Hellgate London - All News
Wednesday - January 11, 2017
Hellgate London - London 2038 Pre-Alpha Sign Up
@Gamebanshee they report that the mod for Hellgate London, London 2038 is ready for pre-alpha testing and are now accepting volunteers. You will need an original Hellgate London retail installation with the single player v1.2 patch and multiplayer 2.0 patch.
Please use this form to express your interest in pre-Alpha testing London 2038. The pre-Alpha state of the game is not anywhere near bug-free, and should not be expected to be played as if it is a stable, retail product. We need testers, not people just playing for fun. We need your help in identifying issues and inconsistencies, and appreciate your interest! You MUST join Discord and express interest before being considered, thank you!
Wednesday - December 28, 2016
Hellgate London - Third Developer Diary
What Now Works In Addition to Previous Update
Party members' health displays properly
Power/shield regeneration rate is now correct
Inspection no longer crashes the game and works as expected
Auction house (Consignment House) now functions correctly
AI pathing is now correct
Achievements/achievement bonuses function correctly
Stonehenge essences (beast, spectral, etc) now drop correctly from bosses
Abyss-era rings can be purified in the Transmogrifying Cube
Zone portals now use the correct text color (allowed, quest, locked, etc)
Party finding/party listing system now works correctly
What Doesn't Work/Is Being Worked On
Data issues causing some remaining problems
Issue with certain skills causing NPC lag (see video of Shulgoth above when the summoner uses Meatshield)
Issue causing occasional crashes related to merchants and items
Party member inspection from the party member portrait does not function
Embankment Redoubt quest cannot be completed due to bug in handling AI for the NPC soldiers in the quest.
Some item affixes are show twice but applied only once
Some specific named monster hunt quests cause issues in parties
Item linking has known bugs and is being fixed/improved
We are at a point where a few bugs remain which can cause the game to be instantly unplayable and are working hard to fix them. This means we are not quite to an Alpha state stability-wise, but at the same time our server is playable enough to get some productive testing done. So going forward, our main goals are to address the remaining known game breaking bugs, and attempt to thoroughly test the server in preparation for a small closed Alpha stage. I will update the community as soon as we are ready to take applications to become Alpha testers.
We are also working on strengthening our tooling and processes as we work towards accommodating more and more players as we expand our testing efforts.
As always, we can't promise that there will be enough progress to share every week, but we will keep the community updated as milestones are reached on the project. As always, you can stop by Discord with any questions, and also please see the FAQ here for common questions.
Something to note: London 2038 will NEVER cost money, will NEVER have anything for purchase, will NEVER have a subscription, will NEVER have a cash shop or money transactions of any kind, PERIOD. This is a passion project for fans, by fans, and has 0 money involved. We are all volunteers, and we want everyone to enjoy the game we remember with out any cost EVER. No one will EVER make money off of this project.
Monday - December 12, 2016
Hellgate London - Multiplayer Revival: London 2038
Work has continued on the main issues remaining; namely our data woes. We, mainly through the genius of MMan and MarCNeT, addressed many of the bugs in the first development diary entry and have a much more stable build to test with. However, issues still remain which can crash our server, cause unexpected behavior, or otherwise make the game unplayable. All in all though, we are moving at a slow but steady pace towards an Alpha-testable state of our server. Here is an updated list of what does work and what needs work:
What Now Works In Addition to Previous Update
- Stonehenge quest-related essences drop
- Trinket slot for Abyss-era rings
- All issues with traveling between zones seem to be resolved
- Guild formation and management
- The Transmogrifying Cube
- Friend System/ignore system
- Item linking in chat now works
- Power now regenerates
- Shields now regenerate Subscriber status and subscriber-only features are now unlocked and working
- Boss fights now have no known issues
- Skills seem correct, but further testing is needed
What Doesn't Work/Is Being Worked On
- Remaining data alignment issues causing most known problems
- Power and shield regeneration rate calculation is incorrect
- Rare random server pauses caused by bad data related to merchants and items
- Party member health is not shared correctly
- Game client crash when exiting inspect window
- Rare and random error related to AI path scripting
- Auction house still has one bug
In addition to addressing bugs in our current build, we are also working on some developer tools related to the game data that should provide some boost in productivity around fixing data-related bugs. We will be continuing our work trudging through the data alignment issues we have faced, as well as addressing and documenting any other bugs that crop up during test sessions. We are also working on automation and standardization to make our lives easier and to ease the transition out of closed development to a pre-alpha stage.
Monday - December 05, 2016
Hellgate London - Multiplayer Rises from the Dead
@Gamebanshee they have been following the progress of a mod to Hellgate London which aims to restore the games multiplayer mode. Things are beginning to look promising according to the developer diary.
With the closing of the original servers and T3Fun's own Hellgate Global servers, though, we have had no means of playing the game's excellent Stonehenge and Abyss content or go on any party-based boss runs. As entertaining as the loot game could be in the single player version - particularly with a mod or two installed - it just hasn't been the same without these additions.
But it appears that will be changing soon, as the relaunched revival project we told you about back in September has been moving along at a promising clip. So much, in fact, that they now have a working multiplayer server and have started a developer diary series and an FAQ to tell us more about where things stand. This video demonstrating the functioning multiplayer is certainly promising:loading...
Saturday - January 02, 2016
Hellgate London - Hellgate Global Officially Offline
Hellgate Global is officially offline, as planned since October.
I'm not sure if anything will ever become of Hellgate's successful reception on Steam Greenlight, but the current online iteration of the game for those of us in the Western world, Hellgate Global, has gone offline as announced and planned back in October. There is no mention of the actual closure on T3Fun's official website, but people on the Hellgate Facebook page are reporting that they've been getting "could not connect to authentication server" messages for the latter half of December.
Of course, the original Hellgate: London can still be installed and played in offline form, and there are some fantastic modifications that can be taken advantage of over on the Hellgate Revival forums to give it a lot more longevity. But as a long-time fan of the game, I'm clinging to a faint hope that 2016 brings us a new online version through Steam, the availability of private servers, or at least an easily accessible installer for the single player version through a service like GOG.
Friday - September 12, 2014
Hellgate Global - Greenlit on Steam
Hellgate is an action RPG that allows you to play in a first-person or third-person perspective. Set 27 years into the future, an ancient prophecy made centuries ago has come true and the gates of hell have opened. Demons have overrun the world of man and roam our lands, destroying, pillaging and killing humans. With the world above ground abandoned, dark and burnt to hellfire, humans are forced into hiding to protect what remains of their race while making plans to take back a world that was once theirs. In the game, mankind escapes to the underground system under the sprawling metropolis of London. Prepare for a struggle for survival in a world that has become hell.
The developer Redbana Corporation still hasn't given a response yet though.
Wednesday - August 20, 2014
Hellgate Global - On Steam Greenlight
The Redbana Corporation is trying to get Hellgate Global on Steam. So if any of you are interested check out the greenlight page, and vote.
Hellgate is an action RPG that allows you to play in a first-person or third-person perspective. Set 27 years into the future, an ancient prophecy made centuries ago has come true and the gates of hell have opened. Demons have overrun the world of man and roam our lands, destroying, pillaging and killing humans. With the world above ground abandoned, dark and burnt to hellfire, humans are forced into hiding to protect what remains of their race while making plans to take back a world that was once theirs. In the game, mankind escapes to the underground system under the sprawling metropolis of London. Prepare for a struggle for survival in a world that has become hell
Monday - July 15, 2013
Hellgate London - Retrospective @ Edge-Online
Edge-Online takes a look at the rise and fall of Flagship Studios during the development of Hellgate London.
In July 2003, Max Schaefer, his brother Erich and David Brevik – creators of that most revered brand of action-roleplaying, the Diablo series – resigned from Blizzard Entertainment, along with vice president Bill Roper. Amid a frenzy of press and gamer inquiry, the newly free agents sat down in Brevik’s house and tried to work out what they were going to do with the rest of their lives. “And we realised all we knew how to do was make games,” Schaefer laughs. “We didn’t really give it a lot of thought at the time. We didn’t want to get regular jobs, so, obviously, we had to make another company. So we sat there just talking about ideas, before we hit on what we wanted to do. It only took a couple of days, really.”
The new freedom – and responsibility – was daunting, but the group preferred that to the deal they were getting at Blizzard. So it was settled: the new company would be called Flagship Studios, and the idea they hit on at Brevik’s house was what would become Hellgate: London. According to Roper, London was chosen for its association with the Knights Templar and its extensive Tube network. And, initially at least, their goal was fairly straightforward and sensible.
“Our fundamental, primary idea,” Schaefer says, “and our most crystallised thought, was to introduce firstperson shooter elements into a proper MMO. We wanted to make an MMO world where you could play it like you were playing Counter-Strike, or any firstperson shooter. That involved some cool mechanics – the immersiveness of the worlds, that camera mechanic – and just working that into the MMO.”
Flagship had been attracting unpleasant rumours for some time, but in August 2008 the company officially closed its doors. Hellgate’s concept artist, Jason Felix, remembers: “Someone from upper management had a brief talk with some of us, saying: ‘Just hear what they have to say, but everything will be fine’. It was weird because at that moment, it was a statement of reassurance – but yet it forecast a negative feeling. I expected the following day that perhaps half the company would be laid off, but to have the entire staff unemployed was shocking.”
Hellgate: London was simply a case of trying to do too much with not enough, but can you really blame them? Coming from Blizzard, the development land of milk and honey, to a new studio and limited funds was always going to be a shock, and it’s commendable that they tried to create something unique. Flagship has been punished for its ambition in accordance with history. You have to hope that future games from the fractured team will lead them to the glory some of them once knew, and they all deserve.
Friday - September 23, 2011
Hellgate London - Interview, Hellgate II Confirmed? @ GameBanshee
We're not really following Hellgate Global as it is now known but GameBanshee let us know they have an interview with HanbitSoft project manager Namo Kang:
GB: Hellgate's unique blend of third-person shooter combat, RPG mechanics, and numbers-heavy item and modding systems have given it a very devoted fanbase over the years. Have you ever considered developing a Hellgate sequel, either in-house or contracted through a third-party developer? If so, what are the odds that a sequel will eventually become a reality?
Namo: Of course we’ve considered developing a Hellgate sequel in-house. Now the developing is ongoing. For more information, we’ll notice about that over time.
Thursday - June 30, 2011
Hellgate London - Open Beta Begins
We received this press released announcing the start of the open beta for Hellgate:
Hellgate Open Beta Test Begins!
LOS ANGELES - June 30, 2011
T3 Entertainment will be launching the Open Beta for its online action-RPG Hellgate today in Europe and North America, starting at 7:30pm Eastern Time. Those who missed the closed Beta finally get a chance to experience Hellgate’s pulse-pounding fusion of action and role-playing as they take on the demons of Hell. Players can access the Beta on the T3Fun site at http://hellgate.t3fun.com/.
Hellgate will celebrate the Open Beta launch with four special events to reward and entertain the growing Hellgate community - the Guild Reservoir event, the Daily Supplies event, the To Level in Hell event and the Level and Be Rewarded event, each awarding top players with valuable prizes. Additionally, the Open Beta will feature two new game modes – the PvP Duel Area and the zombie-infested Cow Room. Finally, there is a special prize waiting for everyone upon entering the Hellgate Open Beta today.
Friday - May 20, 2011
Hellgate London - Returns to NA as F2P
HanbitSoft sent us a press release announcing the return of Hellgate: London as a free-to-play "MMO". Multiplayer-only is outside our normal coverage but some readers might be interested, so here we go:
Hellgate Returns with Closed Beta this June
Hell is Back in North America
LOS ANGELES - May 19, 2011
T3 Entertainment, Redbana and HanbitSoft today announced the return of Hellgate to North America. The game will launch as a free-to-play MMO in closed beta from June 3rd to June 5th. A full launch is expected later this year. Information on beta access will be announced soon at: http://hellgate.t3fun.com/
Players are invited to return to Hellgate this June to fight for the survival of the human race. Join a party online to fight against evil with a team or play solo if you’re brave enough. Choose your character from six different unique class types and prepare for battle against creatures from hell. Arm yourself with a wide variety of weapons and armor and dismantle the ones you don’t need to obtain rare scrap metals. Enhance your weapons with upgrades and relics to have the best chance of survival.
Tuesday - February 08, 2011
Hellgate London - Reflections @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra has interviewed Bill Roper at GDC China about the failure of Flagship and his own future plans. A snip:
It was complicated, and it sounds like the ambition spiraled out of control.
BR: Yeah. I think that was where our "growing up Blizzard" hurt us, right? [laughs] Because at Blizzard you just go for it. Every time you swing, you swing for the fences. A couple benefits we had there that we really didn't have at Flagship -- I mean, even Blizzard now, but Blizzard 10 years ago -- one, there was always support from Blizzard from the top-down, from the publishing-down.
We'd go in there and say, "We need to take six more months. This is why. This is the benefit you will see from it." And you always had to justify it.
There was always the support there to say, "You know what? If that's what you need to make this game great, then that's what we'll get for you. We'll figure it out." It's obviously very different when you are an independent company, right, and not owned by somebody.
It still eventually comes down to dollars and cents and time. I mean, I think when Hellgate: London came out... we knew it needed another four to six months. The publishers knew it needed another four to six months. Everybody was all in. That was kind of the mindset.
I mean, we didn't have any more money to put into it personally. The publishers were like, "Hey, we're invested. We're in. We're as in as we're going to get." So, the game's got to come out, right? You get to the point. Again, because it is a third-party game. When you're owned by the publisher, if you're the developer, they're much more vested in that happening.
Tuesday - June 22, 2010
Hellgate London - Editorial about The Great Disappointment @ Hellmode
An editorial written at Hellmode by Sol Invictus (who ran HellGate Guru) deals with the game's goals and why the game failed in the end. Here's some of his thoughts when he first played the game in a Q&A setting at Flagship Studios:
This, however, is where the eventual pit in my stomach started. Even though it was my first time playing the game, the experience was a little underwhelming. The combination of finicky movement controls, unfinished character animations, and an underutilized setting set the stage for my initial disappointment. I liked what I saw, but I had my doubts; it didn’t seem polished enough and it wasn’t quite what I expected. But I remained silent; I felt as if speaking negatively of this game would be a betrayal to the friendly studios I just visited and my recent drinking buddies. So I kept quiet, and continued on with my experience.
And here's something about the game's difficulty levels:
The experience was made worse by the game’s unbalanced difficulty levels, in which the shooting gallery had only been designed for the easiest mode. The turret’s damage was not scaled with the difficulty, so killing the flying monsters, which had their health and damage scaled up, was impossible without exploiting a glitch that made it unnecessary to use the turret. I was personally told by its designer that the sequence had been developed and implemented in just two days. It showed. Seeing the excitement on the faces of the friendly folks at Flagship Studios, I felt unwilling to share my negative impressions with the developers this at the time.
Monday - January 18, 2010
Hellgate London - Returns
Hellgate: London is returning to Europe and the US according to Inc Gamers.
Hellgate: London was launched by Flagship Studios in 2007, but failed to make a mark and the game’s servers were closed down indefinitely in Europe and NA. Namco Bandai, who obtained the rights to the game after Flagship’s demise, stated at the time that there were no plans to re-open the game in the west, although HanbitSoft would be continuing the game in Korea.
Since that time, HanbitSoft has rebuilt and expanded the existing game, and the next instalment, Hellgate: Resurrection, was announced last month.
It now looks like players in the west will be getting back in on the Hellgate action later this year, following the announcement this morning. The company plans to re-launch the game in China, Taiwan, South East Asia, followed by Europe, NA and Japan.
Monday - February 02, 2009
Hellgate London - Servers Shut Down
Looks like the free-to-play workover of Hellgate:London hasn't worked out, at least for now, according to BluesNews:
Hellgate: London Website now returns a DNS error, so while there have been recent indications the game might continue in free-to-play form, it looks like Flagship Studios' action/RPG is out of action for now. The Hellgate Guru Forums have a write up of the last days of the game, and there's a bit more on the closure on Hellforge.
Source: Blues News
Tuesday - January 27, 2009
Hellgate London - Hellgate London to remain open as 'Free-to-Play'
As noted here:
Although it is slated to stop operating in the West on January 31, multiplayer online title Hellgate: London will continue on here as a free-to-play game, according to comments from Korean publisher and developer HanbitSoft.
The announcement comes in spite of a decision by Namco-Bandai, which co-published the game through an agreement with Electronic Arts' EA Partners, to terminate the game's servers.
HanbitSoft has asserted that it owns the IP, engines and source code for the Flagship Studios title worldwide, and will maintain Hellgate: London for its global community. HanbitSoft had previously been responsible for only the game's Korean operations.
The switch to a free-to-play model was the first official announcement the company has made regarding the fate of the title, which during its lifetime suffered from perceived quality issues, and an insufficient userbase, playing a key role in the closing of Flagship Studios in July 2008.
HanbitSoft also says in an official press statement seen by Gamasutra that future updates for Hellgate: London are in the works, with a focus on "strengthening community features" while maintaining the core gameplay as is.
The next "large-scale" patch, according to HanbitSoft, will be released "soon," and will combine the game's two play modes to unify its communities. The company also plans class balance improvements and further distinction between the game's five acts.
Monday - November 03, 2008
Hellgate London - DLC Expansion Coming?
Worthplaying is pointing out a letter from HanbitSoft on their PR manager's blog that reveals a downloadable expansion is in development:
Since acquiring the intellectual property rights, HanbitSoft Inc., the publisher and distributor of Hellgate: London in Asia, has concentrated on the development of Hellgate: London, and has received many inquiries regarding new updates. Our US development studio is currently working on an update that is to surpass “The Abyss Chronicles.” This game will be available through our Web site. We thank you once again for showing your interest and ask for your continuous support for Hellgate: London, as we hope to bring good news shortly. In the meantime, we will continue developing the world’s best game!
Friday - October 24, 2008
Hellgate London - Closing
Gamespot has the news.
The writing has been on the wall for some time, and now it's official: Hellgate: London will be taken offline as of February 1, 2009. As has been the case since Flagship Studios' collapse was revealed this July, Namco Bandai will continue to operate the game free of charge through January 31.
Launched October 31, 2007, Flagship Studios' ill-fated massively multiplayer online game quickly drew withering criticism from its user base due to the prevalence of crippling bugs. The game also suffered from unwieldy expectations, due in large part to the pedigree of its developer. Counted among its founding members were former Blizzard North brass David Brevik, Max and Eric Schaefer, and Tyler Thompson.
Friday - August 22, 2008
Hellgate London - Review @ the-crypt
Probably a bit late for a review of Hellgate: London but a site called the-crypt has their thoughts up:
Nevertheless, as the game progressed I gradually noticed that the initial sensations of excitement and immersion were rapidly devolving into fatigue, ennui and, dare I say it, unadulterated boredom. What started as a riveting gaming experience that I looked forward to each evening rapidly became a tedious grind that was looked upon more as a chore than a relaxing pastime. In the end, the only thing that forced me to finish my play through was the fact that I wanted to write up a totally honest assessment of the game. After some careful reflection, I’ve identified what I think are the three main issues that caused me to lose interest in what could have been a classic action RPG. These are: the bizarre storyline, the overly repetitive game play and the game’s lack of polish.
Source: Blues News
Thursday - July 31, 2008
Hellgate London - T3 to continue Development
Gamasutra has news that HG:L and Mythos will be back with development teams.
According to new job posting-related information, Asian publisher T3 Entertainment is setting up a San Francisco development studio to carry on work on Hellgate: LondonMythos, following developer Flagship's recent layoffs.
The postings, which have appeared on multiple sites including DICE.com and Gamasutra, reveal: "T3 Entertainment is searching for creative minds to passionately continue development of Hellgate: LondonMythos, along with other new games, which are being published by HanbitSoft Inc."
According to the call for programmers: "A development studio has been established in San Francisco, CA, with hopes of gathering those who wish to join us in starting a new chapter of history in the game industry."
T3 Entertainment, the Korean-headquartered creator of popular Asian online music game Audition, recently acquired a controlling stake in HanbitSoft, Hellgate's Asian publisher and a company that has claimed rights in the fallout of Flagship's layoffs.
Wednesday - July 23, 2008
Hellgate London - Namco - Don't worry
...yet. Namco has posted to a mega-thread on the Hellgate: London forums stating things are in a state of flux but the game remains up "in the short term":
I know everyone is looking for an announcement, and we'd love to make one -- but right now, many things are in flux and we don't have all the information yet. As soon as we do, we'll post here on the forums, on the website, and anywhere else we can find you.
In the short term, please do not worry. The game is up, the servers are not going away in the short term and any major changes to status will be communicated in advance.
I'd like to ask for your patience as we try to figure it all out and chart a new course. We value your community, your commitment, and your passion for Hellgate and we will make sure that any solution that we architect will support all of you as best as we are able.
Thanks again. We hope to have a real announcement shortly.
Zack "Ozuri" Karlsson
Sr. Director, Business Development
NAMCO BANDAI Games America, Inc.
Source: Blues News
Wednesday - June 18, 2008
Hellgate London - Abyss Chronicles (Patch 2) Goes to Test Center
The second content and fix patch for Flagship's single and multi-player action RPG, Hellgate:London, is off to the test center. It's an ambitious undertaking, and the long changelist can be found here at the official forums.
Wednesday - June 11, 2008
Hellgate London - Autopsy @ Twenty Sided
Shamus Young has taken aim over at Twenty Sided Hellgate: London and found plenty to aim at, with three parts already up. Here's a bit on the dialogue:
The dialog is poorly delivered.
This is because every sentence is delivered alone.
Instead of giving the player a paragraph to read, it is broken up.
The player must click many, many times.
Each click advances the NPC dialog a little bit.
This spoon-feeds the text to the player.
This would be understandable if we were playing on a handheld or a television.
But here the dialog is in a nice big window with a scrollbar.
There’s plenty of room for all the text.
But it’s broken up anyway.
Which is annoying to read.
It’s like reading a children’s book.
Or a series of fortune cookies written by an idiot.
Hellgate London - Content "Overload"
GameBanshee sent us a note about their Hellgate: London "content overload", which features an interview, new Abyss screens and a database covering quests, skills and equipment. Here's a bit from the interview, which concentrates on upcoming additions:
GB: What can we expect from The Abyss Chronicles? What were your primary goals when developing this particular update?
Tyler: Our Chronicles are designed to be much more than a patch and the Abyss Chronicle is much more significant in scope than our first Chronicle. We’ve added a long laundry list of new features with this update, but the four big goals were making a new set of levels with new boss fights and some really cool rewards, three new skills for each character class, the Blademaster rebalance and the Consignment Shop. The new levels should give Subscribers a lot of new content to run around in. The new skills really enhance the current character classes and allow for some completely new play styles – including the Summoner transforming into a demon who focuses on melee and summons freaky melee fighters. The Blademaster needed some love. He will be doing much more damage and have more viable skills with this update.
On a related note, the latest Communique newsletter is out from Flagship.
Friday - May 30, 2008
Hellgate London - Content Patch 2.0 & 2.1 Update
The official site for Flagship Studio's Hellgate:London has posted some information on the upcoming "Abyss" content patch (2.0) as well as proposed new PVP content in patch 2.1:
... As Hellgate: London’s second major content update, the Abyss Chronicles boasts an impressive and lengthy list of new features including a major class rebalance, new environments, new enemies, new skills, new bosses, and new inventory slots . Then there’s the Consignment House, Attribute Respec Vendor, item linking, achievement rewards, and lots more...
...Originally slated for release with the Abyss Chronicles, the decision to release new PvP content as part of a supplemental patch [ Patch 2.1] was brought about by a desire to introduce five cohesive elements of PvP in a single update: ranking, matchmaking, rewards, achievements, and Capture The Flag...
Source: Blues News
Sunday - May 25, 2008
Hellgate London - Patch Updates
Thursday - May 08, 2008
Hellgate London - Forums Now Public
Presumably Hellgate: London has progressed to a point where Flagship isn't trying to hide things, because they've just announced the forums are now public and don't require a login to view them.
Wednesday - May 07, 2008
Hellgate London - Undeground Communique #5
I winder how this is travelling? The latest Hellgate: London Communique is up at the official site with a roundup of news.
Friday - April 25, 2008
Hellgate London - Underground Communique #4, Patch News
The latest Communique from Hellgate London announces the 1.2 patch for single-players has been released and v1.3 for MP will be available tomorrow, as well as other miscellaneous news.
Thursday - April 17, 2008
Hellgate London - Review @ MMORPG
7/10 'good' from MMORPG.
I had a blast playing Hellgate London. It was a refreshing change of pace from the majority of MMOs. Maybe it was because I treated the game as a first person shooter rather than a typical MMO. There just seemed to be no pressure while playing this game. Leveling moves along at pretty smooth pace. I didn’t feel compelled to spend every waking moment playing. Additionally, there didn’t appear to be any sort of “arms race” in order to advance. Hellgate London is just good wholesome fun, while slaying the hordes of the underworld.
Wednesday - April 16, 2008
Hellgate London - Underground Communique #3
The Hellgate: London site has their latest Underground Communique offering community news and details of the latest upcoming patches.
Saturday - April 12, 2008
Hellgate London - Koreans Love It
Flagship would like to thank you for your beta testing services and announce that their real market - Korea - really loves Hellgate: London:
FLAGSHIP STUDIOS’ HELLGATE™: LONDON CELEBRATES THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ONLINE KOREAN LAUNCH IN THREE YEARS
San Francisco, CA (April 11th, 2008) - Flagship Studios today announced that its action role-playing game Hellgate: London has become the most successful online video game launch in Korea of the past three years with over 1 million accounts registered within the first two weeks of its open beta test. Hellgate: London is the first online game in over three years to use a monthly subscription business model.
After launching the open beta on January 15th, Hellgate: London quickly rose to the ninth most played online game, fifth most popular RPG and most popular online beta game in PC Cafes*, with over 1 million accounts. Hellgate: London was released commercially on February 22nd, and achieved record sales in its first week of presales.
