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New RTS Based on DotA Offers Native Linux Client 173

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.
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New RTS Based on DotA Offers Native Linux Client

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  • by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @05:00PM (#28628273)
    I've never experienced any game which has such a hostile community as DOTA. The torrent of abuse you can get from your team mates, even if you're winning, is unreal and to say the experience for noobish types is unpleasant is an understatement.

    They're so deadly serious and so intolerant, it spoils a good game. I did stick with it a while and get reasonable with it but I got tired of the abuse hurled around at everyone and gave it up. By contrast Footman Frenzy and Maffarazzo TD are much more tolerable.
  • by Radhruin ( 875377 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @05:05PM (#28628331)

    For those unaware of what DotA is, it's a team based strategy game where you control a single character (called your hero) with varied abilities. The goal is simply to destroy the enemy team's main structure, which is protected by multiple towers of progressive difficulty and, of course, enemy heroes.

    During the course of the game, you attempt to kill as many neutral computer units as possible in order to collect money, buy items to improve your character, gain experience and skills, and kill enemy heroes. When you get into the strategy a bit more, there are far more goals to attend to, such as harassing enemy heroes and denying them of experience and money, 'ganking' enemies with your teammates, and etc. There is a lot of depth in the game play and lots of general strategies to pick from.

    As the subject says, DotA is really the only game I play these days, and I've been playing it for years. There are around 100 heroes, each with their own set of unique abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. The game is intuitive to play and always interesting. It also runs on old hardware, being based on a blizzard game, although it can take a while to load.

    If this game is even a fraction as fun as DotA, and has a native Linux client, it's a must buy from me.

  • by Myrcutio ( 1006333 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @05:11PM (#28628401)
    Demigod only came out a few months ago, turned out to be a worthwhile alternative to DotA, and surprisingly more friendly to newcomers. The biggest downside to Demigod however is the conversion from the Wine-friendly stardock client to the newer Impulse client, based on dotnet2. As yet, mono isn't up to the task of running the client, which basically puts linux out of the picture for what would be a very fun game (note* warcraft3 runs flawlessly). A native linux remake of DotA could be very enticing for us penguin lovers.
  • by dannys42 ( 61725 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @05:12PM (#28628415)

    I've found this to be true of pretty much anything on battle.net. Or perhaps of anything remotely popular.

    I think part of the problem is the complete anonymity of people and the fact that there are a lot of immature people playing the game that haven't learned yet the value of teamwork.

    What may help is a psuedo social network, where players could rank each other in terms of who're good players, whether people enjoyed playing with/against them, etc. Somewhat like the feedback mechanisms of ebay and amazon. This way unpleasant players will find that they just don't get invited/allowed to many games.

    But of course you still need some way for newbies to get experience and reputation, or else you'll effectively cut off experience players from new players.

    A mechanism like this could also make it easier for people of similar skill levels to find and play with each other.

  • by Cornflake917 ( 515940 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @05:14PM (#28628447) Homepage

    I have to second this. I have never experienced so many whiny, stupid, inconsiderate assholes in a single game. DoTA games makes Counter-Strike servers seem like Sesame Street. It's really such a shame because I think DoTA is a freakin' awesome game.

    If you are new or somewhat new to the game you can download the AI maps for DoTA which actually has relatively challenging AI, and you can at least learn about all of the weapons and skills. After playing that for awhile you can probably join a few games with only few curse words thrown in your direction.

  • Re:Let it die (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fozzyuw ( 950608 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @05:24PM (#28628575)

    Wikipedia to the rescue! [wikipedia.org]. DotA is it's own kind of mini-genre but it does share some similarities to a Tower Defense game. More of a "Tower Offense and Defense" and instead of "Tower" you have "hero character". More of a "tug-of-war" kind of game where you stream of soldiers is trying to push back your enemies stream of soldiers to their base so your guys can kill their "boss" or "Ancient".

    Some games have a "tower" builder making it possible to play it similarly to a tower defense with offense.

    I love Warcraft 3 mods. I would probably call these things their own style of mini-games:

    Defense of the Ancients
    Tower Defense
    Castle Defense
    Team Survival (or Enfo's Team Survival)

    I think Enfo's was one of my favorites and they're all fairly similar, but just different enough. No doubt some where inspired by others.

  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @05:54PM (#28628941) Journal

    in World of Warcraft:

    A PvP battleground implementation of DotA.

    Seriously. DotA, first-person perspective. You and 39 of your closest friends plus auto-spawning NPC combatants slugging it out to advance battle lines and destroy opposing infrastructure. The other faction, doing exactly the same thing. And trying to kill you in the process, just like you're trying to do to them.

    Add combat vehicles... maybe aircraft with dogfighting... yeah. That's what Blizz shoulda done.

  • Re:Woo Hoo!!! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kelvie ( 822725 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @09:45PM (#28631191)
    It does run on 64-bit (natively), I have it running right now. The linux installer has both 32 and 64 bit binaries inside it, and I must say, it works (almost) flawlessly. There is one issue with it I have, but I think KWin is to blame rather than S2. It also runs _really_ fast on linux, and it's just a beta. I'd expect it to be much better when it gets released.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley