Since I participate regularly in the test games, and Sean will never get around to write a guide, here is mine ^^
This is a explanation of how I think the game plays at the moment, it may not be up-to-date/correct.
The game is a DOTA style game, i.e. you are a "hero" (I'll say mech), which gains XP, levels up and becomes stronger. At the same time creeps(not controllable) of either team are spawned and fight against each other, with time stronger creeps are spawned, but the strength of the mechs increases faster.
Further I will split the guide in "game phases" and "mechs", explaining how I think you should play during/with them.
- Laning: At the start of the game the mechs aren't very strong compared to the creeps, so you want to play very defensive. To gain XP as fast as possible you should stay in you lane as long as possible without dying. XP is also gained from creeps killing each other if you stand close by, so you can hang back and don't have to get in the line of fire. As team you should spread across the different lanes since the XP is divided by players close by (I think).
- Ganging: Once the mechs are slightly higher level so they can kill each other relative fast, you can start changing lane and team up to kill enemy mechs. More "movement" gets into the game, since players switch between the lanes more often.
- Late-game/Pushing: Once a team thinks they gained a big enough advantage against the enemies they try to push a lane with all mechs to destroy the spaceships, to reduce the strength of the enemy creeps in that lane. This of course leads to big mech battles.
- Hellbore (close combat): The main two abilities are Rampage and Heat sink. Rampage - makes you walk faster and attack faster/stronger, but creates ~25% heat. Since rampage creates heat, you want to be running into the battle and will take dmg (which creates heat) you need heat sinks to counter act. EMP - I don't level it because I was told it was buggy/only works vs creeps, it may be useful, I never really tested it He's an all or nothing mech, either you run in and try to kill the enemy or you stay out of his range, once you run in, there is no way back.
- Bishop (range/sniper): His main abilities are range and stealth. Range (passive ability) - increases the range of your weapon stealth - makes you invisible (and at the moment you can still shoot) He never has a big heat problem, and should usually not take damage to often, so heat sink and heal aren't that important. You want to keep your range and slowly sniper them down with your range advantage.
- Helios (close combat/support): Repair - heals yourself or a team mate a lot at once Jump (or how it's called) - a blink abilities, i.e. teleports you a short distance I can't give any tips since I have never played him :) But I guess you use repair to support your team mates and can use Jump/heat sink for a more aggressive play style
- Ballista (range/dmg): His main abilities are heavy missiles and heat sink heavy missiles (toggle ability) - when on, attack deals massive dmg but also creates a lot of heat Air support - calls helicopters to guard the ballista Since the helicopters aren't controllable and only attack enemies relatively close by, I think it is useless. With Ballista you really have to watch your heat, in a mech battle you want to toggle the heavy missiles, so that you heat goes up, but never reaches over 80%.
As stated at the top, this is how I play the mechs at the moment/see the game, there might be better strategies. I don't check these forums very frequently, but I'll be happy to answer questions whenever I check in.
Though its true enough i think we should stay away as much as possible calling it a "DotA" based game. DotA, LoL and HoN are each very similar, and although this is using the same mechanics it plays quite differently (which is very good in this case).
Mentioning that it is a DotA based game gives, in my opinion, a bad first impression or atleast a misleading one. DotA as many know is very hard to get into because the community is very no-nonsense and has stagnated for too long.
As for what else to call it im not sure. Just putting it out there. (also advertising 101, never mention your competitors it distracts from the purpose of _your_ advert)
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