HoN New Hero Spotlight: Klanx, The Master of Gadgets
11/20/2013 1:41 AM
Important Message from CEO Marc Deforest Concerning HoN
11/14/2013 11:34 PM
Topic: Content, Development
Rift Wars Beta Sneak Peek and Lore
Ophelia found Empath in the courtyard of Adkarna's central armory, stockpiling arrows, bolts, and various gunpowders shipped from the City of Iron. The battlecarts Empath had gathered carried enough equipment to level a large village.
Empath halted, more out of surprise than respect, her arms heavy with chainmail and her face slick with sweat. "My Queen."
Ophelia lifted the mail from Empath's arms. "I know, it is strange to see me within a city's walls." She carried the mail to one of the carts and draped it over the edge, where a squire hefted as much as he could and threaded it over thick wooden dowels.
Ophelia said, "I dislike the confinement almost as much as the stench of daemon blood. But when the messenger delivered your note, I had to come."
She offered a waterskin and towel.
Empath used both. "You haven't come to talk me out of it, I hope."
"No. To ask why you insist on leading this mission."
"I spoke to my brother. We didn't share much, but he did tell me the only reason he named you commander was because he was afraid not to. Apparently he believed if he hadn't, you would have become one with him, issued the order, then left."
"That would be disrespectful," Empath said. "A violation."
"But amusing, no? So tell me. Why is it so important for you to lead that odd band of warriors back into the Great Rift?"
Empath glanced at the Hunter's Guild, those heroes who had been pulled into the Rift and survived--thrived, even--and returned to warn Newerth off the growing Riftspawn threat. They seemed even more uncomfortable than Ophelia, and rightfully so. Ophelia preferred the natural setting of Caldavar to anything man-made, but the Guild was suited to an entirely different realm.
Empath said, "I was there when they emerged. I saw what else came out of that rift, and what it intended for our world. I cannot in good conscience let another carry the responsibility."
"But Jeraziah has granted you every resource you desire. I mean no offense, but there are other warriors better suited to spearhead an assault. The Black Legion comes to mind."
"The mission is mine," Empath said. She turned to collect another load of equipment, but Ophelia caught her arm.
"Tell me why." Her voice was stern, that of a Queen, but her eyes were soft. Appealing. Empath felt within her a true desire to know...to find out if the Great Rift might offer what she hoped it would.
"Relief," Empath said. "For years I have felt the suffering of Newerth. Of every living creature who has been tortured, maimed, killed. I will lead this mission into the Great Rift and close that gateway, because it will save Newerth. But while I am there, perhaps only for a moment... perhaps I won't feel that suffering."
Empath could not meet her eyes. "It is shameful. But the truth."
"No," Ophelia said. " No truth is shameful. It only is. And I, too, would embrace a moment of silence to avoid hearing my brothers and sisters of the natural world howling for the pain to stop. I wish you luck in your search for silence, even if it is only a moment."
"Please," Empath said. "Do not tell the King."
Ophelia scoffed. "He wouldn't understand. He might not even hear--he's consumed by his dwindling faith. I feared the news of the Great Rift might topple him from his god's altar completely. He cannot fathom an entire realm full of strange creatures, all of it beyond the touch of Sol. But he fears it."
"He should," Empath said.
"Have those Hunter rogues told you what to expect?"
"Chaos. Chaos and blood. They say our abilities will act erratically, as if we could swap them between us like items of clothing."
Ophelia cocked an eyebrow. " So Jeraziah and Maliken could feel as you do, share the suffering of our world?"
"It seems so."
"Maybe then these wars would end." Ophelia considered this for a few moments, then shook her head. "Likely better if you or I borrowed Hammerstorm's brute stremgth and just caved their fool heads in."
"There is something else the Hunters speak of," Empath said. "They call them Amulets of Rebirth. Activating one further scrambles the unknown Great Rift forces which grant them these new abilities. Use an Amulet, they say, and suddenly your abilities are different again."
"Chaos doesn't begin to describe this," Ophelia said. "It will be anarchy on a level previously unknown."
"The Hunter's Guild claim it's quite fun. Sporting, even."
Ophelia studied the group of hardened soldiers, each one covered in skins, claws, teeth, and other trophies taken from their Rift prey. "I suppose they would."
She put her hands on Empath's shoulders and looked into her eyes. "Lead the way into the Great Rift, warrior of Newerth. We will follow. We will close that cursed gateway. And--most important--we will all return."
