A Brief History of Savage
Savage: The Battle for Newerth was released in late 2003 by, small independant studio (at the time), S2Games (S2) to generally very good reviews and won several accolades for it's uniqueness and gameplay. The demo version was Human vs Human only, with the full version introducing the Beast race. Savage v1.0 had many bugs and balance issues, and while getting high marks for gameplay was often criticized for seeming unfinished.
Somewhat uniquely, Savage has a long history of constant evolution. There have been many mods and attempts to improve the game since its release in late 2003.
There have been several major mods, including SEP, EX2, TombStone (TS), SFE, HCS, SGU, XR, and finally Savage: Rebirth.
S2 originally released the source for Savage 2.00e to a select community developer group working on a Total Conversion Mod called Tombstone, which was a Zombies vs Cowboys theme of Savage with some extra functionality and bug fixes. After this, the code was leaked and two developers known as Uttar (who had been on the TS team) and Jebus produced separate, competing mods called SEP and EX2 respectively.
This site, now considered the information source for Original Savage (including direct links from S2 Games' website), started as clan EvO's forum site. It now serves the entire Savage community, as well as hosting the ongoing development of Savage XR.
Newerth.com also serves as an independent community site for all S2 Games' releases, including Savage 2 (recently abandoned) and Heroes of Newerth.
Uttar and Jebus had been working on SEP together, but could not agree on the direction and methods of the project. Consequently Jebus left the SEP (later SFE) project and started EX2. EX2 is considered by many of the veteran players to have perfected the melee combat of savage, and generally made the game more fun to play. Features included more predictable and smooth melee combat, uphill leaping, server setting votes, and improved user interface. It was plagued, however, by several very insidious bugs which were never fixed. Jebus kept tight control of the source and servers, and when he pulled the plug EX2 was completely lost to the community.
After EX2 shut down, SFE became the standard modification of Savage with all major servers running this version. Uttar eventually handed the source for SFE over to the newerth.com admins who formed the Savage XR project as an evolution of SFE.
The only current mods of Savage: The Battle for Newerth are Savage XR and Savage: Rebirth. Savage XR philosophy is one of community involvement and iterative updates, as well as providing backwards compatibility with previous versions of Savage.