“To become the most successful launch in Korea for over three years is an incredible achievement,” said Bill Roper, CEO of Flagship Studios. “This milestone wouldn’t have been possible for us to achieve without the incredible support of our publishing partner, Hanbitsoft, and our dedicated community in Korea. We look forward to expanding the Hellgate universe and building upon this success in the future.”
“Flagship Studios are well aware of how the Asian market operates very differently to the Western territories” said Alex Kim, CEO of HanbitSoft, “By listening to players’ feedback and through constant updates to the game, Hellgate: London will continue to be an incredible success throughout Asia.”
Hellgate: London combines the depth of role-playing games and the action of first-person shooter titles, while offering infinite playability with dynamically generated levels, items, enemies, and events. Whether online or off, a player creates a heroic character, completes quests, and battles through innumerable hordes of demons to advance through experience levels and branching skill paths. A robust, flexible skill and spell system, highly customizable appearances, and a massive variety of randomly generated equipment allow players to create their own unique hero.
For more information please visit the official Hellgate: London site at www.hellgatelondon.com
*According to Gametrics and Game Report
Saturday - April 05, 2008
Hellgate London - Beta 1.2 SP Patch
Flagship has released a beta version of the belated single-player v1.2 patch for Hellgate: London.
This comes alongside news the multiplayer portion is getting ready to move onto v1.3, which has been loaded onto the test centre.
Sunday - March 30, 2008
Hellgate London - Patch News
Hot on the heels of Patch 1.2 comes Patch 1.3 which offers a host of new features and improvements to your Hellgate: London experience. This update is just as beefy as its predecessor and then some. Taken from the searing forge of development, it has been hammered and honed on the fiery anvil of in-house testing and will soon be fortified upon being thrust into the cold water that is Test Center.
Metaphors aside, Patch 1.3 has been crafted with an abundance of hotly desired features, the patch notes for which are presently being compiled. The latest addition to Patch 1.3 is Shared Stash, originally slated for the Abyss Chronicles (Patch 2). This feature will allow all of an account's characters to have a space to keep weapons, equipment, and other items in a location where any other characters on the account can access them. Two other new additions to the patch include gambling vendors and an increase to the current Palladium cap per character. Gambling vendors will offer unidentified items for sale which appear as "Normal" rarity and may or may not be worth far more than their purchase price. For more information on the estimated "content schedule" for Patch 1.3, be sure to check the "Lowdown On Upcoming Updates" news post made shortly before Patch 1.2 launched.
Patch 1.3 is estimated to be ready for Test Center next week. A more absolute date will be announced in the coming days along with the update's patch notes.
Wednesday - March 26, 2008
Hellgate London - v 1.2 Patch Trailer @ GamersHell
Gamershell has put up a new Hellgate:London trailer with scenes from Flagship's multiplayer 1.2 patch, now released to live servers. You can view the trailer here, the changelog details here, and here's the short description:
Electronic Arts today released a new trailer from the v1.2 multiplayer patch for Hellgate: London. The patch adds the in-game mail system, the "pets with abilities" feature, various gameplay tweaks, the option to adjust the difficulty of the Nightmare end-game, and more.
Monday - March 24, 2008
Hellgate London - Roper Regrets
Interview with Bill Roper @ CVG with fairly blunt and honest answers.
The internet is always going to be an angry, bubbling vat of criticism-spitting piss, but the reaction to Hellgate was especially negative online. Maybe more testing would have offset the nerd rage?
"Our issues when we launched were less about the total months of testing (which were numerous) as opposed to the vast number of issues that came up right at the end," explains Roper. "The game would certainly have benefited from a couple of more months in the oven, so to speak, but we didn't have the ability to do so. The challenges of an independent game studio are drastically different than those owned by a publisher. We're fortunate that the online nature of the game has allowed us
to continue to fix bugs, add content, and respond directly to our player's wants
Monday - March 17, 2008
Hellgate London - v1.2 Patch Notes
Hellgate: London has a new v1.2 patch that has hit the servers. Here's a partial grab:
This patch is has some major skill changes, a few vital balance tweaks, some pesky bug fixes, and a highly-requested new feature.
First and foremost is the introduction of our in-game mail system. This is something that we know is of vital interest to our community, and is the foundation for our consignment / auction house system. Players can not only send and receive messages with anyone in the game, but they can also attach Palladium and items to their mail. This makes getting items from one character to another – even your own – much simpler and more convenient. And while you need to be in a Station to attach or receive items and Palladium, you can read your messages anywhere, anytime.
We’re also rolling out the second of our major character class balance passes. In this patch, we’ve done a comprehensive balance pass on the Marksman. We focused on addressing a number of issues that have made the class vastly over-powered in comparison to the rest of the classes and the desired difficulty of the game. There are also numerous areas where we have increased the effectiveness of, or altered skills to give Marksman players a wider variety of builds and tactics.
Chief amongst these changes is addressing the notorious skill/weapon combinations involving Ricochet, Reflecting Shot, Multishot, Rapid Fire, Heightened Senses, Beacon, Dead Eye, and Hollow Points, while using a high rate of fire weapon, such as an Arclight Rifle. While we realize that making choices on skill, item, and mod combinations which complement each other is a fundamental design element most emphasized with the Marksman in particular, there should never be one combination of skills which completely outshines the rest.
Monday - February 25, 2008
Hellgate London - Bill Roper on A Rough Launch
CVG posts an excerpt from a paper article in the February issue of PCZone magazine which features Flagship Studio's CEO Bill Roper discussing the rough early release days of Hellgate:
"I think that people had incredibly high expectations that we simply didn't meet", Flagship boss Bill Roper has admitted in an interview with PC Zone on Hellgate: London.
Looking back the RPG was surrounded by hefty anticipation due to it hailing from the team responsible for the Diablo series, but it ended up experiencing a rocky launch last year, blighted by major bugs.
"...we simply tried to do too much with the game", Roper says in retrospect...Rather than try to shove responsibility for the rough launch onto others, the CEO says Flagship will take the blame for not getting enough testing done...However, he adds that the issues when the game launched were less to do with the total months of testing - "which were numerous" - and more to do with the vast number of issues that came up right at the end.
Source: Voodoo Extreme
Thursday - February 21, 2008
Hellgate London - Future Patch and Content Info @ Official Site
The official site for Flagship's single and multi-player action RPG, Hellgate:London, has posted an array of information regarding future patches and content, including this summary of The Abyss Chronicles, their next downloadable content patch:
"The Abyss Chronicles" (Patch 2)
* Group PvP, PvP games, and PvP ranking.
* The Abyss "endless" dungeon.
* Big Ben/Parliament Square adventure area.
* Three new base monster types.
* Five new bosses.
* New skills for all classes.
* New high end armor for all factions.
* New weapons for all factions.
* Consignment house.
* Shared stash.
* Instance switching.
Our biggest major content update yet (well, until the next Chronicle). Sizable additions to the PvP department, seriously unique skills for all classes, new armor and weapons for all factions, new monster types, new bosses... Oh, and then there's the consignment house and shared stash. Big? This content update is HUGE.
Wednesday - February 06, 2008
Hellgate London - IRC Dev Chat Announced
Flagship has announced an IRC dev chat for February 8th:
After a very fast-paced January in which the forums were restructured, the Stonehenge Chronicles content update was launched, and a popular follow-up patch was released, we are looking forward to hosting the second Hellgate: London Developer Chat Event. This chat will occur via IRC this Friday, February 8th, at 4:00 PM PST (7:00 PM EST, 12:00 AM GMT) and will be held on the following server and channel.
Hellgate London - Q & A @ Sumea.com
Aussie/New Zealand site Sumea.com has posted an interview with Flagship Studio's Art Director, David Glenn about his work on Hellgate:London and Diablo :
S: So how did your find your background in architecture helped you, for example, building backgrounds for Diablo, and also for the Hellgate series?
DG: A great transition for me, looking back at the school I went to – Virginia Tech, what they taught in architecture was very theoretical ... architecture is really about creating spaces for activities. So whether it’s a house or convention hall or a restaurant, you have a specific activity that takes place in a certain space, and you create the space around that whole form, with all those functions sort of... And so transitioning into games, it’s almost the exact same thing. You have a certain type of gameplay mechanic, that you need to create an environment around, and then you design the environment based off of what needs to happen there....
S: Cool. So what would you say… do you have any influences for your creative style, with Diablo and Hellgate, they’re both kind of demonic?
DG: Yeah, they’re very, uh, similar. I think it was a style that appealed to me when I played the original Diablo. I’d say a lot of it… other forms of entertainment, books, games… I’ve always been into fantasy, dungeons and dragons way back when. So that was an easy transition into the Diablo series. And then the overall mood and atmosphere comes a lot from particular movies I grew up liking, like Aliens or Excalibur from way back in the day...
Friday - February 01, 2008
Hellgate London - Review @ GamingExcellence
GamingExcellence has posted a review of Flagship's action rpg Hellgate:London, scoring it at 7/10. The review goes over the usual pros and cons and concludes:
All in all, Hellgate: London isn’t the next revolution in Diablo-style gameplay. While it does some important parts well, notably the item management and upgradeability, other parts like the skill sets and character customization fall short. The technical issues have gotten better since the last patch, but they’re still present, and can hamper the experience, especially the framerate. It all adds up to a game that doesn’t live up to expectations. It’s not a bad game; it’s just severely flawed, and ends up just being decidedly average.
Thursday - January 31, 2008
Hellgate London - Founders Offer Set to Expire
Just a reminder that Flagship Studios' Founders subscription rate offer of $149.95 for a lifetime multi-player subscription to their action rpg Hellgate:London expires at midnight tonight. The offer is only available to accounts which have had a pre-order code applied to them.
Monday - January 28, 2008
Hellgate London - Stonehenge Trailer @ GameVideos
GameVideos.com has a short (2:17 min) hd trailer up showcasing the new Stonehenge content for Flagship's action rpg, Hellgate:London. You can see it here.
Thursday - January 24, 2008
Hellgate London - Review @ Gaming Heaven
GamingHeaven is the next to post a post-release, post-patch review of Flagship's action RPG Hellgate:London, and focusing on the improvements made since launch, gives it an overall score of 79/100 and getting better:
Before you start writing us e-mails about the game being several months old let us reassure you that we are well aware of the fact. And believe it or not, we know that the game didn’t exactly impress most reviewers back when it was released. So why on earth are we writing a late review to a mediocre game when newer, better games are finally starting to appear? Because sometimes you have to spend more than a day with a game to fully appreciate it. Because sometimes a game sees so many improvements after release that it no longer is the game it was when it hit store shelves. And also because we are huge fans of Diablo 2 and let’s face it – Hellgate: London is as close as we’ll get to a true Diablo 2 successor for the time being.
...When you slay the 50th enemy without so much as flexing a muscle and holding down the attack button is all it takes to bring down foe after foe (who all very conveniently keep running right into the center of your reticule) you quickly start craving a greater challenge and diversity. This is quite possibly the single biggest issue with Hellgate.
If you start playing it expecting anything but a FPS clone of Diablo you are going to be disappointed sooner or later. But this huge weakness is also the games ace in the sleeve when it comes to its targeted audience. Think about it for a second – one of the most popular games in history with millions of copies sold offered the exact same thing only from an isometric perspective. No hard thinking, no wide scale tactical strategies, just spur of the moment decisions and mindless killing.
...Up until recently (and even now just barely) the social interface in the game was appalling and useless. Finding somebody to group with meant you either had to spam the social chat channels or know the person in real life in order to coordinate grouping with them. Patches fixed this and you can now actually use the games interface to find players, but things are still far from perfect. The developers are promising further improvements, so there is still hope.
When considering Hellgate: London you have to ask yourself – am I willing to give the game a chance and not overanalyze every single aspect of it? For you see, as hard as the game tries to hide it, it is at its core just a Diablo 2 clone tossed into a 3D world where the same rules no longer apply. That is perhaps the toughest part to deal with here – you aren’t playing a first person shooter. No, you are playing a click-fest RPG that just happens to use a first person perspective.
Tuesday - January 22, 2008
Hellgate London - Stonehenge Launches
Hellgate London - Review @ GameBanshee
A detailed review of Hellgate: London can be found at GameBanshee, with considerable criticism for the campaign although other aspects fair better. The score is 8.2/10, which seems generous for the text:
Hellgate: London is an action role-playing game from Flagship Studios, which, if you believe their press releases, is “the first, last and only voice in the world of action RPGs.” Flagship Studios gets to say things like this because they’re made up of a lot of the people who developed Diablo II for Blizzard Entertainment, including Bill Roper, who was the Senior Producer, and David Brevik, who was the Project Lead.
The problem that Flagship faces in claiming to be a creative force is that even when Diablo II came out four years after the original Diablo, there were almost no other competitors, and so everything they did with Diablo II felt new and original. But these days there are action role-playing games all over the place, and it’s a much tougher genre in which to stand out. And sadly, Hellgate: London does not stand out. Other than the setting, which I’ll admit is kind of fun, it doesn’t really do anything that players haven’t seen dozens of times before. That doesn’t make Hellgate: London a worthless game to play, but it certainly makes it disappointing.
Monday - January 21, 2008
Hellgate London - Open Letter & Patch Notes
With the Stonehenge update for Hellgate: London imminent, Bill Roper has posted an open letter along with the patch notes:
2008 is upon us, and we’re thrilled to be kicking it off with our first major update – the Stonehenge Chronicles. We’ve got a lot in store for all of our players, so let’s get to it!
In this update, you’ll see the first of the big balance sweeps we’re doing on all of the character classes. Both the Guardian and the Evoker got a lot of attention this time around, and we hope that players of those classes will dig into how the classes play now. We’re making it simple for these players to get a handle on the new balances by allowing them to completely respec their characters.
PvP is starting to get more attention with the introduction of the Dueling Arena. This both makes dueling easier to accomplish and also gives us a better and more accurate way to track play habits and stats – a key to really increasing this section of the game.
There’s also a whole slew of other overall improvements, tweaks, and additions, so take a couple of minutes to go through the release notes and see what’s new.
For our Subscription Members, we’re opening the portal to Stonehenge! This is a completely new area that not only has new items and monsters, but also completely new ways to experience the game. [more]
Saturday - January 19, 2008
Hellgate London - Interview @ GameSpot
Bill Roper is once again on the campaign trail as they release their first major content addition for Hellgate: London. Here's a snip from the conversation at GameSpot:
GS: What features implemented in this patch is Flagship most excited about?
BR: Adding our first non-linear game play elements in the Essence caves and Moloch's Pit, the first of our raid-type content in The Wild, making our first major class balance pass with the Evokers, and starting to refine our player-versus-player play by adding a dueling arena. There are also a host of tweaks, from animations to items to crafting to skills that everyone will be happy to see.
Friday - January 18, 2008
Hellgate London - Stonehenge Content Soon
Flagship has announced the release date for the first major Hellgate: London content addition:
HELLGATE: LONDON GOES TO STONEHENGE
Explore New Environments, Conquer New Demons and Find More Phat Loot
in the First Chapter of the Hellgate Chronicles
The fight for humanity is spreading away from the streets and sewers of London and moving all the way out to the mystical areas surrounding Stonehenge – or what’s left of it. The first installment of the ongoing Hellgate Chronicles is going live for subscribers on Monday, January 21st, 2008.
Stonehenge is a huge outdoor hub accessed through a special portal in Templar Base, connecting players to several new and exciting quests. Heroes will find themselves in completely new open, outdoor wilderness areas unlike anything seen within the city limits of London, battling terrifying new demons and bosses and finding new items very distinct in their appearance. This action-packed update includes:
- The Caste Caves – Unlock four unique dungeons, one for each caste of enemy – Beast, Necro, Spectral and Demon – to seek and destroy a powerful overlord that resides in each cave. Defeating them and collecting their heads will allow you to continue the adventure…
- Moloch’s Lair – Only after collecting the heads from the Caste Caves will heroes be allowed entry into the lair, with a chance to defeat the legendary Moloch, one of hell’s most imposing minions who carries very unique items that can only be obtained by defeating him in combat. And because Moloch’s soul is eternal, this quest and it’s rewards can be a never-ending challenge.
- The Wild – These three mini-raid areas present players with difficult obstacles but also huge rewards with three levels that get increasingly more difficult even with the recommended full party size – you will need a small army to get through these challenges.
In addition to the above, The Stonehenge Chronicles also includes many of the other updates the Hellgate: London community has been asking for, including improvements to game UI, a large number of skill balance changes, a PvP dueling arena and more. Hellgate: London subscribers can also now pay for their subscriptions via PayPal and PayByCash. For more information on payment options and a full list of notes for this update, please visit www.hellgatelondon.com.
Hellgate London - Review @ Adrenaline Vault
Adrenaline Vault has posted a review of Flagship Studio's action rpg, Hellgate:London, listing some of the pros and cons and giving it a final overall score of 3/5:
...Speaking of randomly generated, Hellgate, the pseudo successor to Diablo and its sequel carries on the lineage of randomly generated loot, monsters, and (as I already said) zones. This can be a double edged sword, though, as you might enter a location and be face to face with a legendary boss right off the bat, or worse yet be forced to backtrack endlessly to locate a dropped quest item you missed. Locales range from side tunnel networks, fire-blasted city thoroughfares, and store rooms with more boxes than you can shake a copy of Doom II at. As the story progresses you’ll also become familiar with hellgates themselves which offer a glimpse into how the other half lives. Beware though, some of the minions you encounter in there may require a little more than the few hundred rounds you pumped into them to fall.
Historical types will attract to the 3rd person view to kill the majority of beasties while the FPS aficionado will instantly gravitate to HGL’S first person perspective out of habit. I found no appreciable advantage between the two other than the slight aiming advantage FPS had over 3rd, yet the choice is up to you on how you want to do things. Missions are structured as story quests, menial collection/kill tasks and traveling the streets and underground of London towards the next safe area. The randomization really bulks up the replay value. Even if you’ve traveled through a location numerous times you can always count on seeing something unexpected. Unfortunately, there is a certain unavoidable repetition involved with any loot-grind and Hellgate is no different...
Saturday - January 12, 2008
Hellgate London - Stonehenge Content Patch Preview @ Inc.gamers
The Hellgate division of Inc.gamers has posted a trailer showing some footage from the upcoming 1.0 Stonehenge content patch for Flagship's action rpg Hellgate:London. You can pick up the streaming video here along with this brief summary:
With Patch 1.0, we will see new content around Stonehenge, an area in the future world which to some extent is unharmed but still very much changed, and for anyone curious on what this might bring, Hanbitsoft has made a trailer with a sneak preview.
We recognise a lot of the changes from the previously released screenshots and concept arts of Stonehenge. Exactly why much of the earth around it has fallen away is not told by the teaser trailer, but probably something that will be made clear when the patch is released.
Thursday - January 03, 2008
Hellgate London - Review @ TechDomain
A review of Hellgate: London is up at TechDomain, although the author has only played for three days, apparently. There's no score but according to the summary, HGL lacks longevity. Here's a snip:
Almost all of the areas are randomly generated (the same method that was used in Diablo 2), significantly increasing the game’s replayability. This is quite different to the normal format of a first person shooter or generic third person hack & slash, as often the replayability of these games suffers due to linear level design. Unfortunately, after a while all the areas in Hellgate: London start to look the same, as the scale and variety of the characters means they have to do as much as they can within the alloted 7ish GB of DVD. The indoor areas seem to suffer the most from this, as all the subways look somewhat generic, and all the areas of Hell have the same structures.
Saturday - December 22, 2007
Hellgate London - v0.70 Goes Live
From the Hellgate: London site-
As we move into the cold days of winter, we’ve been working on making your holidays as bright as possible. We are incredibly appreciative to all of our players that have ridden through the admittedly bumpy beginnings of launching Hellgate: London. We know that things weren’t perfect, and we’re grateful for your standing by us as we have all put forth our best efforts.
We’re very excited at the progress we’ve made in the first few weeks of the game’s life. We’re also appreciative of how honest and forthcoming our community has been with their feedback. It is our earnest desire and goal to make Hellgate: London better and better. We hope that this is evident in our continued efforts and support of the game and our players.
While this has some great new features, it has more importantly addressed our biggest outstanding issue. We have rewritten our memory manager and also identified two key memory issues. This should make an enormous difference to the vast majority of our players. The cheer that went up around the office was probably heard for miles. The instability of the client is something that has embarrassed and bothered us since the game launched, and we are incredibly happy to be able to address it in such a substantive way before the holiday break.
We continue to make UI changes, with the Looking for Groups and De-modificator, Augmentrex, and Nanoforge interfaces getting some attention this time around. We have much more on the way, but we’re rolling out improvements as we make them.
Nightmare difficulty has also undergone a lot of changes based on the feedback of our players. You should have a more evenly challenging and overall rewarding experience. This is especially true for groups, so get together with your friends and take to the streets!
Also be sure to check out the list of skills that have been tweaked in this patch. We’ll be starting up a Class Advocates program through our forums to get even better feedback in regards to the wants and needs of our Blademasters, Guardians, Evokers, Summoners, Marksmen, and Engineers. We’ll be making an announcement on this program soon, so keep watching the forums.
We also have a special holiday treat for our subscription members - the Transmogrifier. We wanted to give you something that would be useful well past the holidays, and we do hope you’ll be pleased. We’ll be adding more and more functionality into the Transmogrifier, so we really see this as a gift that keeps on giving.
Finally, we’ve decided to take the time necessary to make our first major content patch right. If there is one lesson we’ve learned from launching Hellgate: London, our releases should be a question of “what” and not “when.” We were pushing to get Stonehenge released before the end of the year, but we realized that we wouldn't be doing the right thing to push it out before it was ready and properly tested. We're still on our schedule and meeting our original promise of providing a major quarterly update. We just felt that we would be doing everyone a disservice to push this out before it was right.
We are, however, going to have the first in our continuing Hellgate Chronicles, entitled Stonehenge, into Test Center before the holidays. This is so we can get a lot of people finding the issues and getting us feedback over their holiday breaks.
See you online!
The Hellgate: London Team
...and read on for the actual patch notes.
Wednesday - December 19, 2007
Hellgate London - v0.60 SP Patch Released
The Hellgate: London site is pointing out a single-player 0.60 patch has been released, which I guess means the previous 0.60 was only MP...confusing (the notes are also marked NA and Europe only):
Mavericks, offliners, and other varieties of solo Hellgaters: we have heard your call! The Single Player 0.6 Patch is now available for download. Originally released less than a day ago as a voluntary beta patch, it has completed its trial by fire and shed its "voluntary beta" title. People who downloaded it yesterday are completely up to date as the patch hosted on our new Patches section is the same build.
The patch notes for Single Player Patch 0.6 can be found here. While there is a download link there, here is a direct link. One small caveat is that this patch is intended for North American and European users. Additionally, this is also the first appearance of Hellgate: London's new launcher.
Enjoy, maverick Hellgaters!
Tuesday - December 18, 2007
Hellgate London - Stonehenge Screens & Art
Hellgate Guru has noticed Hellgate: London's Korean publisher Hanbitsoft has released screens and art of a new Stonehenge area. I'm not clear when and how this location will be implemented but fans will wantto take a look.
Sunday - December 09, 2007
Hellgate London - Review @ Worthplaying
Worthplaying has posted their review of Flagship's Hellgate:London, giving the action RPG a score of 7/10:
In the long run, Hellgate: London is a decent game. Is it the knocked-out-of-the-park home-run smash hit that one would expect from "the first, last and only voice in the world of action-RPGs?" No. If it had been released six years ago, then maybe the litany of unfinished rough patches could have been overlooked. However, the gaming public has grown nominally more sophisticated over the years (at least in regard to Diablo clones), and as a result, these errors are all the more apparent. If you're a fan of action -RPGs, then by all means add this game to your collection. Just don't expect it to be Diablo 3. That crown still belongs to Titan Quest.
Saturday - December 08, 2007
Hellgate London - IRC Chat Log
A log of the recent Hellgate: London IRC dev chat is available at IncGamers.
Friday - December 07, 2007
Hellgate London - Review @ GamersInfo.net
GamersInfo.net has posted one of their scoreless reviews for Flagship Studio's action rpg, Hellgate:London. It's a balanced assessment of good points and bad, influenced by the reviewers multiplayer focus:
Admittedly, I've had a very hard time with Hellgate: London. I enjoy the single-player game quite a bit, but I purchased it to play with friends. Despite the frequent patches, we still have some of the same issues. For example, we spent the better part of one night when I was only visible to my friends by my name above my head, my character was not visible on their screens and they had no idea that I was in the same instance as them. Repeatedly zoning in and out never solved the issue. Class balance seems like it needs some work as well. I play a Marksman, and if I'm playing solo, it feels just about right. But in a group with some melee fighters, I feel vastly underpowered. Even the Guardian can deliver quick damage and kill some mobs faster than I can. That's not so much a gear issue, either, as we've compared gear, and in many ways, I have superior equipment.
Right now the game has its fair share of bugs, which has made it a bit of a struggle to play. But I've stuck with it, simply because when things have worked, they've worked very well for me, and I've enjoyed that. There really is a good and enjoyable game under all those bugs. If someone was looking for a good single-player RPG, I'd recommend Hellgate: London in a heartbeat. But if someone was looking for an MMO-lite or heavily instanced online game, I'd definitely give pause. What is there is fun, but in its current condition, it's definitely not for everyone. That being said, I look forward to still spending some time there and coming back in a few months to review the progress that is being made with the game.
Thursday - December 06, 2007
Hellgate London - Interview, IRC Chat
Hyping Hellgate: London in Australia, Art Director David Glenn speaks to Internode in this interview:
Trying not to overtly bash their publishers, David mentioned that many of the initial problems with the game's release stemmed back to some elements of marketing - and development - being rushed. Most of the major dramas were fixed with a Day 1 "Patch 0", but this of course came out on the day of release, leaving many game reviewers and media types in the lurch, with unpatched preview copies... of course, unfortunately, that came through in the media coverage.
"Almost every review I've read, it's been like 'Oh, this game is addictive, it's really super-fun, but...' and then they list a bunch of negatives, and give it like a seven. They just finished saying how fun it was, how great, how addictive it is, you can't stop playing it, but then, oh, it had a couple of bugs, so we slashed the score."
