League Of Legends vs DoTA 2 and Heros Of Newerth

The Main Event!
The Main Event!

Heroes Of Newerth Vs League of Legends

Here is a common question that gets asked over and over with entire forums of arguing and bickering between fanboys adamantly defending their position. With the arrival of the Dota 2 beta, this question has come up more often with each youtube video post. For this analysis we will avoid any specific comparisons to DoTA with the exception of the system which Heros Of Newerth is based upon. To call both games the same is an extreme understatement; here are 10 Comparisons between Heroes Of Newerth and League Of Legends.

1. Gameplay

Two teams of 5 unique heroes, shop at base, 3 lanes of creep spawns, team “Jungles”, 5 towers, buildings in base next to final tower to produce super units, and finally a double tower guarded objective. These make up the similarities. Major gameplay components specific to HoN are random runes that spawn in 2 separate locations every 2 minutes and give a variety of different effects, Secret and Side shops, and Kongor/Roshan which drops an item of 1 time revival (and gains a cheese drop every time after). For LoL we have two different buffs obtainable via major jungle creeps, minor “recovery” buffs by minor jungle creeps, a “Super” jungle creep that gives significant global gold and Exp, Bushes that make you invisible unless someone has vision of you within the bush, the ability to teleport back to base at any time, and Baron Nasher which grants a massive buff to the team that deals the killing blow.

2. Graphics

Here we have two different schools of thought… For Heros of Newerth we lean towards mostly abominations that may or may not have human like qualities while League of Legends leans towards more human-ish characters with a few obvious animal exceptions. HoN is generally dim and murky; this is reflected its GUI and menus making for a dark and brutal experience. My only two issues with this style come from immersion breaks due to some of the comical cash shop items(Kind of a non-issue since I own a few of these…) and the dark and often times blurry effects of the abilities make seeing “Everything” difficult (Thankfully this has gotten much better over time.)

On the flipside we have League of Legends with often bright, vibrant and clear colors. Unlike Heros of Newerth, abilities are often very easy to see and stand out against each other and the environment (I mean, in a massive teamfight, how can you tell you have Bloodseeker’s hemorrhage without squinting?). This has lead many to complain that the graphics are “Too Cartoony”, but it’s a design for the purpose of clarity, so I let that slide. The GUI for both games are pretty much the same with a few different utility purposes and graphics. I applaud both games for mixing together their Lore and Graphic style throughout the game.

3. Sound

Going along with the Graphics, HoN’s sounds are low, dark and brutal often being low dark voices, shouts or war themed messages (Unless you are Nymphora…). There is a bit of a method to HoN’s madness when it comes to it’s sound department and everything sounds nicely uniform. Also nothing is scarier than hearing “YOU’RE MINE!” and then watching your soon to be carcass get dragged through FoW(Om nom nom nom).

LoL’s sounds are rightfully all over the place from dark gravely voices to, boisterous exclamations to the sound of children. Similar to the differing graphics, each sound is unique and you can clearly see and hear each attack or action. I think no two attacks (With the exception of a few Melee) sound the same/similar. For someone with some sort of Hearing or Vision disability, LoL is definitely much easier to play, but if you are in it for the graphics and dark nature, stick to HoN.

4. Mechanics (Hardcore) (Passive)

General mechanics for both games are the same; creeps power up over time, jungles, ganking is desired, and a few other extremely general details. Some other similarities are that damage is split into Magic, Physical and True. You may build armor against Magical or Physical damage but you always take full damage from True damage attacks. Beyond that, everything starts getting different.

Heros of Newearth is very heavily based on Defence Of The Ancients (pretty much a Copy-paste of it.) DoTA runs a very bare-bones flat number system where everything does a specified damage and is only influenced by your target’s armor. This makes for a very strict system of roles where each character falls into a specific role and cannot fulfill any other role. (There are some exceptions but any attempt to do so will be sub-par to any other character’s natural role, Ie Tank/Support-Tempest, Damage Shadow Shaman, Tank Thunder-Bringer, and Pre-Rework Carry Nymphora.). Heroes are broken into 3 categories; “Strength” Heroes are your designated tanks, they tend to gain the most strength stat(health) of the rest of the group, “Agility” Heroes are your designated Carrys/Damage Dealers as they gain the most agility stat(Attack speed & Armor), and “Intelligence” tend to be CrowdControl/Nukers, these Heroes mostly gain intelligence stats(Max Mana and Mana Regen). Some roles are not as clear cut as you may have an Intelligence-Tank like Dark Seer or an Intelligence-Carry like Vindicator. Their builds tend to vary but their skills lean toward that direction. Intelligence heroes tend to be early game dominant, with their abilities becoming less and less useful as the game progresses unless the other team forgoes health and can’t work together. Strength heroes dominate mid to late game where their health becomes too high to burst down and agility heroes don’t do enough damage to be a problem (yet). Finally we have Agility heroes that dominate late game (and mid game when fed or farmed) with their incredible damage output and lethality. In short, each character pretty much has a very specific role it can play and playing out of that role leans towards the difficult side.

League Of Legends follows somewhat of a different pattern; each character has its own specific stat adjustments that follows everything from HP gained per level to base mana regen. Riot tends to adjust these to nerf or buff characters. “Ratios” is another thing they like to alter and it is also one of the major differences between HoN and LoL. Unlike the flat number system of HoN, Each character in LoL has Damage Ratios that add onto an ability’s effect. For Example, A maxed out spell in HoN generally says “300 damage + Stun”, nothing more, nothing less (Except armor). However in LoL, That spell may say “300 Damage + Stun + 70% of AP”. That +70% of AP is that spell’s Ratio where your AP gets added to your damage. This ratio allows for multiple builds to be effective and (due to their item system) you can accurately build to counter the opposing team and not become totally useless later on because you had to get a specific item.

5. Patch Speed

On this part I would definitely give the verdict to League Of Legends, where in some cases have found bugs and eliminated that part of the game or disable the hero from being used until hot-fixed. The most recent example was a strange Swain glitch that was reported and within 4 hours of the new-patch coming online, Swain was disabled to be hotfixed (almost later that day.).This includes the in-game store and other things. Finally, League of Legends also likes to completely “Rebalance” the game every “Season” to allow for new strategies and to avoid stagnation. Season 3 just started and all of the new items and the remade item lists are both quite overwhelming.

Heros Of Newerth used to be pretty slow with their updates, often taking two or more weeks before a patch would occur. (Anyone remember the Christmas Maliken Glitch? I hope you do. That took about 3-4 days before he was disabled from pick and then 1 more day to fully disable him before fixing him.) Thankfully, they have gotten much much MUCH better. Props to them for picking up on that end.

6. Hero Analysis

Heroes/Champions, the center of both games. Heroes Of Newerth follows the DoTA formula and categorizes Heroes into 3 different sections (See Mechanics above.) Each character has a play style and role that they fit into; unfortunately, because of the overall “flatness” of the game, you are extremely restricted into your role and what possible build(s) you may choose from to be effective. (Tanks –Always- build vanguard and Ints might as well just build disables or Aura items or else they will be useless late game. (Seriously.)) Another major problem that the flat system has is that some heroes will be easily replaced/obsoleted by other heroes. Two of the most obvious offenders are Rikimaru/Shadow Assassin and Void/Chronos. The first gains permenant invisibility and is incredibly sticky making almost all level 6 ganks successful(That incredible cloud ability takes the cake though), and the second is also an agility carry with high damage, but his ultimate shuts down all heroes in a sphere for a few seconds while he gets to pick and choose whom to wail on (it also doesn’t help that he gains a “damaging blink”, near-permastun, and a survival tool as his skill set.) Add any other items that give you magic immunity, blink, or anything else you might possibly be missing… Why would you choose any other carry unless you hate using him?

League Of Legends creates their characters using stats specific for each character and their skill set usually accentuates their role, but due to the Ratio and Item system a hero is either doomed to fulfill a role forever or can fit a number of roles should the need be. One thing I have to give League of Legends credit is how none of their heroes are replaceable and how no item makes any hero useless. Even though some heroes may have specific uses, they still have that use and do it better than most other heroes in that aspect. (Except Karma… Whom is –currently- the jack of all trades character. Come on Karma Remake!) Like all games, there are a few heroes that are considered overpowered (Better Nerf Irelia!), but due to the item system you can build against them and still not cripple your character’s usefulness.

7. Overall Design (Passive) (Cooldown Times, Regen)

Ok ok, So I’ve been going over this whole “You can build to counter or build differently without crippling your character” thing for a while. In League of Legends, very rarely will find that your final items focus on a single stat; There are some items that give Armor and Damage, others give Magic Resistance and Health Regen. Almost all mid to endgame items affect more than one statistic and/or give an effect. Heroes of Newerth items are very one sided, benefiting only one aspect of play, thus limiting the types of builds and possible counters. The only two League of Legend items that repeat character abilities would be Guardian Angel (1 Res every 5 minutes) and Banshee’s Veil (Block 1 spell every minute) but the cooldowns on these are much MUCH longer than Zilean’s Ult or Nocturne’s and Sivir’s Mana shield (and don’t return benefits like their skills do.)

In both games Armor is divided into Physical and Magical armor, both blocks their respective part. Armor blocks a percentage and some skills specify either magic or physical damage. In both cases you may stack armor for diminishing returns (Although why bother as an Agility Carry when you naturally gain more armor than anyone else AND gain damage, all extra armor is already in the diminishing returns category.) Heroes Of Newerth armor has been getting better where as some of the old items simply took a slot just for armor and provided nothing else beneficial often leading others to skip on getting it. League of Legends seems to have found a comfortable position with their armor scheme, a lot of items come with passive armor built into them along with their main stats thus allowing better scaling with game. Armor that is there to specifically be armor have side abilities that synergize with certain heroes better than others to solidify a role or play-style.

