Hellgate: London

PC / Action RPG / Release: Oct 31, 2007 / ESRB: M


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Hellgate Dev Confirms Layoffs, Korean Publisher Rumored to Be Taking Control of Hellgate Property

Related Topics – Hellgate: London, PC, Flagship Studios

Hellgate: London (PC) developer Flagship Studios has seen layoffs of a significant portion of its staff, going by details from a Gamasutra report citing sources within the company.

Flagship did not offer further details concerning the staff cuts, but stated that there was some truth to the reports.

The news follows statements issued by the company last month in which Flagship CVO David Brevik dismissed rumors of widespread staff departures after the poor reception of the PC action RPG, adding that the company "believe[s] in the future of Hellgate." Read more »

"I just went over to the official forums. It's amazing how much some people are in denial. "
- shyguy74    See all 36 comments

Flagship Denies Staff Exodus, Admits Hellgate Needed "A Couple More Months in the Oven"

Related Topics – Hellgate: London, PC, Flagship Studios

Responding to rumors of widespread staff departures, Hellgate: London (PC) developer Flagship Studios said that the company is fully staffed and at work on several upcoming projects.

Flagship CVO David Brevik dismissed the rumors as exaggerated and inaccurate, noting that the company currently employs over 100 workers at its two studios, and has seen less than 10% turn-over in its workforce. Read more »

"It's too bad about this game, deep down it could be a great action RPG, but it does truly need a ..."
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Hellgate: London Singleplayer Patch 1.2 Released

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A new singleplayer patch is now available for Hellgate: London, updating Flagship Studios' action RPG to version 1.2. The 185mb download offers a massive amount of bug fixes and balancing changes as well as UI updates and graphic related enhancements. Click through for the full change notes

Hello Hellgaters! Read more »

"The game was fun for a run through or two, but after that it was very stale. It never held me ..."
- Tripps    See all 25 comments

Hellgate Touted as 'Most Successful' Korean Launch in Three Years

Related Topics – Hellgate: London, PC

The recent Korean arrival of Hellgate: London (PC) was reportedly "the most successful online video game launch in Korea of the past three years," developer Flagship Studios claimed today.

According to the company, the Korean multiplayer beta had over one million accounts within two weeks of its January 15 debut. That helped the title to become the ninth most played online game and most popular online beta in PC Cafes. Read more »

"We got burned on this game by GREAT MAN Roper. Promises = NOT DELIVERED."
- Rice-Rocketeer    See all 22 comments

Hellgate: London Receives Additional Financing; Flagship Uses Sales Rights As Loan Collatoral

Related Topics – Hellgate: London, PC, Flagship Studios

Flagship Studios, creators of Mythos (PC) and Hellgate: London (PC), announced today that it has secured financing with Texas-based Comerica Bank to support the continuing development of its franchises.

Comerica Bank stated that it is using an independent film financing model as the basis for a multi-million dollar financing package, which is backed by the sale and distribution rights for Hellgate: London. Read more »

"I also really love the game now after the couple of last patches (1.1/1.2), but there's still so ..."
- verminer    See all 45 comments

Hellgate: London Stonehenge Chronicles Media Includes Monsters, Stonehenge

Related Topics – Hellgate: London, Trailer, screenshots, MMO

Fresh assets were today released by developer Flagship alongside the just-released Hellgate: London Stonehenge Chronicles content expansion.

The content update adds the central hub of Stonehenge, along with several dungeons and other upgrades for paying subscribers to the action-MMO.

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"This game seems to have some identity issues. Instead of appealing to a single audience they ..."
- flasher 907    See all 32 comments

Flagship Responds to Hellgate Subscription Issues

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Following reports of serious issues plaguing Hellgate: London subscribers, such as multiple mistaken credit charges and the inability to access membership content, developer Flagship Studios has responded to the matter. "We've contacted every single one of [the affected users] to work out the problem," said Flagship's Ivan Sulic to Shacknews. "We should be sailing a lot smoother from here on out." Hellgate senior community manager Kaiser Hwang issued a statement on the official forums further explaining the situation. "After burning several drums of midnight oil, we have resolved all current billing issues with our payment processing partners," wrote Hwang. "We've completed our payment reconciliation process and players that were incorrectly billed will see paybacks credited to their credit card accounts in the next few days. "There is also approximately an equal amount of players whose subscription status has been approved, but their cards were uncharged as we did not process their payment until the issues were resolved. Again, we're sorry to those of you who were affected by this." While it appears the credit charge issues have been widely resolved, some users are still claiming to have problems with the cancellation of subscriptions and access to subscription features. "We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused, although it impacted just 3% of people that requested to become subscribing members," added Hwang.