In other HGL news, an IRC developer chat will be held this Friday - head here to the official site for details.
Wednesday - December 05, 2007
Hellgate London - v0.60 Released
Flagship has released the v0.60 patch that was expected last week - head here for the notes and comments from community manager Ivan Sulic.
Monday - December 03, 2007
Hellgate London - v0.70 Patch Nears
From the Hellgate: London site:
Howdy everyone! Work on the upcoming 0.7 patch is nearly done, and should be heading to our test center by early next week. We have a nice list of fixes in this patch, including improvements to memory usage, UI changes, and general skill updates.
Also included will be a number of really cool subscriber items and quests that should please many old D2 fans. We’ll detail this content, as well as the bug fixes, when the patch goes live. Thanks, and hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
PS Patch 0.6 is on the Test Center server now, so if you wanna help out, feel free to hop on and check it out. Also, the Party Portal issues should be resolved now after last night's reboot.
Friday - November 30, 2007
Hellgate London - Reviews @ GameOver & G4
More mixed reviews for Hellgate: London with GameOver and G4 both praising the Diablo-inspired gameplay but panning the interface and "broken" multiplayer. From GameOver, with their score of 70%:
Ahh Diablo. I’ve got warm memories of that click-heavy RPG-lite hack and slash adventure. Was it shallow and pointless? Of course it was, but you could play it for either 10 minutes or 5 hours, and since the maps redrew themselves every game you could play it over and over again with it staying sort of fresh even. Well, the team who gave you Diablo is back again, and they’ve given us Hellgate:London (H:L), a game a heck of a lot like a game I reviewed about eighteen months ago called Titan Quest (TQ), which at the time I called Diablo 2.5. And while I’d like to give the Diablo folks extra credit for being there first, this time around they’ve made some surprisingly newbie mistakes that suck a lot of the fun out of playing, and the more I play it the more disappointed I am with the results. As a note, to get the most out of this review, you should probably familiarize yourself with my Titan Quest review – I’m going to be referring to it a lot.
...and G4, who thumped it with 2/5:
Much has been made of Hellgate’s online experience, and in theory, it’s mostly a good thing. Players gather together in hub stations to chat, trade items, show off the spoils of their adventures, and group up for upcoming missions. Then, as they head out, the whole thing is instanced particularly for that group. And then, the random level generation takes over once again. It’s not as big a deal in the online mode, since you’ll have the camaraderie of your party members to make up for the sometimes irritating level design. Plus the whole thing is free. Hellgate does feature an optional subscription service that adds options like Guild functionality and the promise of future content upgrades, but the free multiplayer is likely where most gamers will want to stay.
Put quite simply, Hellgate: London is a buggy mess. And that goes double for the multiplayer action. Crazy slowdown during battle; graphic issues where various on-screen elements completely disappear; and bugs that crash players right to the desktop are all issues in the retail version of this potentially awesome game. Patches will almost assuredly fix these problems eventually, but it’s still pretty disheartening to rip open that cellophane for the first time and realized you’ve basically paid full price for an unfinished, unpolished product.
Tuesday - November 27, 2007
Hellgate London - Review @ About.com
About.com has posted a review of Flagship's action RPG, Hellgate:London. The review is in scoreless format with a positive slant, being appreciative of the gameplay while still pointing out some nagging flaws as well. Here's a snip about context-sensitive shortcuts:
The game also offers context sensitive shortcuts, which are so clever they're bound to start showing up in other titles if they haven't already. Depending on what you're doing at the time, certain keys have multiple functions. For example, when you're running, the shift key may cause you to sprint, but when you're fighting the shift key will instead trigger a power attack. These functions are displayed unobtrusively in the HUD, and they're really an ingenious way to give you access to a wide range of actions without requiring a huge array of keys.
There's something very good at the core of Hellgate: London, even if it is rough around the edges. The game's combat really stands out, and a few romps through the single-player campaign using different classes could well be worth the price of admission. Unfortunately, the rest of Hellgate is harder to recommend. The environments are not particularly convincing, inventory space is annoyingly small, and portions of the game feel unfinished, or at least rushed. The online component currently consists of little more than multiplayer co-op with hubs that serve as meeting places, although the developers do have ambitious intentions to add content to the game. Hellgate: London is worth considering for the single-player, or even for a quick demon crawl with a few friends, but I'd suggest taking a wait-and-see approach before plunging into the subscription plan.
Hellgate London - v0.6 Patch
The Hellgate: London site has news of a v0.6 patch they hope to get out this week, as well as a 0.7 patch in development. Head over for the full notes but here is the intro:
Patch 0.6 has one very notable fix – the invisible group member bug has been slain. This was a crafty, fierce thing with rows of nasty sharp teeth, but we believe it has now fallen into the mists of legend. We’ll stay vigilant in case it raises its ugly invisible head again.
We’ve also made great strides on the Engineer Drone issue where items become unequipped. There are some cases where Drones (as well as players), will still have items unequip. The main cause of this is when players “ladder up” the equipment on their Character or Drone by using items with statistic bonuses. This results in the Character or Drone being able to use a better overall set of gear than they normally could, and thus causes issues if the items are not equipped in a specific order (or used at all). We’re continuing to work on this one, but it is better with this patch.
As always, we’re reading the forums, getting your feedback, and seeing your desires for Hellgate. The biggest issue we’re currently working on is the client-side memory usage issue. This is very complex and involved, and we also know that it’s a major issue for users. We’re pouring all of our energies right now into working on the game, so if you don’t see us reply to your posts it doesn’t mean we aren’t listening. It just means we’re working hard to make Hellgate: London a better and better experience.
Saturday - November 24, 2007
Hellgate London - Review @ Gaming Nexus
Pretty quiet out there with the holiday in the US but a couple of minor items have surfaced. Gaming Nexus has a review of Hellgate: London, with a score of 7/10:
Speaking of quests, some are just quite odd in terms of what they ask you to do. Really, having me kill X number of a certain monster in a certain level just didn't seem to fit in. Now the ones where I was asked to retrieve certain parts off of certain monsters seem to be better placed and there are a few that are interesting to go through. Most missions though consist of you taking down a certain monster on a level and returning for your reward. Flagship Studios did try to spice up the missions by having you do something different on a few of them. For example, one mission will have you control four characters in an RTS style mode but the execution of the controls made it more frustrating than fun. Given that these are ex-Blizzard guys and I'm guessing they would have some exposure to the development of Warcraft or Starcraft, I expected a more fluid experience with the RTS mission. Alas, playing the mission was a little more frustrating than fun. Overall, the missions are pretty vanilla with you going to retrieve an item, killing a monster, or using an item on something.
Tuesday - November 20, 2007
Hellgate London - Review @ IncGamers
IncGamers has posted their review of Flagship's action rpg, Hellgate:London, praising the game as a whole but giving it a fairly standard score of 7.5/10 due to it's buggy condition at release:
...You play Hellgate as a character who uses weapons and/or spell casting to fight off countless waves of bad guys. Each monster you kill has a random chance at dropping something. The something dropped could be currency, weapons, armor or various other potentially useful items. You can then pick up the items and use or sell them. That, in a nut shell, is what you will spend most of your time actively doing in Hellgate. Sound boring? Just see if you can stop. I mean, at 2 am , when your eyes are drying from staring at the computer screen you swore 3 hours ago you would only spend 5 more minutes staring at, just try to go to sleep. If you are like me (and I do not say this with pride) you will dream of the game when you finally do stop...
...I must painfully point out that, while Diablo (I and II) is my favorite game series of all time, it was not met with universal acclaim when it hit store shelves (in some cases receiving 7 or 8 out of 10). Hellgate seems to be receiving similarly (although a bit lower) rating thus far. I understand that it is frustrating to have games released that are not perfect (but what game ever really is?). If stability is the main factor in rating a game, I would agree that Hellgate deserves some low marks. However, if the true mark of a game is the ability to entertain and keep you drawn in, Hellgate is a semi-flawed gem that, once polished and patched, will be played by some for a very long time.
Monday - November 19, 2007
Hellgate London - Review @ Boomtown
Saying Hellgate: London is too much of a rehash, Boomtown's review has a score of 6/10:
Having random dungeon creation is claimed by some as an obvious necessity, but with the mere fact that almost all of the locations are of a generic style (perhaps 5 different styles of random levels throughout the game) they seem very plain and repetitive. Random dungeons must be a tricky concept for a 3D world, but having seen the intricate design of many recent games, it seems like a gimmick of a function that sacrifices the quality of design for the hope that playing the same level again with a slightly different layout of where the obligatory rooms and monsters are located will breathe fresh life into the game on each occurrence.
Saturday - November 17, 2007
Hellgate London - Patch Plans
The Hellgate: London site has notes for the upcoming 0.5 patch. Here's a partial snip that shows more character slots...
We're gearing up to release what we internally refer to as Patch 0.5. We intend this update to resolve many of the issues players are having with Hellgate: London.
In preparation for our 0.5 launch, we'll be...
1) Wiping our Test Center tonight.
2) Placing copies of all US characters into the Test Center tomorrow.
If you'd like to see Patch 0.5 early and help us perfect the update, please login to the Test Center over the weekend. If all goes well, the 0.5 update will be made available to everyone next week.
Curious about what you can expect? Here's a draft of our 0.5 patch notes:
- All players now have 24 character slots.
- Fixed a known issue with the inventory user interface that caused the client to lock up.
- Fixed a bug which caused the Mini-game to sometimes become stuck.
- The Mini-game now resets every 15 minutes.
- Added a /help command to provide assistance using available / commands.
- Some new posters have been added to stations, so check them out!
Friday - November 16, 2007
Hellgate London - Review @ Play.tm
Hellgate: London is a victim of its own hype, according to Play.tm. Their review score is 79% and here's the summary:
If Hellgate: London had appeared on shelves with no hype and no known links to past gaming glories then we'd probably be sat here at the end of the review chatting about how it was a bit of an undiscovered gem that fused FPS sensibilities with Diablo-esque loot collection and character customisation to provide a thoroughly enjoyable, if slightly unpolished, experience. Unfortunately we don't have that luxury and the game's high profile throws niggles like the repetitive level design, the often dull quests and the stability issues into harsh relief. If all you want is a Diablo clone wrapped up in FPS clothes with some MMO features then you'll undoubtedly be satisfied. However, those looking for, or expecting, some kind of new dawn for the action RPG genre will be left wondering what all the fuss was about.
Thursday - November 15, 2007
Hellgate London - Reviews @ 1UP, Gameplayer, & Strategy Informer
Several more reviews for Flagship Studio's debut title, Hellgate:London have appeared, running the gamut of love and hate.
Starting with hate, 1UP gives the action rpg a serious thumping in the form of a letter to the game, with a score of 4.0/10:
Dear Hellgate: London, You should have been a no-brainer. An action-RPG from an independent developer founded by the original creators of Diablo? A sci-fi postapocalyptic setting mixed with the supernatural?...But you and I both know that you weren't ready..I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed You've given me moments of exhilarating sword-swinging and spell-slinging, perched at the verge of death...But for every minute of this, I had three minutes of postcrash rebooting past your seven (7!) splash screens, 10 minutes of slogging through an area I've already seen a hundred times before, and 12 minutes of sorting through the confetti mosaic that is your inventory screen.
Next up, Australian game site Gameplayer rates the game at a more neutral 6/10 :
Hellgate: London is a game that walks the razor’s edge. Consider the fact that the game plays like an MMO yet is heavily slanted towards the single player experience. As soon as you load up the game you’ll feel like you are playing something similar to Guild Wars or WoW. This is a game that rewards the grind, allowing you to level up through gaining XP from slaying hundreds of monsters and performing repetitive missions.
Ending on a positive note, Strategy Informer gives a balanced and realistic scoreless review, discussing the good and the less good:
A difficult game to pin down, Hellgate London mixes genres with a big, super-charged wooden spoon and, as you’d expect from the venerable adage “Jack of all trades…”, succeeds in some and falls a little flat in others...
..All in all, Hellgate is a success in the more revolutionary areas of its gameplay, though more attention could have been paid to the typical action RPG elements that seem to have been taken for granted. There’s a lot to this game, and hardcore players will enjoy sinking their teeth into something with so much meat, but casual gamers won’t have anywhere near enough patience to milk the fun elements from the gameplay. The story’s not over until we see how the integral replay aspects pan out, and initial reactions suggest they could go either way.
Tuesday - November 13, 2007
Hellgate London - Review @ Something Awful
Something Awful has kicked up one of their trademark reviews panning Hellgate: London. If you're a fan, don't take it too seriously -- although they usually have some basis to their points:
Vague skill descriptions! Take your Summoner to level 25 and invest one skill point in the "Toxic Elemental" pet with a description that reads: "Does damage". Assuming the skill actually works, how much damage does it do? Is it direct damage or Area Of Effect? Ranged or melee? How often does it attack? How many hit points does the pet have? Do the damage and hit points scale with you as you level? [...]
Limited character slots and inventory space! A great reason to invest $9.99 per month to have us expand them for you. Where does your money go?
We have a programmer sitting in front of a bank of monitors with that crazy green Matrix code that looks like it's raining alphanumeric soup. He hacks around the clock to the best of his ability just to keep your inventory and character slots bigger than they were coded to be. Red alarm lights are constantly going off in there and the room is shaking because he is pushing the mainframe past its specs and the code is ready to firewall at any moment. Frankly, we should be charging you more.
Monday - November 12, 2007
Hellgate London - Founder's Offer Extended
From the Hellgate: London site -
Hello fellow survivors and would-be saviors of London.
Good news! Based on the number of requests from our community, we’re extending the Founder’s lifetime subscription membership offer through the end of the 2007. We’re also in the process of working on bringing more payment options online, including Pay By Cash and Paypal, and we're working hard to include the ability for players to use debit cards, which we know is the preference of many players in our European community.
We’ll keep you updated as to when these options will become available. Thanks for your patience and continued support of Hellgate: London.
Hellgate London - Review @ Jolt UK
Jolt.co.uk is next up with a Hellgate review, scoring the game at 8.1/10:
Over the last few months there has been some confusion among gamers as to exactly what Hellgate is trying to be. Some thought it was going to be an MMO, others thought it was going to be a first person shooter and yet more thought it would be something totally different. Well, the fact is that this is some from column A and some from B, with more from column C added. The launch of the game and the online service certainly suffered from the same problems that MMOs do. Technical hiccups, registration issues and of course, stuff just not working properly in game certainly ruffled a few feathers among gamers who had never heard of waiting for a patch.
If we were reviewing this game at launch we would probably have given it a lower score. But now that things have settled down, the hype has gone, stuff has been fixed (not enough, but some) and we can look at Hellgate in the cold, murky, fogbound demon infested light of day. Hellgate is a lot of fun, there’s no getting away from it. It looks fabulous with its recreation of a ruined London above ground with the claustrophobic underground hubs also looking suitably realistic.
Hellgate London - Review @ GamersWithJobs
GamersWithJobs posts their impressions of Flagship Studios' recently released action rpg, Hellgate:London, in a scoreless format listing good and bad components and focusing on it's potential:
...I find myself wanting to make excuses for Hellgate London. In fact, I dare suggest I’m not the only one, because despite what are mind-numbingly apparent flaws in its current state I want this title to be good. I want to encourage more developers to strike off on their own and try to bring their visions for great games to fruition, and I want to be positive about what should be a fantastic game, but let’s be honest. This game is what happens when great designers run at full speed into the brick wall of a financially mandated hard deadline, the inevitable trainwreck of simply running out of time and money. As a gamer it’s discouraging as hell because whatever inspires Diablo 2 fanatics to return time and again to the infinite and unyielding obliteration of Mephisto is present here. This perspective ultimately breaks down to a pretty simple question: can you look past occasionally show-stopping bugs and rough edges...to the game beneath?
...The fundamentals are there, but the bug fixes, interface improvements and general polish are being patched in day by day. On the upside Hellgate London starts from a reasonably solid foundation and improves each day, but on the downside you might feel like you’ve just dropped $50 to play what is essentially an advanced beta. How you square on the issue of companies needing to launch so they have the assets to finish their game will be a lot of the deciding factor for anyone interested in the game. Enough friends with whom to play and a healthy patience will make the price of admission easier to swallow, but if you’re looking for a polished experience in this kind of gameplay, you might want to break out the old Diablo 2 cd and play that for six months while Hellgate London finishes cooking.
Saturday - November 10, 2007
Hellgate London - Newsbits & Pieces @ Various Sites
There are several short items popping up across the net concerning Flagship Studios and their new single and multi-player action rpg, Hellgate:London, so I've combined them here for easy consumption.
The first item is Gamespot's Game Guide, which features rundowns on Classes, Items, Minigames and Equipment, as well as gameplay hints and tips. You can find it here.
Next up, some subscription problems have been encountered, as mentioned very briefly in our report of Flagships Open Letter, though apparently some of these have already been rectified.
ShackNews goes into more detail on what happened:
Following activation of the service after a lengthy post-launch downtime, many subscribers to Flagship Studios' optional Hellgate: London membership program are reporting massive problems with the system, including mistaken credit charges and unavailable access to promised content. Most alarming among the issues, many users claim they have been charged the monthly $9.99 subscription fee multiple times within the span of a few day
“We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused, although it impacted just 3% of people that requested to become subscribing members.” That presumably doesn’t provide much comfort to the 3% it’s aimed at. However, Flagship assure players that the problem is now fixed, and they are reimbursing players now.
Next, Voodoo Extreme points out this forum post from fansite Hellgateinc, which quotes an online petition being circulated to request that Flagship drop it's subscritption fee model.From the petition:
We are firm believers in the vision of Hellgate: London, and believe in its future and in its potential. However, the subscription model that Flagship Studios has introduced serves only to segregate the community into “haves” and “have-nots”; it is not feasible in the current market, as it does not represent equivalent or significant value when compared to similar Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) titles. Compared to titles that charge similar monthly fees, Hellgate: London only offers, approximately, ONE TENTH the content and gameplay.
Get the full forum post and petition text link here.
Last, roaming a bit afield here, in Flagship Studios related news, Game Zone relates that the Seattle studio has released a trailer for their fantasy MMO, Mythos. This will differ from the Hellgate model in being free to download and play, and there will be a closed beta:
Mythos presents a constantly expanding, continuously updated world where something new lurks around every corner. To join the closed beta, interested gamers should sign up at the official site: http://www.mythos.com/join_kingdom.jsp
Mythos is currently exercising the online technology and services behind the multiplayer component of the highly-anticipated action role-playing game Hellgate: London.
Hellgate London - Review @ PALGN
Australian site PALGN brings us their review of Flagship's Hellgate:London, which falls in line with the majority of opinions seen so far, scoring it 6.5/10:
Despite the interesting premise and a cool opening cutscene, the rest of Hellgate: London is decidedly light on plot and heavy on the action. It’s not like Diablo II, where the quests you undertook had a direct effect on the story; in Hellgate: London, quests often seem closer to an MMORPG grindfest – fetch this, kill x number of these beasts and so on. It’s really disappointing, and makes you feel like someone decided at some point in the game’s development that they wanted it to be an MMORPG, but didn’t quite get there. The game also uses randomised instances for its levels, which is kind of confusing given the London setting. It’s okay for multiplayer games, but proves to be a bit of an annoyance in single player – particularly in the fetch quests, where an item you could be looking for may end up just being in the first room, without any fighting required to get it. After a couple of hours of grinding through the same monsters, these levels become really monotonous.
...Hellgate: London showed an awful lot of promise but has really failed to deliver. There’s plenty of content in the game, but it fails to remain interesting beyond the five hour mark. The developer then has the audacity to lock away parts of the multiplayer game with a subscription fee that nobody will think is worthwhile. Melee combat feels clunky, while the first person shooter component just lacks the oomph of other games on the market. The graphics look dated and the audio has been really neglected. Worst of all, the game is really buggy – players who buy the game will have to sit through at least an hour of downloading updates before they can even hop online. Flagship has brought all of the right elements of an RPG to the table, but they’ve failed to put them together in an exciting way. Some RPG fans will cherish Hellgate: London, but the rest of us will look at it with sad eyes and wonder what could have been.
Friday - November 09, 2007
Hellgate London - More Reviews @ Action Trip, YouGamers & SpectrumOnline
Gamebanshee has posted a round-up of Hellgate:London reviews, most of them falling in the mid-range balanced between appreciation of the good points and issues with the bad.
Action Trip (75/100) stresses that despite similarities, this is not a Diablo clone:
It's easier for me to list the ways Hellgate: London (HG:L) differs from the Diablo series than to try to list all the similarities. First, HG: L uses a Sci Fi / Fantasy setting rather than a medieval one. Second, it employs a first or third Person perspective (depending on your play style and on the class you play) using full 3D graphics rather than the top down view and sprite based graphics. HG:L also makes use of Vista's Direct X 10 to add extra zest to its already flashy show...Third, even though there is a free online multiplayer component, players have the option of paying an additional $9.95 a month in order to get access to premium content that they say includes better loot, new quests and areas (to become available later) and a few other perks like more characters and storage space for items.
YouGamers (71/100) offers a lengthy look at the game, and goes into detail on the disappointing aspects:
So, what went wrong? Diablo was a huge hit, so why not a modern 3D remake? Well, the problem is that was ten years ago, and redoing a ten year old game and slapping on a subscription fee to it is not made of "Win". This fundamental problem is further compounded by lack of final polish and generally uninteresting map design. Diablo and Diablo 2 turned to classics because they were polished, and because back then the concept of a randomly generated dungeon romp for loot and experience was freshly ripped off from the turn-based Roguelike classics such as NetHack, Moria, Angband and their numerous variants.
Spectrum Online offers an overall impression, but no score:
Non-melee types have the option to play from a first-person or third-person perspective while the close range fighters are restricted to the third-person camera. Thus the gameplay really can come to resemble both a shooter and a console action game at the same time.
But the core gameplay is Diablo all the way. Flagship, with its illustrious past experiences, does not spread much from what made diablo 1 & 2 so addictive. Masses of enemies to deal with at once, the distinct sense of personal (read, avatar) power, a quick pace to both progression and action, and the seemingly endless stream of new, improved loot flowing in.
Hellgate London - Review @ Gamespot
Gamespot posts their review of Flagship Studio's recently released action rpg, Hellgate:London, lamenting the repetition and technical issues but presenting the game's strength as the loot system, with a score of 7/10:
So what makes Hellgate worth playing? That's the craziest part. Hellgate: London is saddled with a variety of issues, yet it still manages to be totally addictive and compelling because it expertly handles one of gaming's oldest clichés: new stuff. New items and money are constantly popping out of enemies when you mow them down. Each item--even the ones that aren't suitable for your character class--is also useful in some way. You can, obviously, sell items back to any merchant in the game, but you can also break items down into base components that are the backbone of the game's crafting system. With a blueprint, some runic fragments, and a whole mess of rare tech boards, you can make new items. But you can also use those same items to upgrade your existing gear. When you find the exact type of rifle or a pair of pants with bonus stats that really help out your character, you can use these components to make sure the items remain useful as you (and your enemies) get tougher. This means you never really have to outgrow your gear, though you'll also find plenty of new, useful gear as you play.
... If you love hoarding stuff and don't mind repetition, Hellgate: London is a really neat but often uneven game that will probably keep you busy for at least a month or two, even if you don't subscribe. But, for many, the game's issues will be a real deal breaker. If you're on the fence, you might want to watch the game's patch notes to see how many technical glitches, as well as other annoyances, are cleared up
Hellgate London - Open Letter
The Hellgate: London team has posted this open letter on their forums:
We realize many of you are experiencing a variety of problems. We at Flagship and Ping0 are working hard to address these issues.
Our current top priorities are:
* Resolving any remaining problems related to billing and subscriptions.
* Fixing two known bugs which cause players to sometimes lose items (one related to dual focus/dual melee, and one related to loading issues).
* Making improvements to memory usage in order to reduce "Memory Exhausted" crashes.
* Fixing a known issue with the user interface which causes the application to lock up intermittently.* An issue which occasionally prevents characters from being able to load or switch instances.
* General chat interface improvements. (Many improvements are in the works).
* Random disconnects and lag.
* Allowing higher resolution textures and models for other players.
* Various known problems with being able to continue interrupted side quests.
* Remnant quest items not getting destroyed and "clogging" up inventory.
* Continued problems with saving / loading Engineer Drone items.
* Invisible party members.
* The nanoforge not correctly improving rare and better armors.
* Getting stuck on collision.
Some of these are issues which will be fixed as soon as possible and go live in upcoming patches, some will be in our upcoming content patch, and others are issues on which we will make gradual improvements to on a continuous basis.
Of course we also have a more extensive bug list as well as lot of general improvements and new content in the works. Everyone here is
working full-time to support Hellgate. We appreciate your patience.
-The Hellgate: London team
Thursday - November 08, 2007
Hellgate London - Review @ Game Grind
A site called Game Grind is the latest to review Hellgate: London, awarding a score of 8.2/10:
The randomized nature of the game zones is a fine idea for replay value, but it also has the drawback of making the zones not much more than shooting galleries (or hack/slash zones). The tile sets for each zone are reused often in the first three acts, as are the Hellrift areas, which is nice when it's your first few times playing, but after a while it just gets old. Diablo 2 suffered from this as well. My understanding is that the subscriber content that will be developed and offered throughout the game's lifetime will bring some new eye candy, but for those gamers who either don't want to pay or can't afford to pay…get used to what you're seeing. As the game progresses and you assign points to certain skills, there's no system (that I've seen) that allows you to respect out after you've made your choice – that can cause confusion and slow-goings in mid-levels, but the answer to the burning question that's on all of your minds – Is this game fun? I can honestly say…yes. A lot.
Hellgate London - Subscription Hassles & Game Updates
Hellgate: London seems to be having a difficult birth, with Shacknews reporting double-billing and restricted access to content:
Following activation of the service after a lengthy post-launch downtime, many subscribers to Flagship Studios' optional Hellgate: London membership program are reporting massive problems with the system, including mistaken credit charges and unavailable access to promised content.
Most alarming among the issues, many users claim they have been charged the monthly $9.99 subscription fee multiple times within the span of a few days.