Some argue that Heroes of Newerth is more of a hardcore game due to it’s “flatness”, but some of that also stems from the fact that most skills tend to have longer cooldowns and their “costs” are much more than general League of Legends. For example take a level 1 hero from Heroes of Newerth that has a stun that costs 120 mana to use… you are going to FEEL that cost unless you built up some mana regen (or have “Glaci-buddy/Crystal Maiden” on your team.) After that you probably have to wait a good 10 to 20 seconds before you can use it again. Some strength and agility heroes will feel their mana costs all the way into late game but their skills are set enough that you really only need to use them once… Or just only need one of them to be effective/on par/better than other heroes. League of Legends tends to learn more towards faster skill cooldowns and higher regeneration built into the heroes and items, but to reach the point of being able to spam skills you will probably have to build Cooldown reduction or have a massive mana pool anyway. Many people would say League of Legends is easier than Heroes of Newerth, but I would probably say they are about the same, just with different styles of play. I would say Heros of Newerth is easy mode IF(and only if) you are playing a hard carry as there are many items that give extra abilities (like Invisibility or Magic Immunity. Hi Fayde, Bounty Hunter and Predator) that easily solidify your dominance or if you are a character that heavily benefits from “blink dagger” (Hi, Axe/Legionnaire, Tiny, and Deadwood. I’m looking right at you guys.) Just getting that one item places you head and shoulders over other opponents to the point that sometimes buying blink dagger first can almost guarantee kills.

Above all, both games are still TEAM games. If your team can’t work together, it doesn’t matter who or what you pick, you are still going to lose. Team is always the #1 factor whether you win or lose. (Although Chronos or a well placed Kunkka (Skill Passive) Crit might beg to differ.) 

8. Adaptability

Both games handle this aspect similarly, yet their game mechanics and design cause it to be completely different. In Heros of Newerth you will probably be stuck to the same build if you are a carry, strength heroes might decide between more health or a nice chunk of armor; although now I find they are learning more towards armors since they give some pretty neat bonuses now. The only real “Variable” ones would be the Ints whose usefulness generally tapers off extremely quickly from the start to the end to end up just being useful for their crowd control skills; this leaves them to either build “Tankish” to survive spell immune enemies and tank/carry jumps or build a bunch of “Item Effects” like “Sheepstick” or Orchid to make up for their lack of late game threat.

In League of Legends, since items have multiple stats tied to them you can trade items for items that may be lesser effective than an optimal build, but still adequately cover what is needed. For example, if the enemy team is completely AP(Magic Damage), I might go for items that had Magic Resistance as a supplement or extra stat addition. So if I was a Physical Damaging character and wanted some Magic Defense, I would build a Wit’s End, which grants me increased attack speed and decent Magic Resistance that (passively) temporarily increased for each attack I made, plus extra flat magic damage with each hit. If I wanted physical damage instead of attack speed, I would have chosen Hexdrinker which grants similar stats but I’ll end up with a different item passive (Magic Shield when taking magic damage at low Hp). It wont compare to getting an item that specializes in only damage, attack speed, or magic resistance, but the dual stats and the item passives more than make up for it.

Of course, in both games you have to build to suit your role and counter your enemies but League of Legends definitely has the upper hand when it comes to item builds and creativity while keeping your hero relevant and a threat in the game.

Another major difference is how characters are able to teleport in the games. In Heroes of Newerth, a character must carry a scroll of teleportation in order teleport to ANY team aligned currently-standing structure. Teleport shoes allow you to teleport to any building or unit, and some skills like Prophet’s teleport (moves you anywhere you click) or Ophelia’s Nuke/Teleport (Damage if on enemy, if on ally, if ally takes no hero damage for 2 secs unit is teleported back to base.) For League of Legends you have the summoner’s spell called “Teleport” which grants you the ability to teleport to any allied unit or structure on the map (This skill has an incredibly high cool down) and you can just hit “Recall” which you channel for about 6 seconds before you are sent back to base. Any damage to your LIFEBAR cancels recall so shields can protect you.

9. Lore (DEMACIA!)

Lore is something I feel that League of Legends does much better than Heroes of Newerth although Heros of Newerth makes bounds towards it and then away from it with some of their heroes. My main beef with HoN’s lore is that it feels too broken or on a “Per Hero” basis followed by a reason for being good or bad. What I do have to give them props for is that they have maintained and continue to keep their lore and atmosphere dark, setting the mood.

League of Legends on the other hand, has their Lore in order and can almost say that the heroes and the game itself were built around it. It feels like something that could easily exist, and -all- of the heroes have a backstory that fits into the lore, sometimes with other heroes. Secondly, Lore has become a part of the community with League of Legends, and there have been some occasions where the player base has retcon’d or (in rare cases) created or started some of the side Lore.

10. Extras (Mode and Maps and Summonerz, Tribunal)

Finally, we have the Extras, all of the bells and whistles that come with the game that make it what it is. I’m trying not to be one sided here but League of Legends takes the cake in this area as well. Heros of Newerth is trying to (or was trying to?) put out a 2.0 version which would have allowed for a map creation style of play allowing the community to create things like tower defense, hero defense, and customize it all like a Starcraft or Warcraft map… But I haven’t seen much of anything from that end except a map maker leaving the player to make their heroes and structures using PHP (If anyone has any information on this, please post below. I would really like to hear something on this.) Currently, the system has a large learning curve but S2 should be making this easier in the coming months. The extras they have to offer at this moment are improved matchmaking and “Mid Wars”. As for Player shops, HoN has some really really REALLY awesome “Voice Packs” that change the announcer’s voice for your achievements, some pretty cool custom Hero skins and voices, and extra icons for your username if you are into that stuff.

