Installing Heroes of Newerth Beta on Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Jaunty


Well, I got my beta key for Heroes of Newerth through the recent Slashdot giveaways. I'm excited as I used to play Starcraft back in the day, but never got into DotA. Here is my experience installing this *early closed beta* version of the game and first playing it.

Installing

I downloaded the beta installer to my desktop. Looks like it's a shell script. I got a md5sum value of cc57bcbd083199b3d40007e9e8c32a5f for my download which matches the official information.
Made it executable:
$ chmod +x HoNClient-0.1.27.3-r2.sh

And then ran it:

$ ./HoNClient-0.1.27.3-r2.sh

After accepting the license agreement, to my surprise and delight it defaults to installing to my home directory at ~/HoN. No root privileges required! Thumbs up S2. The next installer screen confirms I want to install "XDG menu entries". I say yes. After a progress bar I click "Finish" and the installer peacefully exits.
In my K menu I go to Applications > Games and there it is, "Multiplayer Game" (Heroes of Newerth) with its icon. So far so good!
I do note, however, that if I remove the executable bit from the shell script, then click the shell script downloaded to my desktop, Ubuntu tries to open it in Wine, with no result. Presumably, the final installer will come with the executable bit set for a commandline-free install experience.


Patching

After logging into the game, the auto updater started to download a 26MB patch to bring me from 1.27.3 to 1.28.2. I tabbed out to do something else while it was updating... at this point my entire system froze up, necessitating a hard reboot. I started the game again to see if it was more stable if I leave it alone and do not tab away to a different application or desktop while it is updating. This time it froze on the S2 splash screen. I killed the HoN processes, removed the ~/HoN/Update folder entirely and tried again. The result was a clean update and no problems whatsoever.


Playing

Armed with a fresh pot of coffee, I am ready to start playing! But... at the Game Browser screen, HoN shoots up to 100% CPU usage and I am forced to kill -9 it. Right clicking on my taskbar did not work to quit the game at this time, in fact none of the KDE taskbar was responsive.

Long story short, killing PulseAudio with "kill `pgrep pulse`" after starting the game, resulted in no sound but no crashes. I filed a bug and am happily playing without PulseAudio (Used Aptitude to remove it). This incidentally resolves all the other problems I had with PulseAudio, so I'm not too upset about the workaround.

I am not so good at this game yet, my kill/death ratio is around 1:3. Still having fun and learning though! The game itself runs beautifully, there aren't any significant bugs that I've run into (none during in-game play) and I feel confident in predicting that this will be one of the most popular games on the Linux platform. I'll leave you
with some links that helped me get the basics down...

Links with info on playing Heroes of Newerth

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