Monthly Archives: July 2011

Today HoN (Heroes of Newerth) has become free2play and a major patch has been released.
Those who already bought an account benefit greatly by having access to all heroes and “early access” heroes unlike the others who have access to only 15 heroes at start (they can buy/earn more heroes later on).

I must confess that I’m a HoN addict and the fact that LGN isn’t updated as frequently as before is due to this great game (you can find me under the nick of MaximB).

F2P & Early Access Announcement From Maliken :

HoN Players,

As you may have heard, HoN is now operating under a new, free-to-play model. This was a strategic transition intended to grow our community and solidify HoN as a major player in the ever-growing genre. A thriving player base is part of the content that makes HoN great. This transition empowers us to grow an even larger, more active player base, which will ultimately benefit everyone.

How does this affect you? As an existing player, your account has been automatically upgraded to a Legacy account, giving you free access to the general hero pool. New heroes may be released as part of the Early Access Program which allows you to purchase the ability to play these heroes prior to being available for FREE in the general hero pool.

With a Legacy account, you will also have the option to play in Verified Only games, to ensure that dedicated and vested players can be seperated from Basic (free-to-play non-verified accounts) accounts. If you’d like to play with friends who are joining HoN for the first time, you can also participate in Basic games to show them the ropes. With a free-to-play model, we remove a significant barrier to entry to allow you to bring new players to the game.

Our main goal at S2 Games is to remain committed to making the best game possible and ensure our existing players continue to stay engaged and challenged with new HoN blood in the community. Thank you for remaining loyal and supporting HoN.

 

As many of you might have questions regarding F2P, S2Games the creators of HoN has released a FAQ :

 

For Existing Players

Q. How does Free-to-Play affect me?

All existing players will be marked as Legacy accounts. Legacy accounts will no longer be obtainable and will continue to enjoy free access to the general hero pool. You will be able to play in Verified Only games, but can play in Basic games if you choose. Legacy players will continue to receive all content for free, including heroes after the hero leaves Early Access.

Q. What is Early Access?

Independent of Free-to-Play is a new feature called Early Access. Players will be able to purchase Early Access to new heroes to play them before they are released for free to the rest of the Legacy players.

While heroes are Early Access, they will not be playable in Tournament Play.

There are many reasons for the introduction of the Early Access system, for a detailed explanation see Maliken’s post here: http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/sh…d.php?t=305655

Q. I already paid for HoN! Was my money wasted now that it’s Free-to-Play?

Not at all! Legacy accounts are now a rarity, part of our old business model – you’re getting additional new content (outside of any potential pay for content expansions) for free, which is a perk no longer available to new accounts whom have to unlock new content.

Q. Will Free-to-Play mean my games will be ruined by griefers and trolls?

By requiring players to either play a significant number of games or make a purchase before becoming Verified, players will have made an investment into their account. If a person griefs, they will lose this investment. We will be increasing our efforts to stop griefing through our Report a Player system so Verified players can be confident the matches they play will be good ones. Basic accounts will not have access to the Report A Player function.

Q. What about game modes that require my teammates to have access to the whole hero pool?

We’ve gone to great lengths to try to ensure that the HoN experience you’ve come to know and love will be as unchanged by Free-to-Play as possible. Game modes SD, BD, AR, and BP will require that non-legacy accounts have a Token or Game Pass in order to enter the match. The token allows them to play as any hero in the pool for that game – if they pick a hero they don’t own, the token is spent. This means that you can depend on any of your teammates having access to that crucial counter-pick in these modes, and not have to worry about team strategy being limited by what heroes your teammates have unlocked.

Q. Can I play with a friend I bring to HoN as a new Basic (free to play) account?

Yes you can, you simply will not be able to queue into a Verified Only pool.

For New Players

Q. Where can I create an account and download the game?You can create your account here. After making your account, you can download the game here.

Q. Will I need real money to play?

No. You will have access to a Rotating Hero Pool of 15 heroes and will be able to play without paying a cent.

Q. Who has a Basic account?

Anyone who has created an account since HoN went Free-to-Play and has not become Verified.

Q. What are the benefits of being Verified?

Verified players are able to queue into Verified Only Matchmaking, are able to use the Report a Player system, and are given 5 free tokens to use. Verified players can be assured that players they are playing with take their accounts as seriously as they do.

Q. How do I become Verified?
You can become verified by reaching level 5 or by purchasing Gold Goblin Coins. This is to ensure you are serious about your account.

Q. I signed up to play with my friend who is a long time HoN player, will we be able to queue in Match Making together?

Yes! Verified and Basic accounts can play together, but will be unable to queue into a Verified Only game until both players are Verified.

Q. If I only have access to 15 heroes, will I be at a disadvantage in game modes like Single Draft and Banning Pick?

Certain game modes in HoN were designed around having access to the full hero pool. For these modes, we’ve created Tokens and Passes. Single Draft, All Random, Banning Pick, and Banning Draft require either a Token or a Game Pass to play.

