Normally, IGG's compensation comes in the form of 500 Glory and a Coupon or two; however, a lot of people (myself included) were pretty shocked to log in today and see a full blown Hydra just sitting in their mailbox. I looked on the forum, and sure enough, I saw that my fellow staff member, Lucifer, had made an announcement about it.
Let's just get this out of the way: I really don't think Hydra is all that great. He's better than Thor and Odin, but he really just seems pretty gimmicky. A lot of the forum's users felt the same way. Basically, the lower level players were absoultely losing their minds, while the high level players were like "Meh. He's just a new avatar for my collection." This is because Hydra is far better than most 1-4 star heroes, so low level players can really make good use of him. Unfortunately though, high level players who already have superior heroes (notably Captivator, who's hero skill is somewhat similar to Hydra's) won't have much use for him.
It's not all bad for us (high level players) though, because some people brought up a couple of great points about him. First, he'd be really good with War Hungry + Berserk. Typically, you'd have to sacrifice one of your good heroes and make it completely PvE oriented if you wanted to use the WH + B strat. But now, everyone has a really good hero to throw these talents onto, meaning that you now longer have to sac your Captivator's PvP talents for PvE ones. Second, apparently he's better in action than he is on paper. I'm having a hard time believing this one, but according to Darkness, his level 50 alt on the TW server (which gave out a free Hydra a long time ago for a different reason) was able to beat level 80+ players in Arena purely because of his Hydra. Because of this testimony, I might test the waters with him a little bit, and see how often I win/lose.
Actual practicality aside, it's really interesting to evaluate Hydra's current supply/demand state. Yesterday, he was one of the rarest heroes in the entire game, but he is now the most common (at least among the 5 star heroes). So his demand dropped drastically, and his supply rose drastically, making him virtually worthless. Because of this, I actually expect IGG to make him farmable in the near future, because they probably recognize that they really can't make any money off of him anymore.
So, although he's not the best compensation that we could've been given (personally, I would've liked a Light's Hand instead, simply because she is pretty hot), he's certainly way better than the typical IGG bullshit that we're used to. I might not need him, because I have heroes who are way better, but I would take him over a few coupons any day of the week. I'm interested to see how this effects the game as a whole....