New And Old Ones: Heroes Of Newerth Reborn With 3.0

Relevantly, given the previous article, S2’s popular MOBA Heroes Of Newerth has been revamped for its 3.0 iteration, which overhauls numerous aspects of the game, including the UI. Importantly for the game’s ongoing survival the game also introduces a bunch more player-welcoming tools, such as walkthroughs for newbies, a series of hint videos in “the Learnatorium” and new bots to practice against before you brave the horrors of actual PvP. This looks like a pretty big step for the game, and also includes redesigned heroes and maps to refresh the whole experience. I’ve posted some of S2’s numerous dev diaries below, as well as their new concept-art montage lore trailer. It remains free to play, of course.


  1. BurningPet says:

    The most interesting feature here, in my opinion, is that they will give the ability to script AI bots, which may result in a 5V5 AI bots battling against each other to test players skill in programming.

  2. caddyB says:

    Yay. I like HoN, even though I never play it anymore, this looks very good indeed. I’ll see if I can get my friends together again to start something.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      Same here. I’m looking forward to watching HoNcast again now.

  3. misterT0AST says:

    After playing Dota 2, Smite and LoL I tried HoN, it was the wrong order to get into it. I can’t for the life of me get used to the interface (the new UI intrigues me). Although I might be coming back to it if only for the awesome announcer and the fact that it’s the only game where the jungle is actually a jungle, with a huge ass gorilla in it.

    On another account, Does LoL get an article on RPS when they do big updates?

    • zeroskill says:

      LoL does big updates? I never read about then anywhere. The last “big” update I remember was the addition of the dominion map I believe, but to be fair I wouldn’t know, I don’t play that game very much.

      • Kitsuninc says:

        The ‘Season’ patches. I think they did a massive UI/shop rehaul and added an ARAM map within the last few months. I haven’t played the game in ages though, so that’s just what I got out of watching Youtubers who make LoL vids.

        • Jockie says:

          LoL season 3 is currently being patched in as we speak, which includes a complete overhaul of ranked systems, to make it rather similar to the Starcraft ‘leagues’ system. If you reach the top tier, you’re essentially ready for the pro circuit. The other stuff is mostly balance fixes.

          I’m still quite surprised by the reticence of a lot of major gaming sites to cover LoL because the eSports scene is freaking gigantic. I don’t have the numbers to hand, but I’m pretty sure it gets way more viewers than Dota2 or SC 2 do.

          Dota 2 seems to be the one claiming all the critical plaudits, but in my eyes LoL is the one that has actually been designed properly, with visual and audio queues, an actual shared design aesthetic among champions and actually trying new mechanics and ideas with their champions (show me another MOBA that has a champion to even hold a candle to the joys of playing Lee Sin).

          • ventricule says:

            Meepo ?

          • Kitsuninc says:

            Ehh. LoL is the funner and less stressful game by a million lightyears, and it’s also easily the easiest to understand, but DoTA is sooooo much more interesting. In LoL an amazing play is just when someone times everything they do perfectly. In DoTA an amazing play is when someone does three different amazing things at once, every last one of which you couldn’t even pull of on its own. If it were only easier to understand, then it would be the better esport by a mile.

            Are you joking though? LoL is the only one which has actually tried new mechanics for their heroes? I mean yes, they sometimes use something vaguely different than mana, other than that though? DoTA has WAY more mechanical variety among heroes. Invoker, Meepo, and Lone Druid all say hi, along with a halfhearted ‘yo’ from all the guys that have just one skill that changes the game up massively, like Bounty Hunter and Rubick.

            And you sure as heck can’t complain about other games having a less consistent aesthetic when LoL’s got bloody Birthday Fiddlesticks and Astronaut Teemo. Unlike LoL DoTA 2’s skins actually fit in with the aesthetics rather than being an eclectic mess. Not that I have a problem with it, but you can’t say LoL has the more consistent aesthetic.

          • Jockie says:

            Ok, so I probably unerestimate Dota a wee bit, but I’m frankly amazed that it comes from Valve, they are normally masters of using visual/audio cues to convey information to the player in the least complex way possible. Dota is a mess of a game that fails at this at almost every level.

            I still think Lee Sin is way more fun to play than characters like Meepo, because movement actually feels good in LoL, DOTA has always sufered from the floaty disconnect remnant from being ported from an RTS where the aim was never to solely control one character, characters like Lee have an actual fluidity to their play entirely lacking from the other MOBAs.

            I obviously haven’t experienced high enough level play to see the way abilities in Dota properly flow into one another, because I’ve never seen anything like the ward jumping, Q-R-Q skill shot decimation in Baron pit that a good Lee player will attempt. I have seen someone clicking their screen for 10 seconds waiting for a ridiculously long disable to run out though.

            I fail to see how Bounty Hunter is held up as an example of exciting mechanics? He can disappear for a bit, crits a bit and gets his team more gold for kills?

            I’m not baiting and being argumentative for the sake of it btw, I have tried pretty darn hard to find the appeal of DOTA 2, I have the same feeling of ‘people actually like this!?!?!’ I get when attempting to read Harry Potter or watch a Twlight film from DOTA.

