Oh Look, Heroes Of Newerth Is Free To Play

By Jim Rossignol on July 29th, 2011 at 2:43 pm.


Ah. This will likely annoy those folks in the League Of Legends thread who said they played Heroes Of Newerth because the entry fee kept out the rabble. Well, now the rabble is coming for you! Don’t worry too much, though, because you can always set up your games to filter those pesky free accounts, and keep to the “legacy” players. Legacy is what your account will called if you paid for HoN in the past, apparently. Which keeps it all nice and tidy.

Still, I’ve just had a read of the HoN forums. Oof.

, .

71 Comments »

  1. Calneon says:

    I’ve been a HoN account holder since early beta, and I’m absolutely furious with the decision to make HoN Free To Play…

    Actually I’m not, they have set it up nicely so nothing changes at all for current players, while S2 get a nice monetary boost which they sorely need. Good show chaps!

    EDIT: BTW, the HoN forums are a known cesspit full of trolls and idiots. They definitely do not represent the majo… oh wait, yeah trolls and idiots probably do represent the majority of HoN’s playerbase xD.

    • WaveOfMutilation says:

      I prefer HoNs gameplay to LoLs but I haven’t played it in over a year purely due to just how caustic the player base is.

    • seventil says:

      I find this honesty refreshing. I don’t think you play HoN at all with that attitude!

    • Zakkeh says:

      Just finished a couple games of LoL on the normal, muck around matches. Community is the same as HoN. The only real difference is the only time they go on the forums is when the servers down, wheras the HoN forums are just a home for trolls now.

    • Vorrin says:

      heh, remember playing just one match, during beta. It was really dreadful, I possibly didn’t help, by not being all-knowing on the game already, but gave plenty of warnings on being a total n00b and whether that was fine, just to then be subjected to an amazing rain of insults, although I was trying to do as I was advised (more ordered, really). Totally put me off the game and I never played it again.

      Bloodline Champions instead, maybe due to the shorter matches, and easier to pick-up style, also sports a way more chilled and nicer community, which I reckon is a good part of what really made the game to me, and I quite fell in love with it for a while.

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      dirtyword says:

      Caustic idiots? Wow I will get into this right away.

    • OpT1mUs says:

      Um, nothing has changed? How about early access bullshit?

  2. zergrush says:

    Didn’t really like HoN back then because I saw no point in paying for a reskinned dota. Might give it another shot now, tho.

    • Calneon says:

      It’s actually much more than a reskinned Dota now, I’d recommend trying it out.

    • Barnaby says:

      Much more than a reskinned DotA? I’ll maybe give you “more”, but “much more” is a stretch. Just had my first go with it last night and I can’t say it’s much different or even improved. Some nice features are included but I think there is very little that sets it apart.

      TBH I wanted to wait for Valve’s DotA game but my friend bugged me into getting it. Wish I had known this f2p nonsense sooner. D’oh!

  3. Burning Man says:

    “Still, I’ve just had a read of the HoN forums. Oof.”

    You should give us a nice link so that we don’t have to track down all that juicy drama ourselves.

    • zergrush says:

      It’s mostly stuff like that:

      “Ok listen up fags
      Stop buying gold coins until they delete the early access, i will tell the whole world not to join hon until they fix this ****. Yeah im mad and ****ed up, S2 broke their promise and i will switch to dota2 when they don´t fix it.”

      Just the standard elitist whining, nothing specially funny or new there.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      The level of literacy is generally much lower than that though.

  4. Tams80 says:

    O, how I love coincidence!

  5. Freudian Slip says:

    Really don’t bother. Those forums were lost to trolls a long time ago.

    • Symitri says:

      I don’t believe there’s a forum that exists which hasn’t fallen to trolls.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      RPGnet.

      There are rules, and they are enforced. Pretty simple. Trolls get banned hard. As a result, it’s the best large-ish community I’m aware of.

    • Vorrin says:

      oh, that’s a wonderful and unusual bit of information, a troll-free forum.

