A Fair Heroes of Newerth VS DotA

#1 Posted by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

I've played DotA since way back. Further back than when Medusa had 100% split shot, and rikimaru had his deathstick. Back when the loads were literally minutes long and I still play with my friends up until the latest WC3 patch killed the game. I'll prolly continue to play it whenever they patch it because it's still really fun and I'm still more comfortable with the game and I'm used to all it's little changes and balance fixes.
 
Still, long term, I think Heroes of Newerth is the way to go. Let me explain.
 
I'll start though with what I view as the game's shortcomings and why I think DotA players will hate on the game.
 
The biggest thing DotA has on HoN is just that DotA is the original. Even though it's passed through many different teams of people working and updating the map, it's still always been called Defense of the Ancients and is the original DotA. I know there were other custom maps like it before, but as far as DotA goes, this is it. The original, and all others are copies. So there is the first and largest issue most DotA players have, that HoN is just a copy of DotA and it's true. HoN is unquestionable rip off of DotA. Down to many of it's heroes and the mechanics of how the game works, it is as close a copy to DotA as you'll find anywhere. Hell, in the patch notes, when they add new heroes, 90% of the time the new heroes are described as which hero they are in DotA with whatever modifications were made to them. Many people will just use this argument as their base and not give HoN a chance due to it.
 
Now, onto the first thing people who were DotA fans will complain about once they actually start to play the game. How come they changed all the names of the items and heroes if they're still the same items and heroes. I myself don't know the answer to this one and this was personally my biggest strike against HoN. Since it's already such a rip off, why not just keep the item names and heroe names? I don't have an answer and think it's most likely due to HoN not wanting to be sued later on down the line if it's a carbon copy of Blizzards character models and DotA's names. Maybe that's not enough to really protect them but a lot of genres are blatant rip offs of other games in that same genre with a facelift and a few new features so I don't see why HoN doing the same thing would be much different. Pretty much, since everyone is called something else and in some cases look drastically different (Sand King is now a Magma looking guy that runs around on fire) it's almost like learning DotA all over again. You still have your basic skill set, but not being able to see what's on the screen and instantly know who's who with what powers is a distinct disadvantage and initially very frustrating. The better you are at DotA, the more frustrating it is for you to feel like a noob that doesn't know what hero can do what and where to find the item you're looking for. It's a valid complaint, but not something that's insurmountable and this complaint also only applies to people who played DotA. I would say this is sort of akin to someone who's played a ton of Halo 3 then got mad that the control scheme for Call of Duty isn't the same and they have to relearn it. As much as they're sort of the same game, you have to learn to play the new one.
 
The final large complaint any DotA fan would have against HoN, is in my opinion the largest one and the one that keeps me going back to DotA whenever there's an update. Currently, HoN is at least a few versions behind DotA in it's updates. For example, Rootfellen still puts eyes in trees instead of placing actual trees themselves. Whenever DotA releases a new version, there are balance fixes, new heroes, reworked ones and all kinds of little different things that make it "better". HoN is still in beta, doesn't have all the heroes implemented and the ones they do have that are copies of DotA heroes, are most times outdated. Now, it's not like everytime DotA patches, HoN can just copy the new prices, damage amounts, cooldown times, ranges and everything else. If they did that, they wouldn't be working on their game, they'd just be trying to play catchup to DotA. This is just something you'll have to live with to play HoN. It's funny that most DotA people will complain that it's a copy, then also complain that it's not copying enough. Catch 22 anyone? In any case, if you play HoN, as hard as it may be, you have to mentally separate it from DotA. 
 
Now, onto what I think this game does better than DotA.
 
DotA in a lot of ways can be argued to be a better balanced and have better gameplay because that's all subjective. What you can not really argue though, is the things HoN brings that can't be brought to DotA due to it being a custom map in another game instead of a game built around just it. Basically, what tips the scale in HoN's favor is that the game is built from the ground up to support the type of game it is, and it's community.
 
The single largest reason why I prefer HoN over DotA is it's stat tracking. No more banlists, no more TDA, no more complaining about pubbies. When you join a game now, you can see the stats and general skill level of everyone in the game prior to the start of the game. The game keeps track of a laundry list of stats. Off the top of my head, the interesting ones are games played, games won, games lost, kills, deaths and most importantly, disconnects. People are generally less likely to play like idiots who decide to feed because they didn't get their way, or just leave any game they don't like because this all gets recorded. There are long term consequences for being a jackass in these games and since it's not like Blizzard's battlenet, you can't just continually recreate new account names so that people don't know you're a quitting, feeding moron. Hosts can create games that automatically don't allow people with a certain disconnect percentage to join if they like. They can also create games where you can't have lower than a certain kill/death ratio. Now, this isn't bad for noobs or people who just aren't good because anyone can create a room and wouldn't you rather play with people around your own skill level anyway rather than get beat down constantly and belittled for playing badly?
 
