|S2 Games Developers Discuss Heroes Of Newerth|
December 22, 2010 | Jon Carr
With the recent launch of the Heroes of Newerth 2.0 update I got a chance to ask some questions of S2 Games' James Fielding, Director of Design and Development and Pu Liu, Senior Games Designer. The two developers answered questions about future updates, special features, the map editor, and the possibility of a single player campaign.
JC: You just launched a massive free update, version 2.0. What surprises lay in store for current and new players?
S2 Games: We've always been very forthcoming and transparent with our players, so hopefully everything they received with HoN 2.0 was of no surprise. That said, we have very exciting plans in the works for some new feature content that players will be thrilled- and maybe even surprised!- about in the future.JC: Can Heroes of Newerth Players look forward to future updates from S2 games? Would you ever consider adding persistent items to players as seen in something like Gas Powered Games Demigod, or would this imbalance the HoN formula?
S2: As the big boss Maliken says, HoN will never be truly finished. We will continue to provide free updates for our players in the form of balance tweaks, new features, interface enhancements, etc. While persistent items are interesting in that they grant players a greater sense of progression, we will never add anything to the game that compromises the competitive integrity of HoN. The only thing separating players is their skill- not how many hours they've clocked in the game.
JC: A new map was also just added that sports a new winter tileset and a special teleporter. Can players look forward to more new maps with interesting features ? Would you ever include dynamic weather like snow or storms?
S2: HoN 2.0 released dynamic weather with rain and snow. It's even set up in a way such that users can customize the weather to have men raining down from the sky, or anything else that tickles their fancy. Players can definitely expect new maps and even game modes in the future. The details of said maps and modes will be heavily influenced by our player’s feedback and requests.
JC: The 2.0 update also includes a Map editor. What kind of submission process would a user-submitted map have to pass before it could be played multiplayer? Could there be a 'custom-server' option where user created maps could be played? Would future updates possibly include a Hero editor?
S2: User-made maps will be able to be submitted to our DREAM website- the same that we use to gather hero suggestions from our community. If the submitted map proves to be popular, S2 may review it and release it for public consumption. We are still investigating less stringent alternatives for players to play and share their creations. It is, however, important to us to maintain a certain level of quality and integrity to our online multiplayer experience. Players can already create and customize their own heroes through our entity scripting system- the very same that we here at S2 use.
JC: The new in-game shop is certainly a strong addition to HoN's already considerable list of features. Goblin Currency (coins) can be either purchased online or earned in game through the match-making system. Could you elaborate on the reward system players can expect to get from match-making? What is the difference between account experience and currency?
S2: The reward system emphasizes performance and good team-play. A player will get more coins from winning than losing, and is rewarded for helping the team out with wards, kills, and assists, among other team-benefiting actions. Account experience is another way for players to gain coins. In addition to being rewarded for actions within a certain game, players are rewarded with experience- when they level up from gaining experience, they get a nice bonus gold amount.
JC: HoN has been said to have a steep learning curve for newcomers. How has the new Casual mode affected the entry barrier to the game's depth and complexity?
S2: It is still too early to tell what effects Casual Mode has had on easing the learning curve for HoN. We are, however, very confident that Casual Mode will lower the entry barrier by easing players into HoN's depth and complexity in an environment that stresses high rewards for good play and minimizes punishment for mistakes.
JC: Is there a possibility of a single player campaign or story mode being added down the road to HoN, or will it always remain a purely multiplayer experience?
JC: What should fans of S2 Games and HoN be excited about in 2011? Can you give us any hints?
S2: Can't give any hints right now, but we're always looking to improve the game based on our community's feedback- there is no limit to where HoN can go and 2011 will be proof of that.
JC: Thank you for your time!
Heroes of Newerth is available from S2 Games. You can buy an account on their website, or for a friend you can get a trial key which is good for 10 sessions. With the 2.0 update live there is no better time to check out the game and get involved in the world of Newerth.