      Maybe the whole ‘so many trolls there and there’ discussion we have all the time, should switch to ‘look what a nice community there!’ more often, I reckon it would be quite constructive.

      Thanks for that, I might well direct myself there for possible rpg-talk.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Re-RPG.net: Ah, yes. Alongside RPS one of my favourite places to hang out on the ‘net. Recommended.

    • Tuco says:

      And if you’re tired of nice people there’s always RPG Codex, which is the most obnoxious concentration of trolls on the whole Internet.

    • chargen says:

      I’d say it keeps itself pretty clean of real trolls. It certainly isn’t a place for the thin skinned, but it generally self-polices itself of trolls and spammers without resorting to overbearing mods.

      “Some places ban the trolls. We give them enough rope to hang themselves with then poke them with sticks.”

  6. Kcalb says:

    Actually a few things will change for current HoN players, except perhaps a speed up in patches and additions to the game if this new economic model is succeful for S2, which is quite a good thing (I still want my Invoker and Dark Seer ports).

    There are just offering the possibility to play LoL on HoN.

    I enjoy playing HoN, and I’m confident I’ll still enjoy it for the month to come. I’m not regretting the 20$ I paid for it last year. However such a move is like a “Seal of Approval” of the LoL F2P model. Hey Valve, watch!

    • Aldehyde says:

      Of course you don’t regret the 20 bucks you paid because the model for the new players suck.

      I mean it, it sucks.

      They have taken away the ability to buy the game straight out for 30 bucks which gives you all heroes in the game and all upcoming heroes for “free” as well.
      Instead they give you 15 heroes for free, these rotates month to month or something I think.

      However, to get all heroes you have to pay 240 bucks, and that’s just the heroes that exist now, not the ones coming later. You could also play 2500 games if you want to (if you get 10 coins for every game).

      You could also opt to buy a “token” for the coins instead which will let you play another hero a single time. A SINGLE TIME. A token costs 300+ something coins, that’s 30 games.

      Another problem is that with only 15 heroes you won’t be able to pick good teams and since free players can only play All Pick where you just pick the hero you want to play this means it will become a battle of clicking speed and accuracy at the picking screen.

      This problem doesn’t really exist in LoL since, as far as I understand, you can at least have the same hero on both teams. You can’t do that in HoN. The heroes are “unique” or what to call it. You can’t have a Thunderbringer per team, for example.

      None of this will really be a problem for me, though, since I have a “legacy” account. Bought it sometime back in beta.
      Anyway, this free-to-play model sucks, I’d never play that version.

  7. Freudian Slip says:

    The biggest change for ‘Legacy’ accounts is the way these ‘Early Access’ heroes work. The ability to buy heros (for Gold coins only, the ones you buy with real money instead of Silver coins earned via playing) is kind of a joke for a game advertising itself as a ‘competitive’ game with the NASL deal and such. That someone paying extra money has access to content you don’t even though you both bought the game straight up originally.

    It’s just not ‘balanced’ so to say.

    • Calneon says:

      Early access heroes won’t be available when playing competitive games, and while I don’t like the idea in general, I don’t have a problem with it if it brings in money for S2.

      Really gets me aggravated the amount of shit S2 is getting for this though, people who have paid $20-$30 and been playing for over a year feeling they are entitled to whatever they want.

    • KikiJiki says:

      Early access heroes will be available in Matchmaking though, unbalancing the playing field even more than letting the free to play players with restricted hero pools to queue with the legacy players, even if they do have a token to pick a hero outside of the pool (who says they will use it?).

  8. Crainey says:

    I’m a big time League of Legends fan and play it more than I should but I tried Heroes of Newerth back when it was on offer, found it more hassle to learn than I was willing to offer. Although I myself don’t really enjoy playing HoN I can definitely see why others do since it has lots of handy features I wish League had like vote kick and remake etc.
    As far as the community debate, I’d rather have the League crowd. When I started playing HoN all I got was hate from people, seems that game has a cult following from DoTA which is normal I guess and it’s made them all into a bunch of elitist assholes, not very welcoming to DoTA newbies (even people who have played the simplified LoL).