In Extras, this is where League of Legends really takes the cake. It currently runs on a level up system that goes up to level 30. Each level grants you a Mastery point and a rune slot. Runes can be purchased from the shop with in-game points called Influence Points. You can have up to 3 (or more if you purchase them) “Pages” or loadouts of runes which can be swapped during character selection. Runes grant bonus stats to your character, your loadouts are usually built to the character you wish to play. (Usually Armor Penetration for AD carries…Ect.) Masteries also have save-able “pages” up to about 15+, and they operate in a fashion very similar to WoW (or any other MMO) “Talent Trees”. They are split into Offence, Defense, and Support and have some pretty interesting buffs you can choose from each. Each Player also can pick two “Summoner Spells” from a group of spells at the beginning of battle, each spell has its own use and really long cooldowns. On top of all of this, there are 3 other maps, each with their own rules and playstyle. (Summoner’s Rift is normal, Twisted Treeline is 3v3, The Proving Grounds is essentially Mid Warz, and Dominion is King Of The Hill + Attrition) … Like HoN, LoL also has a hero and skin shop with weekly discounts.

Disapproval Section:

Here is the section where I will state my personal grievances. As a reminder, these are all going to be personal views and do not reflect the neutral stance above. Starting with Heros of Newerth, I incredibly dislike the DoTA Mechanics and System mostly because of how some heroes becomes obsolete late game(whether it be their role, skill set, or an item) or nigh-invulnerable, not because of the player’s skill level but because of the hero’s skill set. Chronos and Rikimaru/Shadow Assassin are major offenders in this category; a 2 year old can play them and anyone beyond an absolute newb can carry a game with them easily. Another gripe I have is that some items have extremely powerful activated abilities like silence, disable, damage multiply or hex, while still giving great stats or being core items. Also, some of these items overlap with (or in some cases, are better than) hero skills that are already in game; thus rendering some hero choices ultimately redundant unless they have that one skill required for a combo. My three most hated items are Shrunken Head, Sacrificial Dagger and the “Bash-hammer”. Shrunken Head grants a decent number of stats, but when activated it makes the user magic immune for 6 seconds and there are some heroes that already have magic immune skills making them even more immune everything that isn’t damage. Its almost like giving the strongest person on your team a free pass to wreck the other team, especially if they have backup. Sacrificial Dagger earns more ire from me than any other item in the game. Although it has no stat attachments, the fact that it allows you a pretty rapid teleport that is farther than any character’s sight range, ward range, and is very abuseable by certain already powerful heroes. Those aren’t even the main reasons why I dislike this item so much… The main reason why I absolutely hate this item is that it completely flies in the face of strategy, positioning and tactics... especially when 2 or 3 of the opposing team has this item and their heroes benefit greatly from it. The “bash-hammer” has gotten better via patching so it is much less of an issue but its still up there in the realm of game-breaking skill-less kills; however, when it first came out you could easily stun lock anything/anyone (especially if you stacked) if you had a decent agi build/growth.

For League of Legends I dislike ignite, heal and cleanse; although not with vehemence, it just makes for a lot of guess work. Also, since everyone has access to it from the start of the game and does not have to give up anything to receive it other than a summoner’s spell slot, that would be their fault for choosing something else. Ignite has it’s place as a counter to Mundo, Warwick, and now Volibear, but that true damage pulls out quite a few “on Zero” kills meaning you barely got the kill. Its frustrating to “barely” die or to “barely” get a kill, thankfully there are cheap things you can do to counter it (like Heal, Shield, Health Pot, or the aforementioned Cleanse.) Heal is a minor one because it heals a decent amount in an area making baits incredibly easy; thankfully if two heroes “heal” each other using the summoner skill “Heal”, the second heal is much weaker than the first. Other grievances I have would probably be some slight hero imbalances where Heroes are just too strong or have too good a skill set, and a pretty small list of support heroes. Some examples of these are those that are constantly banned from “Ranked” play such as Morgana(Dat Shield!), Shen, Fiddlesticks, Shaco, Ryze, and Tryndamere, Alistar, Blitzcrank. In my opinion Lee Sin is one of the best because has too good a skill-set, there is nothing he can’t do and he doesn’t even need to build for it. He is followed by Vladimir and Warwick; both have really good skills and passives that grant them easy power with very few negatives and easy builds. Thankfully, due to the flexible nature of the game a terrible player (even if he is one of the above constantly banned) will always be terrible in the game and can’t just blindly click his way to victory. At first I had a problem with the items because there seemed be an item for every occasion, but after review I am absolutely ok with this because of the way it handles game-balance, scaling, and possible builds. It is painfully obvious that some heroes in League of Legends are desired over others by Riot, but according to the forums and statistics, they tend to show more love to the more played heroes (they are a business after all.) … Unfortunately, this leads to heroes like Eve; a hero so previously undesired that some players have been banned simply for playing as her. Now since their remake of her, she has made somewhat of a return but there is still much to be desired concerning her character.

Played both since their Beta phases and still play them when I get the time. I have to add that both games are continuing to get better as their development team grows, matures, and explores different avenues to provide entertainment, new gameplay, and balance to an already enjoyable game.

Now-a-days in League of Legends I roll Galio, Leona, Vayne, or Karma depending on the position needed for the team. For Heros of Newerth I pretty much play Demented Shaman, Tempest, Glacius, and Puck anytime I can. I’ve been on a roll with Triple-Stun/Double-Slow Ophelia/Chen but I’ve had a few allies rage quit start menu as soon as anyone mentions her name… (So yea…). I play Dark Seer, Ezalor, Queen Of Pain, Chen and Broodmother in DoTA2; I am currently waiting for Techies

If you disagree with anything I’ve written or if I’ve missed something, please comment and explain yourself below so the community can discuss.

