Heroes of Newerth dev announces new MOBA, Strife

Heroes of Newerth was once the most the main alternative to League of Legends, as the most faithful update of the original DotA mod. Then Valve swaggered in and Dota 2 muscled HoN out. S2 Games isn't giving up on Dote 'em ups, though, and is coming back with Strife. Described as a "second generation" MOBA, it'll be free-to-play on PC. So, the basics: Strife is a Dote 'em up, and intended to be one of the easier-to-get-into ones. It's starting with a fairly small pool of heroes, which will all be free. As well as a hero, you choose a pet to take into battle, which have assorted abilities and passive bonuses. It'll have persistence, as pets level up and crafting lets you permanently boost the stats of items you buy in matches. Oh, and there's a huge ape who'll rampage down enemy lanes if you free him by defeating an NPC. Given the genre's reputation, it's no surprise S2 has a few plans for reducing rudeness. As well as a karma system with punishments and perks--from bans to bonus crafting materials--it'll share gold between players on lanes (which surely does reduce strategy, but makes it friendlier). S2 isn't giving out many details itself, and the announcement trailer is worthless, so check, Massively or Polygon's preview for more. It's wandering away from the generic template but every new MOBA faces the same problem: does it offer enough for Dota and LoL players leave those games and their chums to play it instead? You can sign up for beta testing on the official site.

That certainly is a large ape