And so, to be honest, that’s one of the main reasons why I tend to shy away from HoN. I know, everyone was in that position at one point, and the only way learn the game is to, well, play it. However, it simply doesn’t seem worth the jump from DOTA 2; which is a game I’m comfortable playing, and am accustomed to the heroes/items.
To clarify, I have at least given HoN a fair try (prior to DOTA 2’s release). Essentially, I was starting to get fatigued with playing DOTA on Warcraft III, and as such, there was a period where I was playing HoN. I had even purchased an account because at the time you had to pay to play (it wasn’t a lot, around $10) if you wanted to play more than the ten unranked matches that were included with a free account. I wasn’t very good at the start as I found that it was quite a jump from playing DOTA on Warcraft III. Naturally, I began to get used to the layout of the shop and all the items, but the gameplay was too quick for me, and I was often left behind in the mid-to-late game.
Sadly, this didn’t pose very well for me during matches as it seemed as if other players were merely looking for an excuse to yell at me. Additionally, there weren’t any bots for newcomers to practice with at the time, so I unfortunately had no choice but to play online against real-life opponents. Honestly, it was a little daunting at first, and yet, it quickly made me realise that this wasn’t a place for those who didn’t know what they were doing. Most of the time I would play with my friends, and we would join “noob only” games so I could get the hang of things.
And yet, even in these matches I would have “teammates” scolding me for buying the wrong items or not using the correct spell on an enemy hero. If an opponent made a comment after killing my hero, I wasn’t really bothered, I mean, a bit of sledging between opponents is expected as it compliments the competitive nature, but from teammates? I don’t get that. Admittedly, you also get a bit of backchat in DOTA 2 as well, so don’t get me wrong, but it’s definitely not as aggressive; or maybe I’ve improved a lot, and it’s not directed at me anymore?
With that said, one thing enjoyed about HoN are the multiple maps. DOTA 2 might have different game modes, but it only has the one map. In HoN, there is one map that is designed for 3v3 with a jungle in the middle and a lane on either side, and another map called Mid Wars, which consists of 5v5 on only one lane. The 3v3 doesn’t really appeal to me, but I do enjoy playing Mid Wars. In Mid Wars, the concept is the same: you have a team of five that has to destroy the main building in the opponents base whilst defending your own. However, the map is designed with only a central lane with jungle on either side, and the main building in your base is at the front of your base. The fact that you have everyone in the one lane is just crazy, and best of all, the matches aren’t ranked. I haven’t yet played a “Mid Wars” in DOTA 2, but I attempted to play one with bots once, and it didn’t work because the bots still went to their usual lane. The only difference was that the creeps spawned in the central lane.
Honestly, now that Dota 2 is out, I have been playing regularly and it just feels right. Often, i’ll opt to play with bots with my brother, rather than playing online because there’s no rage to deal with, and the bots are at least moderately competitive. I still play the occasional game of HoN with friends, but not much has changed. As a player, I’m just not suited to it, which is strange considering they are practically the same game, but with slightly different gameplay. However, that slight difference in the gameplay can sometimes mean a lot, and as such, is best left to those who are serious about their gaming. I enjoy watching my friends play, because they know what they’re doing and seem to know how to play with each hero they random and know exactly what items to get.
The main argument my friends often use to try and convince me to play HoN is that it’s “just like DOTA”, and this is true. However, why would you want to play something “like DOTA”, when you can in fact play DOTA?