1. Gameplay

Two teams of 5 unique heroes, shop at base, 3 lanes of creep spawns, team “Jungles”, 5 towers, buildings in base next to final tower to produce super units, and finally a double tower guarded objective. These make up the similarities. Major gameplay components specific to HoN are random runes that spawn in 2 separate locations every 2 minutes and give a variety of different effects, Secret and Side shops, and Kongor/Roshan which drops an item of 1 time revival (and gains a cheese drop every time after). For LoL we have two different buffs obtainable via major jungle creeps, minor “recovery” buffs by minor jungle creeps, a “Super” jungle creep that gives significant global gold and Exp, Bushes that make you invisible unless someone has vision of you within the bush, the ability to teleport back to base at any time, and Baron Nasher which grants a massive buff to the team that deals the killing blow.


2. Graphics

Here we have two different schools of thought… For Heros of Newerth we lean towards mostly abominations that may or may not have human like qualities while League of Legends leans towards more human-ish characters with a few obvious animal exceptions. HoN is generally dim and murky; this is reflected its GUI and menus making for a dark and brutal experience. My only two issues with this style come from immersion breaks due to some of the comical cash shop items(Kind of a non-issue since I own a few of these…) and the dark and often times blurry effects of the abilities make seeing “Everything” difficult (Thankfully this has gotten much better over time.)

On the flipside we have League of Legends with often bright, vibrant and clear colors. Unlike Heros of Newerth, abilities are often very easy to see and stand out against each other and the environment (I mean, in a massive teamfight, how can you tell you have Bloodseeker’s hemorrhage without squinting?). This has lead many to complain that the graphics are “Too Cartoony”, but it’s a design for the purpose of clarity, so I let that slide. The GUI for both games are pretty much the same with a few different utility purposes and graphics. I applaud both games for mixing together their Lore and Graphic style throughout the game.


3. Sound

Going along with the Graphics, HoN’s sounds are low, dark and brutal often being low dark voices, shouts or war themed messages (Unless you are Nymphora…). There is a bit of a method to HoN’s madness when it comes to it’s sound department and everything sounds nicely uniform. Also nothing is scarier than hearing “YOU’RE MINE!” and then watching your soon to be carcass get dragged through FoW(Om nom nom nom).

LoL’s sounds are rightfully all over the place from dark gravely voices to, boisterous exclamations to the sound of children. Similar to the differing graphics, each sound is unique and you can clearly see and hear each attack or action. I think no two attacks (With the exception of a few Melee) sound the same/similar. For someone with some sort of Hearing or Vision disability, LoL is definitely much easier to play, but if you are in it for the graphics and dark nature, stick to HoN.


4. Mechanics

General mechanics for both games are the same; creeps power up over time, jungles, ganking is desired, and a few other extremely general details. Some other similarities are that damage is split into Magic, Physical and True. You may build armor against Magical or Physical damage but you always take full damage from True damage attacks. Beyond that, everything starts getting different.

Heros of Newearth is very heavily based on Defence Of The Ancients (pretty much a Copy-paste of it.) DoTA runs a very bare-bones flat number system where everything does a specified damage and is only influenced by your target’s armor. This makes for a very strict system of roles where each character falls into a specific role and cannot fulfill any other role. (There are some exceptions but any attempt to do so will be sub-par to any other character’s natural role, Ie Tank/Support-Tempest, Damage Shadow Shaman, Tank Thunder-Bringer, and Pre-Rework Carry Nymphora.). Heroes are broken into 3 categories; “Strength” Heroes are your designated tanks, they tend to gain the most strength stat(health) of the rest of the group, “Agility” Heroes are your designated Carrys/Damage Dealers as they gain the most agility stat(Attack speed & Armor), and “Intelligence” tend to be CrowdControl/Nukers, these Heroes mostly gain intelligence stats(Max Mana and Mana Regen). Some roles are not as clear cut as you may have an Intelligence-Tank like Dark Seer or an Intelligence-Carry like Vindicator. Their builds tend to vary but their skills lean toward that direction. Intelligence heroes tend to be early game dominant, with their abilities becoming less and less useful as the game progresses unless the other team forgoes health and can’t work together. Strength heroes dominate mid to late game where their health becomes too high to burst down and agility heroes don’t do enough damage to be a problem (yet). Finally we have Agility heroes that dominate late game (and mid game when fed or farmed) with their incredible damage output and lethality. In short, each character pretty much has a very specific role it can play and playing out of that role leans towards the difficult side.

League Of Legends follows somewhat of a different pattern; each character has its own specific stat adjustments that follows everything from HP gained per level to base mana regen. Riot tends to adjust these to nerf or buff characters. “Ratios” is another thing they like to alter and it is also one of the major differences between HoN and LoL. Unlike the flat number system of HoN, Each character in LoL has Damage Ratios that add onto an ability’s effect. For Example, A maxed out spell in HoN generally says “300 damage + Stun”, nothing more, nothing less (Except armor). However in LoL, That spell may say “300 Damage + Stun + 70% of AP”. That +70% of AP is that spell’s Ratio where your AP gets added to your damage. This ratio allows for multiple builds to be effective and (due to their item system) you can accurately build to counter the opposing team and not become totally useless later on because you had to get a specific item.