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"This is utter bull. The issue is not resolved. FSS is pathetic."
- ianlim    See all 98 comments

Hellgate: London Subscribers Report Extra Charges, Restricted Access to Membership Benefits

Related Topics – Hellgate: London

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. "I could sum this up as the worst online gaming experience I have ever had," Shacknews reader Tyro described to us. "I applied for a monthly subscription. I then noticed I was charged two times on 11/03 $9.99, one time on 11/04 $9.99, and one time on 11/05 $9.99." Other users have only been billed once, but find themselves unable to use the service they've paid for. "I checked the account pages on both web sites," wrote Mayella_EU in the support thread. "It doesn't show I have a subscription. Yet my credit card was charged." Further compounding the issue, Hellgate customer support has been slow in responding to complaints according to many of the unhappy subscribers. A 392-post support thread on the official Hellgate: London forums has cropped up following the closure of the temporary billing/subscription forum. Shacknews has contacted Flagship, but has not yet received a comment at this time. Hellgate community managers are aware of the issues, and promise an update on the situation soon.

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"Well, I keep getting this response and they keep taking my money every month. since last year. ..."
- jbroxton    See all 150 comments

Hellgate Subscription Service Back Online

Related Topics – Hellgate: London

Flagship's launch of Hellgate: London (PC) was hampered by downed servers, downed forums, and the inability of gamers to make use of the title's subscription membership service for extended functionality. The servers for the game and the website got back up and running fairly quickly, and as of yesterday, the subscription service has become available as well. Gamers will need a credit card to purchase a $9.95 per month membership, as the specifics of PayPal payments are still being worked out. The post on the Hellgate website warns beta users not to make a new account when subscribing, as their pre-order and bonus content will be tied to their beta account. Hellgate's subscription membership grants purchasers access to a "Hardcore" mode, "elite" items, extra character slots and item storage, and the ability to form guilds among other perks. According to a separate post on the Hellgate website by Flagship CEO Bill Roper, the window for buying the $149.99 founder's offer extended to pre-orderers of the game will be lengthened in light of the game's payment issues. For more on what to expect as a subscriber of Hellgate: London, check out Shacknews editor-in-chief Chris Remo's fireside chat with Roper.

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"Pay $9.95 to help an EA affiliated company alpha test their Holiday-rushed product? SIGN ME UP"
- d3pr1ved    See all 31 comments

Hellgate: London Review

Ship now, patch later. We've all heard the phrase at least a dozen times in our video gaming lives. It's been a right hook to the gut of PC gaming; a reason to resent publishers that force games out to meet a deadline, or scold developers that seemingly choose to ship unfinished games. It's a crutch that we'd all rather see kicked out from under the industry. That being said, I ended my Hellgate: London preview by expressing the hope that Flagship could polish its apocalyptic RPG enough by launch to let its addictive core shine. Because there is a lot of fun somewhere in there--it just needed to be brought out, enhanced, streamlined. A few changes were indeed made between beta and release, but not nearly enough of them. Not even close. 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.

