33% Off Gold AND Silver, Circe Deceives Merrick for Storewide Sale!

 The femme fatale, Circe the Deceiver has ensnared Merrick with her charm and used her doppelganger ability to replicate Merrick, taking control of the HoN store!  With the HoN store under new management, "Merrick" has decided to host a blowout sale!  From now until October 2nd, everything* in the HoN store will go on sale for 33% off (Gold and, for the first ever, Silver).  To make this deal even sweeter, you can puck up a 200 gold coin pack for just $1 (limit one per player)! Be sure to cash in on these saving soon as Merrick will not be hypnotized by the enchantress forever.

Circe the Deceiver is the newest hero to grace Newerth.  This free-to-play, ranged, intelligence hero is available now!!!

*Note: sale does not include alt avatars Poison Circe or Iron Maiden Circe

09/26/2013 8:59 AM

Topic: Community

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.

09/24/2013 10:26 PM

Topic: Content, Lore

Circe the Deceiver: Designer Insight

Hey everyone, Buro here!  Earlier this week you were able to read about how [S2] Malloc helped conceptualize Circe the Deceiver,  I'd like to go into a bit more depth and detail about some of the design iterations that she went through prior to becoming the hero she is today.

Before Circe was put into SBT for testing, she went through quite a bit of iteration.  With a concept as interesting as deceiving the enemy, we had to make many adjustments in achieving something that was fun to play without adding a large amount of frustration to play against.  This proved to be quite the challenge.  As an example, one iteration of her ultimate was to change the appearance of all the allied heroes to that of the deceiver for a certain duration so the enemy team would have no clue who was who.  This, despite being a neat ability in concept, turned out to be terribly frustrating for the opposing team -- removing interesting decisions for the enemy team while not providing any tangible satisfaction for the user.

Once Circe made it to SBT for testing, it was apparent her first and third abilities did not mesh well with the rest of the hero and needed to be looked at again.  The original first ability was a single target stun that reduced the primary stat of the target hero.  The stat reduction, while effective, didn't feel impactful at all in use and limited the options of whom you could effectively target. Since we wanted something that needed to feel good to the player we decided against this initial design in search of something better.

After thoroughly reworking the first ability, we turned our attention to the other outlier, Circe's E.  The third ability became something that we really enjoyed and will likely put on a future hero, but just didn't work with Circe's skill-set and overall feel.  Here was the initial concept:

Shrouding Mist
         Target area to spawn a cloud of mist for a duration.  Within the mist, allies are granted stealth with a fade time and all terrain walking.

After a few iterations of this concept, it turned out to not have enough synergy or effectiveness with Deceiver's other abilities and was changed out for the ability - Deceive.  This ability was suggested many times throughout the design of Circe and really fits well into the theme of the hero.

Circe's second and ultimate abilities have been essential in solidifying her unique role in HoN.  Her (W), Doppelganger, allows her to deceive the enemy with illusions of other heroes and her (R), Twisted Visage creates those exciting and memorable moments that make Circe a truly fun hero.

Immediately when Circe hit SBT, there was a lot of great feedback about her ultimate and concerns regarding its balance, but above all, it was fun.  We've since added the channel time requirement to the ability, a break range, as well as the damage reduction.  Much feedback focused on Circe copying items, but in the end, we wanted to keep the fun aspects of the hero and went the route of reducing overall damage instead of removing that functionality.  Even after doing all of that we will be keeping a close eye on the balance of this ability when it goes live.

I hope you've enjoyed this little insight into the development process of Circe, the Deceiver.  Look for her to deceive Newerth on September 25th!

09/24/2013 2:20 AM

Topic: Development

Circe the Deceiver Video Teaser