In official news, a small SP patch is imminent, the beta grace period expires on November 14th and EU players will need to create a (free) US account to access as well to access the forums.
Wednesday - November 07, 2007
Hellgate London - Reviews @ HEXUS, UGO
Blue's has two new Hellgate: London reviews listed - one from HEXUS and the other from UGO. HEXUS has a lengthy article and is "recommended":
The action itself is, depending on your class, is very similar to World of Warcraft. So those of you that opt for the melee guys or mage based classes will be right at home. You select the required spell or skill from the hot keys list, which you can just drag and drop skills or items into, and then click on your target to attack. It’s that simple. Depending on the weapon or spell being used, you’ll get a drain on your power level, which is Hellgate: London’s version of mana. Many skills and spells require a recharge period, so you can just flick through your repertoire, unleashing havoc as each one recharges.
UGO is also quite positive and the rating is 'B-' :
After you've done the whole character customization process (which isn't all too deep), you get to start the fun stuff, killing hordes upon hordes of demons. Well, demons, zombies, beasts and such, sure, but you're killing lots of stuff. Of course, just why are you going around killing all these things? It definitely isn't for the story. You see, this is where one of Hellgate's main flaws comes into play. The story is absolutely, positively not memorable in the least. Instead of taking a Diablo style approach to displaying quest text (having it sort-of float along the middle of the screen) or a WoW style of presenting it in a journal, Hellgate forces you to press the forward button to go through the text. It can't be that bad, right? Wrong. You're pressing the button for every line of text, sometimes pressing it 10 or 15 times to get through the text.
What this leads to is people blowing through the story elements of the quest just to get the part where they can take the reward. Even if they weren't, though, the story isn't too terribly memorable. You don't have any characters or quotes that are particularly memorable. Certainly nothing like Deckard Cain and his memorable "Stay awhile, and listen" line. Heck, there isn't even a main, central bad guy to rally around fighting against from the start like in other games of this type! Sure, some of the characters can be funny at times and it can get to be somewhat interesting, but you'll eventually find yourself skipping over the story elements of the game not because of the constant one line text but because it isn't all that great.
Hellgate London - Review & Bill Roper Q.& A. @ GamePro
GamePro has posted a question and answer session with Flagship's CEO, Bill Roper, giving him the opportunity to field some of the criticism that's been directed at Hellgate:London since the beta and subsequent full release, including GamePro's own less than enthusiastic review, which calls the game "disappointing".
From the review:
Hellgate: London does offer some simple-minded entertainment, but it falls well short of its lofty goals, a fact that is made all the more galling when you consider the fact that the developer, Flagship Studios, was founded by two of Diablo's creators. You might get sucked into the online world of competing slayers and level grinding for a while, but the tedium will kill you far quicker than any member of Hell's vast army.
From the Q.& A. :
GP: One of the biggest complaints is about the variety of the levels: despite being in London, you fight in dungeons and basements and sewers an awful lot.
Bill Roper: We re-flowed the level layouts in the final version, with a focus on theming the Acts, so that should help. We probably have as many, if not more, level variations in Hellgate as we did in Diablo 2. The reason it feels different is because the game takes place in London or Hell. I think the Act changes in Diablo 2 were more striking - desert, forest, jungle - but if you look at the individual areas, it pretty much boiled down to forest, graveyard, underground caverns, and the Rogue's headquarters. That's pretty much Act 1 of Diablo 2.
But I don't wholly disagree [with the complaint about a lack of visual variety], and I think it came off that way because the levels weren't themed really well [in the earlier versions of Hellgate]. Theming Acts really helped things feel different. We didn't add any areas, but the game now feels far more thematic because we tweaked the layouts and graphic look for each Act. That's one of the big changes we made in the last month of development.
Tuesday - November 06, 2007
Hellgate London - Review @ IGN
Following on from their first impressions earlier, IGN has posted a review of Hellgate: London with a score of 6.8/10:
So if you read last Friday's impressions of Hellgate: London, you know that we were hoping to spend a little more time with the game before finally rendering our ultimate verdict. Well, after a few more days with the title, we're firmly convinced that our initial impressions weren't far off the mark. The action RPG scores high in terms of atmosphere and the quantity and quality of monsters and loot, but falls far below the mark owing to repetitive combat, generic levels and a multiplayer system that adds little to the single player experience.
Monday - November 05, 2007
Hellgate London - Reviews @ GameDaily, IGN
GameDaily has posted their review of Hellgate: London, written by Steven Wong (the recent Witcher review). The score is 7/10 and here's a snip:
Even though Hellgate includes a dedicated single-player mode, its strength is in the multiplayer. This is where the game suffers from a major identity crisis. It's stuck in between being a single-player game with strong multiplayer options (like Diablo II) and being a kind of massively-multiplayer online game, and doesn't quite fit the role of either one. Hellgate's single player component is practically pointless. Gamers can't transfer their character to multiplayer mode, and online gear and quest updates don't apply. They can have the exact same experience (perhaps better) playing solo online, except play-time depends on when the servers are up. Basic online play is free, but a $9.99 per month subscription unlocks access to major benefits like increased storage, future classes and areas, special items, plus the ability to create and manage clans. Multiplayer ups the ante quite a bit, since large groups scale up the difficulty, which makes for better loot drops. Hellgate also has a function where players can randomly join up with groups, which is a convenient tool except when it drops you into one that's already cleared out an area.
Meanwhile, IGN has posted some first impressions:
...One of the problems though is that the story isn't really told through the game as much as it is told around the game. While I certainly don't think that a more action-oriented game like this should have the same depth of storytelling as other RPGs, it's a shame that the story wasn't incorporated more into the events of the game. Sure, there are exceptions -- having to chase down the Tech or collecting various body parts actually helps the player feel like they're making a real contribution within the plot -- but most of the time you're just hacking away at the monsters with no context beyond the one-line description in your quest tracker.
Sunday - November 04, 2007
Hellgate London - State of the Game
Bill Roper has posted a Hellgate: London State of the Game, one week after the launch:
It’s been less than a week since we’ve opened the Hellgate, and we’re ecstatic at how many people have already joined us online. Overall, the game is running really well. Our game servers are incredibly stable and the community has been great about working with us to identify and resolve issue through the forums. We’ve been working through some issues as every new online game does, and as is befitting the season, we’ve our share of both tricks and treats.
Hellgate: London was scheduled to ship to stores by October 30th so it could be available for sale on the 31st. The excitement of retailers having the game on hand won out over our carefully crafted plans and we started seeing anxious gamers wanting to get online a day earlier than expected. Although we had to scramble, we also didn’t want to disappoint our first players, so we opened the servers early.
After the game had been running for a while, we found that we were having issues with out subscription transactions not being correctly processed. While this wasn’t an issue of incorrect charges being applied or insecure data issues, we needed to suspend subscriptions while we worked with our payment processing partners to address the problems. We’re working on this through the weekend and will take as long as required to iron out the last issues. We will update everyone as soon as we have more concrete information.
Turning of the ability to subscribe meant that we had some cool All Hallows’ Eve content that a lot of people weren’t going to be able to see. So, we decided to “turn on” the goodies for everyone who was playing. Unfortunately, this meant we would need to shut down the game servers in order to issue a new patch. Although we announced the down-time on our forums and within the game, not everyone got the message, so some people were surprised when they couldn’t get online for a few hours.
This, in turn, led everyone that was playing to rush to the Hellgate: London forums, which promptly overloaded both our forum and website servers. The treat was that we really saw that there are a LOT of passionate people playing the game. The trick was that the rush to our sites caused our little corner of the Internet to shut down. [more]
The same page has news the subscription service is now up and running.
Saturday - November 03, 2007
Hellgate London - Review @ GameSpy
GameSpy is the latest to say 'meh' to Hellgate: London, scoring it a 'Fair' 3/5 stars, with their pros and cons reading:
Enjoyable combat; varied classes; tons of fun randomized loot; decent storyline; fun single-player campaign.
Badly implemented multiplayer component; bugs, slowdowns and crashes; randomized levels; boring quests.
You can read the whole thing here.
Hellgate London - Single Player Patch @ More Reviews
The Hellgate:London official site posts news that Patch 0 for singleplayer is now out, including all the updates already released for multiplayer except, of course those included only for the multiplayer game (hardcore, PvP, etc), Halloween themed content and subscriber only features. The full log can be seen here at Worthplaying. (Multiplayer updates already released are shown, but are not actually included in the SP patch, as stated above.)
Also, two more reviews are out for Flagship's recently released title. GamesRadar has mixed emotions, admitting to the addictive gameplay features but calling them in the end "empty calories", scoring it 7/10:
Hellgate creates a gorgeous first impression. You begin alone and abandoned in a side-street. The city is wrecked: empty shells of buildings and their basements are pockmarked with glowing larval markings. Weird blimp things roam the sky. Ahead, zombies shuffle. And then you move. And Hellgate’s fundamental problem becomes clear.
Of Hellgate’s six classes, two are clearly designed for twitch FPS players: the marksman and engineer. The problem: shooting in Hellgate feels like directing a hosepipe. When you play as these, there’s little sense that you’re shooting a gun. There’s no kinetics, no feedback.
...It’s not that Hellgate doesn’t provide thrills. It’s that they’re the thrill of finding a significant upgrade to your current gun. Or a battery or fuel cell that can be slotted in to offer a tiny amount of extra damage...
...Loot is Hellgate’s strong point. It’s what turns it from a middling action shooter into an obsession. When absolutely every chestplate, every pair of pants, anything you wear or hold can be customised, when you’re assigning skill points every few minutes, when you’re weighing up point assignments with the requirements of lust-worthy armour, the choices come quick and fast. For every ten minutes of constant shooting, at least a tenth of that is spent on management - deconstructing drops, balancing and rebalancing your inventory.
Atomic Gamer is more enthusiastic overall, but finds the unfinished state of the game the major problem, giving it a score of 79%:
The really neat part of the weapon system are the weapon enhancements. Each weapon type will have a varying amount of enhancement slots -- the max that I have found so far is seven. These can accept one specific type of enhancement. These enhancements will typically upgrade damage of a weapon, the ability for a weapon to perform a secondary effect or add to one of your stats. The part I liked most about this was that each of these enhancements showed up on your weapon. Sure, the guns that only had one slot didn't look all that different, but the one sniper rifle I found with seven slots looked like some kind of super frankenweapon or something. It was crazy and, well, fun...
...So, then, you might be asking yourself why this game didn't get a higher score (if you're the type that skips the review to check out the score at the end before reading it). Well, this game has a major, glaring flaw: it isn't finished. Bugs abound here, and they aren't the type you can blow up with a well-placed rocket. There is the memory exhausted bug which has been around for awhile. There is the bevy of crash bugs that people experience (myself included) and there are things like people getting stuck on geometry in game or having major performance issues with high-end hardware. There's even a massive bug that has been around for awhile: engineer drones will eat weapons you give them if you crash out of the game. This is one of those games that needed to be in development for a few more months to be ready for the market. Sure, there are other flaws like a lack of variety in the randomized levels, but they pale in comparison to the massive amount of bugs.
Friday - November 02, 2007
Hellgate London - Further Review Coverage @ Gamebanshee
In further Hellgate:London coverage at Gamebanshee, Brother None writes in to point out some of the following less than overwhelming responses the game is garnering.
Here's an excerpt from the one at Shacknews :
As it stands, Hellgate is merely an average effort. It's one of those games that will undoubtedly receive a handful of half-hearted 8s, like when your first girlfriend in 9th grade asked you for an honest appraisal, but you just didn't have the scones to tell her the truth. Though it may be unfair to judge a game based on expectations, clearly this project had plenty of talent behind it, and the potential to be the stand-out product we all had hoped for. And in truth, the foundation of Hellgate is a strong one. It's just missing a coat of paint or two. And a second floor.
There are also links to some of the reviews already covered at Eurogamer and CVG UK Zone, as well as one at GamePro giving it the lowest score of all at 6/10.
Hellgate London - Early Post Release News @ Various Sites
The Halloween release of Flagship's high-profile action rpg, Hellgate:London, has spawned quite a bit of related news across the web. Here's a round-up of some of the early comments.
First up is RPG Vault, with one of their brief Pre-Ship summaries:
Commendations: Based on around 25 hours in the beta, the play has a very compelling "one more mission" feel, with the randomized maps providing a mix of familiarity and uncertainty, plus an exceptional loot generation system that creates a nearly constant sense that the next improvement in your gear is only a kill or two away...
Reservations: There have been reports of issues involving Vista and DirectX10; these were still being addressed when the beta ended a few days ago. How well the team will handle adding new content for subscribers on an ongoing basis is a question mark. So is the way those who choose not to sign up will react...
Players in Hellgate: London can choose from one of six classes and this is easily the most important choice a player can make. Looking for a pseudo first-person shooter experience? Perhaps Marksman is the way to go. Playing as a Blademaster, on the other hand, means you'll be going toe-to-toe with Hell's worst and the combat tactics needed are completely different....
Eurogamer has their review up here and sets the tone for the game's reception with a score of 7/10:
There aren't very many games that we'd describe as arriving "laden with expectation", but Hellgate certainly fits the profile...What we're looking at, in theory, is a game which takes the Diablo formula and updates it with everything that's happened since Diablo...
...Hellgate really does what it sets out to do extremely well. The game picks up the action-RPG play of Diablo and its ilk and converts it superbly into a more modern experience - losing none of the charm or depth of the original titles along the way, and applying a modern coat of paint and some 3D polish with a deft hand...
...We can certainly understand the argument for randomly generated levels in some of the game's online modes, since they provide (in theory) a wider range of experiences for players. However, when playing through the standard game, either single-player or online with friends, the random generation adds nothing - and takes away much.
It's sometimes embarrassingly obvious that you're playing a level designed by a random algorithm, not a talented human designer. More than once we've played through levels hunting for a number of objectives, only to discover that the map generator has plonked one of them down in the middle of the map, and then bunched the remaining two or three together right next to one another at the end of the map...
...Hellgate: London is filled with gorgeous artwork and dripping with atmosphere; it's got a delicious sense of humour and finely tuned combat systems that will be keeping action RPG nuts happy for a long time. Despite this, we've got vast reservations about key aspects of the game; the randomly generated levels feel increasingly hollow, pointless and gimmicky as you progress, the user interface is clunky in some important areas, and there are clearly some hefty bugs here that need patching.
Bluesnews points out reports of lag issue discussions on the hellgate.incgamers forums and also the following reviews:
...Hellgate is a difficult game to score in the end because it really does feel like two, maybe even four separate games. The first division comes from the perspective the player takes in the game – playing it shooter-style with a Marksman really is a very different game experience to playing it as a third-person warrior or mage.
The second and more important division though comes from the multiplayer and singleplayer choice. These really are utterly different games...
When you get right down to it, Hellgate: London isn’t quite the epic RPG re-imagining that it was hyped up to be and just goes to show that even a team of ex-Blizzard developers don’t always produce golden games. That said, the game is still enjoyable and playable and if you’re after a game which tries to do lots of different things at once then Hellgate is The Safe Bet.
A jack of all trades and a master of none, Hellgate feels like an odd blend of Knights of The Old Republic and Nethack, with a touch of FPS thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, while it keeps a lot of the good stuff from these games it also retains a few of the flaws and we’re left with a game that is probably going to entertain most people for a good twenty or so hours, but which isn’t really going to rock anyone's world.
And this slightly(7.4/10) more enthusiastic one from CVG:
Each character has strong attacks and is responsible for his own health levels. Tactics start off with damage avoidance and potions, but all classes eventually learn healing skills to divert costs into their regenerating mana supply. I say mana, it's actually called power, but... well, it's the blue sphere on the bottom right, and that's mana, yeah?
Your choice of perspective is pretty much made for you by the class you choose. Marksmen and Engineers won't find the third-person view an option, because pulling back the camera forces you to aim uselessly at the ground. You'll only really use the third-person if you're dual-wielding a couple of swords, because you just watched Ninja Scroll or something....
... Hellgate is very much geared to be a multiplayer game - the single-player version feels ultimately pointless... Hellgate, however, does reward those who persevere... Not only are you learning new things to do to fend off the repetition, the bonuses for specialising heavily in a certain area are nowhere near as pronounced as in Diablo. And once you have this spread of skills, there's more to notice, more ways to combine fighting skills - and most importantly, more ways to make you feel like you're playing well.
Thursday - November 01, 2007
Hellgate London - Halloween Content for All
With the Hellgate: London subscriber system not working, Flagship is opening up the special Halloween content to everyone:
Well, we’re off and running – and as with every online launch, things are crazy and we’re having our moments of chaos. Maybe it’s because of the holiday, but along with the treat of getting Hellgate: London into your hands, we’ve run into a bit of a trick online.
Currently we’re having problems getting subscriptions correctly applied to player’s accounts. We have temporarily suspended taking new subscription memberships as we work to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.
We don’t want people to miss out on the Halloween content, though. So, we’ll be deploying a small patch within the next 24 hours that will allow everyone access to the special All Hallows’ Eve event quests and rewards. We don’t want our technical snafu to stop you from enjoying the game and seeing what we’ve worked so hard to get done.
In addition to the ongoing content we have lined up for November (remember, remember!), we’ll be giving something extra special to those people who have already become a subscription member. I can’t be more specific because, well, we haven’t made it yet! We’ll have more details on this as soon as we get them.
Thank you all for your support of the game, and we’re burning the midnight oil to get things smoothed out.
The Hellgate: London Team
Wednesday - October 31, 2007
Hellgate London - Hits Stores, Subscriptions on Hold
It's Halloween, and as promised, the official site brings us a letter from Bill Roper with the announcement that Flagship's action rpg, Hellgate:London has shipped out:
The regular and collector's edition boxes are hitting store shelves. Games have been arriving in mailboxes across the world. Hellgate: London is digitally streaming across the Internet onto computers of eager gamers. And our servers are up and the battle to save London is officially underway.
On the same page is a link to this notice concerning the subscription service:
Subscriptions are temporarily unavailable due to technical issues. You are still able to create accounts and all players will be able to subscribe as soon as this is resolved. For users who have had difficulties subscribing, we are investigating these issues and will attempt to resolve them as soon as possible.
We apologize for the confusion.
Tuesday - October 30, 2007
Hellgate London - Interview @ Shacknews
Shacknews talks to Bill Roper in an article-format conversation as Flagship tries to sell their subscription model:
The first major set of new subscriber content will come in Patch 1, an ambitious package set to release this December. For some context, the tweak-heavy Patch 0 that will go live when the game launches weighs in at around 30MB, while Patch 1 is closer to 300MB. In general, Flagship plans to release that level of new material approximately every three months, meaning Patch 1 is coming earlier than it would have. Roper said Flagship felt a December release made sense for the first new content expansion, slotting into the holiday season and providing an initial example of what players can expect long-term.
Monday - October 29, 2007
Hellgate London - Music Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault's Jonric speaks to the team behind Hellgate: London's music:
Jonric: For readers who aren't familiar with Sascha Dikiciyan, Cris Velasco or your past work, what are your backgrounds as composers for games?
Sascha Dikiciyan: I started my career in 1997 with id Software's Quake 2. From there, I scored Quake 3, James Bond and a few other titles. Things really picked up when Cris and I teamed up, and we've been working together ever since. Some of my personal favorites we scored to date include Haze, Beowulf, Dark Messiah, Splinter Cell 4 and of course, Hellgate: London.
Cris Velasco: I'm relatively new to the game scoring community. While I spent many years paying my dues and trying to get a foot in the door, I've actually been composing for games professionally for about four years now. My initial claim to fame was as one of the composers for the God of War franchise. I also recently was able to work with Clive Barker on Jericho. This was a big moment for me as it has always been a dream of mine to work with him. Other than that, Sascha and I have been very fortunate to be so busy since we teamed up. We've worked together on over a dozen games in the last two years including Stranglehold, Dark Messiah, TMNT, and Beowulf.
Sunday - October 28, 2007
Hellgate London - Preview Roundup
A suite of new Hellgate: London previews have hit the 'net:
IGN's focus is forward-looking, so let's take a quote:
Some of the first content for subscribers will launch on Halloween with the game. While it won't be a huge thing, players who've paid will be able to find a handful of quests associated with the holiday including trick or treat missions where they can find candy that will do anything from influence stats to acting merely as eye-candy by adding flames or a ghostly appearance to your character. One special piece of loot can also be found around the game called the Burning Skull Helm that will serve as armor but is also shaped like a demon's head and is on fire constantly.
Immediately following the Halloween event ending on the 4th of November is a Guy Fox Day event starting on the 5th of November since it's a British holiday and the game takes place in London. The event will focus around explosives and some events designed around the Gunpowder Conspiracy Plot and some special gear like the Fox Flame Guards which will add some more flaming gloves to your character if you're lucky enough to find them.
Wednesday - October 24, 2007
Hellgate London - News Roundup
Plenty of Hellgate: London news as we hurtle to release. First, Flagship has reponded to concern about the EULA by explaining much of the language is boilerplate but was included to help them catch cheaters:
We want to make something very clear. We are in no way scanning your computers for your personal information or taking any personal information without your knowledge. The only time that Flagship or Ping0 would collect your personally identifiable information is when you actually decide to give it to us. Examples are when you create an account for Hellgate: London online or when you provide us your personal information when you enter a contest. The language in the portion of the EULA that has been cited is actually fairly standardized language that is used in the vast majority of EULAs for recent on-line software. It was unfortunately also somewhat broad in scope and potentially ambiguous in nature in an attempt to keep the legalese at a minimum.
This catch-all statement was included so that we have the ability to determine if someone is using hacks, unauthorized mods or other abusive applications while playing the game which spoils the gameplay for everyone else. We also use this catch-all to protect other parties offering technical support, such as our online provider, Ping0. This is a completely legitimate function and other leaders in the MMO space do it in an effort to stop hackers and provide better technical support. In order to stop hacks and cheats, as well as attempts at outright fraud, we may need the ability to scan our player’s computers for applications running at the same time as our game. This paragraph was designed to be able to allow for such functionality. It is also important to point out that EA does not determine what we do in regards to online and offline for our game security.
Next is news on the beta transition:
Howdy folks. Just want to give you all a heads-up with a few Beta updates. First, the US Beta will be ending this Friday at 10:00AM PST. This will include a full character wipe. Yeah, I know some of you didn't get to play as long as others, but the final game will be out in the US just a few days later.
GamersGlobal has an interview with technical director Tyler Thompson:
GG: Can tell us more about the AI?
Tyler Thompson: That’s were I put a lot of work in. In fact, our AI’s philosophy is this: The monsters’ role is to change the way to play the game. It’s not meant to seem intelligent or beat you at Chess. The idea is that with different tactical situations, they change the way you play. You’ve got all these skills and all the weapons to choose from, so different kinds of monsters give you reason to switch between them. To use the big attack on the big monster, or the grappling hook to pull an opponent to where you can hit him with your sword. The goal of the AI is to make the game more interesting.
...and lastly, AMDZone has a performance comparison with various AMD GPUs.
Thanks to forum posters for the first item and Blue's for the others.
Tuesday - October 23, 2007
Hellgate London - Q & A with Bill Roper @ CVG
Computer & Video Games has posted a Q & A with the most interviewed man in gaming at the moment, Flagship Studio's CEO Bill Roper, as the imminent release of Hellgate:London approaches:
Do you think there's not enough creative risk being taken in the industry?
Roper: It's a difficult balance to strike. Games are gigantic, expensive endeavours for the most part. Functionally I think a lot are pushed towards more casual games that have smaller teams... smaller budgets, and they're able to take more leaps of faith and more risks.
But when you're making something of a very large scope, that millions and millions of dollars are invested in, for the people with the money - which for the vast amount of time is the publishers - they're rolling expensive dice and they want to make the surest bet they can...
...What's the most controversial decision you've made with the game?
Roper: I think the most controversial decision is the one we didn't think would be controversial. That was having the subscription element. The way I look at it is people, for some reason, expect the worst (laughs). So that made is controversial to some people, when it really isn't and shouldn't be and I get a little confused as to why that is.
You can buy the game as a stand-alone product, you're going to get 40 to 50 hours of story-driven gameplay. And that's the first time you go through it. You can go through it again as a different character class, and it's going to play extremely differently...
Then you can go online and have that same experience with friends - and more - for free. That was something we really wanted to do and something we knew there was going to be a level of expectation for because of Diablo.
Then for players that what to then continue growing the game, they want more stuff ... every three months we want to have much bigger content dumps. Things where you're not just getting gameplay mechanic changes or events but you're getting entirely new artwork, new areas, new monsters, new skills and items, even things as big as new gameplay modes - new damage types that alter the way the game is played - even things as big as new character classes. Things you only usually see in expansion sets.
Being able to push those things out, obviously we have to be able to maintain a full team to do that.
We want to be able to do that, and for people that want that, then they can subscribe. But they don't get less of the game because they don't, they just don't get it moving forward.
Source: Shack News
Sunday - October 21, 2007
Hellgate London - Demo EULA Concerns
This is courtesy of Blue's a few days back and I simply forgot to post it. Debate is around in some quarters about the following aspect of the Hellgate: London demo EULA:
3. Consent to Use of Data. You agree that EA, its affiliates, and each Related Party may collect, use, store and transmit technical and related information that identifies your computer, including without limitation your Internet Protocol address, operating system, application software and peripheral hardware, that may be gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, dynamically served content, product support and other services to you, including online play. EA and/or the Related Parties may also use this information in the aggregate and, in a form which does not personally identify you, to improve our products and services and we may share that aggregate data with our third party service providers.
Hellgate London - Beta Review @ GameSpy
Gamespy has posted their impressions of the Hellgate:London beta in this preview:
Hellgate: London is an "RPG" only in the most basic sense. The game takes the basic gameplay elements of a CRPG and strips out a lot of the exposition, traveling and scenery in favor of an incredibly fast, action-packed experience. Depending on which class the player chooses they'll get a different type of experience, but the element that ties them together is speed...
