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Heroes of Newerth
Developer(s) S2 Games
Publisher(s) S2 Games
Engine K2 Engine
Platform(s) Linux, Mac OS X, Windows
Release date(s) 2010
Genre(s) RTS Arena
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Rating(s) TBA
Media Download
System requirements Minimum System Requirements[1]

2.2GHz processor


GeForce 5, ATI 9x00, OpenGL 1.2 compatible (Linux and Mac) video card

Linux/Windows XP/Vista/Mac

Network Connection Required

Input methods Keyboard, mouse and Microphone(VoIP)

Heroes of Newerth is a game by S2 Games which is heavily based on the Warcraft III scenario Defense of the Ancients (DotA).



Players in Heroes of Newerth control a single character in a 3/4 perspective, fantasy-based world. 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. Currently there are a total of sixty heroes consisting of thirty for each faction, the Legion and the Hellbourne. S2 Games has stated more heroes are forthcoming, but have not officially stated the number of heroes that will be available at release.


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" 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 and "support" - heroes which have a range of abilities from healing and buffing to damage and disables. The hero "Jason Cross" was removed from the beta after a short time as he was too powerful, he has been replaced with Swiftblade.

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 vastly 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.


Heroes of Newerth features a wide variety of items to choose from. 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 items are consumed upon use, while a few tactical and/or very powerful items are dropped upon the player's death.

Game Modes

Hero selection is dependent on the type of game being played. As of Patch, game modes that have been implemented are as follows:

  • Normal Mode: Players can select freely and in any order from the entire pool of heroes from their faction in a first-come first-picked method;
  • Random Mode: Players are given a random hero.
  • Single Draft: Players are randomly assigned three heroes, one of each attribute type, to select from.
  • Random Draft: Players pick from a common, randomly reduced pool of heroes in an alternating fashion.
  • Banning Draft: Similar to Random Draft, except for the addition of the ability to ban heroes from the pool.
  • Banning Pick: Team Captains first ban 3 heroes from the entire pool and then teams alternate hero selection similar to Random Draft.

There is also a Deathmatch game mode, but it has not been fully implemented.

In addition to game modes, there are game options, which are additional modifiers on the game. For example, "All Heroes" option allows players to choose heroes regardless of their faction, while "No Agility" takes out Agility heroes from the available hero pool, or "duplicate heroes," which allows players to pick the same characters regardless of whether it has been picked. Players may also opt to randomly select a hero from the available pool. In normal mode this results in a bonus to starting gold for the player.

New features

Most heroes in Heroes of Newerth have a direct correlation from Defense of the Ancients, 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, and GUI-streamlined hero selection (draft mode, etc). Post-game MVP awards and matchmaking are upcoming but not currently implemented in beta. The game also uses S2 Games' proprietary K2 Engine, and a client-server model similar to that used in many modern multiplayer games.[2]. 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.[3] [4].

The game also has some features not present in Warcraft III, such as full friends list, ban-list, and clan support, complete replay system, as well as ability to reconnect to games if a disconnection occurs.

Beta testing

Heroes of Newerth is currently in Closed Beta with over 1,000,000 users registered. [5] On average, over 40,000 active users play the game at any given point in time. S2 Games used a Facebook fan page and word of mouth to attract players. Registered users can also send out invites to others, which allow for the creation of a beta account.

On August 22, 2009 the pre-sale of Heroes of Newerth began for members of the beta. Pre-sales of the game includes the benefits of name reservation, gold-colored nameplate, gold shield insignia (which will both remain once the game is released), in-game taunt ability, and well as additional beta invitations (3 for every pre-ordered account).

The game's Non-disclosure agreement for beta members was lifted on September 8, 2009.[6]


S2 has announced that the game will be supported on multiple operating systems, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

S2's Idejder (forum username) has stated that "Heroes of Newerth has been in development for around 3 years. The first 13 months consisted of further developing S2's K2 Engine used by previous projects for Heroes of Newerth, while the remaining time was spent replicating DotA mechanics and content as correctly as possible, re-skinning the game with new art, and developing a small amount of new content in the form of maps, items, heroes and hero tweaks."[7]

Awards and nominations

Date of ceremony Award Category Recipients and nominees Result
March 11, 2010 Independent Games Festival[8] Audience Award S2 Games Won

External links


  1. ^ "Heroes of Newerth System Requirements". Heroes of Newerth. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  2. ^ HoN Front page, briefly mentions advantages of client-server
  3. ^ FAQ explaining Warcraft 3's basic network model
  4. ^ University of Michigan lecture notes on network programming in games -- Page 7 relevant w/ regards to Peer to Peer disadvantages
  5. ^ We Just Broke 1,000,000 Accounts. Retrieved on 2009-12-23.
  6. ^ Terms of Service. Retrieved on 2009-10-31.
  7. ^ Ask S2 Games #1 Retrieved on 2009-10-31.
  8. ^ " S2 Games presented Audience Award by IGF"

Simple English

Heroes of Newerth is a real-time strategy game based on Defense of the Ancients. The game is created by S2 games. It will be available on multiple operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. It is currently in closed beta with over 700,000 registered users. The pre-order sales began on August 22, 2009.

The game consists of two teams that battle against each other. The teams, the Hellbourne and the Legion, offer players a wide variety of unique heroes that the player controls in the game. The heroes of each team are categorized as: Intelligence, Strength, and Agility.

Many of the heroes and items in the game are taken directly from Defense of the Ancients. However, there are a few heroes and items that new to Heroes of Newerth.


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