5. Patch Speed

On this part I would definitely give the verdict to League Of Legends, where in some cases have found bugs and eliminated that part of the game or disable the hero from being used until hot-fixed. The most recent example was a strange Swain glitch that was reported and within 4 hours of the new-patch coming online, Swain was disabled to be hotfixed (almost later that day.).This includes the in-game store and other things. Finally, League of Legends also likes to completely “Rebalance” the game every “Season” to allow for new strategies and to avoid stagnation. Season 3 just started and all of the new items and the remade item lists are both quite overwhelming.

Heros Of Newerth used to be pretty slow with their updates, often taking two or more weeks before a patch would occur. (Anyone remember the Christmas Maliken Glitch? I hope you do. That took about 3-4 days before he was disabled from pick and then 1 more day to fully disable him before fixing him.) Thankfully, they have gotten much much MUCH better. Props to them for picking up on that end.


6. Hero Analysis

Heroes/Champions, the center of both games. Heroes Of Newerth follows the DoTA formula and categorizes Heroes into 3 different sections (See Mechanics above.) Each character has a play style and role that they fit into; unfortunately, because of the overall “flatness” of the game, you are extremely restricted into your role and what possible build(s) you may choose from to be effective. (Tanks –Always- build vanguard and Ints might as well just build disables or Aura items or else they will be useless late game. (Seriously.)) Another major problem that the flat system has is that some heroes will be easily replaced/obsoleted by other heroes. Two of the most obvious offenders are Rikimaru/Shadow Assassin and Void/Chronos. The first gains permenant invisibility and is incredibly sticky making almost all level 6 ganks successful(That incredible cloud ability takes the cake though), and the second is also an agility carry with high damage, but his ultimate shuts down all heroes in a sphere for a few seconds while he gets to pick and choose whom to wail on (it also doesn’t help that he gains a “damaging blink”, near-permastun, and a survival tool as his skill set.) Add any other items that give you magic immunity, blink, or anything else you might possibly be missing… Why would you choose any other carry unless you hate using him?

League Of Legends creates their characters using stats specific for each character and their skill set usually accentuates their role, but due to the Ratio and Item system a hero is either doomed to fulfill a role forever or can fit a number of roles should the need be. One thing I have to give League of Legends credit is how none of their heroes are replaceable and how no item makes any hero useless. Even though some heroes may have specific uses, they still have that use and do it better than most other heroes in that aspect. (Except Karma… Whom is –currently- the jack of all trades character. Come on Karma Remake!) Like all games, there are a few heroes that are considered overpowered (Better Nerf Irelia!), but due to the item system you can build against them and still not cripple your character’s usefulness.


7. Overall Design

Ok ok, So I’ve been going over this whole “You can build to counter or build differently without crippling your character” thing for a while. In League of Legends, very rarely will find that your final items focus on a single stat; There are some items that give Armor and Damage, others give Magic Resistance and Health Regen. Almost all mid to endgame items affect more than one statistic and/or give an effect. Heroes of Newerth items are very one sided, benefiting only one aspect of play, thus limiting the types of builds and possible counters. The only two League of Legend items that repeat character abilities would be Guardian Angel (1 Res every 5 minutes) and Banshee’s Veil (Block 1 spell every minute) but the cooldowns on these are much MUCH longer than Zilean’s Ult or Nocturne’s and Sivir’s Mana shield (and don’t return benefits like their skills do.)

In both games Armor is divided into Physical and Magical armor, both blocks their respective part. Armor blocks a percentage and some skills specify either magic or physical damage. In both cases you may stack armor for diminishing returns (Although why bother as an Agility Carry when you naturally gain more armor than anyone else AND gain damage, all extra armor is already in the diminishing returns category.) Heroes Of Newerth armor has been getting better where as some of the old items simply took a slot just for armor and provided nothing else beneficial often leading others to skip on getting it. League of Legends seems to have found a comfortable position with their armor scheme, a lot of items come with passive armor built into them along with their main stats thus allowing better scaling with game. Armor that is there to specifically be armor have side abilities that synergize with certain heroes better than others to solidify a role or play-style.

Some argue that Heroes of Newerth is more of a hardcore game due to it’s “flatness”, but some of that also stems from the fact that most skills tend to have longer cooldowns and their “costs” are much more than general League of Legends. For example take a level 1 hero from Heroes of Newerth that has a stun that costs 120 mana to use… you are going to FEEL that cost unless you built up some mana regen (or have “Glaci-buddy/Crystal Maiden” on your team.) After that you probably have to wait a good 10 to 20 seconds before you can use it again. Some strength and agility heroes will feel their mana costs all the way into late game but their skills are set enough that you really only need to use them once… Or just only need one of them to be effective/on par/better than other heroes. League of Legends tends to learn more towards faster skill cooldowns and higher regeneration built into the heroes and items, but to reach the point of being able to spam skills you will probably have to build Cooldown reduction or have a massive mana pool anyway. Many people would say League of Legends is easier than Heroes of Newerth, but I would probably say they are about the same, just with different styles of play. I would say Heros of Newerth is easy mode IF(and only if) you are playing a hard carry as there are many items that give extra abilities (like Invisibility or Magic Immunity. Hi Fayde, Bounty Hunter and Predator) that easily solidify your dominance or if you are a character that heavily benefits from “blink dagger” (Hi, Axe/Legionnaire, Tiny, and Deadwood. I’m looking right at you guys.) Just getting that one item places you head and shoulders over other opponents to the point that sometimes buying blink dagger first can almost guarantee kills.