...Building up weapons and armor, hunting down legendary components and creating equipment that enhances the player's play style is a big chunk of what the player will be doing in Hellgate: London. Getting the last piece of your own personal uber-weapon turns out to be pretty fun and eventually dropping a favored piece because the player has out-leveled it actually becomes painful. There's even a system to hot-swap between three weapon load-outs because there are five kinds of damage in the game and some demons are more vulnerable to certain types. Smart players will find themselves working on multiple weapons at once that allow them to deal out maximum carnage no matter what kinds of demons they face....
...The game is really all about the action and in the end that may just be enough to make it a hit. We'll see when Hellgate hits store shelves on October 30th.
Source: Hellgate Guru
Friday - October 19, 2007
Hellgate London - NDA Lifted, Patch 0 Details
From the Hellgate: London site comes news that the NDA has lifted and details of Patch 0 and the beta process. Here's a partial post:
Beta NDA Lifted
The NDA period for the general Beta test is officially over! THANK YOU all for being as good as you have been on this. Feel free to post, email, phone call, and alert your local news station about your play experiences!
How Our Beta Process Works
We wanted to take a few minutes to talk about how we run our Beta tests, the differences of and timing for getting builds out to the testers, and basically let you in on what makes our test tick.
Our development path is quite different from that of the vast majority of game developers. We utilize what we call an organic process, which is basically shorthand for our way of constantly iterating, tweaking, tuning, and making changes that are difficult to set months or years ahead of time in a traditional design document. When we get into the last 6 - 9 months of development time, this process really kicks into high-gear. We are making an immense amount of changes, both large and small, and if we tried to push these out to our Beta testing community, we’d literally be giving you new code up to a dozen times a day. Obviously, this isn’t going to be of any great benefit, so we wait until we have done a lot of internal testing and can batch changes into larger, meaningful updates.
We have a core team of testers on-site dedicated to working with our programmers and designers to give immediate feedback and address bugs in a focused manner. We also have a massive amount of testers at EA that work on builds that have been promoted as release candidates. When we get a patch release candidate that we feel is solid, we then promote that to being a Published candidate, and it undergoes patch testing. When we get something here that we like, we push it to you, the Beta testers.
What this means is that we are, at a MINIMUM, 2 weeks further down the road on the game than the testers see. Commonly, this time gap can be upwards of 4 weeks. We push hot fixes as quickly as possible, but please remember that we have also been working on numerous language builds, the single-player gold master, and of course, the fixes and features for our first day online – what we call Patch 0.
We know that it can be frustrating at times to hear that things are different in our internal builds than what you have, but it is just how timing has to work in order for us to meet all of our deadlines and make sure that the testing time we get with you is as beneficial as possible. Thank you all for the hard work, the hours of testing, and your continued support and excitement for the game.
Hellgate London - Previews @ Next Gen, Worthplaying
Next Gen has generic preview of Hellgate: London -
With around 200 quests available to the player, Hellgate promises between 30 and 45 hours of roleplaying out of the box. On top of this is the opportunity to take the game online, at no extra cost, interacting co-operatively with thousands of other players. An additional subscription model is available for £7 per month which gives access to extra content – armor, classes, skills, quests and extra character slots. It’s certainly an interesting payment model, taking advantage of the attractive immediacy and permanence of a single upfront fee, but then allowing for a smoother approach to the additional content pipeline – releasing material as and when.
...and a snip from Worthplaying's look:
Gameplay is basically divided between stations and dungeon areas. London's tube stations are the last refuge of mankind and act as hubs where you automatically restore your health, sell off your newly acquired mountains of loot, store gear, get new quests from NPCs, travel instantly between visited stations, modify your weapons and armor and finally form parties with other online players for added slaughter potential. This last activity is as simple as approaching another player character and passing a private message to him or her or using the auto-invite option. Party members will appear alongside you when you enter a dungeon, and loot is dropped individually for each character in the party.
Thursday - October 18, 2007
Hellgate London - Demo Released
Wednesday - October 17, 2007
Hellgate London - Gone Gold Notice and Demo Release News @ Gamebanshee
Gamebanshee has posted a press release from EA stating that Flagship's action rpg, Hellgate:London, has gone to gold master, and that a single-player demo will be released shortly:
...And for gamers who can't wait until November 2nd to get their Demon-slaying on, Flagship Studios is releasing a single player demo tomorrow, Thursday October 18th on AOL’s Game Daily (www.gamedaily.com). The demo will be available everywhere else from Friday.
The single player demo represents just a small taste of the Hellgate: London experience. Gamers can choose from two of the game's six character classes: the Blademaster, a master of swordplay and action-packed melee combat, or the Marksman, a cool, calculating, long-range specialist. In the demo, these heroes are able to battle through a small handful of storyline and side quests as they adventure through the streets and tunnels around London's Holborn Station.
Hellgate London - Video Tour @ GameSpy
GameSpy has kicked up a video tour of the Temple Station area in Hellgate: London.
Monday - October 15, 2007
Hellgate London - DX10 Screenshots & CE Launch Shortage @ Voodoo Extreme
In other Hellgate:London news, Voodoo Extreme has posted 24 new screenshots visible for all, but specially rendered for DX10 machines, as well as a short notice from the official website concerning an apparent paucity of Collector's Edition copies for the imminent launch at the end of October:
...I've just got word that the Collector's Edition of Hellgate: London is almost sold out completely. And when I say completely, I mean COMPLETELY. We will not be pressing additional copies of the CE HGL, so once they're gone, they're gone forever...
Hellgate London - Dev Diary #3 @ Krawall
The German gaming site Krawall has posted their third Hellgate:London developer diary. This time they talk with Flagship Studios Art Director, David Glenn:
The world design for Hellgate: London was an interesting challenge. We chose a real world location so that players would immediately have a reference point, a sense of familiarity. The rich history and mix of cultures gives London a very unique urban landscape, instantly recognizable in today’s world. But creating an exact virtual replica of this beloved city was not our goal. Our goal for the design was to create a world that “feels” like London, but that could be moulded to whatever form we needed to meet the needs of the game at any given point.
Sunday - October 14, 2007
Hellgate London - Preview @ GamePro
GamePro has a short hands-on feature based on the multiplayer beta for Flagship's action rpg, Hellgate:London, due for N.A. release this Halloween. The reviewer talks about Diablo2 baggage, over-powered items and subscription models while admitting the game is "addictive":
Hellgate recently entered into its beta and as the spiritual successor to Diablo 2 and the default torch-carrier for the action-RPG, brings a great amount of baggage with it...I've had some pretty hard-set expectations before ever starting the game, given its legacy, and to be honest, I'm a little bit surprised at how immediately I've taken to it. It's addicting in the very manner you'd expect; the maps just beg to be cleared of monsters because any drop may be a legendary item. The true test will be how well the momentum holds dozens of hours in...
...A consistent critique of the game is that characters equipped with powerful weapons can plow through much of the combat without using many class skills. In order to test this, I made my first character an Evoker--a class which seems more or less wholly-dependent on skill use. My prognosis is positive; the weapons I can equip aren't anywhere near as effective as the abilities. In fact, the Evoker as a class needs to equip a class-specific weapon (a "focus") in order to use its abilities...
...The business model that Flagship is implementing for Hellgate is one where games can play for free, or pay a subscription fee that comes with valuable benefits. For 10 bucks a month subscribers will get some in-game perks, like bigger storage lockers, more character slots, and the ability to skip-ahead of non-subscribers in login queues when the servers are real busy. The big advantage is that they'll have access to exclusive subscriber-only content. I could see this having a pretty serious effect on the community; primarily, it's foreseeable that subscriber-only guilds will emerge due to this.
Though it may all be part of Flagship's master plan, prospective Hellgate players should mull over the possible ramifications of this before they decide to take the plunge. There are plenty of arguments as to whether a game that's primarily instanced (which Hellgate definitely is) warrants this kind commerce model. I guess it's up to Flagship to prove whether or not there's enough to Hellgate to justify this sort of move.
Source: Hellgate Guru
Wednesday - October 10, 2007
Hellgate London - Updated Q.&A. @ Gamespot
A little more pre-release PR for Hellgate:London over at Gamespot. This one's an interview with Dave Brevik from Flagship focusing on the handling of monsters and loot:
GameSpot: We understand that randomization will play a key role in adding variety to Hellgate: London's gameplay. For instance, tell us about the role it will play in creating adventure environments for players, with different types of monsters scaling to players' experience levels. How will the game offer a new experience each time...?
David Brevik: The monsters do not scale to the players' experience levels. They are a set level range for that particular section of the game. We just try and track your level with theirs to keep an even difficulty.
That being said, we spent a lot of time designing and implementing random level generation in the game. We have designed it in such a way that we create rules to govern the look. These rules are run in an order to ensure that the level is a size we like. We can run rules a variable amount of times and loop and skip and all sorts of stuff. We can design exits and entrances to be right next to each other or start by placing it at the beginning, and then grow it, then add the exit at the end. It is an extremely flexible system--one that I believe could create any random level you could imagine....
GS: How well will different enemies work in unison? Can we expect to see different enemy types working together? How will monsters' abilities and strengths otherwise complement each other on the battlefield?
DB: When laying out which monsters go where, we did try and complement and mix the types of monsters you get. There are monsters that work together in different ways. Some have powers that will wear you down with "curse" abilities, while others will take advantage of that. We often put melee [enemies] with ranged [enemies], and many other combinations.
We also have "monster masters" that work with their minions. For example, there are zombie summoners that heal and "buff" (strengthen) zombies in the area, an imp shaman that can spawn up monsters...and many others.
Lastly, we have monsters like the "orbile," which can pair with any monster and work together. They suck the energy out of dead monsters to buff themselves.
We also have templar non-player characters with AIs that let them work together and run around killing monsters. There are some levels where you will see them wandering around helping out.
There's also this word about the current status of the beta:
DB: The beta is going incredibly well. We have had over 150,000 people sign up on our Web site. There is a lot of interest in the game. We are still making some significant but controlled changes to the balance.
Tuesday - October 09, 2007
Hellgate London - More Subscription Details @ TVG Q.&A.
Total Video Games has posted the second and final installment of its interview with Flagship's Bill Roper. this one covers some of the subscription issues that have come up for the Hellgate:London multiplayer component:
TVG: You've announced the Elite subscription as a means to accessing content updates, can you elaborate on this with regards to regularity, length, themed tie-ins?
Sure, the big thing for us is that we always want to remind people is that you're getting more than you actually got with Diablo 2, you get the [online] game for free. There seems to be a big hang up which people have where they feel somehow we must be doing something to screw them, which I don't understand at all. Players make this big deal about the fact that when you get the game in the box you get 40-50 hours of standalone play, and that's obviously the first time you go through it, but with the character classes and randomisation you're going to get really different gameplay as you go through several times. Then you can go online and have that same experience with your friends in a secure server environment for free, we also give you stuff for free that we were never able to do in Diablo like being able to be members of guilds, auction houses, in-game e-mail and all kinds of things like that. So you get that Diablo 2 experience plus and we've worked very hard to ensure that we can do that for free. Then for the gamers that want to keep going with that experience, and that was definitely something that we had a lot of requests for back in the Diablo 2 days, players wanted to get more, they wanted more stuff, more items, more spells, more monsters, more areas, on and on and on. But we were able to do one expansion set then another year and half went by and there was another content patch, but that was really it. We did not have a dedicated staff on the project, we had no ability from a supportive model or from an engine/technology standpoint to really be able to do that continuing content. So with Hellgate that was really, really important to us, and of course maintaining a team to create this kind of content, not just do things like fix bugs, but make substantial new content which we can release on regular schedules, we have to pay for that somehow.
There's also a little talk about what might be next for the Hellgate team:
VG: Speaking of expansions, the title Hellgate: London seems to lend itself to the possibility of extending into other cities in the future, is this an idea of the team's?
I think it's something we would love to do. For us the city of London was a big part itself for development of the game, the fact we had the great architecture, the gothic style, and the mix of styles....
The idea was we're telling the story of what's happening in London at this time, and I would love to be able to do that in other areas, to be able to look at that in other parts of the world, look at their archetypal heroes, their beliefs, how magic works and all those types of things. So that's something I do hope we get the opportunity to do, because it was a lot of fun to do with London.
Monday - October 08, 2007
Hellgate London - Dev Diary #2 @ Krawall
This is the second exclusive Hellgate:London developer diary article at the German site Krawall, featuring Bill Roper still talking about the early days of the the title and it's first appearence at E3 2005:
That first E3 was terrifying, exhausting, and electrifying. We were going to be showing our new game – the first from our new studio – and we knew that expectations were high. We were coming off a big announcement cover story and the very early press buzz was conservatively optimistic...
The hardest thing for me was to remember to say Flagship Studios when talking about the company. After nine years of talking about Blizzard, it would have been easy to slip back...
...After that first E3, we came back to the office and started talking about not only what our fans told us at the show, but compared what we learned from watching them play. We traditionally brought all of the company to E3 for the specific reason of being able to observe the game being played “in the field.” This has always told us so much about ease of use, how the UI is laid out, balance, what players are naturally drawn to in terms of look and feel, and on and on. We made the first series of MANY changes based on player feedback, and we continue to do so to this day.
Sunday - October 07, 2007
Hellgate London - Euro Preorder Details
The Hellgate: London site has details of the European countries and stores that will be participating in their pre-order goodies dealy, as well as news that UK/Europe won't be getting a CE edition.
Saturday - October 06, 2007
Hellgate London - Q. & A. with Bill Roper @ TVG
TVG has a featured question and answer session with Bill Roper, Flagship's CEO, on the status of some of the bugs and problems revealed by recent beta testing of the multiplayer component of Hellgate and a little bit about the state of the skill system:
TVG: There's some concerns that the skill-trees of the different classes possibly won't offer enough diversity; what are your thoughts on this?
Well we talk about that a lot in the office and look at that, and we disagree. The reason we disagree, is because in comparison Diablo 2 is such a mature game, a lot of players say 'well Diablo 2 just has so much more to do', whereas there is no more skill to Diablo 2, to be honest. A lot of the skills in Diablo 2 were pretty crappy in comparison to what we're doing now. I just look back at it and think 'skills didn't grow with your character,' so you could easily outstrip skills, which made them pretty useless and we had skills that just weren't that great, that really weren't that useful at all, but the difference is that players have had 7 years of Diablo 2 to fine tune....
But the really big thing is that player's haven't necessarily started to find good builds [yet in Hellgate ] for different character ideas...
...The builds are out there but they are found as you play. We think it might be a good idea to put some testers in and say 'here's some builds we play with internally, here's the Guardian build that Tyler played, here's a Guardian build that Bill plays', because I think it really is a misnomer when people look at it and say, 'well the skill system isn't as deep as you think," because it's deeper but it's also so early. We did the same thing when Starcraft came out, we got initial reviews and people from the beta were saying 'this is a pretty good RTS,' and 'it's alright,' and then we would see these six month updates after people had a lot of time playing it and people said 'oh my god the game is so deep', because those things take a while, especially when it's in beta.
Friday - October 05, 2007
Hellgate London - Preview @ AtomicGamer
AtomicGamer follows up their first Hellgate: London preview a week or so ago with even more impressions:
So moving on the game, last week I promised to give you a glimpse into two more character classes. The first that I want to talk about is the Evoker, the closest thing you'll get to a spell-slinging Wizard as you'll get in a post-apocalyptic science fiction game. The Evoker can command the elements to directly damage opponents, but first there must be gear. You see, Evokers use a special class of weapons that can "Focus" their power, and they will actually modify and improve your spellcasting abilities. Swapping out different weapons can change how your elemental attacks fire, which really can help in a lot of situations when you're fighting a tough boss with certain unique abilities. Of course, these guns are still guns, and while the projectile they fire out often feels like little more than a pop gun pellet with a bit of purple colored lighting, they can help you punch through enemy defenses and are always at your disposal - even when you run out of Power (Hellgate's version of mana).
Thursday - October 04, 2007
Hellgate London - Impressions @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper Shotgun's Kieron Gillan gives a down to earth summary of his impressions of Flagship's soon to be released action rpg Hellgate: London:
Firstly, while there’s moments of post-apocalyptic chic to it, it lacks atmosphere. I suspect the problem comes from a couple of places. Number one is that it’s only acceptably attractive and - in a few areas - seems even regressive... It looks pretty good for an RPG, of course… but the second you make an RPG which moves like an FPS, you’re moving into their territory and end up being compared to them. Hellgate comes off badly in such a comparison...
...Number two, it’s a role-playing game that’s just completely capitulated to massively-multiplayer conventions. While the main arc of the story is a proper narrative, when I hit the first communal area I walked away with a half-dozen quests to go to X bit of the underground and kill Y number of Z monster (Or go to X bit of the underground and get Y objects. Oh yeah - you get Y objects by killing Z monster). Yes, each quest will take you to a randomly generated instance… but it feels completely artificial, as if Flagship just weren’t trying to think of ways to hide these time-sink grind mechanisms...
....Hellgate, from what I’ve seen so far, isn’t a bad game by any measure. But this year has been a frankly incredible year for PC games and when compared to its peers, and against all enormous expectations, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Hellgate may be the season’s first genuine disappointment.
Source: Hellgate Guru
Hellgate London - Interview @ IncGamers
The Unofficial Hellgate London Forums has an informal interview with Flagship's Ivan Sulic:
Flux: There were early quest concepts in HGL with faction quests. You're a Templar, the Cabalists don't like you and you have to do quests for them to get faction points and improve your standing with them. None of those exist in the alpha?
Ivan: Faction is not going to be present for launch. A lot of our faction stuff got scrapped because every time I wrote a faction dialogue, I had to do it 3 times. So there's got to be 3 different dialogues, and 3 different localization processes, and we also didn't have the tech worked out to give rewards like we wanted to. It was all just perks from a vendor. So, instead we focused on station faction. As players earn faction points they get access to a better vendor. Even that might go the way of the dodo, since it's just not interesting.
Ideally, it would have been awesome to have 3 dialogues and 3 incompletes and 3 reward dialogues for every single character based on which faction players chose. But then we took into account the long term integration of more factions and increasing that number of base dialogues. That seemed implausible. So, it's just something that got put on the back burner.
Tuesday - October 02, 2007
Hellgate London - Beta Impressions @ ShackNews
Shacknews takes a look at the multiplayer beta of Hellgate:London presently making the rounds of internet gaming review sites, and is fairly enthusiastic overall about Flagship's chances to replicate Diablo II in a modern format, despite noting the current bugs and problems:
Hellgate: London is a long-needled shot to the blackened, burned-out veins of every past Diablo II addict. It's a fresh brand of juice for MMO players tired of tawdry gameplay that promises the world and serves up a thinly-veiled smorgasbord of boring. It's a brooding, blood-soaked crawl, with ripe, fat-bellied zombies, and wicked monsters that are all too satisfying to hack and shoot to pieces.
It also needs a good deal of work.
Currently infested with more bugs than a Homeland Security cocktail party, and lacking in several areas at which its forbear [excelled], Hellgate isn't perfect. But it possesses the all-important spark of greatness--that intangible whiff of an addictive quality, like the smell of good cigarettes, or the manual for a Civilization game. With a release date looming in the not-at-all-distant future, the next month will be critical for the team at Flagship Studios. If the devs succeed, Hellgate is poised to capture the hearts and fingers of click-happy gamers everywhere. Unfortunately, that "if" is as big as any one of the many bosses you'll find in the game--that is, if the dungeon loads...
Hellgate London - Music Clip, Contest and Pets @ Official Site
The official Hellgate:London page has a few new goodies on offer, including this clip of the Hellgate themesong which you can stream with a left-click if you don't want to download the mp.3, as well as info on a Halloween contest, for which you can submit art, movies or audios to win a variety of prizes including a Hellgate CE.
You can also see what the mantawraith, the pet available on the Collector's Edition, looks like( as well as a pet being promo'd through PC Gamer magazine.)
Source: Hellgate Guru
Sunday - September 30, 2007
Hellgate London - Preview @ Gamespot
Gamespot has a short preview up of Flagship's action rpg Hellgate:London. It's another updated hands on of the multi-player beta.
Here's a brief summary of the Marksman class:
The marksman, on the other hand, is a pure shooter and has skills that are geared toward making the class more lethal in combat. These include the ability to throw grenades, make ricochet shots, use a beacon to highlight the weaknesses in a target's defense, call down napalm strikes, and much more. Though you play the marksman class much like you play a first or third-person shooter (the game lets you switch between both perspectives), there are some key differences between Hellgate and action games. While most shooters rely mainly on your reflexes and ability to put the aiming cursor on a target, all the combat in Hellgate is calculated using its role-playing rules. Thus, your ability to hit a target is based on your character's accuracy rating and other criteria.
Saturday - September 29, 2007
Hellgate London - Preview @ Gamespy
Another preview of the multiplayer beta for Flagship's action rpg, Hellgate:London is up at Gamespy. Three different Gamespy reviewers played it, each picking a different character build: Marksman, for a ranged FPS style, Blademaster a sword swinging melee build, and Evoker, for the traditional ranged spellcaster:
The Evoker playing style is very much that of the glass cannon archetype...You want to deal massive damage at range, but you also want the challenge of keeping away from enemy attacks, knowing that you lack the stamina to take any sort of beating. The first few levels felt good, as I was able to learn that there's some strategy to using the initial damage skill, Spectral Bolt.
It's easiest to think of the Spectral Bolt like a missile that "detonates" only when it has the chance to reach a minimum range. The projectile is fired off...and if it hits a wall or an enemy before traveling a few meters or so, it results in a minimal amount of damage...If you can fire them off at enemies at sufficient range, though, the Spectral Bolt splits up into a handful of smaller bolts that spray out to cover a pretty large area...
Questing so far has been what we've come to expect from MMOs: kill X foozles, find Y items, defeat a specially named NPC. What I totally dig is the fact that every quest area has been instanced: once you leave the hub area, you're in your own private questing area, and you don't have to worry about fighting fifty other noobs for spawns. Even more interesting is that the areas have some random elements to them. The entrance to an area may be in a different spot, or you'll encounter different types of mobs, and there are hellgate portals that also change location. If you're going to get on the XP treadmill, it's nice to have at least a little variety when you clear the same area for the third time.
There's quite a bit more about items, loot and the inventory system, weapon slots and switching and other gameplay details. The article concludes with a little anxiety about technical issues:
So far, there's a lot in Hellgate that shows it's still a beta. Servers have been up and down, I've had a number of crashes, and there's this recurring issue I have when I zone into an area and have sunk about three feet into the ground and can't walk properly. While this isn't out of character for a beta, I'm a little concerned with the game's release barely five weeks away. It seems there's a lot of work to be done in a short period of time.
Hellgate:London is scheduled for a Halloween release in N.A.
Friday - September 28, 2007
Hellgate London - Preview @ Atomic Gamer
Bluesnews points out a new preview at Atomic Gamer based on the beta for Flagship's action rpg Hellgate:London. The previewer gives a detailed account of his experiences with the gameplay and covers the classes, weapons and Diablo II aspects of the single player game:
I got the chance to play around in the beta for Hellgate and I'll say right now that while this game starts out feeling a bit too much like a shallow first- or third-person shooter, that ends pretty quickly and it's not long before those addictive qualities that made Diablo consume players start becoming apparent here...
Most of my time spent in the beta so far has been with the Marksman, part of the Hunter faction, and the Summoner, part of the Cabalist faction. While I spent a lot of time firing guns on both characters, that's pretty much where the similarities end. The Marksman relies on using stances to boost gun damage to ridiculous levels and tossing out special attacks and grenades for extra damage. While there are plenty of weapons in this game that can do burst damage, area effect fire, toxic splash, you name it, some of the Marksman's most powerful abilities are best used when you've got something a little closer to a sniper rifle. The Summoner's weaponry plays more of a finish-the-monsters-off support role, as you get to bring up quite a few pets to roll with you and take on the hordes. Most of these pets are of the elemental variety, although a couple of demons are thrown in for good measure. By adding skill points in, you can improve your pets' abilities and add new summons to cover multiple types of damage simultaneously.
There are two melee classes: the Templar Blademaster can wield a pair of swords and works out as a damage-dealing melee class (although some guns are still available), while the Templar Guardian is a defensive melee class with a shield who usually does best when totally surrounded by the enemy. There's also the Hunter Engineer who builds robots and equips them with weapons that have been crafted, bought, or looted from monsters, and finally, the Cabalist Evoker, who is the closest thing to a Mage in this game. If, of course, we're talking about Mages with guns....
If you thought that tossing gems or runes into your weapons in Diablo II to be a lot of fun and got to the point where your fighting strategy revolved around your socket choices, then you're going to love Hellgate. Many weapons come with multiple modification slots - Relic, Battery, Fuel, and Ammo, maybe even multiples - and some weapons have up to seven spots to fill with mods (all of which are actually visible on your weapon when you hold it). As you wade through the demonic forces, you'll find these mods of varying qualities that you can install into your weapons to not only add damage, but also to add unique properties that often can stack up to dish out some real pain.
The article ends with links to some new screenshots and a brief gameplay video.
Thursday - September 27, 2007
Hellgate London - Boss Battles Overview @ IGN
IGN has a feature article along with a streaming video decribing three major boss fights in Flagship's upcoming action rpg, Hellgate:London. As you might expect, there are some spoilers in the article dealing with specific attacks, strengths and weaknesses of these standout bosses, so I'll keep the quote general:
What makes a boss?
Think ferocity. Think size. Think power. Think speed. Think...impressive, challenging, overwhelming, terrifying, and unique.
All the boss fights in Flagship Studios' Hellgate were built around this line of thinking. The game sports a wealth of enemies - nearly 100 monsters (excluding randomized versions, of course). What Flagship needed were the standout champions - the heralds of damnation - to offset the base gameplay. What Flagship needed were unique monsters accompanied by unique set pieces. Flagship needed monsters deliberately built to endure, conquer, crush, and kill all comers.
You can check out the whole article along with the trailer here.
Hellgate London - Preview & Interview @ YouGamers
YouGamers has a double dose of Hellgate: London with both a preview and interview on offer. From the first:
So what exactly is Hellgate: London? First and foremost, it's a single-player RPG experience told from a first-person view. Think Diablo born again in the new millennium, combining FPS gameplay mechanics with role-playing character progression elements. RPG staples such as loot collection, a weapon upgrade system and plenty of wanton combat are here. Additionally, enemies are randomly placed and some dungeons randomly generated, adding to the replay value and making repeat exploration worthwhile. Fighting promises to be fast-paced and brutal, based on a unique moddable weapon system.