          • AmazingFly says:

            I’ve been playing LoL since beta and switched to dota a couple of months back, it’s not an easy game to get into but damn it’s a better designed game than LoL imo. The heroes are all very easy to recognize even with cosmetics and the sounds and spells are all very different so you can recognize them all very very easily. The only reason you think like that about dota is just a lack of knowledge and experience with the game. Lee Sin may be a fun character but landing a sonic wave in the baron pit isn’t my idea of a big play that is hard to pull off.

          • Vorphalack says:

            ”I’m not baiting and being argumentative for the sake of it btw”

            It’s not often I call troll on RPS, but this time the writing is on the wall. Don’t let this guy bait you into another god forsaken MOBA fight.

          • Magnusm1 says:

            “LoL is the funner and less stressful game”
            My brain hurts.

          • Kitsuninc says:

            I definitely agree, -when you’re playing it- DoTA feels a less responsive than LoL. When watching, not really. I do wonder how it would feel if there was no input lag, and turning time wasn’t a thing. LoL feels more fluid, but if DoTA were more fluid, then it would be completely impossible for your brain to keep up, perhaps.

            That’s my point, about Lee-Sin’s combo being an awesome move. All you’re doing is using a simple combo into the middle of the enemy after placing a ward, there isn’t much to that. It’s on an entirely different level when Invoker goes through every last one of his twelve spells, timing and aiming each one, then force-staffing away.

            While Bounty Hunter’s abilities are pretty boring, getting more money from kills changes the way the game flows a lot. Suddenly trading kills with a tracked foe becomes something that’s worthwhile, also, characters going invisible is something you actually need to actively counter.

            If you haven’t really put the time in to look up the different heroes when something in pro DoTA doesn’t make sense or seem exciting, then it won’t look exciting, and I can understand that, it’s entirely fair not to want to study just to enjoy watching a game, but it is the more complex and skillful game, by a lightyear.

          • Magnusm1 says:

            @Jockie Is it so hard to get in your skull that it’s a BETA? BETA means UNFINISHED.
            If you weren’t so uninformed, you would also know that Valve are currently working on creating a tutorial-scenario.

          • Jockie says:

            To the guy who thinks I am being a troll, since when do trolls admit they don’t don’t have full knowledge of a game and engage – like I am doing with Kitsuninc – in a civil manner?

            I tried invoker once, I fully admit I didn’t know what I’m doing.

            Perhaps it’s a fact of not understanding the way enemy champions abilities are interacting that makes me dislike Dota, perhaps it’s that the ones I generally picked feel basic. I think mostly I just dislike the concept of having to ‘study’ or train for 500 hours before I can eke some enjoyment out of a game. I’ve put 20 hours into DOTA 2 and the only fun I’ve had is that of playing a game with friends and laughing at how bad we are at it. LoL, I think took me 2 games before I understood why it was ‘fun’ – I was shit at it yes and I got raged at by the friend who had begged me to install it, because all MOBAs turn people into insane parodies of Angry Internet Man – but I’m not there yet with DOTA 2, after 20 hours…

          • Kitsuninc says:

            I’m with you in a lot of ways. I like DoTA as a game, but I do not enjoy playing it. I’ve spent 40 hours doing so, and just as long watching videos of it, yet when I play, at best I feel thankful that I managed to hold my own against the enemy, but I’m in such a daze from all the concentration that I haven’t really had ‘fun’. At worst, it nearly drives me to tears as I die over and over again, knowing all the while that my team hates my guts. Back when I played LoL, I recall being good enough not to feed, ever, and actually having empty space in my brain for fun.

            I do love watching DoTA though, it can be really exciting, LoL kinda bores me as an esport.

          • Jockie says:

            @Magnusm, sorry when a game is at the stage where it is able to be played by people as their PROFESSION (copying your slightly obnoxious use of caps for emphasis), that arguement doesn’t fly. Besides, I’ve played the game for 20 hours, I know how to play the game, I understand the concepts, the mechanics, I know the abilities of a dozen champions, I even know how to operate the fucking flying donkey. What I haven’t discovered is how to actually enjoy the game.

          • viewtifuljon says:

            @Kitsuninc in regards to “input lag”

            That’s actually a fantastic point in favor of your argument. There is no “input lag” in Dota 2. What makes it feel more floaty and less responsive is the presence of turning animations and very long cast animations. When a hero wants to go a different direction, that hero is actually required to rotate until they are facing the correct direction before they begin moving. This is not the case in League of Legends. While this was probably originally a leftover artifact of the Warcraft 3 engine, it has enormous ramifications on gameplay.

            For instance, let’s say I’m playing Sand King. I see a group of three enemies together: an Antimage, a Dazzle, and a Zeus. I want to dash in with my stun and immediately start my huge ultimate, Epicenter. The problem is that I know Zeus has a near instantly-castable ministun that will break the huge 3-4 second “windup” on Epicenter, thereby wasting it and causing me to die horribly. However if Zeus isn’t looking in my direction, I can still get it off before he’s able to stop me. Now, I’ll get a triple-kill where I would have just died miserably if turning animations didn’t exist.

