year straight now, usually 3-4 games daily since closed beta.

    If you’re new and dont really want a challenge, just play LoL. To be honest, most HoN players wont want you in the game anyways. But if you’re any sort of competetive gamer who wants a challenge, or something they can really get into and addicted to, play HoN.

  27. jokewood says:

    I believe the genre is called “hero defense”
    …maybe

  28. Daniel Rivas says:

    I just find it hilarious that there is some deep-seated rivalry and hatred between the followers of two games I had never even heard of before.

    Fascinating.

  29. Arnie says:

    HoN is a great game.

    Please try it.

  30. Kid A says:

    Having played both HoN and LoL extensively, and invested similar amounts of money into both, I can only agree with the comments regarding the superiority of LoL’s community. It’s not that if you’re not very good, you’ll get raged at – you will draw aggro from the enemy (OMG UR KILLN ME TOO MUCH MUST BE HAX REPORTAN); your team if you’re not very good (ZOMG STOP FEEDING MUST BE TROLL REPORTAN), and from your team if you ARE very good (ZOMG, WHY ARE YOU KILLIN THOSE TWO INSTEAD OF SAVING ME FROM THIS GUY 3 LEVELS BELOW ME WHO STILL STOMPED ME, WTF SHIT PLAYER, REPORTAN), not to mention that in no-stat games (which is all trialists will be playing), leaving because you’re losing, you’re not having fun, you got a hero you don’t like in a random draft, or just because you feel like it is pretty common.
    LoL, on the other hand, I’ve played just under 220 games in, and had someone permanently leave 9 times. Where in HoN, I got bitched at because “ZOMG THAT’S MY HERO ONLY I CAN PLAY HIM RIGHT GTFO NOOB”, and then proceeded to lead the team to a victory, with 19/2 personal score. On seeing this, the person who was so sure only he could play the hero right simply said “must be hax, no-one is as good as me”. In LoL, I frequently end up negotiating, civilly, over a hero if someone else manages to pick Yi or Cho’Gath before I do. They are almost identical gameplay-wise, but HoN’s community is worse my several orders of magnitude.

  31. Midnyte says:

    Saying that the gameplay is almost identical is like saying that driving you car down to the shops is the same thing as driving in WRC… yes, the same basic skills are needed in both, but they are lightyears apart in pace.
    The learning curve for HoN is much much steeper, but when you start to become good your patience is rewarded tenfold. The game is fun, addictive and has what is a very rare quality in a game: It can make your adrenaline skyrocket in a split second, and never gets boring.

    As for the horrible community, S2 recently started a RAP (Report A Player) system, which has actually made quite a dent in the abusive-rage-whine-flock of the community. And it is just going to get better.

    • Kid A says:

      Riot Games have had that system for a long time, as well as an automated system to prevent persistent leavers fouling other people’s games up. S2 have only just gotten around to implementing it.
      I’m sure HoN is fine for “hardcore” competitive types, but to the new players this is aimed at, the HoN community is going to appear (not entirely incorrectly) as a bunch of jerks who hate anyone new and leave games on the turn of a dime. As many have noted here, the LoL community is better for those who want to learn the game without being told (as I was tonight in a game of HoN) that they were “fukin shit likin c*nt bitch with no dick” for the heinous crime of “killn that dude, he was so mine wtf man”.

      I would have been more likely to listen in that guy he totally had hadn’t just killed him.

  32. Midnyte says:

    I agree that LoL has a “friendlier” atmosphere than HoN on average at the moment, but it saddens me that a lot of people are going to have a choice between two games that they are told are the same, and then choose the one with the “nicer” community, when the two games are hardly comparable in style/pace and the general feel.

    Sadly, one of the reasons there is more raging in HoN is the fact that HoN is harder to learn and play than LoL, so a new player to HoN will be much worse compared to his teammates than he would be in LoL.

    All im saying is, that if someone doesnt like getting flamed, then instead of quitting he could spend some time looking at some guides and play unranked matches until he isnt horrible anymore. Im not an incredibly good player, yet i havent had any problems with excessive flaming since about two weeks after i started playing.
    Cus when you actually reach that point where u start to really understand the game, it is (in my subjective opinion) so much more giving than LoL.

  33. Torguemada says:

    Just gotta ask, are you playing at American servers becouse i almost never saw anythink like that in my 1000+ games of beta in european servers. Yeah there where occasional ragegers here and there but not many and it was easy to add them to banlist.

  34. Chakawi says:

    Even though people are often scrub in this game, yesterday I played a 45 mins game that was so much fun. People were nice and we won because of hard work and team play and they put up a real good fight with lights going out in every direction. Really fun and it’ll make be be able to bear many games with a-holes in them. (I think the community got much better over the summer.)

  35. Barney says:

    Heroes of Newerth is considered part of the DBG genre
    DBG = DotA based game

    Good quality game at a cheap price. 30 bucks…
    There’s no map editor yet though.
    Thank God for SC2

  36. Grokthan says:

    Ah god, when I read this I got the trial, after realising I was rather bad at the game, like you guys said hard learning curve and all, I thought I’d buy it and try it out to see if I could improve. This has happened slightly but no thanks to anyone whatsoever.

    I’ve yet to meet anyone helpful or even nice and am constantly hounded by people with high statistics joining servers clearly marked for ‘noobs’ , showing off how superior they are to everyone else then insulting them . 90% of games end with half of your or the opposing team leaving halfway through because they can’t accept a loss. Hoping for some improvement so I can enjoy this game at some point but I won’t hold my breath.

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