...and from the interview with Director of Technology, Tyler Thompson:
YouGamers: Having concentrated on just a PC version for the moment (and possibly, for good), did this mean your artists and coders had much more freedom in what they could achieve with the visuals and performance?
Tyler Thompson: Making games for the PC requires thinking about a broad range of hardware. Our artists and programmers had a lot of freedom in some ways, and this allowed them to make some assets and shaders which are relatively complex. We also had to make simplified versions of everything so that we could have a low min-spec.
Monday - September 24, 2007
Hellgate London - Complete Bill Roper Interview @ Newsweek
Rock, Paper, Shotgun is pointing out a giant Bill Roper interview at Newsweek on Hellgate: London. This is actually a compilation of four separate parts they ran a couple of months ago but as far as I can see, we missed it at the time. This interview is about as good as it gets, so if you are interested in HL and the whole subscription model dealie, head over:
That's what I wanted to zero in on. As you suggested, you know, there are established business models that people are used to and you guys are trying to hybridize it. It's understandable: if you want ongoing content, you need to find a way to pay for it. The thing that I think people are having a problem with is that there's an aspect of it that--let me put it this way: I think people would be sort of completely understanding if there were just a subscription fee for additional content and people would be free to say, "Okay, I don't want to pay. I understand I'm not getting that." Where people may be having trouble though is the additional character slot; the additional customization; those other things; and they're saying, "Well, maybe that is crippling the single-player experience a lot," even if there's a lot to the game. They're not understanding why that would be one of those lines in the sand where you say, "That's why you should pay a subscription fee."
Yeah, I understand that. I'm not really sure people look at it that way to be honest, but I understand it, that that's where the confusion comes from. They're not paying for those extra slots. Those are just more things we're giving you, all right? It's like, "Here's the game; here's the experience. You can have that exact same experience online plus other stuff that you wouldn't normally get online. And then when you subscribe you get even more stuff." It's not like there's stuff you get and then we cripple it when you go online, right. You get everything when you go online, plus; and then when you subscribe, you get even more.
I don't know. Maybe it's a glass half-full, glass half-empty comparison. You know, I think a lot of times people look at things and want to--there's an expectation of the negative. "Oh, well jeez, there must be some way that they're getting one over on me," and it's not common to just get value and then more value. And that's really where we come from. That's our stance. [more...]
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Thursday - September 20, 2007
Hellgate London - Beta FAQ Update @ Official Site
The official site for Hellgate:London has put up a FAQ in answer to some of the issues people have encountered trying to sign up for the open Beta for Flagship's upcoming action rpg. Here's an example:
Q: I signed up for the Beta using the big link on the front page but haven't received my invite yet. What gives?
A: We have literally thousands of people waiting to get in. As mentioned, we have to let in people in waves. This is, after all, a Beta test. To make sure our online service is in top shape come Halloween, we need to test things gradually. We know you guys want to play right now, and we want you all to be in the game, but this is something we have to do to make sure the game is the best it can be come launch day.
There's also some discussion about the problems people have had with pre-order codes and account creation, some of which appear to have been resolved. Also, there's no indication that they have closed the sign-up, and the FAQ states they will be testing beyond October 7th. It appears a big part of the testing involves the server functionality.
Source: Hellgate Guru
Monday - September 17, 2007
Hellgate London - Beta Sign-Up @ Official Site
The official Hellgate:London site has been revamped a bit and is offering a chance to sign up for the open Beta test. If you're interested in a chance to play the action rpg from Flagship before it hits the streets next month, head on over.
Sunday - September 16, 2007
Hellgate London - Dev Diary @ Krawall
German site Krawall is in the unusual position of apparently having the exclusive on a series of Hellgate: London dev diaries. The first is now up, covering the formation of Flagship:
The details of what led to our departure have been recounted dozens and dozens of times, but the end result was that we threatened to resign in an attempt to show how seriously we took matters within Vivendi Universal Games at the time, and those resignations were accepted. The next day, we started Flagship Studios.
Our first day of the new company was fairly monumental since it was not only the beginning of our current four-year journey, but it was also the genesis of what would become Hellgate: London. The day after Erich Schaefer, his brother Max Schaefer, David Brevik and I left Blizzard North, there we were, meeting in front room of David’s house. We discussed the challenges and goals of starting a new company, and came up with the first of MANY lists of possible company names.
Saturday - September 15, 2007
Hellgate London - Quest Q & A @ Gamespot
Gamespot has an interview with Flagship Studio's writer, Ivan Sulic about quest structure in the upcoming Hellgate:London. Sulic states the game has around 250 quests, divided among three basic types, story quests, template quests and a more randomized type of quest called tasks:
Anyway, story quests are entirely unique. They are coded to offer experiences that may include minigames, special scenarios and/or events, environment alterations, and scripts not found in template quests....
...Template quests are pretty straightforward. They are built off eight basic formulas: collect, explore, escort, infestation, hunt, travel/talk-and-do, use item, and operate object. Templates allow us to create quests assigned to different non-player characters without a lot of code work. Their primary function is to give players something to do while they undertake story quests...
The final type, which I'll just keep right on calling "tasks" until someone kills me with a hammer, are combinations of templates and story quests. We code each of these, but we do it in a way that allows us to drop them into the game at various parts. So, we may have a task players can stumble upon midmission, such as "Help me! I've been mauled by that thing over there. It shot purple stuff at my eyes. Most unpleasant. I'm quite sure I've got some kind of infection now. Can you do something about it? If so, you'll first need to do these other three things." Stuff like that.
There aren't so many tasks in the game at present, but there are a heck of a lot of story quests and templates. Our plan for future content includes developing much more of each type but focusing a bit more heavily on the random tasks that may appear during any given quest.
Thursday - September 13, 2007
Hellgate London - Preorder FAQ
Flagship has a FAQ on the preorder offers and associated issues such as...
Q: If I buy a US pre-order and live in a different country, will the Dye Kit, Beta invite, and Founders Offer still be available to me?
A: Yes, but only on the servers in the same region where the pre-order was made, and each region will have its own Founders Offer.
Wednesday - September 12, 2007
Hellgate London - Lifetime Subscription Details, Interview
You can can just feel the Hellgate: London PR push starting to move. Details of the Founders Offer preorder have been revealed, with those who are keen enough able to sign up for a $149.99 lifetime subscription...although if Hellgate: London's multiplayer modes don't take off, that lifetime could theoretically be rather short:
This limited-time offer allows you to make a one-time purchase of $149.99 USD to upgrade your Live online account to a lifetime subscription*. Please note that this offer expires after November 30, 2007. The Founders Offer will be available to you on your Account Management page once the retail game ships and you log into your Live account.
In other HL news, Bill Roper has once again popped up in a new interview, this time at Level Up with Part 1 now available:
Between Resistance: Fall of Man, Hellgate: London, "28 Days Later" and "Children of Men," what is it about London and the apocalypse?
You know, one of the reasons we chose London, there's actually a couple of reasons. One, it's always been this epicenter of huge struggle. It was founded by druids originally when it was Londinium. Then I mean it's been taken over by the Vikings; by the Romans. There was the Blitz in World War II. It always seems to be this center for people wanting to take it. And for huge apocalyptic events happening. The Great Fire of 1666; the plague; the fact that it was just pummeled in World War II. When we were talking about where to set the game, that was really one of the big draws for us. We wanted a city that had a really good history to it, that had a foundation in mythology, and had a more mystical setting, which it does. I mean there's the fact that it was founded by druids. It's you know, built on lay lines, magical lay lines, and there's so many things about London that in reality, lend itself to being this kind of focal point for building stories. It just drew us there.
Hellgate London - Interview @ GamingTrend
Gaming Trend has a 9-page transcript of a Hellgate: London demo walkthrough with Bill Roper - or - alternatively, you can listen to the audio (24Mb - direct link):
Gaming Trend: Allright, we’re gonna meet with Bill Roper and he’s gonna take us through Hellgate: London.
Bill Roper: Allright. Well, I’ve got a pretty recent build here, not the most recent, but fairly recent. [You have] six different character classes to choose from across three factions of the Templar, the Cabalists, and the Hunters. Within the Templar you have the Guardian which is kind of the tank style class with the heavy armor who actually has shield combat abilities. You’ll see the mideavial style armor here. Then you have the Blademaster – they are more of the heavily offense oriented, so whereas the Guardian uses shields and has a high defense, has a lot of auras that they use, really built around a tank concept.
Tuesday - September 11, 2007
Hellgate London - Interview with Bill Roper @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has a short interview with Bill Roper, CEO of Flagship studios, and asks him a few questions, several about the inevitable comparisons to Diablo:
Eurogamer: Is Hellgate a better game than Diablo?
Bill Roper: Phew, that's a big one - Diablo was a pretty good game [laughs]. I don't know. We'd like to think so. We used everything we learned from the Diablo series and more in Hellgate.
Ultimately, the gamers are the ones who will decide if it's better, but we're extremely proud of what we've done. Everyone who's played the game in testing has had a wonderful time and is excited by it, so, hopefully.
Eurogamer: Who is Hellgate aimed at? RPG fans, action fans, MMO fans...?
Bill Roper: People who loved the gameplay they got in Diablo, those are our fans first and foremost. People who are looking for a different kind of RPG experience. A lot of people play classic MMOs like World of Warcraft or EverQuest or Oblivion... We try to tap into things players of those games are going to enjoy, even though it's an action-RPG...
...We never try to pigeonhole the game; we just try to make sure it's fun. When we did Diablo, I remember everyone was saying, 'RPGs are dead, why are you doing another RPG?'. And I was like, 'Well, because we're doing something completely different.'
We feel Hellgate's done that again, it's a very different style of game. We hope people will at least be intrigued enough to give it a try.
Source: Shack News
Monday - September 10, 2007
Hellgate London - Character Creation Preview
Hellgate Resistance has a first look at the character creation in Hellgate: London. The article is fairly brief, so no quote, but a couple of new screenies are used to illustrate.
Sunday - September 09, 2007
Hellgate London - Latest Screenshots @ GamersHell
Gamershell has posted twelve new screenshots from Flagship studios soon-to-be-released action RPG, Hellgate: London. Towards the bottom of the collection, some shots of the pre-order Collector's Edition goodies are shown, including the ingame pet, the Mantawraith, followed by some shots showing how the dye kits can change the look of armor.
Saturday - September 08, 2007
Hellgate London - Lifetime Subscription Offers
Hellgate Guru has news of two preorder offers around that include the opportunity to sign up for lifetime subscriptions - head over if this is your cup of tea.
Thursday - September 06, 2007
Hellgate London - Updated Impressions @ Gamespot
As the Halloween release date for Flagship studio's premier title Hellgate:London approaches, Gamespot features a look at the "near-final" version:
...For starters, the game will have lots of different, customizeable weapons with modular components that you can swap in and out to power them up, as well as one-handed and two-handed weapons your character can dual-wield. You'll also pick up several different types of armor your character can wear...
Hellgate: London will also have lots of different character skills you can unlock and develop as your character gains experience levels, and even lots of randomly generated, "instanced" environments (that is, environments will be treated as separate areas that exist only for you and any other players who have joined you in an adventuring party). The game will even have "rare" sub-levels that may randomly be generated in various areas, such as a hidden sewer level hidden under a surreptitious manhole cover that may or may not spawn in the next area you explore.
Thursday - August 30, 2007
Hellgate London - Leipzig GC Videos @ GameTrailers
Game Trailers has two new videos from Leipzig with Flagship's Bill Roper giving an overview of the specialized items and skills used by the summoner and engineer classes.
You can check them out here.
Saturday - August 25, 2007
Hellgate London - GC Impressions @ IGN
Off to IGN for some GC impressions of Hellgate: London from a "near final" build:
The testing is going well and, with all the content securely in place, now it's all about fixing small bugs and polishing the whole experience until it shines with a healthy, hellishy red glow. To help polish the game, Flagship worked with EA's Quality Assurance teams to create a new software tool called the Evil Eye. This new program allows the developers to cull basically every single bit of data they could want about the game.
In one case, the team was getting feedback from players that the Swordmaster "sucked." Digging a little deeper, the Evil Eye data revealed that the class fell behind the power curve at level ten. It turns out that nearly every single Swordmaster player choose the Dual Wield ability once it became available at tenth level but the ability wasn't quite offering up the same damage out vs. damage in ratio that some of the other classes were getting at the same character level.
Wednesday - August 22, 2007
Hellgate London - Euro Pricing Announced
From Flagship's Hellgate: London site:
Flagship Studios are pleased to announce the pricing structure for its upcoming highly-anticipated action role-playing game HELLGATE: LONDON in Europe. For expectant players HELLGATE: LONDON will offer players two ways to play through Standard and Subscription accounts.
For all players, HELLGATE: LONDON comes completely free-to-play out of the box and will offer a secure online experience with features including the ability to play cooperatively with thousands of other players, trade items, join guilds and enjoy a host of gameplay and community features including voice chat and buddy lists.
For players with Subscription* accounts ( € 9.99 / £6.99 per month) , Flagship Studios will deliver exciting new ongoing content including new character classes, areas, monsters, items and raid content, new game modes (including Hardcore, Role-Play and PvP mode), and additional character and stash slots. Subscribers can found guilds, select to nominate an officer and will have access to guild and player housing. Other features include in-game email for items, web access to characters and a place in future beta lotteries.
HELLGATE: LONDON combines the depth of role-playing games and the action of first-person shooter titles, while offering infinite playability with dynamically generated levels, items, enemies and events. The player creates a heroic character, completes quests, and battles through innumerable hordes of demons to advance through experience levels and branching skill paths. A robust, flexible skill and spell system, highly customizable appearances, and a massive variety of randomly generated equipment allow players to create their own unique hero.
HELLGATE: LONDON will be released in Europe on November 2nd.
For more information about the game please visit www.hellgatelondon.com .
* Some subscription features will be available only after the release of HELLGATE: LONDON.
Thursday - August 16, 2007
Hellgate London - Buy bling, get beta
Continuing that fine gaming tradition of offering beta places for $$, you can grab a place in Hellgate: London's testing in return for buying one of their WETA statue thingies.
Thursday - August 09, 2007
Hellgate London - Video Interview @ Gamereactor
A site called Gamereactor has a video interview on Hellgate: London with the omnipresent Bill Roper made during E3.
Wednesday - August 08, 2007
Hellgate London - Collector's Edition Contents
Sol Invictus from Hellgate Guru dropped us a line about the contents of the Hellgate: London Collector's Edition -
We have just received confirmation on the contents of Collector’s Edition of Hellgate: London. Behold!
- Special Packaging and Art Design
- Hellgate: London Game 2 DVDs
- Bonus Disc containing:
- “Making of Hellgate: London”
- Official Game Soundtrack
- Hellgate: London Map Poster
- 106 page Dark Horse Graphic Novel
- Unique in-game pet – Mantawraith
Monday - August 06, 2007
Hellgate London - Hitting in October/November
The release date for Hellgate: London has been set at October 31st for NA and November 2nd in Europe - here is the full announcement courtesy of Blue's:
EA AND NAMCO BANDAI GAMES ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER 2nd RELEASE DATE FOR HELLGATE: LONDON The Next Benchmark in Action Role Playing Games will Start Lighting Up PCs this Halloween Chertsey, UK. – August 6, 2007 – Get ready to hack, slash, and shoot your way through a demon-infested London this Halloween! Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. today announced that Hellgate™: London, the premier title from Flagship Studios, will start hitting retail stores in North America on October 31, 2007 and in Europe on November 2, 2007 for the PC. Hellgate: London represents the next leap in the evolution of the action RPG genre, combining the depth and addictive gameplay of traditional RPGs with the visceral action of first-person shooters.
“We wanted to hit the sweet-spot for release in terms of the development schedule and delivering the highest-quality game to our players,” said Bill Roper, CEO of Flagship Studios. “Halloween was the perfect fit as it ensures that Hellgate: London will have an appropriate amount of beta testing, while also being an incredibly fun time to unleash the game.”
One of the most anticipated PC games and RPGs of the year, Hellgate: London offers infinite re-playability with dynamically generated levels, items, enemies and events. The player creates a heroic character, completes quests, and battles through an innumerable amount of demons to advance through a deep, rich story-driven campaign. A robust, flexible skill and spell system, highly customizable appearances, and a massive variety of randomly generated equipment allow each player to create his or her own unique hero.
While some may prefer to slay demons solo, players will also be able to take the fight online*, teaming up with friends to save London in a secure, client-server environment and playing through the entire story-driven campaign for free. For those players who want to extend their Hellgate: London experience, Flagship is offering an optional subscription service which will give players access to huge amounts of content on an ongoing basis in the form of quests, character classes, demons, items, etc. More details about Hellgate: London’s online options are coming soon.
The game has not yet been rated by the ESRB, PEGI or BBFC. Visit www.esrb.org, www.pegionline.eu or www.bbfc.co.uk for updated rating information. For more information about Hellgate: London, log onto www.electronicarts.co.uk or the game’s official website at www.hellgatelondon.com.
* Internet connection required.
You can also grab a new trailer with 2:29 of footage at Gamer's Hell.
Wednesday - August 01, 2007
Hellgate London - Preview @ ActionTrip
ActionTrip serves up a preview of Hellgate: London from their E3 viewing:
During the main campaign, there's a set of interesting tasks to complete. One of these missions, entitled The Mind of 314, centers on a particular character referred to as 314 (actually, his real name is Lucius Aldin). In any case, your job is to get into the mind of 314 to deal with the character's ego. At the outset, your avatar must make his way via the synapses of the brain, most of which is heavily guarded by numerous spectral creatures. The goal is to reach the center of the brain. Of course, the task ahead won't be simple. First you have to defeat the ego of 314, after which it splits into three smaller egos. These three new enemies actually represent the spectral versions of the game's three primary classes - the Templar, the Hunter and the Cabalist. Challenging each of these denotes a different line of tactics.
Sunday - July 29, 2007
Hellgate London - Coop Hands-On @ GameSpy
Coop lovers will enjoy GameSpy's look at that mode in Hellgate: London, with three editors each relating their hands-on experiences:
I could've played Hellgate: London all week if they'd let me. Typically, dungeon-crawlers aren't my style, but playing as a Marksman made the entire experience a whole ton of fun. I was able to have an experience that felt very much like an FPS while still leveling up, choosing new abilities, and modding my weapons. I think it says a lot about a game when a big first-person shooter fan like me is able to sit down with it and have a great time while Gabe and Patrick were able to have completely different experiences playing as a Summoner and Guardian.
Friday - July 27, 2007
Hellgate London - Preorder and Beta Waiting List
Hellgate Resistance has a preorder and beta waiting list form that can be filled out. You'll need to give them an email address, although there are few details of how the list works, saying only that "Beta test invitations will be sent via email to selected members of the waiting list." The site is run by the South East Asian distie.
Thanks, Dark Savant.
Wednesday - July 25, 2007
Hellgate London - Hunters @ IGN
The Hunter faction is the subject of a new Hellgate: London article at IGN, with descriptions, screens and video of the Marksman and Engineer classes:
Made for the self-reliant, independent badass, the Marksman class can handle a fight, loves his or her rifle, and doesn't need help from anybody. A steady hand, focused eye, and tactical mind are all that's required to survive with this shooter-oriented class.
The Marksman's arsenal stretches as wide as the broadest plain. Two-handed heavy assault rifles, one-handed machine pistols, myriad rocket launchers, fire blasting pistols...but that's just the start! Don't forget the electricity lasers, poison spewing hoses, flamethrowers, and-just for kicks-we'll throw in two pieces of weaponry that put the boring old chainsaw to shame: One is a handy melee cutter and the other launches circular-saw blades at high velocity. That's not everything, but the Internet's only so big.
Saturday - July 21, 2007
Hellgate London - E3 Trailer @ GameSpot
I assume this E3 trailer that Flagship is pointing out is new because of the over-the-top hype. Here is their announcement, which apparently has a connection to homeland security:
Howdy again! Before I get going, let me start by saying… go to www.gamespot.com TODAY at roughly 6:00 PM Pacific time! They will be airing the official Hellgate: London E3 trailer exclusively to this place we call Planet Earth. Cut by Brennan Ieyoub, our expert video slave, this trailer will change the Homeland Security alert in your pants to brown. You will say wow.
Thursday - July 19, 2007
Hellgate London - Subscriptions Q&A @ CVG
A handful of Bill Roper quotes form a short article-format interview of sorts at CVG on Hellgate: London. Sounds like they're still battling negative impressions:
Flagship Studios boss Bill Roper is adamant the developer isn't ripping people off with the subscription-based access to Hellgate: London online multiplayer.
"We wanted to have the best of both worlds: to give people the free experience they're expecting, because this is from the Diablo team, but at the same time to provide continuing content," Roper told PC Zone magazine before discussing exactly what players will get for their $9.99 a month.
Monday - July 16, 2007
Hellgate London - Preview @ Shacknews
Shacknews has a preview of Hellgate: London, with input from Flagship's Tyler Thompson:
One of these evolutions addresses the problem of markedly rewarding players for their personal achievements, rather than leaving rewards as random draws amongst group members. When a monster dies, you only see an item drop that is specifically attached to your character. No other players in your group sees this item, and they all can receive different drops depending on their class and level. "We're not going to shove it in your face all the time," Thompson remarked, referring to the frustrating experience of finding loot that your character can't use in other games.
Friday - July 13, 2007
Hellgate London - E3 Preview @ IGN
IGN joins most of the other majors with a preview of Hellgate: London -
One of these missions really was crazy. In fact, it was about diving into the neural synapses of a crazy engineer named 314. The Mind of 314 charges players to dive in and bring the wayward engineer out of his doldrums and into his pool of happiness. Yes, very loony, but it definitely adds character in a world overtaken by demons. The mission takes players into the mind where they'll have to battle their way through a bunch of enemies, including some invisible ones, to fight the boss of the area, the Ego of 314.
Thursday - July 12, 2007
Hellgate London - E3 Previews @ Games Radar, GameSpy, GameZone
I think we'll just go straight for a list of these Hellgate: London impressions:
...and a quote from GameSpy:
Next we decided to check out the Blademaster to get a feel for how differently the game plays when using different classes. With the Blademaster we plowed straight into mobs of enemies, a blade in each hand, dealing out death like a spinning whirlwind of razorblades. When using the Blademaster it's tempting to play this game like a typical hack 'n slash action title, but doing so will get you killed very quickly. We had to remind ourselves to use healing items, execute special attacks by clicking on their respective icons, and change up our weapons to maximize our damage. The experience was very similar to playing as a melee-centric Diablo II character and completely different from what it's like to play as an Engineer.
Then we got yet another wholly different gameplay experience by checking out the Marksman. While we played in third-person when using the Engineer and the Blademaster, we opted to use the first-person view for the Marksman. Like the name implies, the Marksman is all about using ranged attacks and plays very much like a first-person shooter. There is no area-specific damage, so headshots and such don't count. Stats play a key role in how much damage you dish out. This helps keep Hellgate: London from being a straight-up shooter. All the classes can have quicksets of pre-configured weapon load outs so that that you can shift your setup on the fly and tailor your weaponry to the situation at hand with the touch of a button.
Wednesday - July 11, 2007
Hellgate London - E3 Screens & Trailer
Tuesday - July 03, 2007
Hellgate London - Update @ Official Site
The Hellgate: London site has a news roundup, with word of E3 just around the corner, comments on their recent trailer release and the novelisation of the game:
As you may or may not know, what was once the mecca of all that is videogames, E3, is only a week away. While the grand scope of the Los Angeles Convention Center is now gone, word is that this year’s E3 is the biggest and busiest yet – only now it takes place in a multitude of hotels and other arbitrary buildings. Of course, Hellgate: London will be there in full force, with new levels, a new E3 trailer, and perhaps more... If you’re coming, look for me (that’s Kaiser) or Tyler around the Hellgate: London booth.
Friday - June 29, 2007
Hellgate London - Interview @ Gamasutra
Bill Roper has popped up at Gamasutra, discussing Hellgate: London (and Mythos) and the subscription model:
Has the reaction to the Hellgate: London revenue generation model been a surprise?
Somewhat, but that is mainly because – like the game itself – the model doesn’t fit neatly into a prescribed paradigm. We’re offering an amazing amount of value with Hellgate: London. Much more, in fact, than we did with the Diablo games. For the price of a single-player game, you also get a free secure online experience with many more features than we offered with Battle.net. Not only do you get to play the game with your friends for free, but we have guilds, auction houses, and a host of community and game play features we’ve never offered in the past.
Unfortunately, I think some people believed they were somehow getting a lesser experience than subscribers out of the box, and that simply isn’t true. The subscription model is there for players who want more and are interested in enjoying a steady stream of continuing content. Our intention is always to over-deliver to our players, and with a subscription model we can constantly keep developers on the game and provide the long-term experience that they’ve shown us they want.
Sunday - June 24, 2007
Hellgate London - Q&A @ IncGamers
IncGamers has translated a Korean interview on Hellgate: London, with the article obviously aimed at the Korean audience:
GameMeca: ‘Hellgate’ has reached the finishing stages of development. Are there any new projects while the completion of ‘Hellgate’ is in progress?
Hyung: Right now there is some lively discussion about an expansion pack for ‘Hellgate’. I cannot exactly give any details on the setting for the expansion pack. But what I can say is that an Asia setting is in consideration, and that the setting can take place in not just one city, but in multiple cities.
Wednesday - June 20, 2007
Hellgate London - Cabalist Faction @ IGN
IGN has a feature on the magic-using Cabalist faction in Hellgate: London, with a short summary of the Evoker and Summoner along with HD videos:
The Evoker is the most badass class in all of Hellgate! Sure, we don't get the flashy sword-swinging moves of the Blademaster or the pinpoint precision of the Marksman, but there's nothing like calling down flaming death from the heavens or shooting giant balls of spectral energy. It's a powerful feeling to send the demons back into the Abyss using their own magic against them.