Game Passes let you play these modes for a certain amount of time, as much as you want, playing any hero you want. Tokens allow you to play, and will get spent if you choose a hero you do not normally own. This allows us to guarantee that, in these game modes, all of your teammates are capable of choosing that critical counter-pick hero, instead of having strategy be limited by a restricted hero pool.

You’ll get some Tokens for free when you become a Verified account. Aside from that, Tokens and Passes can be purchased via the in-game store.

Q. Can I still get a Legacy account?

No. These accounts are no longer available.

Q. Do I have to purchase heroes with real money if I want a hero not in the Hero Pool?

No. You can earn heroes by simply playing the game. However, if you would like to get a hero quicker, you can buy Gold Goblin Coins at http://www.heroesofnewerth.com/purchase.

Q. What are HoN’s system requirements?

You can find the system requirements at http://www.heroesofnewerth.com/specs_pop.html

 

A major patch (2.1.0) has been released today with 2 new heroes :

Version 2.1.0
———
- Heroes of Newerth is now Free to Play!
* Please read Maliken’s Letter to the Playerbase
* Please refer to our forums for an FAQ that will answer most questions about what this means to you

== Account Type Explanation ==

- Basic: The standard, free account new players will receive upon sign up.
* Access to the weekly 15 free heroes
* Matchmaking restricted to All Pick
* Can purchase access to additional Heroes through the in-game store

- Verified: Basic accounts that have been upgraded through a show of commitment to their account, by either purchasing Goblin Coins or surpassing a certain threshold of play time
* Access to everything a basic player has, plus the ability to participate in Verified Only Matchmaking, to guarantee separation from Basic players if desired
* Can choose to play all matchmaking modes, however the use of Tokens or Passes are required (some tokens are awarded once a Basic account upgrades to Verified)

- Legacy: anyone with a paid HoN account before the F2P switch has automatically been upgraded to a “Legacy” account
* Access to Verified Only matchmaking
* Can continue to play all game modes without the need for Tokens or Passes
* Will continue to enjoy free access to the general hero pool

== HoN Store ==

- NEW ANNOUNCER: British Gentleman Announcer
- Alt Avatars are now in a big list and can be sorted by Hero Name, Price Low to High, Price High to Low, or Avatar Name
- Previews for Alt Avatars changed to be much larger and more detailed
- Alt Avatars are no longer in the vault, if you own them there is a checkbox next to them in the list

- Early Access
* New heroes may be released as part of the Early Access Program
* Early Access is a new system that allows Legacy players to purchase the ability to play these heroes prior to being available for FREE in the general hero pool
* Early Access Heroes are disabled in Tournament Mode
* For Basic/Verified (“Free to Play” accounts), purchasing a hero that is in the Early Access period will unlock access to that hero for all time

== General HoN Changes ==

- Matchmaking
* Improved matchmaking algorithms to result in slightly faster match times, with potentially more well-balanced teams
* Significantly improved matchmaking algorithms for how they pertain to 3v3 solo matching. Queue times for Grimm’s Crossing should be significantly faster for solo players.

- Social Bonus for Matchmaking added
* Social Bonus is a replacement for Quick Victory
* If you play with 1-2 friends (total of 2-3 people in the party), you get 1 additional coin
* If you play with 3-4 friends (total of 4-5 people in the party), you get 2 additional coins

- Compendium removed, replaced with the Herodex
* Now contains detailed information about Heroes, including usage stats and Guides

- General Interface Changes
* A lot of the Interface has changed and been updated for ease of use
* Midbar redesigned to be more clear and catchy to both new and veterans
* Status Bar has players online moved from right to left side and now displays your current coins, tokens, and passes
* Friends List is now limited to 100 max and shows how many you have online

- Tutorial Fixes
* Fixed music warning spam in console (slightly improves performance)
* Fixed an issue that was preventing the confirmation button on the “you have died” message from allowing the player to continue

- Randoming in All Pick no longer gives bonus Gold
- A few small updates for stat submissions
- Group chat channels will no longer show the “Auto-Connect” checkbox and accompanying tooltip next to it
* Clicking the “X” in a group chat channel will now remove you from that group
- Fixed a few typos in the Matchmaking window
- All Random is no longer a checkbox. It is now a Game Mode similar to All Pick, Random Draft, or Banning Pick
- Practice mode can now only be All Pick
- Can now spawn Alt Avatars in Practice mode if you own them
- Added new tooltips for when players hover over the voice chat button in the game lobby.
- If a player is ignored then the player who has ignored them will no longer receive messages about them when the ignored player silences them from a channel or bans/unbans them from a channel
* This also fixes people spamming you with clan invites while under the effects of /dnd

- Editor now has the Water Tool added!

