3.2.2 Patch Insight

Hey everyone, Buro here! Patch 3.2.2 brings a couple things that I would like to explain a little, one being the courier rework, and another being a new focus on high burst damage heroes and how these changes affect other heroes.

You will all notice a difference in the UI while in-game; this is the new courier UI.  It features two things: a courier status indicator as well as a new courier button.  The status indicator will display what the courier is doing at all times, from delivering to player X, returning to base, idle, out (or scouting), dead, or private. You will also be able to see who is controlling the courier at all times.

The other change is the courier button. This button will be bindable and when activated will take everything from your stash and place it on the courier, deliver the item(s) to you, gaining speed boost when activated, and then return after the delivery. If the courier is already delivering to someone, the button will queue the action, having the courier do what was just stated directly after it returns from its most recent delivery. Among other benefits, this change will allow players to use the courier without ever de-selecting their hero!  And for those of you who would rather use the courier how it has always been, the functionality of the courier has not changed at all.

The second thing this patch introduces is our focus on a certain type of heroes. This philosophy is shown in the nerfs to Monkey King. Patch 3.1 brought a large emphasis on ganking with the changes to hero kills. This effect has caused burst damage heroes to shine more than they already were. While we enjoy the action-packed game of HoN, and we don't wish to deviate from that, we do realize that it's time to tone down the burst damage in the game. Part of this goal is to increase the skill, interaction, and viability of other strategies within HoN. To emphasize this even more, we will be taking a look at the hero pool for heroes with low play numbers that create really good interactions and add a lot of enjoyability to the game, and seek to increase their playtime.

We hope you enjoy patch 3.2.2! Expect to see some exciting new Staff of the Master changes in the next patch on 9/11/2013 and a new hero soon to follow!

08/28/2013 12:28 AM

Topic: Development

Report-A-Player July Statistics and Overview

Hi everyone! I'm back to give you some more Report-A-Player numbers and give helpful insight into the system to help improve the community player by player.

I'm going to start off with another brief review of the system to get everyone on the same page. We have 6 categories in which players can fall into: Chat Abuse, Feeding/Stat Manipulation, Impersonating Staff, Ability/Item Abuse, Bad Nickname/Clan name, and Avoiding AFK Detection.

To report a player, click the ban-hammer next to their name (either in-game or after the match), select the category, enter a small description and select a time. Press the submit button when you are done! As simple as that!

Each player that gets reported can have multiple tickets from different players against them which helps us determine how toxic that player can be and allows up to get to them faster. The more you report, the better the community becomes.

Exciting never-before-talked-about feature!

With the latest iteration of the Report-A-Player system, we made the system more automatic, that is, some tickets are already handled before they even reach the GMs! Essentially, the system will look for players who are constantly breaking the rules and send them up to the front of the line. At the same time it looks at the players who actually had not done anything wrong, and dismisses them automatically. This allows for faster processing of tickets and a better turnaround for everyone.

Statistics Time!

The RAP system automatically determined that 17% of all tickets coming in needed high priority and we were able to get those toxic players out of the game right away. Because of the automation, we were able to remove over a few thousand players to ensure better quality games for everyone.

As for reports that were forwarded from the system to the GMs - over 30,000 individual Player Reports (or Tickets as well call them) were submitted and completed for the month of July!

Here's the breakdown!

Chat Abuse
Guilty: 83%
Innocent: 8%
Warned: 9%

Feeding/Stat Manipulation
Guilty: 72%
Innocent: 24%
Warned: 4%

Impersonating Staff
Guilty: 7%
Innocent: 91%
Warned: 1%

Ability/Item Abuse
Guilty: 85%
Innocent: 11%
Warned: 4%

Bad Nickname/Clan name
Guilty: 10%
Innocent: 90%
Warned: 0%

Avoiding AFK Detection
Guilty: 52%
Innocent: 42%
Warned: 6%

As I've said before, in a perfect world all of the tickets we receive would be 100% guilty, but realistically that won't happen. The more guilty reports we get, the less time we have to spend on the players who did nothing wrong, the innocent group.

I'd like to take this time to bring up some common concerns I see posted  regarding the Report-A-Player system and clear up some information.

A banned player can just make a new account, so why does it matter?
We have a very low limit for the number of accounts that can be made by a single person. We use some pretty amazing tools to determine who you are, where you're playing from, and use that information to prevent account creation over our set limit. You can't just keep making accounts after you get banned.

No only that, but when you're banned, you now lose access to your valuable account. You've lost access to playing at your MMR bracket, your avatars, bonuses, essentially your identity as a HoN player.

Why don't I get an email anymore?
With the new automation of the RAP system, we don't want players to feel like their reports did nothing. Tickets that come in where the player did nothing wrong becomes automatically closed, we don't want you to feel like you've wasted your time because every report, innocent or guilty, helps the system evolve. If we start sending you an email saying your ticket was deemed innocent as soon as you send it in, you might become a bit discouraged to report in the future.