Now, just because you can't disconnect doesn't mean you have to stay till the bitter end in every game. There's an option to vote to concede the match where if 100% of your team votes yes, the game will no longer keep stats and you are free to leave without taking a discon. This way, if you want to stay even though you are losing and have fun, you can with whoever else wants to while those who want to leave just can. Of course if you concede, you'll still take a loss but isn't it better if the whole team thinks it's over to leave and find a new game rather than slowly ride out an ass kicking?
 
As for disconnecting, if your computer freezes, your internet goes down or whatever the hell happens, you have a couple minutes worth of time to load the game back up, and hop right back into the game you were playing and not take a discon. When you drop from the game, your hero will no longer be under anyone's control but instead wait for you to reconnect.
 
The games interface is also much more suited for the style of game than DotA is in my opinion. Your full team's portraits with health and mana bars are displayed along the left side of the screen so with a glance you can tell how much life and mana or how long to respawn every hero on your team is. In addition to that, if you hover your cursor over any of their heads, a list of details will roll out including what powers they have taken and how much cooldown is left before they can cast it again. No more asking if someone has their ult, you can just check. In addition to that, a small thing but something I really appreciate is that there is a numerical counter that counts down how long it is until your own powers are ready to be reactivated.
 
In game voice is another great thing that I didn't really know I wanted till I had it. I play DotA lan with my friends so we never needed to use ventrilo or anything but the way that it's implemented is pretty good. You hold down one button to talk to your whole team, and there's a different button you can hold down to talk to the people in just the lane you're in. That way, if you're planning an action with someone in your lane and your lane only, the whole team doesn't have to hear it, just the one's involved. In addition to that, when you use voice com, your icon in the minimap will change to show that you're the one talking. That way, if you way something along the lines of "I'm coming to jump" and the other's on your team don't know your voice, they can glance at the minimap and see who said it and where you're coming from. Small but nice again.
 
Another thing I like about this game is the way you buy items. Pretty much it's a copy paste as far as what's available including recipies but the way you shop is much better than the way it's set up in DotA. In HoN, you can click any recipie and it will tell you in a visual interface what items are needed to build it, and which items you already own that work into the recipie. From this list that clicking on the recipie shows you, you can click the individual pieces and they will be purchased from the list instead of forcing you to find the item in it's respective store. So for example, when the game starts, you click the recipie for the Strength bracer which then displays all the components including the recipie. You click, click, click the two items and recipie from that one menu and you're done. Quick and easy.
 
The visuals is just eye candy, but once you get used to who's who, it's really pretty and it looks great. The models are also built around the abilities of the heroes instead of the other way around as with DotA. A quick example of this would be the two heroes Slardar and Bloodseeker. Both have an ability that greatly increases their speed. Sprint and Bloodlust?. In Hon, Slardar looks like a giant carrion beetle and when you turn on his sprint, he opens up his back and he starts to fly. Bloodseeker looks like some freaky alien and when he's in chase mode, his limbs all outstretch and his actual model changes to show that he's in that mode. The game is littered with things like this and I really like it.
 
If you're read this far, congratulations, you made it to the end. I will most likely continue to play DotA as they release updates but once HoN goes full retail, as long as there's people playing, it's where I'll be. I'm not too sure about League of Legends and I can't say anything about it since I haven't played it, but really, what I like is DotA and I don't want to learn a whole new game. If it's really good and gets a huge audience, I'll give it a shot, but right now, I'm happy w/an upgraded DotA -_-;; Demigods really killed the idea of playing a new DotA like game for me. That game was kinda cool and had good ideas but it's issues at launch ruined it for me.
 
Steve

#2 Posted by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

Oh, btw, if anyone wants any beta keys to try it out while it's still in beta, send me a PM or post here 
http://www.giantbomb.com/forums/general-discussion/30/new-dota-game-beta-keys/250841/?page=2
 
Steve

#3 Posted by EkiN (1 posts) -

Re Fobwased:

Hello, I've been playing DotA for a long time also, And I remember me playing HoN from scratch. All the heroes and spells looked diffrent. So I had no idea what I were challenging, and you said that the biggest problem were that people feeded on purpose and left the game just because they almost felt for it, I agree. But if you played at Dota-League, It almost had the same ranking system as HoN, but The thing i disliked with Dota-league were that you had hard to play with your friends, and that you maby instead of let people join instantgames liked it were there, you maby should have it more like it were on b.net and HoN. But when i comes to gameplay I Surly prefer DotA, But im not givin up on HoN yet bcuz its only Beta vers. But imo for now. Dota has a more feeling and passion of playing. 
Best Regards, EkiN

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