S2 Games, longtime fans of the "Defense of the Ancients" (DotA) mod for Warcraft 3, have decided to create an entire game based around it (which IceFrog had no objection to). Without offending their still-active NDA, I can say that Heroes of Newerth is shaping up to be a very polished RTS, with the ability to play both via S2's own online service and local games, something that even Blizzard seems to be missing these days. Unlike most publishers, S2 has also decided to simultaneously release Windows, Mac, and Linux clients, making this one of the best looking games that I have ever seen on my Linux box. Additionally, S2 would like to invite another 400 players to the HoN beta, so if you are an RTS fan (and especially if you are a DotA fan) just send an email to scuttlemonkey at slashdot dot org with the subject line of "HoN Beta Key Request" and I'll reply to the first 400 requests as best I can. Update 20:37 GMT by SM: In case you don't notice in your haste to create a beta account, let me remind you that this game is still under strict NDA, so please no specifics in the discussion below. Update 00:01 GMT by SM: Well, given the 800+ emails that flooded my inbox in the first half hour or so we're all out of beta keys, but keep an eye out for a release date. Update 01:00 GMT by SM: Apparently your friends over at S2 games were quite impressed with the level of interest and are furnishing another 2,000 beta keys for me to continue working through the requests in my inbox (I'm at around 1,500 requests total as of this update, and only about 350 keys sent out). Please be patient as I slowly try to catch up. Also a point of clarification, while IceFrog doesn't mind S2 diving in to this space with a game based on DotA (competition is good in the long run after all), he wanted to make sure loyal fans of DotA knew that he plans to continue developing and improving DotA for WC3. Update 7/10/2009 13:06 GMT by SM: to all those still waiting on a beta invite, please be patient. I use gmail as the central repository for my email for ease-of-use, and while I was only expecting to have to hand out 400 keys, apparently gmail has an email cap of 500 per day. Last night my account got locked for excessive use, so I am waiting on the wrist-slap to expire so I can continue my key-spam. It looks like all who have requested a key so far will get one.