Today S2 Games has made the biggest announcement, after Heroes of Newerth chosen its Free to Play path. Starting this Friday, July 20th, all heroes in HoN will be available in the hero pool for FREE. Here is what the Director of HoN, [S2]DivA had to say about it:
As part of our continuous efforts to make the HoN gaming experience better, we set out to improve our Free-to-Play rotation and Hero unlocking model. After careful deliberation and tremendous feedback and suggestions from our community, we have come to what we all truly believe to be the best solution for enhancing the HoN experience for every one of our players. We are extremely grateful to all of our dedicated players for helping us take this massive step forward, and look forward to all of you joining us in the celebration of HoNís natural evolution from Free-to-Play to Free-to-Own. It is an amazing privilege for us to entertain all of you, and with decisions like this we hope to entertain millions more moving forward. Thanks again for all of your support, feedback, and passion. Game HoN! Source: Announcement on the official forums
This change is great news for the whole HoN community and it's the step in the right direction HoN needed to take so it can continue to grow. Allowing all heroes to be played for free will bring a lot more players to the game, but most importantly it will allow the competitive scene to advance, since now new players won't have a disadvantage of a limited hero pool and everyone will start with an even ground.
Also all players who purchased a hero for gold coins will be given an exclusive Mecha Gemini Alt Avatar for free. Legacy players will also receive the exclusive Mecha Gemini, PLUS a very special thank you in the form of the Legacy Bonus which rewards Legacy accounts with an extra two silver coins for every ranked (i.e. non-Mid Wars) matchmaking game they play. The HoN Store will also be restructured and the prices will be changed so all content will be easier to earn with silver coins. Coupling this with the recent increase in silver coin gain from Match Rewards, you will be able to unlock free content faster than ever!
S2 has also announced that they are currently working on a new "Gated Mode" that will feature a static hero pool of iconic heroes. Gated Mode should offer a perfect controlled environment for all players to hone their skills and familiarize themselves with the HoN gameplay experience. More details about this mode will be release in the near future.