Sucks to be a Heroes of Newerth player this week (or next week, or the week after), after the game's servers suffered what's being called "a catastrophic hardware failure".

The DotA clone, a popular online game in the niche PC strategy genre, will be out of action without an estimated time of return after the mishap. An original notice on the game's site reads:

During our scheduled maintenance period this morning we had a catastrophic hardware failure across a number of systems including some of our backup systems. We have the capacity and ability to recover from this failure. However, due to the extent of this failure we cannot provide an ETA on when service will be restored, we will continue to provide you updates as they are available to us.

Going into more detail, a representative from the developer, S2 games, wrote:

We attempted to upgrade the processor on our database boxes. Both of our servers were simultaneously taken offline while the new hardware was being put in place. During this period of time, the file systems on BOTH boxes were destroyed. If this boggles your mind to the point that you can't believe it could happen, you would be in the same exact boat we are! It seems almost statistically impossible, however, it is in fact what happened.

This leaves us with no hardware to operate our DBs from until we can get new servers online. The reason for such a catastrophic situation is that this hardware is not the type that is simply sitting around, even in the largest hosting facilities in the world (in which we host at). We are scrambling to bring our systems back online temporarily so you can play the game through other short term methods while we get new hardware online.

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Bad news for fans of the game, and its developers, but it's at least refreshing to see people being honest enough to use the word "catastrophic" instead of trying to cover their tracks.

HoN Downtime 6/21/11 [HoN, thanks Paul!]