Above all, both games are still TEAM games. If your team can’t work together, it doesn’t matter who or what you pick, you are still going to lose. Team is always the #1 factor whether you win or lose. (Although Chronos or a well placed Kunkka (Skill Passive) Crit might beg to differ.)


8. Adaptability

Both games handle this aspect similarly, yet their game mechanics and design cause it to be completely different. In Heros of Newerth you will probably be stuck to the same build if you are a carry, strength heroes might decide between more health or a nice chunk of armor; although now I find they are learning more towards armors since they give some pretty neat bonuses now. The only real “Variable” ones would be the Ints whose usefulness generally tapers off extremely quickly from the start to the end to end up just being useful for their crowd control skills; this leaves them to either build “Tankish” to survive spell immune enemies and tank/carry jumps or build a bunch of “Item Effects” like “Sheepstick” or Orchid to make up for their lack of late game threat.

In League of Legends, since items have multiple stats tied to them you can trade items for items that may be lesser effective than an optimal build, but still adequately cover what is needed. For example, if the enemy team is completely AP(Magic Damage), I might go for items that had Magic Resistance as a supplement or extra stat addition. So if I was a Physical Damaging character and wanted some Magic Defense, I would build a Wit’s End, which grants me increased attack speed and decent Magic Resistance that (passively) temporarily increased for each attack I made, plus extra flat magic damage with each hit. If I wanted physical damage instead of attack speed, I would have chosen Hexdrinker which grants similar stats but I’ll end up with a different item passive (Magic Shield when taking magic damage at low Hp). It wont compare to getting an item that specializes in only damage, attack speed, or magic resistance, but the dual stats and the item passives more than make up for it.

Of course, in both games you have to build to suit your role and counter your enemies but League of Legends definitely has the upper hand when it comes to item builds and creativity while keeping your hero relevant and a threat in the game.

Another major difference is how characters are able to teleport in the games. In Heroes of Newerth, a character must carry a scroll of teleportation in order teleport to ANY team aligned currently-standing structure. Teleport shoes allow you to teleport to any building or unit, and some skills like Prophet’s teleport (moves you anywhere you click) or Ophelia’s Nuke/Teleport (Damage if on enemy, if on ally, if ally takes no hero damage for 2 secs unit is teleported back to base.) For League of Legends you have the summoner’s spell called “Teleport” which grants you the ability to teleport to any allied unit or structure on the map (This skill has an incredibly high cool down) and you can just hit “Recall” which you channel for about 6 seconds before you are sent back to base. Any damage to your LIFEBAR cancels recall so shields can protect you.


9. Lore

Lore is something I feel that League of Legends does much better than Heroes of Newerth although Heros of Newerth makes bounds towards it and then away from it with some of their heroes. My main beef with HoN’s lore is that it feels too broken or on a “Per Hero” basis followed by a reason for being good or bad. What I do have to give them props for is that they have maintained and continue to keep their lore and atmosphere dark, setting the mood.

League of Legends on the other hand, has their Lore in order and can almost say that the heroes and the game itself were built around it. It feels like something that could easily exist, and -all- of the heroes have a backstory that fits into the lore, sometimes with other heroes. Secondly, Lore has become a part of the community with League of Legends, and there have been some occasions where the player base has retcon’d or (in rare cases) created or started some of the side Lore.


10. Extras

Finally, we have the Extras, all of the bells and whistles that come with the game that make it what it is. I’m trying not to be one sided here but League of Legends takes the cake in this area as well. Heros of Newerth is trying to (or was trying to?) put out a 2.0 version which would have allowed for a map creation style of play allowing the community to create things like tower defense, hero defense, and customize it all like a Starcraft or Warcraft map… But I haven’t seen much of anything from that end except a map maker leaving the player to make their heroes and structures using PHP (If anyone has any information on this, please post below. I would really like to hear something on this.) Currently, the system has a large learning curve but S2 should be making this easier in the coming months. The extras they have to offer at this moment are improved matchmaking and “Mid Wars”. As for Player shops, HoN has some really really REALLY awesome “Voice Packs” that change the announcer’s voice for your achievements, some pretty cool custom Hero skins and voices, and extra icons for your username if you are into that stuff.

In Extras, this is where League of Legends really takes the cake. It currently runs on a level up system that goes up to level 30. Each level grants you a Mastery point and a rune slot. Runes can be purchased from the shop with in-game points called Influence Points. You can have up to 3 (or more if you purchase them) “Pages” or loadouts of runes which can be swapped during character selection. Runes grant bonus stats to your character, your loadouts are usually built to the character you wish to play. (Usually Armor Penetration for AD carries…Ect.) Masteries also have save-able “pages” up to about 15+, and they operate in a fashion very similar to WoW (or any other MMO) “Talent Trees”. They are split into Offence, Defense, and Support and have some pretty interesting buffs you can choose from each. Each Player also can pick two “Summoner Spells” from a group of spells at the beginning of battle, each spell has its own use and really long cooldowns. On top of all of this, there are 3 other maps, each with their own rules and playstyle. (Summoner’s Rift is normal, Twisted Treeline is 3v3, The Proving Grounds is essentially Mid Warz, and Dominion is King Of The Hill + Attrition) … Like HoN, LoL also has a hero and skin shop with weekly discounts.


