The popular multiplayer RPG/Strategy hybrid Heroes of Newerth has officially gone Free to Play (F2P) as of today with a decent enough plan to keep previously paying players and green newbies both happy with it. With a three-tiered user program and additional heroes to be featured on the game, Heroes of Newerth looks to take on existing F2P games such as League of Legends and the phenomenal Defense of the Ancients (DotA) with its own brand.
With an art aesthetic that looks very similar to Warcraft III‘s style, the game is not very different from the custom scenario, DotA, made for Warcraft. However, many enthusiasts readily paid for the game as it was easy to pick up and (at least initially) did not have experienced players that took apart newbies. To keep new players streaming in to the F2P Heroes to Newerth, the developers have added three tiers of user levels to aid them in learning the game. As soon as you sign up, you get a Basic package which allows you to play with other Basic package players. After accruing some experience, you get to be a Verified user. Verified users get some extra features over the Basic players. The old paying customers will be upgraded to the Legacy account which has some minor advantages over the Verified user base (such as gaining new heroes a little earlier than the release) but nothing that would otherwise ruin the game.
It seems with games such as League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth becoming F2P the upcoming Defense of the Ancients 2 from Valve will have to be F2P in order to attract the large user base of DotA. It will be interesting to see where this takes the industry.