    • Freudian Slip says:

      I’d give it another shot if I were you if it was more than a couple of months ago. It’s been very streamlined towards the newer player to the chagrin of most of the community.

      edit: I mean since the new shop came in that has customisable built in guides and such.

    • Kaira- says:

      E: gah, comment misfire [see written comment in the thread below]

    • Crainey says:

      @Kaira But DOTA2 Is a Valve game! It can’t fail and I refuse to believe that Valve can ever make a bad game.

  9. cyrenic says:

    S2 is forever destined to play catch up to Riot. League of Legends is the better game and advances the MOBA genre.

    • zergrush says:

      I’d hardly call the lack of creep denying an advance :(

      But I wouldn’t call a bunch of dota clones with slightly different heroes a genre, either =/

    • Calneon says:

      On what basis are you making that claim? LoL has a bigger playerbase (because it’s free to play), that doesn’t mean it’s a better game.

    • Om says:

      Every genre starts somewhere. Remember ‘Dune clones’ and ‘Wolfenstein clones’?

    • Kaira- says:

      I’ve come to understand that Bloodline Champions deviated itself quite strongly from the ‘normal’ gameplay of MOBA-games by focusing on short rounds and so. But generally MOBAs seem to be clones of each other with very light variations, and DOTA 2, being pretty much carbon copy of DotA probably won’t be much more different than HoN or LoL.

    • zergrush says:

      “Om says:07/29/2011 at 15:14
      Every genre starts somewhere. Remember ‘Dune clones’ and ‘Wolfenstein clones’?”

      I’m only 22, so no, I don’t (:

      But I don’t really disagree with you, just prefer to wait and see until ( if, maybe? ) there is at least some meaningful variety before calling it a full fledged genre.

    • Xocrates says:

      Demigod tried to do something a bit different while still being very much the same “genre”. It proved the games can be more than Dota clones, although the game itself was overall a failure.

    • skyturnedred says:

      Creep deny, to me, was an idiotic concept to begin with. I love that LoL doesn’t have it. I might give HoN a try again now that it’s free, but based on previous experiences with the game, I doubt I will stick around.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      FPS and RTS both have broad appeal and vast range of possibility. A tiny subgenre of competitive multiplayer RTS…doesn’t. If you change a MOBA to appeal to a slightly difference audience, pretty soon it’s no longer a MOBA.

      I don’t think it’s here to stay. Not as a popular thing, anyway.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I really would call removing denying an advance. As is the pace of the game. Two decent teams of LoL players will be done in 20-30 minutes, which I much prefer.

      Then there’s the arrogant fools who claim LoL is easier. It’s certainly much faster, but saying it’s easy would be like claiming Quake 3 is an easy game for noobs because it’s streamlined and fast. Purely moronic. We can all like our games and not have a go I think. LoL is arcadey and quick, HoN is much slower paced and more punishing of smaller mistakes.

      I find that makes HoN a bit dull for me, as it rarely changes, after the start and one team has taken a decent amount of kills it’s over and you have to play on for ages. But in LoL it’s much more easy to counter the other team.

      I do wish someone could make a Dota clone where simply knowing the items and characters more doesn’t give you a huge advantage. I would love one where everyone is on pretty much equal ground, it’s what I hoped Valve’s Dota 2 would be after them making TF2. A Dota made with the reasoning behind TF2 would have been brilliant.

    • pakoito says:

      So to be a better game you need…less stuff and simpler heroes. All skills should be a rehash of those of the first 10 heroes and every new hero should be a reimplemented better remix of several old ones. Remove creep pulling, remove denies, make neutrals easier, make juking a joke..everything to lower the skill cap so everyone can have fun.

    • qwiggalo says:

      “On what basis are you making that claim? LoL has a bigger playerbase (because it’s free to play), that doesn’t mean it’s a better game.”