(Full Update Page)

Links
Heroes of Newerth
>F2P & Early Access Announcement From Maliken
FAQ
2.1.0 Patch

Pyrodactyl who released The A.Typical RPG are working on a new game called C.R.A.B which will also use emotions like with their last game and develop them deeper into “Mood”, “Content” and “Tone” which will offer much more combinations then in the usual cRPG.
The graphics isn’t looking that good and the developers are aware of that, that is why they are looking for artists to make the game look great.

It’s been months of silence at Pyrodactyl, while we have toiled away, working on something big. That something is codenamed C.R.A.B., and it features RPG elements, a branching story and 2D brawler gameplay.
Check out this work in progress video :

As Ian mentions in the video, we are looking for 2D environment and character artists. If you think you can help, please email me at arvind [at] pyrodactyl [dot] com !

Now that the recruitment info is done, here’s what I can share so far about our plans for C.R.A.B. :

1. It will be bigger, better and more polished than The A.Typical RPG
2. All the lovely people who bought the Extra Cheese With Lightning Bolts Edition of ATRPG will get the game for free.
3. The characters shown in the video probably won’t be in the final game.

Thanks to Grzegorz Budny for letting us know of those good news.

Links
Pyrodactyl
The A.Typical RPG Realeased
Announcing C.R.A.B! Looking For Artists!

The GNU/Linux binary was released at 9th of April but no GNU/Linux gaming website reported about it, so I think it could count as “news” ;)

The A.Typical RPG is a quirky game that seeks to put you in the role of a college student having the weirdest week of his life as he shapes his destiny, while trying to keep a social life and decent grades. With hand drawn graphics and retro-yet-modern music players will have to play football, cheat on exams, use raw emotions to sway people’s opinions, brawl with bullies, rebel against teachers and much more!
Can our hero save the world? Can he pass the exams coming up next week? Is the world in any danger at all? Can he face the girl of his nightmares? The game plans to answer this and many other questions.Get ready for an experience that is – well, atypical.

Contains mundane yet exciting situations, tactical gameplay, hand drawn art, modern yet retro music, branching storyline and lots of awesomeness!
This game makes an exam feel like an epic battle. Beat that, Call of Duty!

While the graphic could be much better the game offers unique approach to dialogs.
Instead of picking up the sentence you want to say like in most RPG’s you can pick emotions and tone of voice with the sentence to get a different results.

Gameplay Video

A.Typical RPG Gameplay Sneak Peek from Arvind Raja Yadav on Vimeo.

Links
The A.Typical RPG
Linux Binary

Jimmy Thomsen from Linos a company which specializes on customizing Ubuntu to suite costumers needs has released a GNU/Linux distribution based on Ubuntu for gamers called Game Drift Linux !
As this distribution has CrossOver Games built-in, it costs $20 for the full version (unless you want the trail that expires after 7 days which costs $4).

 

Game Drift Linux has finally been released - the perfect GNU/Linux distribution for gamers.

- Support for Windows games (currently more than 1.200 titles - eg. Need for Speed, Counter-Strike, WoW)
- Game Store with free games - one click installation (e.g. Savage 2, Auteria, Stunt Rally)
- Built on the strong foundation of Ubuntu GNU/Linux

Get it today at http://gamedrift.org

 

More information

We have put a lot of effort into Game Drift Linux to meet our goals:

- Build the best GNU/Linux distribution for gamers
- Provide the biggest amount of quality games for GNU/Linux
- Provide great support for as many Windows games as possible
- Make it as user friendly as possible (no technical obstacles - games are easily accessible and just works)

How did we achieve all that?

- We built our own Game Store which includes only high quality games for GNU/Linux (also commercial games)
- We added support for more than 1.200 Windows games thanks to a great deal with American CodeWeavers

- We built game Drift Linux on a flexible, reliable and stable platform - Ubuntu GNU/Linux
- We applied patches to the software and games to reduce technical obstacles

This is the very first version of Game Drift Linux. We will be adding many more games and keep developing new versions, if the project becomes a success.

 

I’ve asked Jimmy Thomsen why buy Game Drift Linux and not CrossOver Games and install it manually on Ubuntu, and he answered :

In short: patches and price.
Cross Over won’t work properly on Ubuntu (CodeWeaver is working on a fix, we created our own since we couldn’t wait). Another nice difference is the price – you could download native Ubuntu and buy CrossOver Games for about USD 40 – or just buy the combined package (Game Drift Linux) for half that price.

Many of the GNU/Linux games won’t work properly either without patches.
The Game Store provides a better overview of quality games, and also include commercial games such as Enemy Territory and Savage2.
Game Drift Linux is a “nifty” mix of open source and commercial software.

My major problem with Game Drift Linux is that it’s currently available only in 32-bit, and as I have 8GB of RAM, losing half of it (or using PAE Kernel) is not acceptable for me.
But Jimmy Thomsen said that if Game Drift Linux goes well then he will create a 64-bit version as well.

Trailer

 

Links
Linos
Game Drift Linux
Supported Games
Game Store
CrossOver Games