Friday - June 15, 2007
Hellgate London - Screens @ VoodooExtreme
Head to VoodooExtreme for a large gallery of new Hellgate London screens.
Friday - June 08, 2007
Hellgate London - Gameplay Movie
Blue's is pointing out a Hellgate: London movie that apparently shows off all six classes. The clip originated with a Korean site but a mirror is up at Filefront.
Hellgate London - Preview @ IncGamers
A hands-on preview of Hellgate: London is up at IncGamers based on a recent event:
How the game handled quests and areas and respawning had been changed and improved since last year. Previously, quest monsters only appeared if you had received the quest. You could clear out an area, return to town, get a quest to kill a monster in that area, and return to find dozens of corpses, and the one quest monster standing alone amidst your handiwork. This doesn't happen anymore, and now when you clear an area and then go back for a quest, the area has completely or largely respawned. The respawn happens with the monster type you need for the quest, logically enough.
Thursday - June 07, 2007
Hellgate London - Interview #1 @ PlayHG
A second item out of the recent Asia Launching Party, PlayHG has the first part of an interview on Hellgate: London. The questions seem to centre around comparisons with their other title Mythos (lead by Travis Baldree) and competitive play:
How will balancing be handled in Hellgate: London?
Bill: Well, the balancing across the classes, we really are striving to have the different factions and the classes in the factions to all play fairly differently. So that when you are making a choice to what class you are playing, you are getting a very different game play feel out of it.
Obviously, the hardest thing in an RPG is balancing, because you want to make sure that each character has its own flavour, has its own feel and it plays a certain way. But at the same time, you don’t want one to be actually be just a class fit, but I think we are doing very well in that aspect. The balancing process is ongoing and we will get a lot of balancing out from our alpha and beta test, as we see people come out with ideas we have never thought of, different ways to combine skills and armour and weapons.
Wednesday - June 06, 2007
Hellgate London - Future Support @ Hellgate Guru
Sol Invictus from Hellgate Guru wrote in to tell us about new info on Flagship's plans for future support, courtesy of a recent Asian launch party. Head here for their full post but here's a sample:
The first four Ongoing Patches include:
Special server types and game modes, like “Hardcore”, “PVP’, and “Role-play”
Expanded Guild support, like guild housing and shared guild stash
Auction House access and expanded social support, like in-game email and out of game character access
Class based “epic” quests for “ultimate” equipment
Expanded group management, like auto-group matchmaking
Armor Mod system
Usable stationary Turrets
New Armor Sets
New individual pieces of armor
New Tile Sets
New Character Classes
Monday - June 04, 2007
Hellgate London - Screens @ Worthplaying
Sixteen Hellgate: London screens are on offer at Worthplaying.
Monday - May 28, 2007
Hellgate London - Heading Xbox 360?
Well, it's quiet because of the holiday in the US of course, so here's some padded news. From the "boy, that was predictable" department comes rumours that Hellgate: London is headed to the Xbox 360. Head to Kotaku for full the story. Surprise!
Saturday - May 26, 2007
Hellgate London - Templar Faction @ IGN
The Blademaster and Guardian classes from Hellgate: London's Templar Faction have been briefly previewed at IGN by a Flagship sound designer and artist. You'll also find some HD video action. Here's a snip:
When I play Diablo II, my favorite character to use is the Barbarian. I'm reckless and I need to be using the type of character that can take damage. More importantly, I need someone who can dish out tons of damage as well.
The Blademaster is a member of the Templar faction, and the class's primary gameplay function is to deal large amounts of damage quickly. Like Diablo II's Barbarian, the Blademaster appeals to my play style more than any other class because I prefer to charge directly into groups of enemies instead of taking shots from a distance. I have little concern for my own safety and just want to kill monsters as quickly as I can regardless of how much damage I receive as a result. Lucky for me, the Blademaster can wear some of the toughest armor in the game.
Thursday - May 24, 2007
Hellgate London - Screens & Trailer @ Worthplaying
Worthplaying has 10 new screens and a 50Mb trailer for Flagship's Hellgate: London.
Hellgate London - Interview @ Play.tm
The ubiquitous Bill Roper has been interviewed at Play.tm on Hellgate: London. Here's an excerpt:
Hellgate is being compared to Diablo a lot. What does it owe to this title, and where does it significantly depart aside from the POV?
We want all of the fans of Diablo to feel right at home within Hellgate: London, but also be experiencing some great new twists, turns and innovations. We're doing a much better job of immersing the player in the world, telling stories and making the character a central figure in the tale. There are more game play mechanics that we can explore because of the ability to play the game from both the first and third person perspectives. And, of course, being in 3D with true physics lets us do some very fun things that we weren't able to achieve in Diablo II.
Wednesday - May 16, 2007
Hellgate London - Community Day Report @ IncGamers
IncGamers has a report on a Community Day event for Flagship Studios where they viewed Hellgate London:
I can't talk about my play time just yet, but I can mention some of the good stuff from the presentation. The biggest chunk of info came mostly from Tyler, as he loaded up a character from each class on the projector display and took us through their skill menus. Tyler touched on every skill and the basic design concepts of each character, with some info about how they've changed over time, how they're being balanced, what's been modified recently, and more. It was really a good presentation, and without giving any specific details, I can say that every class has 26 or 27 skills, and that Flagship seems pretty well set on those skills and their purpose. Values remain to be tweaked, but the play style and basic layout and functions are pretty well finalized.
They also have some new screens here.
Thursday - May 10, 2007
Hellgate London - Bill Roper Letter @ Hellgate Guru
Bill Roper is obviously feeling a little pressure over the Hellgate: London subscription model and has penned an open letter explaining "Another way of thinking of this would be that we’re delivering smaller expansions over time rather than having players wait a year or more before they finally get something new". Here's the intro from Hellgate Guru:
When we first started talking about Hellgate: London, there were a lot of interpretations about exactly what kind of game it was that we were making. Our online plans are as ambitious and exciting as the game itself, so I wanted to spend a few minutes talking directly to our fans about this very important topic.
Thanks, Sol Invictus!
Hellgate London - Paying for Hellgate @ GameSpy
GameSpy has been quick to grab Bill Roper and throw him some questions about Hellgate: London's pay model:
GameSpy: So did you always plan to have a subscription model, or is this a response to the popularity of modern MMOs?
Bill Roper: We always knew. We might not have had every specific element planned out, but we knew from day one that we'd be doing continual content. I think the challenge for us is we knew we wanted to do both things. We knew we wanted a way to support doing continual content, and it was also equally important for us to have a way for players to play for free, because there was that expectation. How people say, "Well, you're the Diablo guys, so it's free, right?" So yes, we needed to do that. But at the same time, even at Blizzard, we couldn't just crank out continuing content and have the whole team on that without some way of sustaining it. We had to find a way to do both of those that people find exciting, and also be manageable and reasonable from a cost standpoint. That's what took us two years to figure out. But absolutely, the goal and intention was there from day one.
Wednesday - May 09, 2007
Hellgate London - Subscription Details @ Hellgate Guru
Well, Flagship's exact plans for Hellgate: London's multiplayer have finally been released. As promised, multiplayer will be free to play but there will be an optional Elite subscription for $9.95 / month offering support, no server queues, special items, housing, transport options and all sorts of other typical MMO stuff.
Thanks to Hellgate Guru for the info, which they in turn came from Games for Windows magazine. Head here for their detailed summary and here for a discussion on their forums with responses from Flagship community manager Kaiser Hwang.
Saturday - April 28, 2007
Hellgate London - Coverage Concludes @ 1Up
1Up's week-long special coverage of Hellgate: London has concluded with articles on the equipment and loot, another Diablo retropective and a giant Bill Roper and David Brevik interview:
1UP: Obviously, we don't want to blow the story so we're not going to go too far into the actual story arc itself, but if you're comparing the games you guys did before, back on the Diablo series, and how the story arc on that went versus the story arc here -- what's the weighting? How much of this is central plotline stuff, how much side plot stuff, [and] what are some of the highlights we have to look forward to?
DB: This is much more of a true RPG than we've ever done. There's way more story and way more story quests than we've ever done before. The overarching storyline I think in Diablo I was maybe four, six quests or something like that. So it was extremely simple. And there were some side quests or whatever. There was maybe half a dozen or something in the first game. In the second game we had a few acts and we had maybe six quests or eight quests -- I can't remember -- associated with each act, and some of them were story-centric and some of them were side-questy. This time it's much, much bigger. We're talking hundreds of quests, so I think we've done a lot to really kind of expand that. The storyline quests are very involved; there's all sorts of unique things that come up.
One of the things that I like the most about doing storyline quests and doing quests in general is that I like to try and change up the gameplay a little for short amounts of time. I think that those really add a lot of flavor to the game and add new experiences. You're able to use your skills in different ways than you normally would. There's the normal gameplay of "I'm going through and I'm shooting monsters and collecting treasure and leveling up and doing all those kinda fun things," but then it's like, "Ooh, I'm going to throw a little wrench in it" and the gameplay's just a little bit different for five or 10 minutes and it's like, "Hey, that was kind of interesting; I got to use skills that I normally wouldn't use or I got to do something that is a lot different than what I've done before." And that kind of keeps it fresh and it's new and it's a little twist and it's kinda fun. And then you get to move on and go back to collecting.
I mean, you're going to be killing monsters and going up levels and collecting treasure and all that anyway while you're doing these little twists in the gameplay, but you get to go back to the bread and butter of what we have.
Wednesday - April 25, 2007
Hellgate London - Coverage Continued @ 1Up
1Up's week-long coverage of Hellgate: London continues with a look back at Diablo and an article on the Flagship team (plus we missed Monday's coverage of the graphics and music). Hit the link to go to their index of these articles and here's a sample:
Looking back, it's easy to see what Diablo did right. It took the speed and instant gratification of an action game and melded it with the depth and long-term goals of an RPG. Then it threw in randomized levels and items to keep the replayability cranked. Hell, the prefix/suffix system of random magic item attributes bled over into just about everything since. Nowadays, you can loot a Godly Knickers of the Squirrel in freaking Minesweeper.
Hellgate London - Hands On #1 @ 1Up
The first of a five-day series, 1Up has a three page hands-on preview dealie for Hellgate London:
Starting the process from scratch gave us a good sense for all the potential paths the multilayered character development system presents. Like many RPGs, you allocate points to primary attributes that define your basic physical abilities. Hellgate's system puts a little twist on how these relate in the game. Rather than just comparing to your stat to see if you're able to wield a weapon or cast a spell, each stat supplies a pool of points from which everything that relies on that attribute draws. So, for instance, to equip the set of armor we wanted to start with, we had to be sure to plug enough points into strength to feed the cumulative consumption for all the pieces. This setup forces some tough decisions on where to spend points, but makes it easy to see exactly what you're getting as you spread them around.
Wednesday - April 18, 2007
Hellgate London - New Screens
The Unofficial Hellgate Forums has three new Hellgate: London screens from a Microsoft DX10 promo release.
Wednesday - April 11, 2007
Hellgate London - New Screens
The Unofficial Hellgate: London forums have three new screens on offer.
Wednesday - April 04, 2007
Hellgate London - Massive Black Art Interview
I've filed this under Hellgate: London but it was actually Fallout 3 that caught my eye. Art site CGSociety has an interview-cum-profile with Jason Manley (Baldur's Gate II, Vampire: Bloodlines) on his company Massive Black, which is now the largest independent concept art studio in the world. Their "break" was working on Flagship's Hellgate: London but at the very end, they mention Fallout 3 as a current project. There's absolutely no other information at all but it might be worth a read for anyone interested in the art side of the games business:
With 18 artists now working with Massive Black, and Hellgate underway, it became clear that the dream of working as a remote-based company wasn’t happening. “Working as a remote-based company is great only until you get a giant job,” says Manley. “Just try to manage a few thousand pieces of concept work and 300 models and textures and 300 or 4,000 animations using conversations on IM. It doesn’t work and it wasn’t going to.” In addition to Hellgate, the team was also working on projects for id software, Sony, Nike, Blizzard, Activision, and others.
Hellgate London - Preview @ Play.tm
Play.tm has a preview of Hellgate: London and here's the opening:
Opening soon in a major city near you - Hellgate: London. For anyone who has not yet caught the trailers doing the post E3 rounds, this is the next big thing in the RPG field and the long awaited fix for all the Diablo junkies who never kicked the habit.
For an indication of how popular Diablo II: Lords of Destruction still is, and how much Blizzard's RPG masterpiece is still played - despite being released back in June 2001 - it remains the 7th most requested game on Gamefaqs.com. Obviously a new title will want to make its own distinctive mark, but fans can't help but be excited by this games progenitors and pedigree.
Tuesday - March 20, 2007
Hellgate London - Interview @ Joerg Spielt
There's a new interview up at a site called Joerg Spielt with Bill Roper, formerly of Blizzard and now heading up the development of Hellgate: London. He discusses many issues including why he left Blizzard and what similarities there are between Diablo and this latest work. Here's a small snip:
Joerg: When critics say that Hellgate is just another Diablo clone with different graphics and a different szenario – what is your answer, apart from perhaps hitting them?
Bill Roper: It’s okay if people compare what we’re doing at the core with Diablo – Diablo is a fantastic game. A lot of the core gameplay concepts are definitely part of what Hellgate is. The massive amounts of randomization, tons of loot, collectability, rarity levels. So in this respect, we are very happy with comparisons. Beyond that, we’re doing so much more that it’s difficult to even quantify it. We’ve added the concept of randomizing to almost every single aspect in the game. This allows us to increase the enjoyability of the game, and to add more and more and more content after the game is released. We’ve actually added randomization to rarity locations the game uses to create your game level. For example, you might have been various times to the Underground tubes beneath London. But this time you’re going through, you find an access code which opens a doorway which you never have seen before. And later, when you continue through the level, you find a boss monster which drops a key card which opens that doorway. You go through and find a mini dungeon which has a special reward in it.
edit: The interviewer, Joerg Langer, is the former long-time editor in chief of Germany´s leading print mag Gamestar.
Sunday - March 18, 2007
Hellgate London - Know Your Devs @ Hellgate Guru
Hellgate: London fansite Hellgate Guru has a pair of dev profile interviews:
As a part of our new on-going series of interviews, “Know Your Devs”, Krazy Kaution of Hellgate Guru has published interviews with two members of Flagship Studios, Brent Shinn and Brennan Ieyoub. Brent is the IT manager at Flagship Studios, and Brennan is Hellgate: London’s new video editor and community manager for Flagship Studios.
Saturday - March 10, 2007
Hellgate London - GDC Preview @ Games Radar
Games Radar has kicked up one of their short screenshot-heavy previews for Hellgate: London from GDC:
Any doubts about whether or not Hellgate can pull off its attempt to marry RPG and FPS elements were put to rest when we saw the Guardian's skills in action. We were most impressed with the way various skills could be strung together for powerful combinations without ever looking like the "click and wait" combat we're used to in MMOs and dungeon crawlers.
Friday - March 09, 2007
Hellgate London - GDC Previews @ 1Up, GameSpot, GameSpy, IGN
A bunch of GDC previews for Hellgate: London have hit the 'net, so let's just list them:
Flagship's GDC presentation has apparently revealed two subclasses for the Templar faction, so read on for a snip from GameSpot's coverage of the Guardian and Blade Master:
The blademaster is an offensive specialist, with skills designed to get him in the middle of a fight quickly and, once there, unleash a huge amount of damage quickly to multiple opponents. The guardian is more of the traditional "tank" class, heavily armored and capable of absorbing lots of damage. When you create a templar in the game, you'll be given a choice between the two up front, and Flagship hopes that by doing that, it'll avoid a lot of the frustration found in role-playing games. For instance, often in an RPG you'll create a character and select a lot of cool-sounding skills, but when you get halfway through the game, you realize that you chose the wrong skills for your preferred style of play.
Friday - March 02, 2007
Hellgate London - Games Radar
Also at Games Radar is a preview of Hellgate: London that kicks off with the same leg anecdote as the last article we linked:
If there was any doubt that Hellgate: London will be dark in both its setting and its offbeat humor, it’s lost as soon as you begin playing. The search for a kid’s missing appendage took me from Covent Garden tube station, through randomly generated tube tunnels and desolate London streets, on to a final encounter with a 15ft hulking mass of flesh. Exactly why he'd jack the leg of a kid remains a mystery to us, but Lil’ Timmy promised he’d give me the stump of wood (an entry-level melee weapon) he was using as a replacement leg upon returning his prosthetic.
Wednesday - February 28, 2007
Hellgate London - Preview @ CVG
A hands-on look at Hellgate: London is up at CVG. Here's a taste:
If there was any doubt that Hellgate: London will be dark in both its setting and its offbeat humour, it's lost as soon as you begin playing. The search for the kid's missing appendage took me from Covent Garden tube station, through randomly generated tube tunnels and desolate London streets, on to a final encounter with a 15ft hulking mass of flesh.
Thursday - February 22, 2007
Hellgate London - Interview @ ActionTrip
ActionTrip has interviewed Bill Roper about Hellgate: London. Here's a bit on character classes:
ActionTrip: Combining melee and ranged weapons appears to be the core of gameplay. Give us a few examples you've come up with, when it comes to various weapon combos.
Bill Roper: The combination of ranged and melee weapons isn't really the core gameplay, but I can see why it would look that way based on some of the public shows we've done. Every faction (Templar / Hunter / Cabalist) has very different play mechanics. The Templar are chiefly melee specialists and, while they can use some supporting ranged weapons, these tend to be short-ranged devices that don't stand on their own as main armaments. The Hunters layer an FPS mechanic over the core action-RPGness of Hellgate: London, using aiming and range to deal their damage. The Cabalist are spellcasters that do everything from blast away to summon demons to fight in their stead. There is really something for everyone in terms of play style!
Wednesday - February 21, 2007
Hellgate London - First View @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault has slapped up one of their brief First Views for Flagship's Hellgate: London. Here's the "Reservations" paragraph:
The range of areas we've seen so far has been somewhat limited, so it's not particularly clear how diverse the overall gameworld will be. We don't know all that much detail about some rather significant elements like the skill system. The announced release timing, this summer, represents a fairly sizable window; this feeling is reinforced by our not knowing where plans for beta currently stand.
Tuesday - February 13, 2007
Hellgate London - Preview @ GameShark
GameShark has a preview of Flagship's Hellgate: London on offer. Here's an excerpt:
Blending traditional role-playing elements and fast-paced action, Hellgate: London plays much like a spiritual successor to Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo. Lead Designer Bill Roper describes the game as an evolution of action role-playing. At the core of Hellgate: London, he explains, are the concepts of randomization, rarity, and customization. Across both the single and multiplayer modes, randomization dictates everything from the layout of levels to the number of enemies that populate an area to what kinds of items they drop when defeated. As we explored the Dried Thames Riverbed, Roper drew our attention to elements within the level that had been randomly generated—demons, items, and even a trap door leading to a rare side quest. While we’re concerned that randomization may prove frustrating since levels will constantly be changing and enemies always respawning, Hellgate: London appears to use this to create an effervescent gameplay experience that is always new, different.
Monday - February 05, 2007
Hellgate London - Screens @ Official Site
Flagship has kicked up three new screens for Hellgate: London -
The screens are toward the bottom of the page. They're titled: Street Sweeper, Sit Doggy and Crypt Keeper. Environments on display include variations of Hellgate's crypt and flaming surface themes. And yes, the dread flaming surface is an environment type.
Enemies in the screenshots include a friendly Zombie, a simply wonderful Reaper and an absolutely charming Stalker that accidentally got its beautifully face smashed in by a clumsy Templar on the go.
Friday - February 02, 2007
Hellgate London - Interview @ FiringSquad
Bill Roper's latest appearance is an interview at FiringSquad on Hellgate: London:
FiringSquad: How hard is it to develop a game that has so much content as well as having randomly generated environments?
Bill Roper: Creating dynamically generated levels is very difficult, and the greatest compliment we get is when people tell us they don’t look random. There is a massive amount of planning and work that goes into the algorithms that drive the level creation, as well as the way that background artwork needs to be constructed and divided. On top of this foundation we layer props that differentiate the layouts even more. So while we do create a large amount of content, we then get an impressive amount of variations that are both crafted and random all at the same time.
Tuesday - January 30, 2007
Hellgate London - Interview @ eToychest
The ubiquitous Bill Roper has popped up at eToychest for an interview on Hellgate: London. The article has some good questions, although many of the answers are rather general. Here's a bit on the single-player game:
With all the hubbub surrounding the game's multiplayer, it seems as if the single player game has been lost in the shuffle. So if a player isn't interested in taking the game online, will there be enough content to make it worth his or her while?
Definitely! This has always been a key part of our design. We know that not everyone has the ability or desire to play with others or online. Just as with the Diablo series, we’ve created a complete single player experience whose longevity of game play benefits from all of the randomization, rarity and customization you’d expect from us.
There will easily be enough game play and - most importantly – replayability there for those who are most interested in the single-player experience.
Saturday - January 27, 2007
Hellgate London - Preview @ CVG
Flagship's Hellgate: London has been previewed at British site CVG in short article covering known territory. Here's a taste:
So Hellgate is a full 3D, first-person RPG experience, but don't use Dark Messiah as a reference point. DM boiled down the RPG aspect in favour of more classic-feeling FPS action, and Hellgate is proud of its roots. Think System Shock 2, Diablo II, hell, think Deus Ex too. For RPG nuts, there's that pleasing emphasis on items, equipment upgrading and stats. Not only whether you're using the right weapon - but of the thousands of possible weapon combinations and enhancements that get spewed out by the game, is yours any cop?
Your choice is to become a pious church-sponsored warrior (Templar) or an opportunistic knowledge-hunting spellcaster (Cabalist), each with their own preferred methods of despatching the demonic hordes. Templars have a large range of combat and stats buffs; Cabalists can control and mimic the enemy - to the point of stealing their limbs - as well as conjuring traditional energy blasts.
They forgot the Hunter class.
Friday - January 19, 2007
Hellgate London - Xbox 360 Version Hints
In an interview with Next Gen, Namco Bandai's Director of Business Zach Karlsson has hinted at a future Xbox 360 version of Hellgate: London -
This year NamcoBandai has Hellgate: London, a PC RPG cum, shooter that it is co-publishing that with EA. Given the company’s newfound penchant for cross-platform development, I ask if an Xbox 360 version is likely. Karlsson won’t confirm it, but he admits that it’s highly unlikely that such a notion is far from the company’s planning calendar.
Thursday - January 18, 2007
Hellgate London - Peek #9 @ RPG Vault
Bill Roper has penned RPG Vault's latest Hellgate: London Peek, writing about the technology and the team. It seems Flagship is the real baby Blizzard:
We have 41 people in Flagship Studios, and of that number, 18 of us worked at Blizzard North on the Diablo titles. Three of our founders - Dave Brevik, Erich Schaefer and Max Schaefer - were the original creators of the Diablo games. We also have a lot of other folks on the team who have worked on everything from RPG to FPS to RTS to slot machines - each bringing their particular expertise to the table.
Hellgate London - Bill Roper Interview @ Gamespot
Gamespot is featuring an interview with Flagship Studios CEO and Founder Bill Roper. The interview focuses on the recent flap about MMO-style charges rumored to be coming down the pipe:
GameSpot: What are the plans for the multiplayer component of Hellgate: London? Will there be free multiplayer gameplay? Are there plans for some kind of subscription content? If so, what would be the difference between free and subscription multiplayer?
Bill Roper: We have always had the intention of providing rich, robust, massively multiplayer online gaming experiences for our players. This means that we will be providing everything from a secure client/server infrastructure to 24/7 customer support to maintaining a complete live team to provide not only balance and bug fixes, but more importantly, continuing, ongoing content updates to the game. And while we are still finalizing the commercial and game aspects of our online plans, we can tell players that there will definitely be significant free online play.
GS: Regardless of the multiplayer situation, you will be able to play Hellgate: London entirely as a single-player game, correct?
BR: Of course! This has never changed and has always been a key part of our design. We know that not everyone has the ability or desire to play with others or online. Just as with the Diablo series, we have created a complete single-player experience whose longevity of gameplay benefits from all of the randomization, rarity, and customization you'd expect from us.
Friday - January 12, 2007
Hellgate London - More Clarification on MP Pay-to-Play @ HG London
Over at HGLondon.net , Flagship Studios co-founder Max Schaefer posted a bit about the information and misinformation that has been communicated lately about Hellgate London and an MMO-type fee structure:
Hello,We'll keep you posted on further developments.
It's time to start participating in forums again! I used to participate all the time back when I worked at Blizzard, but haven't since we started Flagship.
Now that we're getting closer to shipping, and now that there's lots of information (and misinformation) out there, it's time I start getting familiar with our community again and communicating our message of love and happiness.
Obviously the topic of the day is the news from CES, and the controversy on pay models. We want the best of both worlds: free play for both single- and multi-player, AND an ongoing revenue model to fund the expansion of our world through ongoing content - something we never were able to do with the Diablo series at Blizzard. Exactly how we get there is the subject of ongoing discussion, but rest assured we're committed to significant free online multi-player play!
Anyway, this is a subject that will continue to be discussed and quoted and misquoted as we go. In the meantime, greetings to everyone, and I hope we are able to fulfill your expectations for Hellgate: London!
C.O.O. and co-founder, Flagship Studios
Thursday - January 11, 2007
Hellgate London - Peek #8 @ RPG Vault
Yes, the assault continues. RPG Vault has posted their eighth Hellgate: London Peek, this time looking at multiplayer:
Multiplayer has many, many things that are not present in the single-player version of the game. Aside form the customer support and secured client / server structure, there are guilds and groups for community, the auction house and Station structure for economy, additional weapons, armor, demons, modes of play, areas to adventure within and the direct cooperation and competition with millions of other gamers round the world.
Hellgate London - Preview @ FiringSquad
FiringSquad is the latest site to kick up a Hellgate: London preview from CES 07:
Combat is in real time, not turn based and that means Hellgate London has you blowing away some really odd looking creatures in the devastated city. You have lots of giant zombie like beings coming after you along with small blizzard like creatures and an enemy that looks like a cross between...well we can't really explain it. Killing creatures can generate new loot as well as shooting objects like boxes that can reveal other items that you can keep, use or sell to get the stuff you really want. Visually the game (which uses Flagship's own graphics engine) is looking excellent and the art design is fantastic even at this early stage. Hellgate London will also support DirectX10 which means the graphics can only get better.