      And it being most popular doesn’t make it not the better game.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I could definitely see the role of a purely duel-based top down game, it could be a fun adrenaline boost. I think that knowledge of the characters is a good thing and should stay in, but I think that game could stand to have items and maybe even creeps and levels removed. Metagaming and number crunching diminish the actual gameplay, and a game all about duels and gameplay could stand to have them removed.

    • Ricotta says:

      Want a more difficult game with a higher skill ceiling?
      Play HoN

      Want a game you can boot up once or twice a week for an hour and have casual fun?
      Play LoL

      End discussion

    • Zyrusticae says:

      “So to be a better game you need…less stuff and simpler heroes. All skills should be a rehash of those of the first 10 heroes and every new hero should be a reimplemented better remix of several old ones. Remove creep pulling, remove denies, make neutrals easier, make juking a joke..everything to lower the skill cap so everyone can have fun.”

      I just feel like quoting this to emphasize how incredibly wrong and purely disingenuous it is.

      To start with, the heroes have plenty of actual variety, something you would know if you’d actually played the game and not relied almost entirely on hearsay. You would also have realized how “skills” like mana burn do almost nothing to contribute to the game proper, instead making play for whoever gets burned extremely boring and passive (NOT a good thing!).

      Same thing with denying; it’s a completely stupid mechanic that, first of all, doesn’t make any thematic sense, and secondly, makes the laning phase incredibly passive (and thus, immeasurably boring to anyone who doesn’t care to play creep tag all day) – and it’s also counter to the goal of making a spectator-friendly e-sport. Sure, it can add another layer of complexity to raise the skill ceiling *just* a tad – but then again, making the laning phase more heavy on harass trading can do a lot to make the game more complex AND more interesting as opposed to a lengthy, elaborate game of “whack-a-mole”.

      I also fail to see how stronger neutrals has anything to do with skill. I mean, seriously? Really? I thought it was a PvP game!

      And what’s with the comment about juking? Explain that one, please.

      What really warrants special emphasis is the fact that, as a PvP game, most of the game’s difficulty is created by other players. And that just makes sense. You don’t have to have mechanics so complicated that you wrestle with them all the time to have a good PvP game. I don’t think chess is a particularly complicated game, but its skill ceiling is through the friggin’ roof! In much the same fashion, even a relatively “simplified” form of DotA like LoL is more than capable of giving a great challenge to even the best players, so long as the matchmaking works.

      It really gets tiresome hearing people harp about DotA or HoN mechanics like complexity is some kind of automatic boon. It really isn’t. Unless you’re a masochist.

  10. westyfield says:

    I think the bigger story here is “Heroes of Newerth wasn’t already free-to-play”.

    I am shocked! Shocked, I tell you.

  11. Kaira- says:

    Played HoN back in the beta. I have absolutely no will to go back. I even tried LoL, but its community was pretty much as bad as HoN’s. With friends it’s nice to play match every now and then when having a LAN-party, but otherwise… no.

    • Chakawi says:

      With a friend I agree it’s awesome. With 2-3 friends, you get matched up with other 4 ppl groups which tend to stomp you through the floor. So a team of 2 with a couple of beers is just right for HON!

  12. KikYu0 says:

    bought it yesterday for 10$, iam a BIT pissed.

    • Calneon says:

      You should actually feel lucky. Having a legacy account provides you with a lot of bonuses that are no longer available. You have access to all 80+ heroes, the higher tier match making, and all game modes. If you were to wait for F2P you would have had to play for a long time (or spend a lot of money) to get that status.

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      abhishek says:

      Yea I’m a bit miffed too. It’s 10$ so it’s not like I feel cheated or anything, but for a person like me who would only play the game casually, 15 heroes a week to choose from would have been more than enough.

  13. Kcalb says:

    S2 designers are doing quite a good job in terms of balancing and implementing new heroes ( /love martyr).

    You should try to read that http://s2nome.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/denying/

    No more LoL vs HoN trolling, each game has its own audience and are performing well to please it.

