Message from the HON Team
- Published on Wednesday, 28 December 2016 19:26
We hope you have been having fun in HoN 4.0, one of our largest updates in recent times. 4.0 brought us a lot of changes and improvements, and we will continue to work hard in 2017 to make HoN even better. Besides sharing our plans for 2017, we will also be announcing the long-awaited sales and events to celebrate the end of 2016 and the new year!
One of the reasons why players enjoy HON so much is due to quick gameplay and satisfying combos that can be done by our favorite heroes, such as Monkey King. However, we have to admit that there are not enough heroes that fit this identity of HON, and there are only a few viable picks if players want to have fun and win.
In 4.0, we changed a number of the heroes to make them more fun to play to fit HON’s identity of quick and exciting gameplay.
For example, pre 4.0 Bombardier had an extremely low usage rate as he was very punishing to play with combos that were extremely slow. His damage was gated behind his spell rotations, which started with his old E. The player has to take care of his mana pool, his E charges, E cooldown, and has to land the E spell with an extremely small AOE.
This made the rotations of Bombardier slow and punishing to the player. To quicken his gameplay, we made E a passive so that players can unleash Bombardier’s devastating combos faster. However, we realized that this buff clearly made Bombardier too strong. On the first week of 4.0, Bombardier had a win-rate of nearly 61%. We launched a hotfix a week later to pull him back a little, and now he has a win-rate of around 57%. We will continue to closely monitor the heroes balance and will work harder to improve hero balance in 2017.
This brings us to the next balance issue to be talked about – Supports in HoN. Generally speaking, HoN players tend to play only “Carry” heroes. Support heroes tend to have a higher win-rate because so few players pick them, and when they are picked, they greatly improve their team’s composition.
It is quite common to see team compositions with 0 supports in HoN games, so a team with a support is more likely to win. We hope the buffs to supports in 4.0 will improve their pick-rate by making them more fun to play. The overall strength of supports right now is due to the fact that supports are often picked against teams with no support, so it is hard for us to determine if their high win-rates are really due to poor balance.
However, we will be looking at Nymphora closely and will likely nerf her very soon. She currently has a high pick rate and an extremely high win rate – 65%. Besides bringing strong support utility to her team, Nymphora currently deals way too much damage for a support, especially with her Staff-boosted ultimate.
Map and HUD Improvements
The Forest of Caldavar map was re-designed in 4.0 to improve clarity. We noted that players in Cyber-cafes frequently adjusted in-game and monitor brightness settings to the maximum before 4.0. This is due to the old FoC map being too dark. The new map in 4.0 is designed to improve vision for players and allow hero models and skills to stand out from the map, thus allowing players to make better decision in the thick of a fight.
The new HUD has also been designed to give players access to the same buttons in the same places as before, while giving them more visibility to the actual gameplay. Even though the map may appear to be larger, the map and heroes are still the same size. We are confident that in the long run, this will be an improvement to the players’ experience once they have adapted to the changes.
In 2017, we will continue to make map improvements by giving towers and creeps a makeover so that they will be a better fit for 4.0’s design style. We also recognize that there are issues with the display of Gold in 4.0’s UI, which can be quite hard to read at higher brightness settings. These changes and fixes will be coming sooner than you think, so stay tuned!
Avatars Pricing and Sales Policy
Over the years, we have released over a thousand Avatars in HoN, and the pricing of Avatars have changed several times. The price of an Avatar mostly depends on its quality. In 2017, Avatars will be released in the following categories and prices:
· Holiday Edition
o Holiday Avatars are Avatar series that celebrate beloved holidays and events, such as Songkran and Christmas. They will be sold for a limited period of 2 weeks each time, and may be reopened for sales in the store at a later date.
o GC Prices: 420G (Trickster Prophet), 450G (Songkran Athena), 500G (Christmas Chronos)
· Limited Edition
o Limited Edition Avatars are special Avatars that are sold for a limited period of 2 weeks each time. Some of them may have special effects, such as the Cyber set, that gives you extra bonuses out of game.