Hellgate London - Preview @ GameSpy
You'd be forgiven for thinking Hellgate: London is the only game in town...GameSpy has posted their CES 07 preview and here's a snip:
To start, Roper took us through the game's three classes, which have now all been publicly unveiled. The first, the Templar, is your basic hack-and-slash character, while the Cabalists are the magic-using caster class. The third is the most unique: the Hunter largely focuses on ranged weapons and engineered technology, and can largely be played from a first-person perspective, as in an FPS. We spent the majority of our demo as a Hunter, and by the time we were done, I was pretty convinced I'd be using that class upon the game's launch.
Hellgate London - Interview @ Shacknews
Shacknews follows up the Hellgate: London hubbub with an article format interview with Bill Roper:
We'll probably have some kind of detail in the next month or two as to our pricing model, but the design is both a standalone as well as an MMO, so we want to be able to hit both markets just like we did with the Diablo titles. There are a lot of people that in some instances actually can't get online, and there are also people who are online but for gaming they aren't sure if they want to make that commitment to pay the monthly fee and go online. They can get the game and play the standalone, and get 30 or 40 hours' worth of gameplay. If they like that, they can go online and we'll have a good ramp of some kind for them to go online and check out some of the services. Exactly how we handle that, whether it'll be a trial or whether they can check out some of the game for free, we're still hammering out the final details. Then beyond that it will be pay to play, and again we're about a month out from announcing more on that. But what you're getting with that service is you're getting 24/7 customer service, secure servers, databases, and the biggest thing is that you're getting continuing content. We'll have a full dev team that's on the project from day one. Actually, right when you buy the game, when it launches there will already be content available that you can't get in the single-player--additional monsters, areas, all the community and economy things, you'll be able to form guilds, auction houses, all those things you expect from MMOs.
Hellgate London - Multiplayer Confusion
The issue of subscriptions for Hellgate: London has emerged as a hot topic across the 'net, with several large sites running the topic. It seems the issue isn't actually clear-cut, although one suspects some form of fee will exist somewhere. Hellgate Guru has this interview with Community Manager Ivan Sulic:
You folks are the talk of the internet.
Lots of hubbub over some Bill quote or misquote. I haven't even been able to follow up on just what he said yet. The directors still have not finalized what exactly our online component will be. So Moses didn't have the good lord blast a $500 a month price tag into stone or whatever.
Meanwhile, GameSpy PC Chief Editor "Sluggo" mentioned on the Qt3 forums they had spoken to Bill Roper:
For the record, I talked to Roper this morning, who said they've made absolutely zero decisions or announcements on something like a subscription fee for Hellgate. He acknowledges that, once you go down the MMO path and you have customer service costs, you're going to need money to support that, but there's any of a number of models that could be used: a monthly fee, the Guild Wars model, or something else entirely.
Wednesday - January 10, 2007
Hellgate London - Screens @ Worthplaying
While you're chewing over the Hellgate: London multiplayer controversy, head over to Worthplaying for 10 new screens.
Hellgate London - Fee-based Multiplayer Confirmed @ Shacknews
Shacknews has a newsbit that confirms Hellgate: London will feature fee-based multiplayer after speaking to Bill Roper at CES:
Drawing similarities to ArenaNet's Guild Wars, Hellgate's online is heavily instanced. Group and solo PvE is the game's main focus; PvP will exist in a small scale form, but is not a major element of the initial launch. It will also feature a Hardcore mode similar to that found in Blizzard's Diablo II, a game on which many members of the Hellgate team worked. Hellgate's multiplayer will contain all of the missions and story from the single-player aspect of the game, as well as exclusive gameplay modes and content. Like the single-player game, it will be comprised of dynamically generated areas and items. Further content will be continually added over time by a dedicated Flagship team.
Flagship expects to launch an open beta prior to the launch of the game. Pricing details have not yet been determined, though Roper noted that there will be some kind of trial or free play system for those looking to get a taste of the game without commitment.
Tuesday - January 09, 2007
Hellgate London - CES 07 Updated Impressions @ GameSpot, IGN
A very short Hellgate: London impressions article from CES 07 can be found at GameSpot. The big news in the article is the freshly revealed Summer release window, although the revelation of "subscription-based multiplayer" was news to me:
Hellgate: London will let you battle an army of demonic monsters in the gutted ruins of London. Set sometime in the future, you'll be able to play as a templer, which is basically a high-tech knight; a cabalist; a spellcaster; or a gun-wielding hunter. Roper explained that the cool thing about Hellgate: London is that you can play it as a single-player game, but there will also be an option to turn it into a subscription-based multiplayer game if you want to play with others and enjoy lots of new content.
Meanwhile, IGN has a very similar short article describing the same gameplay demo:
Classes still have not been added to the game, but there were a bunch of new enemies and skills. The mission we were dropped into required us to find some poor kid's missing leg (don't worry, he has a prosthetic peg to tide him over). Finding the limb was merely a matter of blasting every moving thing in the streets to bits. Eventually we came upon an enormous, bulbous, globular beast, and once we put it to rest we found the leg in the remains.
Monday - January 08, 2007
Hellgate London - Dated
EA and Namco have announced a release window for Flagship's Hellgate: London - Summer 2007. Here's the announcement at GamesIndustry.biz:
Electronic Arts, Chertsey UK. January 8, 2007. Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. today announced a summer 2007 worldwide ship window for the highly-anticipated online action RPG Hellgate: London™, the first original PC title from premier developer Flagship Studios.
"We are all committed to making Hellgate: London absolutely the best game possible,” said Bill Roper, CEO of Flagship Studios. “The anticipation surrounding the game is immense and we are looking forward to its launch being a truly worldwide event."
Hellgate: London combines the depth of role-playing games and the action of first-person shooter titles, while offering infinite playability with dynamically generated levels, items, enemies and events. The player creates a heroic character, completes quests, and battles through innumerable hordes of demons to advance through experience levels and branching skill paths. A robust, flexible skill and spell system, highly customizable appearances, and a massive variety of randomly generated equipment allow players to create their own unique hero.
Friday - January 05, 2007
Hellgate London - Back to Business @ Official Site
The Hellgate: London site has a development update titled Back to Business that broadly outlines their current position. It seems HL is just about to enter some closed, limited external testing. Here's a quote from Bill Roper:
Things are going exceptionally well with Hellgate: London. We’ve been continuing our weekly play days, and have been increasing the starting levels of characters each session as we delve deeper and deeper into the content. Things have been moving along at such a good pace that although we anticipated starting our friends and family alpha testing at the end of 2006, we elected to continue our internal testing up until the holiday break and then give the team a couple of weeks of much-needed rest. We wanted to make sure that we could get specific game play elements in before the end of the year and that everyone had time to recharge their batteries before we move into external testing in 2007.
Thursday - January 04, 2007
Hellgate London - Ten Screens @ Gamespy
Gamespy has ten new screenshots from Hellgate: London, the upcoming action RPG from Flagship Studios.
Hellgate London - Peek #7 @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault has kicked up Hellgate London Peek #7, which looks at the three types of quests on offer in Flagship's upcoming action/RPG:
Quests are part of the overall storyline of the game, and are treated differently than anything else in it. You will always know when an NPC has a quest for you because they have an! or a ? above their heads. Quests help tell the story of the world, can change the path of your character, alter the landscape and even affect NPCs based on your choices. We want to make quests memorable experiences and have them be much more than "go here and get this many of that item."
Wednesday - January 03, 2007
Hellgate London - Screens @ VoodooExtreme
VoodooExtreme has three new screens from Flagship's Hellgate: London.
Saturday - December 30, 2006
Hellgate London - Screens @ Hanbit
Hellgate London's Chinese publisher HanbitSoft has released some new screens.
Thursday - December 21, 2006
Hellgate London - Sneak Peek #6 @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault has the sixth 'sneak peek' for Flagship Studio's upcoming action-RPG, Hellgate: London. Flagship CEO Bill Roper tells readers a bit about items and magic in this week's installment as well as treats the eyes to three new screenshots:
Weapons and armor are both very important to the long-term life expectancy of characters, and there will be ways to customize both. Clothing is a whole other matter, and in fact, we have separate slots for pants and shirts. We want to have a way for players to have "casual" wear they can kick around in when they're not out slaying Demons, and we're looking forward to making a TON of cool stuff for players to collect and wear.
Source: RPG Vault
Sunday - December 17, 2006
Hellgate London - GigaMedia To Take Hellgate Overseas
GigaMedia Limited announced in a press release yesterday that it has secured an exclusive license to offer and operate Hellgate: London in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. GigaMedia develops software for the online entertainment markets, including the global online gaming market.
Friday - December 15, 2006
Hellgate London - Sneak Peek #5 @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault has posted sneak peek #5 for your viewing pleasure. Sporting three new screenshots and a look at the combat system, Bill Roper said:
Combat is fast and furious, but is more dependent on your character's spells, skills, equipment and level than on player ability. We're making an RPG, and even though many people play from the first-person perspective, combat never really feels too twitch-oriented.
That being said, we had a great outcry from FPS players who love the idea of Hellgate: London, but want some elements that will appeal more to their personal pixel-hunting abilities. We're currently working on items and skills that take player skill more into account. This doesn't mean that a level 5 character can kill a level 20 demon just because the player is a frag-master. It does mean that a character who uses these weapons and skills is much better when used by a capable FPS player than by someone who isn't.
Source: RPG Vault
Monday - December 11, 2006
Hellgate London - Official Trailer #4 @ GameSpot
The latest streaming official movie trailer for Hellgate London is now available at GameSpot. It features fast and flashy in-game action in both first and third-person perspectives. Enjoy!
Sunday - December 10, 2006
Hellgate London - Hands-On @ GameSpot
GameSpot joins the other major sites with a preview of Hellgate: London's Hunter class and more:
The hunter's basic statistics include accuracy, concentration, willpower, and stamina, which can be increased when you gain experience levels to improve your abilities as a marksman and as a scout. The class possesses several basic skills, as well as three primary skill trees: weapons (which include skills like increased critical-hit damage and the ability to make fired shots ricochet and damage nearby enemies), devices (such as automated drones and walking turrets that follow you to provide backup fire), and stealth (including skills that let you temporarily cloak yourself or reduce your chances of being detected on the move). While the templar class is based on the ancient order of the Knights Templar, the hunter is clearly the most technologically advanced profession in the game. Hunter characters start off wearing jointed metal power armor and look for bigger and better conventional armaments, like assault rifles and submachine guns equipped with explosive incendiary rounds.
Hellgate London - 20 New Screens @ IGN
IGN has a slew of new action screenshots for Hellgate London to tide us over just a little longer while we wait to battle the darkness on London's gritty streets.
Saturday - December 09, 2006
Hellgate London - Hunter Class Preview @ IGN
IGN has published a fairly detailed hands-on preview of Hellgate London's Hunter class. Included in the preview are their short descriptions of quite a few of the many skills available to Hunters.
Because Hunters are all about the use of ranged weaponry, it's no surprise that it's good to be able to fire them faster for a bit. This ability taps into their heightended reflexes to fire their weapon at a greater speed. Once used, whatever weapon is being used will fire very fast even if a little more inaccurately. Combined with a spread weapon with high damage, it can make a mess of a large group of enemies. This ability can not be used while crouching.
Light Assault Drone
This ability allows Hunters to construct mobile turrets that run around the battlefield shooting everything in sight. At the moment they're the size of large dogs and can be equipped with any one-handed gun as a weapon. When creating a drone the weapon chosen is used up. This should allow players to use weapons normally reserved for other classes.
Hellgate London - Hunter Class Preview @ GameSpy
GameSpy has published the third in their series of Hellgate: London playable class previews. This time around, GameSpy looks at the Hunter class briefly and compares it to the other two playable classes which they have previewed, the Templar and the Cabalist.
Templars and Cabalists are both pretty out there, but Hunters are a bit more down to Earth in concept. They're simply guys in power armor that brandish big ole' guns. No harnessing of infernal energies, and no sword consecration -- just point, and shoot. That said, they do have some pretty cool abilities. The fit into Hellgate's occult/alternative science milieu by means of the Area 51-style technology they have access to, which enables them to do some pretty cool stuff. There wasn't a whole lot of time to delve too deeply into their skill trees, but a few of the early choices available to Hunter characters suggest a slippery, long-range play style.
Friday - December 08, 2006
Hellgate London - Peek #4 @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault has the latest 'peek' at Hellgate London, the upcoming action-RPG produced by Flagship Studios. This week's peek focuses on the game's characters:
All of the characters in Hellgate: London are human. This means that we make huge distinctions in how each faction looks when wearing the same type of equipment. A leather jacket on a Templar will look very different than one on a Cabalist, for example. Players will have a wide breadth of choices that will allow them to customize the look of their characters, however. All the basics are there - hairstyles and color, eye color, skin tone, faces, facial hair (men), accessories (women), height, weight.Head over for a peek at the rest and a gander at a couple of nice screens.
Source: RPG Vault
Thursday - November 30, 2006
Hellgate London - Peek #3 @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault's third Hellgate: London Peek has Bill Roper writing a few paragraphs on the game world and gameplay:
A great benefit of Hellgate: London is that the instanced, randomization scheme makes the game incredibly self-balancing. If players want to push themselves, they can always move into more difficult areas without spoiling any of the story elements. If they try to move ahead and find the next area too difficult, they can not only build up more experience and items in a place that feels comfortable for their individual skill sets, but it doesn't feel like "grinding" since not only the layout, monsters and items are randomized - also exactly what tileset is used, and whether or not they happen to get an area that has some element of rarity to it, like themed backgrounds, monster behavior and items or chance events.
Thursday - November 23, 2006
Hellgate London - Peek #2 @ RPG Vault
Bill Roper writes RPG Vault's second Hellgate London Peek, this time talking about the story:
According to legend, when the ravens depart the Tower of London, it will crumble to rubble and disaster will befall England. As man became more dependent on science, believing only in what he could define or create, ancient knowledge and rituals were lost to the antiquity of time. Prophecies that had stood as warnings for untold generations were seen as archaic folly or ignorant superstition; so, when the harbingers of evil began to manifest, few saw and fewer believed.
When the Demons finally came, there was little that stood in their way.
Hellgate London - Intro Movie @ 3D Gamers
3D Gamers has an intro movie for Hellgate: London. Here's their accompanying blurb:
A more complete intro movie for Hellgate: London is now online, again illustrating the sci-fi 3D horror action role-playing game being developed at Flagship Studios. This movie comes in low and extremely high resolutions, including (and thus superseding) all of the sequences in last May's E3 trailer while extensively showing what happens before those events, and briefly what follows, in a total of nearly six minutes of impressive cinematic footage.
Tuesday - November 21, 2006
Hellgate London - Updated Q&A @ Gamespot
Gamespot has updated their Q&A with new details about the Hunter class. Bill Roper fills in some of the details:
GS: The big news over the past couple of weeks is, of course, the introduction of the new hunter faction. Could you tell us a bit more about the class specifically? How does it compare to the existing cabalist and templar classes?
BR: The hunter faction is designed to appeal to the first-person shooter-style player--someone that wants to be fully immersed in the world and battle demons with high-tech weaponry and gadgets. While the templars focus mainly on melee combat and holy rituals and the cabalists use the powers of the demons against them through magical rites, the hunters use bleeding-edge tech to fight for mankind's freedom.
The hunter faction appeals to FPS players in several ways. First and foremost, since they primarily use all ranged weapons, they are best played in first-person mode. Secondly, player skill is a factor as we eliminate the autolock and soft-targeting features that the templar and cabalist use. Hellgate: London is a role-playing game, however, so level, skills, and equipment do matter. The player who chooses a hunter, however, will gain benefits from having a degree of personal FPS skills.
Wednesday - November 15, 2006
Hellgate London - Peek #1 @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault has posted their first Hellgate London Peek with Flagship's Bill Roper penning the article:
The name Hellgate: London points to the rift between the world of the Demons and Earth (the Hellgate) and the setting of our story (London). It also points to the fact that this game looks at the events occurring in this part of the world during this catastrophic event and leaves the door open to exploring what is happening elsewhere in future games or other products, such as books, comics, television and movies.
Monday - November 13, 2006
Hellgate London - Videos @ HGLondon
HGLondon has kicked up two videos for Hellgate: London, including an official promo video and some shakycam footage of their own.
Sunday - November 12, 2006
Hellgate London - Interview @ GameDailyBIZ
Tuesday - November 07, 2006
Hellgate London - Hunter Faction Unveiled
Obviously aligning with the announcement that EA has come onboard, Flagship Studios has revealed the third faction for Hellgate: London -- the Hunters. Here's a chunk of the press release:
San Francisco, CA (November 07, 2006) -- Leading video games developer Flagship Studios today released details on the third character faction that expectant gamers can play in Hellgate: London, the first original PC title from Flagship.
Hunters were highly-trained ex-military operatives and members of secret government agencies most comfortable clinging to the shadows and dealing with threats in their own deadly ways. After the Demon invasion, methods and weapons once held secret were shared as Hunters switched their crosshairs from one another to the monsters that had invaded their world.
The archetype of the Hunter is obscure, cloaked in mystery and subterfuge. In one way he is the Assassin, the Ninja, the knife in the dark. In other ways, he is the Ronin, a highly-trained warrior with no master. In yet more, he is the Destroyer, a force of blazing gunfire and deadly accuracy that lays waste to any foe that stands in his way.
Their weaponry was/is a mix of hyper-advanced technology and theoretical science. Their people are boisterous groups of practical hard-asses who have survived the Demon invasion thus far by remaining a few steps ahead and keeping the Cabalists and Templar a few steps behind. They are also men and women that have been subjected to indescribable horrors long before any Demon touched Earth's soil.
"Since the announcement of Hellgate: London, we've had a lot of requests for a class of characters that place an emphasis on player skill through mid-to-long ranged weapon attacks," said Bill Roper, CEO and co-founder of Flagship Studios. "By removing auto-aiming and target-locking, the Hunter has been designed to provide a game play experience which will appeal directly to FPS players."
There's also a feature on this faction called Predator & Prey (although some of the press release text is reused) along with a handful of new screens.
Hellgate London - Namco & EA team up for NA & Europe
Good news? Bad news? Decide yourself - Namco, who had the only distribution rights for Europe and North America has teamed up with EA now. While EA will do the marketing & distribution, Namco will oversee the development at Flagship.
Wednesday - October 25, 2006
Hellgate London - Interview & Screens @ Strategy Informer
Flagship's Bill Roper has been interviewed at Strategy Informer about Hellgate London:
Strategy Informer: Hellgate: London already has a large community that will most likely want to create fan related content, we wanted to know if you plan on releasing any mod tools which might assist them in creating mods and other add-ons for the game? Fan related content can often increase the sales of a title, if you've decided to not support this aspect of your community, why has that choice been made?
Bill Roper: We aren’t planning on releasing mod tools, chiefly because of the secured online component of Hellgate: London. There are certain aspects of the game where we do anticipate players creating their own content – such as in ways to track information, alter the UI and so forth. As for altering graphics, changing game play and so forth, this is something we just can’t do since we are an MMO in terms of our online support. It won’t surprise me to see players create their own single-player content, or multiplayer content that doesn’t alter the core play experience. In either case, we aren’t currently planning on providing specific support to enable this. We also haven’t had any discussions about specifically preventing it – except in the case of the secured online play, of course.
They also have new screens on offer.
Friday - October 20, 2006
Hellgate London - Three New Screens @ Shack News
Shack News has three new screenshots from the upcoming action RPG, Hellgate London. Enjoy!
Source: Shack News
Tuesday - October 17, 2006
Hellgate London - Six Movie Trailers @ 3D Gamers
3D Gamers has uploaded SIX trailer movies for Hellgate London, the upcoming action-RPG from Flagship Studios.
No fewer than six new movie trailers for Hellgate: London have been released, showing the upcoming sci-fi first-person horror action role-playing game by Flagship Studios in motion. There are four high-res clips that each offer a minute and a half of gameplay footage (although some sequences are repeated in several of them), as well as a three-minute high-res trailer and a one-minute HD clip with more gameplay action.
Source: 3D Gamers
Thursday - September 28, 2006
Hellgate London Screens @ IGN
Friday - September 22, 2006
Hellgate London: Video Interview @ 21RPG
Wednesday - September 20, 2006
Hellgate London: Screens @ Worthplaying
Hellgate London: Audio Interview @ HellgateGuru
We've got an exclusive audio interview with the Hellgate: London dev team, including Ivan Sulic, Brennan Plunkett, Pat Harris, and Chris Lambert who answer and discuss 30 of our submitted questions in a candid manner. The interview is pretty damn informative and I think you'll get a kick out of some of the answers.
Thursday - September 07, 2006
Hellgate London: Interview @ Hellgate Guru
Does HGL have any crafting system?
Ivan Sulic: Nope. No crafting whatsoever.
Tuesday - September 05, 2006
Hellgate London: Screens @ Official Site
Wednesday - August 30, 2006
Hellgate London: Video Interview @ IGN
Over the top of the interview sits a bunch of HD gameplay footage. You'll see all sorts of demonic creatures getting being slaughtered by the high powered heroes that gamers will eventually have the chance to be when Hellgate: London releases. For now, those interested in the game will have to sit back and watch while the folks at Flagship rip hell a new one since the game doesn't have a set release date though they're saying "sometime next year". Once we have more information on that front, we'll be sure to let you know.
Friday - August 18, 2006
Hellgate London to distributed online through Ping0
Flagship Studios and HanbitSoft, Inc. have announced a new joint venture called Ping0, LLC which will manage all aspects of hosting online games. Ping0 recently entered an agreement with NAMCO BANDAI Games America to digitally distribute, host and manage the online component to Flagship's highly anticipated title, Hellgate: London.
"Supporting Hellgate: London is just the beginning for Ping0," said Bill Roper, CEO and co-founder of Flagship Studios. "We fully expect Ping0 to both handle the online components and digitally distribute all of Flagship's future titles. The company will also provide publishers and developers that want to bring their games online with a solution proven by one of the most highly anticipated titles in the industry."
The joint venture between Flagship Studios and HanbitSoft represents the strong commitment to online gaming shown by both companies from a development and business standpoint.
"Through Ping0, we will offer a turn-key solution for developers and publishers developing online games, from sophisticated MMOs to casual games," said HanbitSoft Executive Vice President Tony Park.
"Additionally, we are extremely excited about bringing our own titles to new markets through this joint venture."
The online component created by Ping0 is designed to take full advantage of the latest technologies while offering a solution for bringing many different styles of games into the online arena. The company also provides hosting and management solutions and will be the group responsible for creating the online gaming destination for Hellgate: London.
Friday - July 28, 2006
Hellgate London: Preview @ GameDaily
This setting is just one of many tantalizing features that wait behind the Hellgate. The "Underground" refers to London's vast subway system, commonly known as "The Tube." The setting is definitely unique, and was decided upon while researching secret societies (which a lot of the game is based on). Flagship researched clandestine orders like the Knights Templar and the Freemasons (who were the main architects behind the construction of "The Tube"), as well as "the Cabal," a very non-traditional, "fringe science" club that Isaac Newton, and other historical figures, was once a member of.
Saturday - July 22, 2006
Hellgate: London Interview @ Hellgate Guru
18. Can players break and destroy items on the street? Like mailboxes, etc. Will any decal marks be shown when buildings are damaged?
Ivan Sulic: Yes and no. Like most shooters, we have decals in our game that leave effect marks on the environment and indeed certain objects in the environment are destructible, but the backgrounds are not nearly as interactive as games like FEAR, Black, Red Faction, and Silent Storm. In fact, our environments are fairly static by comparison.
Source: Voodoo Extreme
Thursday - July 20, 2006
Hellgate: London Screens @ Gamespot
Sunday - July 16, 2006
Hellgate London: Screens @ Official Site
Tuesday - July 11, 2006
Hellgate London code stolen?
Reliable sources have indicated that the Flagship Studios network has been hacked and the source code for Hellgate: London has been stolen. I contacted the Flagship head cheese Bill Roper directly for comment and he has indicated that while they have heard the same rumors they cannot confirm or deny that any code has been lifted from their servers. The Flagship Studios network went down and has since been brought back online and (hopefully) more secure than before.
Saturday - July 08, 2006
Hellgate London Interview Pt. 2 @ RPG Vault
Jonric: What role do quests play in Hellgate: London? Are there many of them, and do they fall into different categories?Read the rest at RPG Vault.
Erich Schaefer: In Hellgate: London, we present the player with three different quest types. Storyline quests are fairly linear and limited in number. These propel the character through our landscape, explaining the state of the world and what the player has to do to succeed. Randomized missions are smaller in scope, but unlimited in amount. Certain NPCs will ask you to perform tasks, recovering specific items or vanquishing certain foes. These can be done for special rewards at any time, and are geared toward giving the player something to do if he or she only has 15 minutes or so to play.
Source: RPG Vault
Saturday - July 01, 2006
Hellgate London: Interview Pt. 1 @ RPG Vault
Jonric: What would you care to say about the setting, what has happened before Hellgate: London begins, and the story element thereafter? And to what degree is the play linear vs. open-ended?
Bill Roper: The game is set in a post-demon apocalypse, near future London. The characters find themselves a generation past the time when the demons invaded, meaning that some recall the world as it was, and others have grown up never knowing what it means to be free from the dark influence of the minions of Hell. The story focuses on your character's involvement in taking the first major steps toward driving the demons from our world - by finding their weaknesses and destroying the Hellgate that acts as a portal between their world and ours.
There are many enemies, from nameless innumerable hordes to powerful overlords of the underworld whose names and motivations will become known as the game progresses. There is a main story and plot to follow that, while having a few variances players can take, provides a linear direction and set of motivations to follow. There are also many non-linear missions and events that occur, so players are able to follow the path of the story or just go and explore the world on their own as they please.