Waste of Development Time
Title says it all. And it's a bad thing.
TLDR: Game will flop if you only market it to Dota veterans, needs a way to bring new players up to speed on game mechanics.
When you bring a product to the market, if 1% of your target audience buys what you have to sell, you'll be making money. This should seem fairly intuitive to anyone who follows the gaming industry: if 1% of a multi-billion dollar industry is plenty of cash to float a company on.
Tiny problem. HoN is not marketed to all gamers. In it's current form, it is only appealing to Dota veterans, and that stands to cripple the game in the long run. The bottom line is that Dota, a FREE game, with no cost (everyone and their mother has a WC3 CD key), has a high barrier of entry. Getting new players to put up with the extreme learning curve and frustration of repeated pwnings by more experienced players is not easy
Yes, the rating system helps this. That is a great idea. But how is someone who never played dota going to pick up this game and immediately know to start practicing denies, which items to build, or even what heroes do what. Their first experience to the game will be logging online and losing, again and again and again.
If your reaction is "tough ****, some games are more complicated then mario", stop and think. I'm not saying the game needs to be watered down. I'm saying there NEEDS to be a way to bring players up to speed, because if not, no matter how critically acclaimed HoN becomes, it will be a commercial failure. Money makes the world go round. If we want to keep enjoying HoN, HoN needs to be appealing to a much MUCH broader demographic.
The good news is this really shouldn't be that hard. The mechanics are closely aligned with traditional RPGs. You've got stats, you've got levels, you've got gold, you've got heroes.
Make a single player game. It doesn't have to be long. In fact, it SHOULDN'T. We're talking like 5 hours, tops. But it would let a new player pick select a hero, and play with him in a non competitive environment. They build up skills and powers, buy items, fight other heroes (ai controlled). Write a simplistic story that introduces mechanics (couriers, wards, dust, and denies are all noob-unfriendly concepts). Wrap it all up with a big fight, credits roll, and bam: now we have someone who is ready for the real game.
They're still going to get schooled when they go online. But with a big difference: now, their challenge is simply to overcome their opponents. They do not have to learn the basic mechanics of play in an extremely hostile and discouraging environment.
HoN is a fantastic game, and has the potential to do amazing things both for Dota-style games, as well as the gaming tournament scene in general. But the most amazing piece of artwork in the world doesn't have any meaning if it languishes in the dark of it's creator's basement, and by the same token, HoN's success depends on the game can drawing more than just Dota fans.
I think some people might find this extremely useful, in exactly the same way you said. I'm a DotA veteran, but I can still appreciate the challenge of trying to teach a friend to play this for the first time.
Although, maybe there should just be a thing that has all new players play EM only, or something, since denies and last hitting doesn't matter as much. Though, if this were to be implemented, there would be the issue of the skilled players (like myself) who still play about half EM games with friends. In which case, EM would have to be come noob mode, or there would have to be a better way of keeping pros out of noob only games (since right now, i can join a noob only game and roflstomp some noobs. check for yourself, every noob only game has at least 2 pros ruining it. and yes, i know i did this, but i only did it once and it was to try out a new hero).
That's just my 2cents worth, but this is a great point. Probably made in tons and tons of other threads, though...
dota players are the target customer (i think), thats why they based this on dota.
although i agree, but pls dont MAKE people finish the tutorial (if ever this gets done)
But yeah, obviously don't force people to play the tutorial. That would be a **** show.
As to making noob games EM only.... EM teaches you alot of bad habbits. Because gold is more pleantiful, it doesn't just under-emphasize creep mechanics, it makes deaths much less important. Having new players act with suicidal greed ("it's ok I died, I just bought"), means a painful re-education when they graduate EM.
Not that I don't love schooling noobs. I'm just saying, for the good of the game as a whole, probably not so hot.
I agree. Absolutely. This game has a HUUUGE potential. But its hard to get into. So please make a offline standalone scenario on a different map. With a short story. Cool ingame animations (market likes that) and all the heroes. Make noob achievemnts (10 lasthits, 10 denies etc). Use that cool voice as much as possible ("Good you are denying like a god" "With this weapon you are going to OWN")
And mainly release this standalone scenario for FREE. I guarantee you its going to boost your sales.
I dunno about releasing a single player for free.
Would make a fine demo I guess. Kinda misleading though.
yeah i like this idea, I learned DoTA off the AI maps (man those AIs seemed sooo pro back then). It makes it a lot easier to get into the game, being thrown into a full fledged 5v5 with your teammates screaming their heads off at your noobiness when you don't even know the basic controls can't be fun.
I don't even need to read this, I've already met and become good friends with some really good players that have never even played dota, a few have never even heard of it.
But, i'll still vote up because I personally think almost every game should have some kind of interactive tutorial.
Last edited by Rinsaku; 12-08-2009 at 07:04 PM. Reason: spelling
YES YES YES YES! I totally agree with you. I've been asking for a single player mode in HoN for ages now. To expand on your idea, I think in addition to a single player campaign which acts as a tutorial, there should also be the feature to just set up a standard single player game with AI players, of configurable difficulty.
I actually never played Dota, and a friend got me into HoN. When I first started playing I had nfi what to do, and sucked really hard, getting abused and kicked from games. I almost gave up on the game very early due to these frustrations, but I think I saw the potential and stuck with it. I think a tutorial style campaign, followed by single player mode with AI players would have been a great way for me to build up my skills before playing some real matches, because it would have saved me the frustration, and spared the good players I played with the annoyance of having such a crap player on their team.