If we can work on providing higher quality reports, we can be the change in the community that we want see. We have the systems in place, we just need you to keep it up!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about the RAP system feel free to head on over to the RAP Feedback Section on the forums and talk about it with Game Masters.

Thanks for reading!

08/14/2013 2:06 AM

Topic: Community

Patch 3.2.1 -- Matchmaking Improvements

Hey everyone, Buro here. In this patch, 3.2.1, we have implemented quite a few changes directed at improving the matchmaking system and reducing queue times.

Persistent Groups
Two very noticeable changes we have made are the addition of persistent groups as well as queue confirmation. Now when you are matched, you will get a confirmation requiring everyone to accept the match before getting into the game; this will stop games where one player remains afk through the whole pick phase.

Ranked vs. Unranked
We have also removed basic and verified. These have been replaced with ranked and unranked matchmaking. Similar to the transfer from basic to verified, new accounts will only be able to play in unranked games until level 3, when they will then have the option to play in ranked games where MMR and stats will be tracked.

The implementation of unranked matchmaking creates a less stressful environment for new players and experienced players alike, while not mixing them with the people who are looking for serious competitive matches. This system also changes the base MMR at which accounts are introduced into ranked play. An account playing ranked matchmaking for the first time will no longer be 1500 MMR, but their MMR will be set to a value based on their performance in their first three levels of unranked play.

Reducing Queue Times
The next change that is very noticeable is the removal of a few modes previously offered in matchmaking. The modes that will be removed are: Lockpick, Core Pool, and Grimm's Crossing. These modes were causing very long wait times due to low play numbers. For those of you who enjoyed these modes, they will still be playable in public games. Also, expect Grimm's Crossing to reappear in a new form in the future.

We are also taking a look at the matchmaking algorithm itself to see if any tweaks can be made to allow faster and better matches. You can expect to see the results of this over the course of the next couple of weeks as it is being tweaked.

Balanced Random
We're trying out a replacement for All Random in the Forests of Caldavar. In matchmaking, you will now see a mode called Balanced Random. This mode, while still retaining the enjoyability of the randomness, will generate more balanced teams to play against one another. See the patch notes for more information on how Balanced Random works.

This patch is another part of our continued effort to better Heroes of Newerth. We hope that 3.2.1 will bring you a more streamlined, superior matchmaking experience! Keep looking forward to more improvements, as we have many more in store!

Added new mode to replace all random in matchmaking: Balanced Random

On each team, five different random settings will be used for picking. The slots will work as followed:
  1. Random from the pool of Carries
  2. Random from the pool of Initiators
  3. Random from the pool of Gankers
  4. Random from the pool of Supports
  5. Random from all heroes (this will random from either melee, ranged, or all heroes depending on the makeup of the previous four randoms)

Where these slots lie on the team will also be random. (ex. Pink could random a Carry one game, but random a Support the next). If anyone repicks, it will re-random a hero from the whole pool.

08/12/2013 9:24 PM

Topic: Development

GenHon Amateur Online Tournament Announced

GenHon Amateur Online Tournament Announced

Today, Honcast announced the first ever GenHon online tournament. The 32 team, single elimination tournament will run from Aug 13 to 16 at 3pm EDT, and feature a 15,000 gold coin prize pool. A four-team, double elimination final will take place on Aug 17 at 1pm EDT.

 To reserve your spot, assemble your five-man roster and head over to the HoN forums.

Be sure to tune in to Honcast on Aug. 16th to catch all the action!

08/10/2013 12:04 AM

Topic: Community

New Patch HoN 3.2.1 bringing changes to Newerth

Hey guys, AceJR here! Just wanted to give you all a small preview of the thins that are going into the upcoming patch, HoN 3.2.1. Please note that there will be a NEW PATCH TIME!

New NA/EU Patch Time

HoN is accessible in four regions: NA/EU, CIS, LAT, and SEA. Since the beginning, the patching process has been different for each specific zone. Currently, the NA/EU regional patch goes live on Friday mornings while the other three regions follow suit the next week. To promote cohesiveness throughout the entire global HoN community, we've decided to push back the NA/EU patch date five days so all regions patch within 24 hours of each other and all the HoN community gets our latest updates at the same time.

Quality of Life Changes

This new patching schedule will begin with the upcoming patch on Wednesday the 14th at 8am EDT. In this patch you can look forward to some long awaited features like persistent groups and queue confirmation. On top of that, we've replaced verified and unverified queues with ranked and unranked queues. We hope that this will promote a stress free environment in matchmaking, and allow new players to learn the game while giving veterans a chance to relax. 

Matchmaking Changes

Patch 3.2.1 will also reform game modes. Core Pool and Lock Pick will be taken out of matchmaking completely. All Random is being replaced with Balanced Random in order to promote better random drafted teams. Balance Random will ensure that each team has: one support, carry, initiation, and ganker. The fifth hero slot will be reserved for a random role. We hope that this change will get rid of the occasional all Agility hero line up and make matches more enjoyable. 

08/08/2013 3:42 AM

Topic: Community