Heroes of Newerth 101

A few days ago, Garena gave away around 2000 beta keys for Heroes of Newerth (HON), and in less than an hour, all the keys were gone. If this was an indication of just how anticipated HON is by gamers, then we might just be looking at the next big thing in Philippine online gaming. 

Last week, Garena Brand Manager Zodiac was gracious enough to answer some questions about their company and their soon to be released game. 
This week we take a look further at HON and find out why a lot of strategy gamers have been pleading for more beta keys. 

Heroes of Newerth is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game made by S2 Games based on the “Warcraft III” scenario Defense of the Ancients (DoTA) wherein players control a single character from a third person perspective. HoN focuses on hero control and development, and removes many of the common features of classic real time strategy games, such as base management, resource collection and single-player missions. The goal of the game is to work together in teams of five in order to take over the opposing team’s base. Players gain experience over time through the elimination of enemy creeps and obtain gold over time in order to purchase new equipment. Hero characters max out at level twenty-five and are only able to carry six pieces of equipment. Defense towers are set up in the top, middle and bottom rows of each team on the map. Players must work their way through each tower and eventually take over the base. The team who destroys the opposing team’s base first wins the match. As of patch, there are currently thirty-two heroes on the Legion side, and thirty-three (one developmental) heroes on the Hellbourne for a total of sixty-five heroes with more to be released in the future.

Heroes are primarily organized by their main attribute—either strength, intelligence, or agility. A main attribute, along with the set of abilities that is provided for a hero, loosely assigns the role that they will fill in the game—such as an “initiator” (Behemoth, Witch Slayer, and etc), who is geared towards being the first hero into a fight, a “carry” who scales very well the longer the game moves on and deals massive damage (Chronos, Forsaken Archer, and etc) and “support” (Jereziah, Ophelia, and etc)—heroes which have a range of abilities from healing and buffing to damage and disables.

While the three primary attributes help categorize heroes, what truly distinguishes each hero from others is their set of abilities. Each hero in the game has four unique skills or spells that can be learned and improved as the hero gains levels. These abilities accomplish different things, such as dealing damage, healing, stunning, immobilizing or silencing, teleportation, summoning and life and mana draining. While the skills themselves are unique, the skills of each hero usually have some sort of synergy with each other. For example, a hero might have one skill that reduces an enemy’s defenses against magic, and another skill that deals magic damage. Using these skills one after the other increases the hero’s effectiveness by allowing them to do more damage.

Each hero’s skill set defines their role in the game. These roles can vary according to the compositions of each team as well as the overall strategy that the team decides to follow. Heroes can belong to multiple categories. In addition, item selection is an important factor that determines a hero’s role as it allows for additional offensive, defensive and buff spells to become available to a player.

HON likewise features a wide variety of items to utilize. Items are the primary means by which heroes improve their attributes and therefore become stronger and more effective. Some items may also grant additional passive or active abilities in addition to the four that the hero has.

Items are purchased from various shops that are scattered around the map. Most of the items can be found in the main shop in each faction’s base. In addition, some lanes contain an Outpost Shop which sell cheap, commonly sought items. A third kind of shop, called the Secret Shop, is usually located in the forest and sells very powerful and expensive items.

Items have a tier structure that determines their power. Higher tier items can be assembled by following 
their “recipe,” which determines what lower tier items are necessary in order to build the higher tier item. 
Upgrading items in this manner consume the individual parts, but the resulting item is usually stronger than its parts separately, and can grant powerful new abilities.

While most items are permanent, some upon activation summon controllable minions or offer support and damage, while some items are consumed upon use.

Most heroes in Heroes of Newerth have a direct correlation from DotA, with similar abilities and statistics. 
The additions that differentiate Heroes of Newerth from DotA are non-gameplay features 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.

The game also uses S2 Games’ proprietary K2 Engine and a client-server model similar to that used in many modern multiplayer games. 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.

Several features added via updates include a Hero Compendium. A listing of the heroes in the game with detail statistics about them. The ability to set a “following” trait on a friend which makes you join/leave the games that friend joins. This is similar to the party feature seen in other games. An ingame ladder system has been implemented as well.

We’ll have more details as the commercial release of Heroes of Newerth draws closer.


Datablitz picks of the week Monster Rancher Ds
Filled with nostalgia of past Monster Rancher games and imaginative monster breeding, fans of the series will not be disappointed with this latest installment. Focusing on the traditional gameplay of previous games, the DS platform is perfect for this title, as gamers can travel with their portable device and battle friends locally, or via a wireless connection. In addition, two players can connect their Nintendo DS devices together to combine monsters and uncover new breeds! Imagine, create, raise, battle and breed!

Use Your Imagination: Recite your favorite word and see what monster is created! Or, if it’s too loud to speak, draw a silly picture and see what monster appears. Unlock a secret method of creating monsters as you play through the game! You can even combine your favorite monsters to create a new, more powerful monster

Train to Become a Master Breeder: Find the best strategy to raise your monster on a weekly basis—too much rest or too much of the same training can be ineffective.

Bring Out the Rivalry: Not only was the training and management portion of monster breeding brushed up, but there are also many instances to fight rival breeders in the game as well.

Play with Friends: Battle your friends locally or online! Friends can also combine their monsters to create exciting new types through a local connection!

Battle Rounds: Choose attack techniques to be placed in the short, medium, and long ranges and execute them when there are enough points in the guts meter. If no technique is selected for a range, it becomes a defense panel and evasion skills are improved at that range.

Despicable Me (Multiplatform)
Players will experience the inventiveness of being a despicable genius as they become Gru, the films criminal mastermind, planning heists and plotting attacks on Gru’s archnemesis, Vector, as they work their way to villainous greatness. The game offers a unique blend of action and puzzle solving that combines the fun of commanding an army of loyal-but-manic minions and using an arsenal of wacky gadgets, weapons and vehicles to entertain players of all ages.


For all your PC gaming needs drop by Datablitz’ branches at SM, Robinsons, and Ayala Malls. You could also call (632) 7345058; (632) 7338477; (632) 7348 or check out their website at www.datablitz.com.ph. Send your questions and comments on anything gaming to [email protected] or [email protected] . Check out my[email protected] for the latest gaming, pop, tech, and music news, and follow me on twitter.com/ed_uy.

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