Gaming, Raging, and Heroes of Newerth

Gaming and raging go hand in hand and has been around ever since Pong. Competitiveness only comes natural to us; probably more so for us males than females, but it is not a bad thing. It allows us to challenge ourselves, find our weaknesses, and learn from our mistakes. With the introduction of the Internet, games have gone to a whole new level. We are now able to not only challenge ourselves and our friends, but the whole world.

For a brief time this was the exclusive domain of PC gamers, but modern consoles now also share the ability to test your skills against players across the globe. The concept is amazing and is often overlooked, but unknowingly we have a demand for it. This can be seen with any release of a new title – there is an expectation for multi-player and online game-play options. New games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Heroes of Newerth and more, are solely played for their online multi-player (granted Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 includes a single player campaign). The point I am driving at here today; has this new age in gaming also bred new types of gamers?

Heroes of Newerth is one of the latest crazes happening in online games at the moment, but by no means is it a new concept. Being based on the Warcraft III map, Defence of The Ancients; HoN (Heroes of Newerth) is almost identical in every way. The map has the same three lane design, with players having to battle on through the opposing forces towers, finally destroying the main structure to achieve victory. Veterans from DoTA (Defence of The Ancients) will also find that the majority of heroes you can select in HoN are identical to those in DoTA.

Unfortunately, the above mentioned similarities between HoN and DoTA also implies that players should already have a thorough understanding of all the heroes in game – as a substantial amount of the HoN community would have you believe.

From playing only a few games of HoN in one weekend, I witnessed some impressive raging:

Episode 1

Keen to see what HoN would be like, I dove right into my first game with grand enthusiasm. Players had joined the game and already I was loving the interface in comparison to the now dated for Warcraft III. We were ready to move on to the hero selection screen. One player on our team decided to select the character ‘Predator’ which was quickly followed by another team member selecting ‘Moon Queen’. And this is where I got my first sour taste of the HoN community. The player was subjected to a battering of abuse from ‘Predator’ with the reasoning being that you would never select the hero ‘Moon Queen’ when someone has selected ‘Predator’. At this point I was afraid to select a character, or even ask for advice on a suitable selection for fear that I would be on the receiving end of comments referring to my mother.

Episode 2

The game provides you with a moment to prepare your initial items before you charge into battle. These items are quite basic and do not play of extreme importance (I say extreme, as most will argue that it is still important), but can mean the difference between the first kill or death. As you can imagine, another argument erupted between several players on which starting build this specific hero should use. Let me note that while the player, that was foaming from the mouth, was correct with his suggested build, the other player who had a fetish for mothers was actually also correct with his build. The argument eventually trailed off to discuss both the players mothers again.

Episode 3

The battle trumpet blasted and the heroes were off to battle their enemies, but wait, hold up. One of our heroes had marched into battle in the incorrect lane. Again, there is some assumed knowledge required here when forming your battle formation. Being a maximum of 5v5 players with only three lanes; mathematically there will be one solo. It is good etiquette to announce which player will be solo before the battle horn, but unfortunately in this case the solo player decided to announce this a fraction of a second after the battle horn, and what happened after I can guarantee you will guess correctly on your first attempt.

While I could go on, the point I believe has come across. We have lost that competitiveness in online gaming, and instead turned that competitiveness in arguing – in arguing on who is right and who is noob. Similar to road rage, we psychologically feel safe at home and free to make any comment we wish; comments that we would never say in real life. Some of the statements being said online are an absolute disgrace, and the problem has, in my opinion, become as troublesome as players using cheats. The future looks grim for public online gaming and I cannot see any solutions to the problem at the moment.

In regards to any new players deciding to venture into a public game of HoN. I would strongly recommend that if you are new to the game, that you play several games with the AI players to familiarise yourself. There is a lot of assumed knowledge, so it may help to read up on some strategies beforehand. I have also made a brief list of other useless knowledge that you are expected to know in HoN:

  • Your mothers occupation differs from what you thought
  • Learn the awesome formula, half the age means you are twice as awesome
  • If you are over the age of 30, you are already dead, both in-game and out of game
  • To confuse you more, no matter what your current age is, you are 14
  • Read the Oxford dictionary and fine tune your grammar, as spelling mistakes are not tolerated
  • The updated Oxford dictionary contains terms such as pwn, nub, zerg attack, teh
  • If a team mate dies for whatever reason, even if you are not in the game, it is your fault
  • The build you are using is wrong. If you could use all possible combinations of builds in one game, they would all be wrong
  • Your statistics may say that you have played over a thousand games, don’t be fooled you are still a noob… *nub

Have you had any bad experiences, or have helpful advice for any beginners? Feel free to leave your comments.

Noob Saibot

About the Author

Nightshadow is an avid PC gamer, but occasionally strays off to the Xbox360 for some console action. Frequent writer for Gameolio - he has a strange obsession for uniquely flavored soft drinks such as Cherry Coke, Passion Fruit, and Buzz Monkey. Currently Playing: - Mafia II - Age of Conan - Red Dead Redemption