o GC Prices: 420G (Cancer Kraken), 500G (Zhao Yun)
· Gold Edition
o Gold Edition Avatars are extremely high quality Avatars that presents the Hero in an entirely new manner. These Avatars are sold for Gold Coins only, and are all priced at 600G.
o GC Prices: 600G Only (Gemini, Dark Lightning Lord, Dark Mana Mage, etc)
· Ultimate Edition
o Ultimate Avatars gives a complete re-imagination of the hero, and requires the most work from our designers. Ultimate Avatars will have special changes to the hero’s appearances as they level up, and have awesome looking spell effects. These Avatars are sold for Gold Coins only, and will be discounted for the first 3 days of their sale.
o GC Prices: 600G for the first 3 days of release, 900G from 4th day of release onwards (General Rally, Apex Myrmidon, etc)
· Plinko Early Access
o Some Avatars may be sold only in the Plinko for the first 2 weeks, and then later opened in the store
o Examples: Cyber Set
· Trophy Avatars
o These Avatars will not be sold in store, and their permanent versions can only be earned through events or the Champions of Newerth seasons.
· Normal Avatars
o Every other Avatars not included in the above definition will be released in the store without any specific period of sale, and may be sold for a variety of Gold prices.
In addition, all new Avatars will not be included in sales events for 3 months from its release. This is to reward our early adopters. Example of such sales are Tarot’s Lottery, Mega Avatar Lucky Draw, and Daily Specials.
Lastly, we will be retiring some Avatars from the store. Most of this Avatars are old and do not stand up well to our latest Avatars, which have vastly improved in quality. In order to streamline the store, these Avatars will be taken down from the store on 26th January 2017. We may re-release these Avatars during special sales events later. Check out the list of Avatars here, and grab them while they are still available!
||Neolution MRR Pandamonium
||DDOG jersey War Beast
||Father Time Chronos
||Blood Moon Queen
||Master Assassin Sil
Celebrate the New Year with us with these exciting promotions and events!
· Promotion: 50% GC Bonus Top Up and Spending Milestone
o Earn 50% extra GC when you convert shells from 1/1/2017 0100hrs GMT+8 to 12/1/2017 0800hrs GMT+8
o Spending Milestone 1: Spend 1,000 GCs from 1/1/2017 0100hrs GMT+8 to 12/1/2017 0800hrs GMT+8 and get an exclusive Snowman Ward free!
o Spending Milestone 2: Spend 4,000 GCs from 1/1/2017 0100hrs GMT+8 to 12/1/2017 0800hrs GMT+8 and get an exclusive Xmas Spirit Hades free!
· Promotion: Hero 50% Off!
o Due to changes in the store for 4.0, we are no longer able to sell Hero Tokens. In return, we will put a 50% discount to all heroes’ GC and SC prices from 1/1/2017 0100hrs GMT+8 to 21/01/2017 1159hrs GMT+8!
o Adrenaline and Apex are not included in this promotion
· Promotion: Grab Bags (Released between 1/1/2017 - 24/1/2017)
oBag 1: Stocking Stuffers – 1000GC
o Purchase to get 4 chests that contain any basic or premium avatar, including Limited Editions! Limited to 5 purchases per customer.
oBag 2: Kongor’s Stash – 400GC
o Purchase to get 1 chest that contains one super rare avatar from Limited Edition, EA, Plinko Exclusive, Gold Edition and Ultimate! Limited to 5 purchases per customer.
oBag 3: Silver Treasure Box – 1000SC
o Purchase to get 3 chests that contain any non-EA heroes! Best deal in town! Limited to 5 purchases per customer.
· Promotion: Gifting opened from 12/1/2017 1200hrs GMT+8 to 25/1/2017 1159hrs GMT+8
o 10 Chances to use gifting from 12/1/2017 to 26/1/2017
o No resetting of chances
· Event: x3 MM Coins from 31/12/2016 1200hrs GMT+8 to 3/1/2017 0100hrs GMT+8
· Event: Win 20 MM Games (including CoN matches) from 31/12/2016 1200hrs GMT+8 to 3/1/2017 1159 hrs GMT+8 and get free Firestorm, the newest Avatar for Zephyr!
We hope you all have a very Happy New Years!