    P.S. Btw, Dota Nobunaga is the best MOBA. “FULL SCREEN ULTIMATE” “10 seconds skill animations”

  14. zergrush says:

    And as far as the abusive behaviour goes, I think it’s bound to happen in any competitive team-based game. If anyone has played on “serious” CS servers you’ll see the same kind of ridiculous attitude ( they’re called “mixes” around here, don’t really know if americans / europeans use the term ).

    When I was a “hardcore” dota player my friends wouldn’t let me play with them if there was another member of my team with me, cause I’d start being a complete jerk towards the less skilled players. I think that when success and “fun” depend from other peoples’ skills this kind of thing is bound to happen, as opposed to something like TF2 where it’s possible to have fun even if your team is losing.

    • johnadreams says:

      I think you’re right in that this behavior is an inevitability in a game where one player’s mistakes can give advantages to the other team, however just because its inevitable doesn’t mean its acceptable. It drives people away and is generally one of the huge negatives about the game that people that play will cite. It’s not impossible to show self-control and respect toward others, I think it may be just a little harder when all you’re interacting with is polygons, but again, not impossible.

  15. Gnoupi says:

    I was expecting this change, knowing how S2 are doing their thing.
    They usually make their games f2p after a year or little more.

    At least so far, it was true for Savage 1 and 2, and now HoN.

    Not sure if I will give this a try again, though. It’s the kind of game (not HoN in particular, just the whole DOTA model) which is designed to make you hate people and feel frustrated if your team and the opposite team is not exactly the same level as you are.

    And I mean exactly the same level :
    - If your teammates are weaker than you, you will feel frustrated that they drag your team down even if you “play ideally”.
    - If your teammates are stronger than you, they will most likely insult you in frustration, which is not the best way to have fun on your part.
    - Assuming your team is balanced, if the others are much stronger than you, you will be powerless, and they will heavily call you all noobs, and other kind words. Again a frustration situation.
    - If the other team is weaker, you might have a calm/pleasant time… Given they don’t all concede in 3 minutes after their two first deaths.

    I assume there is a great challenging game for people who invested enough time and are lucky enough to find balanced games… But I can only assume that, I have yet to see it.

    A game in which you actually give the other team an advantage by making a mistake is too stressful for me.

  16. paterah says:

    Great. Now for all the HoN players thinking LoL was more popular because it was free 2 play.

  17. abremms says:

    I tried out HoN awhile back, the community was the worst I have ever encountered. full of entitled little shits with nothing better to do than yell and scream at anyone who hasn’t been playing DOTA style games for the last 10 years. the community itself made it one of the most inaccessable games I’v ever encountered, to the point where I’v stayed well clear of DOTA style games since.

  18. BurningPet says:

    HAHA, a little bit too late, them fools. during hon’s open beta, there were MORE PLAYERS playing HoN than LoL, the compettetive scene looked much stronger and S2 were gloating on the potential income and were “confident enough” to look down on the F2P business model. it is amusing to look at those things a year later when LoL has a player base even WoW starts to get envy in and money is just being poured in on a daily bases. so amusing.

    anyway, cant see it working out now for s2, too late, the majority of the potential costumers are either too invested in lol or are waiting for Dota2, plus, lol is much better fitted for the f2p model with the rune pages system and the masteries. (i am willing to bet that there are vastly more people buying boosters than skins)

  19. pakoito says:

    Well, fuck.

    Anyway, I’ll sell it. A game that started as a “reskined better engineered DOTA” but now it has evolved into his own game. 40% of the hero pool is S2s, all items have been touched or rebalanced to this metagame, all features such as backwards compatible replays, observers, matchmaking, stats track, tournament mode, BP/PD/SD/AP/AR…are in except ingame tournaments. It has a higher skill and knowledge cap than LoL (by far, only look at Monkey King hero differences) but it proves more rewarding when well played. Try it.

