Heroes of Newerth

Did Heroes of Newerth shut down its servers? How to play the free version?

Heroes of Newerth (HoN) was a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game originally developed by S2 Games for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The game idea was derived from the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne custom map Defense of the Ancients and was S2 Games’ first MOBA title. The game was released on May 12, 2010, and re-released as a free-to-play game on July 29, 2011. On May 5, 2015, Heroes of Newerth development duties passed to Frostburn Studios, with the development team moving over to the new company. 

Did Heroes of Newerth shut down its servers?

Once-popular MOBA Heroes of Newerth shutting down its servers today. Today’s final day of operation was announced back in December, when developer Frostburn Studios set out a plan to sunset the game.

The ability to purchase Gold Coin currency was disabled last year, while new accounts were disabled on New Year’s Eve. Today marks the official close-down date of Newerth’s main services.

“Even though the journey of HoN or Heroes of Newerth has come to an end, we believe that all the valuable memories of our players through all these years will never fade away,” Frostburn wrote at the time.

Heroes of Newerth originally launched in 2010, developed by the now-defunct S2 Games. Various staff members transferred to Frostburn to continue working on the game, which eventually grew to include more than 130 playable heroes.

How to play Heroes of Newerth for free?

S2 Games released Heroes of Newerth as a free-to-play game on July 29, 2011. Accounts that were purchased before this date retained access to all content and updates without additional charges. Accounts made after this had 15 free-rotating heroes to choose from; the 15 heroes rotated every week. These accounts only had access to the game mode All Pick. Through purchasing coins or earning them in play, players could purchase the ability to use additional heroes. Players had to pay for tokens to play additional game modes, so that they could temporarily have the hero pool available to provide balance in hero selection.

On July 19, 2012, nearly one year after announcing its free-to-play model S2 Games announced publicly that the game would be completely free to play with no restrictions to hero access, excluding Early Access to yet to be released heroes. The in-game store pricing was also reworked to allow easier access to in-game cosmetic content.

In October 2012, S2 Games announced HoN Tour, an automated tournament system built into the game. The tournament is open to anyone and players compete to earn real money. The first “cycle” of the event began the weekend of December 1.

What types of Heroes are in Heroes of Newerth?

Heroes of Newerth heroes are categorized as strength, agility, and intelligence. Your hero will get 1 point of damage for every point of their primary attribute. So if you are a strength hero and you get an item with 10 strength, not only will you get the hit points and health regen that other heroes would, but you get 10 damage as well. Here are some generalities on the different types:

Usually good tanks, many have decent nukes, but they usually aren’t as powerful as the int hero nukes, some can carry or chase well
Many of these heroes are considered carry or chase heroes, a few have no nukes at all, making killing difficult until you gain levels and items
These heroes have a variety of skills that can turn a team fight. Many have disables of some kind.
We highly recommend that new players _DO NOT_ play agility heroes. Agility heroes are very squishy (low hit points/easier to kill) in the beginning and not very effective. New players will likely end up dying often with these heroes. In addition, playing these heroes effectively requires good movement, positioning and knowledge of the enemy heroes. All of which new players will not have.

Most strength heroes are a good choice. Some of the int heroes may be fun for new players to play but some are tricky and difficult to use effectively.

There are various non-player creatures in the game. For a detailed overview look at the Creeps page. If you last-hit a creature you will gain a chunk of gold. In general, killing stronger creatures gives you more gold and experience. A few heroes can create or take control of creatures in various ways. Two items also let you create/control creatures: Puzzle Box and the Whispering Helm.

What was the rival for Heroes of Newerth?

In April 2009, two lane-pushing games entered beta in the same month. Heroes of Newerth and League of Legends competed for more-or-less the same audience of Dota fans. Initially it wasn’t clear which would have the greater success, but LoL’s free-to-play model saw it garner enormous momentum and soon become the most-played game in the world.

Heroes of Newerth still found a dedicated audience, however, and one large enough to sustain it for almost a decade of updates (the last major update came in 2019). At the time this was clearly an update for the end times, adding tributes to staff members for their hard work over the years, and making one final major rebalancing patch.

In December 2021 the closure was announced by Frostburn studio (which took over the game from the now-defunct original developer S2 Games):

Heroes of Newerth (HoN) has been in service for a long time. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who has been on this journey, created special memories together with us, moved HoN forward, and created a lot of unforgettable stories for HoN, as well as making Heroes of Newerth become one of the most popular MOBA games in history.

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