10/31/2013 11:19 PM
Topic: Content, Development, Lore
Recording the Samuel L. Jackson Announcer Pack
Hey everyone, Diva here!
Working for S2 Games owns for a lot of reasons, but getting to work with Samuel L Jackson to record a HoN Announcer Pack is definitely a recent highlight. I'm not typically one to get awestruck, but it's SAMUEL L JACKSON. He could represent lightsabers, tasty burgers, an eyepatch, or snakes on a vehicle of aerial transport to you, but to me Samuel L Jackson represents something beyond an immensely talented actor who's played some pretty awesome roles. To me, Sam Jackson represents a cool persona of pure bad-assery, a wonderful discordance of rough and smooth. Poetic waxing aside, he was basically next to Kate Upton on my want-to-meet list - albeit for vastly different reasons. Not only did I get to meet Sam, but I got to watch and listen to him record lines that we wrote at S2 Games!
Stephen Baker (our sound technician) and I arrived early for our recording session because well, Sam Jackson doesn't seem like the kind of guy you want to keep waiting. What's amazing is that even before we saw Sam, we knew that he had arrived from his voice reverberating through the hallway. His is a voice so iconic that I instantly got giddy with anticipation. Then I saw him stroll in, dressed so casually that even I, flip-flop-wearer-until-it- snows, envied his comfort. All I could think was: What. A. Bad. Ass.
Interacting with Sam was awesome, because he was everything I had hoped he'd be. Bottom line: Samuel L Jackson is what we would call a troll. He totally loves joking around and messing with people, and is really down-to-earth. We shared some laughs over the recent twerking-and-tongue antics of a certain young miss and got down to business. Watching Sam work is eye-opening - you can really easily tell why he is so successful. The way he approached our lines was phenomenal, and he displayed a command of and diversity in his voice that was extremely impressive. For me, meeting and working with Samuel L Jackson was an amazing experience of a lifetime. We hope that the Samuel L Jackson Announcer Pack will translate some of that awesome experience directly to you guys. Enjoy!
10/11/2013 4:01 AM
Topic: Community, Content
Circe the Deceiver: Creating the Lore and Art for a Hero of Deception
Hey guys, I'm Loremeister, the Director of Content for S2 Games.
Circe the Deceiver is about to enter Newerth and we wanted to give you some insight as to how the character was designed from the art and lore standpoint. When the designers came to us with their upcoming hero concepts we saw some great potential for the Deceiver to be an impactful force in the Heroes of Newerth universe. Her abilities, centered around deception and illusion, felt like a natural fit for the enemies of Newerth, so we knew she needed to be a Hellbourne hero. With that in mind, we started pitching ideas around the table for who exactly this hero was going to be.
This is one of the best parts of working in the Content team for S2: the visual design of the character. In order to do this we look at the factors we want to ensure are unique; things like silhouette, abilities, animation design, etc. Our primary goals here were to create a hero with a unique theme, spell effects, and a profile that was well maintained within each avatar while creating a specific feel that matched the abilities for every version of the hero. And with Circe. we feel like we accomplished all of these things.
As usual we had a ton of ideas; some good, some that we immediately trashed, and a few absolutely amazing ones. We knew we wanted to make her look like nothing else in the game and after considering a few monstrous forms -- like a faceless monster reminiscent of the Gentlemen from Buffy or a classic gray doppelganger beast -- we decided the hero needed to be a "she" and enter the world as a feminine force of evil. Looking at themes for her we thought about an amorphous shapeshifter, a master of mirrors, and a few others, but eventually settled on an ancient goddess who transformed men into pigs and baffled the heroes of Old Earth: Circe.
Like the Circe of myth, our mistress of magic was banished from the realm of men. She has lived centuries, slowly draining the life of those who end up shipwrecked on her island home, but without any true method of escape. When the world shook during the Fall of Man and the tides of the earth shifted, the Deceiver was finally free. She spent hundreds of years preying upon humans from behind her myriad veils, and now that the elder gods who imprisoned her are returning to Newerth, Circe's hunger for vengeance has made her reveal her true form.
While Sol himself may not take to the battlefield, this powerful, ancient hero will mimic his chosen servants, sow discord in the ranks, and ultimately trick them all into bending to her will or surrendering their lives to Circe the Deceiver.