    • braiks says:

      In no way, shape or form HoN has a higher knowledge cap than LoL. When you are gonna reach top elo and master what runes, masteries and spells you should use depending on your hero, who you laning with and your enemies and your actual build because there is actually a variety of ways you can play most champions in LoL and learn to adapt to that of the enemies unlike HoN where the game has a completely linear nature then we can start talking. Btw LoL has far more skillshots and interesting heroes than HoN.

    • pakoito says:

      Sure. Compare monkey kings:


      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddaamg5zdkE

      Which one is more “interesting” gameplay-wise?

    • Nick says:

      as little as I care about either game, the fact they took the piss out of the LoL video in their official HoN one amused me.

      (warning: super fun to play.. AND FANTASTIC)

    • Zyrusticae says:

      I won’t defend LoL’s version of the Monkey King, as, especially after Lee Sin (who is wonderfully complex), he was underwhelmingly simplistic.

      However, you’re confusing the skill cap with the burden of knowledge, that is to say, how much a player has to learn before they’re even competitive. If you don’t know about denying, side shops, treeline juking, etc., you’re just at a massive disadvantage, period. Just having *knowledge* of these things does not in any way actually require any skill, nor does taking advantage of them actually require any skill – it’s just stuff you *have* to do to be competitive.

      And still, people keep forgetting that it’s a PvP game, not a PvE game. The players provide the challenge, meaning the skill cap is largely determined by how skilled your opponents are. You can only say you’ve “reached the skill cap” once you reach a level where there is absolutely no human opponent who can match you; needless to say, nobody has reached this level in LoL. (And hell, again, Chess, which is remarkably simplistic relative to DotA-alike games, has a skill cap so incredibly high that nobody knows if it even exists. Again, that’s because the skill cap is determined by the *players*, not the mechanics of the game!)

      You can say HoN is more complicated and takes more iron will to learn, that much is definitely true. But to say HoN players are, in general, more skilled than LoL players is just total flame bait. After all, if this were true, you could easily just slide into a LoL game and completely dominate everything, amIrite?

  20. Premium User Badge

    wengart says:

    Does anyone else detest the “name” of this genre? MOBA just sounds like the silliest shit.

  21. Andrexx says:

    I just bought HoN two days ago -.-

    Edit: Never mind, probably should have read benefits.

  22. Mr. Icarus says:

    The community is something of unforgiving of noobs though. I’m looking forward to this because it means I won’t be getting shouted down for not already knowing all the damn strategies or ANYTHING even when the server I choose says “noobs only”.

    And I’ve found it very difficult to find resources for new players.

  23. Punizher says:

    oNCE a LoL player, always a LoL players, f*&% HoN

    but nice move going free

  24. MaXimillion says:

    Here’s a post comparing HoN to LoL I wrote a couple of days ago:

    On the technical side, HoN doesn’t have any Adobe Air bullshit that LoL does with it’s launcher, and has mac and linux support.

    HoN has features that LoL lacks or implements poorly such as replays, spectating and pauses that enhance both the normal play and especially the competitive scene.

    On the gameplay side, HoN has a much higher skillcap, due to a lot of things including denying, abilities being stronger but costing more mana and thus being far less spammable, and all players at all skill levels being expected to know every hero since they’re all accessible to them and don’t require any preparation of proper masteries or runes to play.

    Competitive HoN games are also far more interesting to watch due to the prevalence of trilane/roaming tactics, as well as lack of unlimited wards and the aforementioned stronger skills making the average match contain more kills and action than an average competitive LoL match.

    Of course, if you prefer LoL that’s your choice, and have fun with it. I simply think HoN is a better game, and enjoy it more.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Your information on Adobe Air bullshit is outdated since May. The new launcher is significantly more reliable.

  25. Psychopomp says:

    My only problem with HoN is the art style. It’s a noisy, jumbled mess.

    Also, the camera’s too close up, and the UI is way too large.

    • plectophera says:

      mod the UI to make it smaller n shit, yo.

      also, psychopomp is a bastard. gunner 4 lyfe