Ok so it's quite easy to see the huge rivalry that the 2 games have for each other. Anyone playing ether for more than a few days can see it. Flamewars in youtube comments going on for pages because someone said that one game was better than the other.
I don't really like participating in such childish arguements (said in a very holier than thou snooty british accent).
On night to entertain insomnia I decided to sign up with a HoN account to see what the fuss was about. and the tl;dr of it is I enjoyed it for a few hours before going back to play some more LoL.
But still, I'll document my discoveries in the strange land.
Joining up went as expected, nothing to report there.
Downloading and installing was much faster than I anticipated, I don't know if that's pecause it's a smaller game or whether they're just more efficient in their coding. (I also noticed that they have a Mac and Linux version of the game so that's something to mention for the mention's sake).
Patching was a breeze, I have to say, it only took a few seconds. It also gave me the option to save my password and log in automatically, which is a nice feature.
Tutorial was a bit harder to locate but not too much, went through an identical regime to LoL's tutorial, kill 4 minions, level up, use skill to kill another 4, heal at spawn etc.
Gameplay translated over perfectly, pretty much identical controls and methods, had to rebind a few keys but nothing really too out of the ordinary (although I still don't know what the space bar does by default <.< ).
Then the first major critisims of the game started.
Allied health bars and enemy health bars are both the same colour. And the shaded graphic style of the game made it difficult to see which were on my side to a newbe like me.
Also attack ranges in the game are A LOT bigger than in LoL you can hit across an entire screen's length with your auto attacks, and be hit by them too.
A good point of the tutorial was it teaches last hitting and more importantly not auto attacking wildly, which LoL's tutorial doesn't.
Rest of it went as expected, was granted maximum levels to complete the tut faster, thought 'no I'm not going to complete it just now' and went scouring the map. Where I came across a big thing which didn't like my face when I threw fire at it. The equivalent of Baron Nashor probably so I ran away.
What the tutorial didn't cover was buying items, this was 'coming soon' in the contents.
That concludes pretty much everything I went up to so far, haven't played vs players yet (and to be honest I don't know if I'll bother).
I do have to say the good and bad points though, what can be learned from both:
What LoL can learn from HoN:
- Animations. It's true, despite the graphics, the character animations were lovely! While it was explaining what a Strength based Hero was I was treated to an amazing display of the Panda one tossing another Hero into the air and following it up with a spinning 3 hit combo the likes of which you'd expect from a fighting game like Tekken or Street Fighter. Then later on it showed a display of a Hero sommoning 2 flaming balrog looking things from the ground, where the portals spiraled until they were drawn and the things clawed up from the depths of wherever they came from until they were fully summoned. The most Annie's Tibbers does is just... appear randomly, and the best LoL gets in this area is Nautilus' animations (especially his 2 hit auto attack combo during Titan's Wrath)
- Everything else not related to gameplay. The lore seems to gave a lot more effort put into it. Also the Homepage is a lot easier to navigate, the game was quick and convenient to log in and install. Patches were downloaded in seconds.
- EDIT: Just remembered something new to go here. That camp announcer I've heard from Youtube videos is just amazing.
What HoN can learn from LoL:
- The graphics. In LoL you can see everything you're supposed to. When an area is hidden in the Fog of War it looks dark and forboding because that's what it's supposed to be. In HoN half the map looks dark and forboding even when standing in it, in this half fog of war looks the same as not fog of war. And generally the game is a lot darker and the trees are taller obsuring more of what's behind them.
- Different coloured/sized health bars. Possibly the biggest point, in the mix of 5 minions fighting it's hard to tell what you're clicking on. Also enemy Hero's health bars look identical to minion's except with a small number next to them for their level. In LoL there's divisions of health into 100hp bars. Letting you know how much health they actually have easily.
- Ballance. As I was playing I noticed that the jungle did not seem symetrical for both sides.
- Snowballing. This is untested so far but I think that their iteration of inhibitors don't respawn, not only that but in addition to making your minions stronger, they also make them be worth less gold. Preventing any chance of a comback.
Both game's champions seemed equally inspired and fun to play with. There would be champions I'd miss if I started to play HoN, and Heroes I'll miss going back to LoL.
As much as anyone can tell is that every game in the entire universe is better than Rise of the fricking Immortals! Which I was forced to play for a while to get a global steam achievement.