Once upon a time, there was a game called Defense of the Ancients (DotA) Well, actually it’s still around, but that’s besides the point.  What started as a Warcraft III mod soon became it’s own genre, and once the allure of DotA began to fade, worthy successors (clones if you will) popped up in the forms of the hardcore (Heroes of Newerth) and the not-so-hardcore (League of Legends)

Both HoN by S2 Games and LoL by Riot Games are supported by rabid fans and have been quite successful.  However, being an experienced (albeit mediocre) HoN player myself, I jumped at the chance to sit down with the guys at S2 games to talk to them about the elephant in their arena.  What elephant, you ask?  Valve’s DotA 2.

I wanted to know if S2 was worried about an industry giant such as Valve teaming up with the man who has carried DotA since 2005 (IceFrog) to create an actual sequel to the game that itself inspired HoN.  Many people think DotA 2 will kill games like LoL and HoN, but S2 - they ain’t scared, not one bit.

So, I sat down with S2 Games Design Director James Fielding and Senior Designer Pu Liu to find out just why they aren’t afraid of the mighty Gaben:

I was surprised by S2′s confidence, even if I did think that deep down inside they were a bit nervous about what Valve’s game could do to their market share.

However, I got a real kick out of hearing James say things like “We’re interested to see how DotA 2 lives up to the bar we’ve set” and, “If I were in Valve’s shoes, I’d be a little afraid of having to follow up our act”

Yet, quite frankly, S2 has set the bar quite high.

HoN is an extremely well polished and well balanced game.  It’s got everything a DotA fan could want and S2 supports the game feverishly.  So, as Pu said, “The announcement of DotA 2 is only more motivation for us to set the bar even higher”

Should S2 be worried about Valve and DotA 2?  Only time will tell.