Gnomes of Newerth?

I have recently found myself spending most of my farming time (in World of Warcraft, you silly, I am no agriculture-Gnome!) playing the closed beta of Heroes of Newerth. HoN is a Defense of the Ancients clone that is its own standalone game.

In case you've never heard of DotA or HoN, the gameplay has the standard God-perspective that most real-time strategy games use, and you command a single hero to move around the battlefield, cast spells and attack. Each battlefield is divided between the two factions (Legion and Hellbourne) with defensive structures placed along the main roads. The goal of the game is to destroy your enemies' headquarters before they destroy yours. Computer-controlled "creeps" are rudimentary soldiers that spawn regularly in your base and fight their way along the roads.

Now, if you are a seasoned DotA player, then you will not find any new gameplay here. However, because HoN is not simply an addon for Warcraft 3, it can offer player-focused DotA-specific features, including:
  • a more modern graphics engine with better details and effects
  • built-in voice-chat
  • dedicated matchmaking system
  • tracking of player ratings, ranks and statistics
I am fast becoming a fan of the gameplay. Of course, this does not imply that I am actually any good. Presently, my rating tends to rest between 1300 and 1400, although today it dipped below 1200 due to some really bad decision-making on my part. There is definitely some finesse required to play this game well, and I hope to cultivate this over time. So far I've discovered that melee characters are especially difficult for me to master, so for now I try to steer clear of them when choosing from the 57 different heroes available.

I have yet to find a Gnome amongst the otherwise varied roster. There are three unreleased heroes as I write this, but the likelihood of one of them being a Gnome is low. Gnomes are comparatively small creatures, and it would be unfair and uncompetitive to have a hero that is difficult to see and click on even before game mechanics and abilities are applied. Still, I hold some hope, as there are already heroes in the game that ride on various geometry-expanding mounts, something I am sure would help increase a Gnome's profile.

I heartily recommend checking out the game if you can. Keep your ear to the ground and act quickly when the next batch of HoN beta invites are available. The game is already extremely polished and enjoyable (even with my utter lack of skill). Once the entire hero roster is finished, the open beta cannot be too far off.

Oh yeah, and WTB more Gnomes. :)

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