            These kinds of things are often regarded as archaic, bad design mistakes, but they add a huge amount of complexity and depth to the game that wouldn’t otherwise be there. The effect of this is that you have a game with a much higher skill ceiling for your average player. For instance I’m about 300 games in right now and I still learn something new every time I play. Something that will allow me to get that triple kill next time when the opportunity presents itself.

          • Kitsuninc says:

            Well, yeah, but there is legit input lag too. If you have 200 ping, it takes a fifth of a second (Or something like that) between doing something e.g. clicking, and the response e.g. movement, even beyond the delays programmed into the game. If you try playing on a server you get really high ping to it should be extremely obvious, everything you do will be a bit behind what’s happening on-screen. This opposed to LoL which makes your hero actions occur client-side, then compensates for the lag of other champs (Or something like that). The lag makes heroes like Puck nearly impossible to play if your ping is higher than 100.

        • Ruffian says:

          You’ll eventually get to the same place with Dota, it just takes a little longer I think. I really think that’s just it fellas, Dota’s jut more complicated – it’s right for some, not right for others, : ) No Big.

  4. Surlywombat says:

    While I’m pleased that S2 manages to keep going, I can’t help wish that they would make Savage 3.

    • AiglosCelt says:

      Considering how badly they botched Savage 2, a third installment would probably be an angry birds clone or something

  5. DaftPunk says:

    All these moba games looks so damn similar.

    • pakoito says:

      HoN was a branch/port of Dota with its main designer Icefrog until the he left and joined Valve.

      LoL is the product of the designer before Icefrog, with the same bases but a different emphasis on ease of access and cookie-cutter heroes.

      The rest of the genre is just people piggybacking on Dota and claims of having reinvented the wheel.

    • Arathain says:

      They are very similar. They are fundamentally the same game made by different people. Still, once you’ve put the requisite dozens of hours into any one of them the similarities become the blank canvas on which a broad range of subtleties are painted, which is why dedicated players have a hard time seeing them as like each other at all.

      • Ringwraith says:

        They look the same and have the some basic concepts, but the nuances are different.
        It’s like what makes fighting games with the same style basic control schemes (i.e. the number of “basic attack buttons) so vastly different when you actually try and play them.

    • Zlarp says:

      Maybe think of it the same way you do with sports. Take Ice hockey and football/soccer. In both you want to get the playing piece in the other team’s goal. The playing field is remarkably similar.

      Yet, the scoccer field is a lot bigger (Dota’s map is a lot bigger than LoL’s). However, soccer is a much tamer game, it’s dangerous to do fouls, because the ref might card you. In Ice Hockey, (I’m exaggerating here for comic effect), people are trying to kill each other and the puck and goal things are pretty much just a front.

  6. mr.ioes says:

    Those videos contain 99% gibberish. Is there a list of the 3.0 changes?

    Enhanced Player Experience – Try new player walkthroughs, watch the Learnatorium video series, navigate reworked UI, earn awesome player rewards, and practice against brand new Bots.
    The Time for New Heroes – Valkyrie, Deadwood, Magebane and 27 other iconic heroes have been given unique backstories and redesigned with spectacular high definition graphics.
    An All-New Caldavar – The Forests of Caldavar map is now more dynamic, with stunning new aesthetics including updated tower designs, fountains, buildings, and more.
    A Stronger Community – The revamped Report-A-Player system now directly gives the community the power to improve player behavior and promote positivity.

    So, a big patch containing zero changes to the gameplay? I don’t know …

    • Grey Poupon says:

      They don’t want to change gameplay during their biggest tournament yet. All of their balance and gameplay changes are coming in april. Pretty sure the competitive players would have easilly adjusted to changed and would have probably even preferred to get them now instead of waiting ’till april.

  7. Magnusm1 says:

    @Jockie Is it so hard to get in your skull that it’s a BETA? BETA means UNFINISHED.
    If you weren’t so uninformed, you would also know that Valve are currently working on creating a tutorial-scenario.

  8. Sardonic says:

    People still play HoN? lol

  9. ceemko says:

    I don’t understand S2 at all. I love HoN for its fast gameplay compared to LoL or Dota 2 and for the fact that they ban Russian players from european servers (lack of this makes Dota 2 unplayable in europe, because noone speaks english). I don’t think UI changes are good – they changed UI, but did not improve it in my opinion. They also added bunch of visuals that are clearly aimed at kids. S2 is afraid of changes that would help the game (teleport functionality similar to Dota 2, which would make pro games much less passive), but include changes that actually alienate part of the player base (basically switching to LoL art style step by step). I don’t get it. I hope they know what they are doing.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I don’t understand S2 at all. I love HoN for its fast gameplay compared to LoL or Dota 2

      S2 is afraid of changes that would help the game (teleport functionality similar to Dota 2, which would make pro games much less passive),

      Eh? You trying to win an award for contradicting yourself in the shortest number of sentences?

      Also you probably missed this whole thing but HoN was a direct clone of DotA to begin with. Once IceFrog left they started making their own heroes but tons of them are still clones of DotA heroes e.g. Pharoah = ClockWerk