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Savage: The Battle for Newerth

Savage: The Battle for Newerth (PC)

Genre/Style: Strategy/Action Strategy
Release Date: 10/SEP/03
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I have been intensely curious about this game since learning of it's existence however many moons ago. How is the community though? Is it like most online games with noob hostility to the point of wondering how anyone learned to play? How's the learning curve for game mechanics?

How is the community though?
The community (Newerth.com) is ok and sometimes very supportive. There are many nice players, a lot of tutorials and helpful tips for new players. Like how and where to train for the different races/ranks. There are servers just for training, or better said dueling as this is the most used way to train for melee fights. And as every unit is handled differently, it is sometimes very needed to train before entering a real game server. Although I never really trained there, because it's only 1on1 and you can't really train there for a real match, you just can learn the basics imo.
As said that many units play differently, the higher advanced the unit is the more weak points it has. Like the Legionare (human) or Predator (beast). They inflict a lot of damage, but their attack is slow. Also they cannot build very good, as their attack is slow.
Also the races play differently. The "legion of man" can block attacks while the beast horde can leap fast and is therefore harder to play, but a lot of people love them because of that.

Noob hostility is not that bad, I would say. There are a lot of helpful people that try to help you when you're new or just been away too long. Although they do not like to see you in a real match, because you're a noob and do most definately not like you commanding a team - even if the other commander is a noob too.

The learning curve for the mechanics. That depends on what games you played before. If you played FPS games, you will know how to use ranged weapons. If you played 3rd person action games like Jedi Knight, you will have it easier to learn the melee. If you played RTS games, you will have it easier to play as a commander - although all players are human and therefor not that easy to control as the usual cannon fodder. If you have played any game that depends on teamwork and also doing some work that has nothing to do with fighting (like building/repairing structures, mining, scouting, healing) then you will have a very nice time.

I should mention that you gain experience for certain actions, like building/repairing, mining, killing npc, killing enemies, healing/reviving, walking. And with every level your unit becomes stronger during that match. So I would not recommend newbies to join a match that is already running, as you will die a lot when people are on a higher level than you.

It's perhaps a very long answer, but it's not as complete as one might think, but I didn't want to make it too long. Savage is a very interesting game and one of the better of its kind. It's also freeware since some time, which made me remember it, and I still play this game because I simply love it - even though I have a bad Kill/Death-Ratio - but for me its about teamwork more than having good stats.
"even though I have a bad Kill/Death-Ratio"

The story of my online gaming life right there, but I'm also more cooperative than a lone wolf. Can you recommend any sites I should peruse until I can make up my mind if I choose to dive into the fray?

Also that was exactly the type of answer I was hoping for, thank you very much for your time.
@Spiderish Newerth.com would be the main site where I got my help on the game. Wether it be the community forum, where you can also see how the people playing are like when they don't play, or the very detailed book "Conquering Newerth" (163 sides!) which can be found in flashpaper format, unfortunately not in pdf, could be very helpfull. I haven't checked out the book that much, but its very detailed as far as I have seen. It also may sound a bit complicated at first, but it can be very easy to play.
You can also check out some glimpses of gameplay (without sound :\) here: http://www.xfire.com/video/7b076/
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