Disapproval Section

Here is the section where I will state my personal grievances. As a reminder, these are all going to be personal views and do not reflect the neutral stance above. Starting with Heros of Newerth, I incredibly dislike the DoTA Mechanics and System mostly because of how some heroes becomes obsolete late game(whether it be their role, skill set, or an item) or nigh-invulnerable, not because of the player’s skill level but because of the hero’s skill set. Chronos and Rikimaru/Shadow Assassin are major offenders in this category; a 2 year old can play them and anyone beyond an absolute newb can carry a game with them easily. Another gripe I have is that some items have extremely powerful activated abilities like silence, disable, damage multiply or hex, while still giving great stats or being core items. Also, some of these items overlap with (or in some cases, are better than) hero skills that are already in game; thus rendering some hero choices ultimately redundant unless they have that one skill required for a combo. My three most hated items are Shrunken Head, Sacrificial Dagger and the “Bash-hammer”. Shrunken Head grants a decent number of stats, but when activated it makes the user magic immune for 6 seconds and there are some heroes that already have magic immune skills making them even more immune everything that isn’t damage. Its almost like giving the strongest person on your team a free pass to wreck the other team, especially if they have backup. Sacrificial Dagger earns more ire from me than any other item in the game. Although it has no stat attachments, the fact that it allows you a pretty rapid teleport that is farther than any character’s sight range, ward range, and is very abuseable by certain already powerful heroes. Those aren’t even the main reasons why I dislike this item so much… The main reason why I absolutely hate this item is that it completely flies in the face of strategy, positioning and tactics... especially when 2 or 3 of the opposing team has this item and their heroes benefit greatly from it. The “bash-hammer” has gotten better via patching so it is much less of an issue but its still up there in the realm of game-breaking skill-less kills; however, when it first came out you could easily stun lock anything/anyone (especially if you stacked) if you had a decent agi build/growth.

For League of Legends I dislike ignite, heal and cleanse; although not with vehemence, it just makes for a lot of guess work. Also, since everyone has access to it from the start of the game and does not have to give up anything to receive it other than a summoner’s spell slot, that would be their fault for choosing something else. Ignite has it’s place as a counter to Mundo, Warwick, and now Volibear, but that true damage pulls out quite a few “on Zero” kills meaning you barely got the kill. Its frustrating to “barely” die or to “barely” get a kill, thankfully there are cheap things you can do to counter it (like Heal, Shield, Health Pot, or the aforementioned Cleanse.) Heal is a minor one because it heals a decent amount in an area making baits incredibly easy; thankfully if two heroes “heal” each other using the summoner skill “Heal”, the second heal is much weaker than the first. Other grievances I have would probably be some slight hero imbalances where Heroes are just too strong or have too good a skill set, and a pretty small list of support heroes. Some examples of these are those that are constantly banned from “Ranked” play such as Morgana(Dat Shield!), Shen, Fiddlesticks, Shaco, Ryze, and Tryndamere, Alistar, Blitzcrank. In my opinion Lee Sin is one of the best because has too good a skill-set, there is nothing he can’t do and he doesn’t even need to build for it. He is followed by Vladimir and Warwick; both have really good skills and passives that grant them easy power with very few negatives and easy builds. Thankfully, due to the flexible nature of the game a terrible player (even if he is one of the above constantly banned) will always be terrible in the game and can’t just blindly click his way to victory. At first I had a problem with the items because there seemed be an item for every occasion, but after review I am absolutely ok with this because of the way it handles game-balance, scaling, and possible builds. It is painfully obvious that some heroes in League of Legends are desired over others by Riot, but according to the forums and statistics, they tend to show more love to the more played heroes (they are a business after all.) … Unfortunately, this leads to heroes like Pre-Fix Eve; a hero so previously undesired that some players have been banned simply for playing as her and she kinda sat in this state for about a year(?). Now since their remake of her, she has made somewhat of a return but there is still much anxiety for people to see her again. Currently they are re-making karma, fingers crossed that they come out with a champion people want to play.


Played both since their Beta phases and still play them when I get the time. I have to add that both games are continuing to get better as their development team grows, matures, and explores different avenues to provide entertainment, new gameplay, and balance to an already enjoyable game.

Now-a-days in League of Legends I roll Galio, Leona, Vayne, or Karma depending on the position needed for the team. For Heros of Newerth I pretty much play Demented Shaman, Tempest, Glacius, and Puck anytime I can. I’ve been on a roll with Triple-Stun/Double-Slow Ophelia/Chen but I’ve had a few allies rage quit start menu as soon as anyone mentions her name… (So yea…). I play Wisp, Disruptor, Dark Seer, Ezalor, Queen Of Pain, Chen and Broodmother in DoTA2; I am currently waiting for Techies.

If you disagree with anything I’ve written or if I’ve missed something, please comment and explain yourself below so the community can discuss.


More by this Author


Comments 1 comment

Michael Poon profile image

Michael Poon 3 years ago from Australia

i think you need to re-edit this, it looks like you repeated half of what you wrote. it's just a whole wall of text at the moment. add some images, vidoes, some fun stuff! hope this helps :)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working