Luckily for Flagship, when it comes to persistent online games--which Hellgate qualifies as, despite also containing a separate offline mode--"patch" isn't always a dirty word. Bug fixes, interface overhauls, system tweaks and content expansions could be the shot to the heart it needs in order to live up to its potential. Down the road, the company's first major effort could very well turn into the flagship title it was meant to be. But it will be one rocky road in the meantime. Ship now, patch later. It's really too bad that Flagship is in this predicament, because Hellgate does do a lot of things better than its competitors. Clearly Bill Roper and the rest of his team had some fresh ideas going into development. Hellgate tries to bring the hellish setting of Diablo into the future, both in design and in setting. It ditches Battle.net for in-game town hubs, where you can meet up and assemble into groups of five before tackling the connected dungeons. It introduces 3D graphics, adds a more personalized avatar system, crams in some FPS-style action, and mixes it all together with a few innovative evolutions to usual dungeon-crawling conventions. A lot of this stuff works, and works quite well. The combat, a requisite to any great action RPG, is well executed for the most part. Beating up on zombies, hell-dogs, and the game's massive bosses is a good deal of fun. Zombies give way to your sword swings with gratifying crunches, and grenade blasts splatter demons to and fro in delightfully tight bunches. At least one part of Diablo's addictive nature is intact, and with the shift to 3D first and third person views--both equally enjoyable to use--it is successful in moving the formula forward in that respect. There's also a vast amount of player-specific loot doled out after each kill, spilled all over the ground in a satisfying pile. Flagship did some critical thinking here too, and a vacuum-like pickup system allows it to all be gathered with a few taps of the "F" key. Once you have this loot on hand, you can upgrade any weapon through the various modification systems available. Your favorite sword can instantly be leveled up with a costly random attribute machine--reminiscent of Charsi the blacksmith's reward in Diablo 2--or buffed by several types of relic-like mods. Dealing with the piles of crap you find on your adventures has been addressed as well. Now when you identify items in the field that you can't use, you can simply disassemble them into a set of smaller basic parts, saving on precious inventory space. These parts can then be used toward crafting specific weapon upgrades. A small radial menu, brought up by simply holding down the right mouse button on an item, allows all of this to be done with relative ease. Unfortunately, for every good thing that Hellgate does, it commits an equally pronounced sin. Yes, you can modify your weapons to your heart's desire--but after a few minutes of slotting swords with mods, you'll have more statistics staring you in the face than you know what to do with. One large number, a general damage rating, stands above it all--but this number doesn't refer to your damage-per-second, or any other easily decipherable math. The reason for this is that each weapon can do a different type of damage, be it physical, spectral, fire, electrical, or toxic. Depending on what types of damage it's dealing, you'll be doing more or less damage against particular types of enemies. This makes it fairly difficult to determine just where you stand in terms of real battle effectiveness--and when the whole game is based around fast-paced action, requiring a calculator to decide on your next move is anything but intuitive. There are plenty of items and weapon mods available, but their overly-detailed graphical icons aren't distinct enough to stand out in a large merchant display, requiring you to slowly scroll over every item to figure just what it is you're about to buy. By point of comparison, Diablo's town portal scrolls were immediately recognizable, but Hellgate's personal relocators are small, undistinguished objects. Compounding this issue is a bug: when dropping items from one menu to the next, the item graphic will often appear as being in your hand, even though it has since been dropped. For these reasons, handling items becomes a sticky, awkward business, that can often lead to frustration. Characters in the world appear visually distinct, but in general, Hellgate does little to impress on the graphical side of things. While the environments are littered with cool exploding barrels and interactive effects, they're also bland and repetitive to the extreme, never managing to captivate or deliver on the promise of a truly hellish atmosphere. Diablo 2 may have had similarly repetitive settings, but that game had more spark and craftsmanship in an inch of pixels than can be found within entire levels of Hellgate. It's all randomly assorted ashen subways, marble hallways, drab castles, and crimson, smoky hell zones--and none of it is interesting, artistically or architecturally. Perhaps the reason for this is the focus on randomization, but in the end, the reason is irrelevant. The developers have made more promises to improve the scenery in the future, but that's then. This is now. Ship now, patch later.
Even the patch system is a strangely confusing affair. After the game's servers came down for three hours on launch day, new players were met with a streaming list of filenames rather than any real indication that something was being downloaded and applied. In terms of an overall presentation, Hellgate comes off as an odd, piecemeal experience. Piecemeal also conveniently describes Hellgate's score, a strange selection of uninspiring beats that automatically strike up during events. Or they try to. Sometimes the music timing is way off, and a high-tempo track will kick in before you ever see an enemy, or after a battle is already over. Either way, these music selections are far too brief, and don't serve to really enhance the game in any meaningful way. Speaking of ineffective features, the chat and social interfaces have to be some of the worst to hit the genre. Not only is the chat window ugly, it's also obtrusive, either stuck in your way or completely hidden. The grouping system is functional enough for questing--gathering a group together is as easy as dropping an automatic portal to eachother--but actually tracking your friends is a chore. The game requires both players to be online before you can even add them to your friend list. And why is there no LAN play included for offline characters? Maybe the most significant failing of Hellgate is its inability to present any sort of serviceable dialogue or coherent story. The NPCs are utterly dull and unmemorable, save one or two exceptions. Hellgate has no Deckard Cain, or even a Diablo--no immediately interesting heroes or villains, other than zombies. We know those are bad. Most quests are of the standard MMO fetch-and-kill type, with a few storyline offerings that break up the monotony. As almost none of this story is interesting enough to sit and read through, you'll be skipping by most of it, and after hours of this, the game begins to blur together. Without any sense of purpose, you're just endlessly repeating World of Warcraft-style quests, complete with question marks and exclamation points hovering overtop the subway towns' NPC villagers. The promise of more treasure is enough to keep you going for quite a while, but this inevitably gets old. I never thought I'd play a game that made me yearn for the bullshit "lore" of World of Warcraft, but here it is anyway. The six included character classes are nothing new. Players will have the Blademaster, Guardian, Evoker, Summoner, Engineer, and Marksman to choose from at their starting screen. Essentially these six can be categorized into three pairs, with magic, melee, and rifle classes being broken into two variants. It's a solid, focused assortment, but ultimately unexciting. Whereas you were always striving to get that next awesome talent in Diablo 2, Hellgate's class skills play more of a subtle supporting role. By that I mean they are mostly boring. There are also some class imbalances, and a few broken skills. For instance, playing as the close-quarters, sword-swinging Blademaster is much more difficult at earlier levels than a class that can stand back and shoot from safety. When playing as the rifle-shooting, pet bot-spawning Engineer, you can gift weapons to your mechanical friend in order to have him act in your defense, which is pretty cool--until the dumb bastard runs off after a zombie like a dog chasing a car, and promptly gets himself killed. Of course, after logging out, the bot's weapons will completely disappear, lost forever. This is a bug that has been reported for months, and gone unfixed into retail. Ship now, patch later. And hopefully these patches come sooner, rather than later. Though DirectX 10 performance has improved somewhat since beta, "memory exhausted" crashes still plague both clients, rendering it near-impossible to stay in the game longer than an hour or two. Your experience may vary, but enough players are expressing similar issues that it is definitely a widespread phenomenon. Beyond the crashes, many other random glitches still persist, including one where only players' armor and weapons load after entering a zone--unless turning people into ghosts was part of the kooky Halloween content.
Hellgate is free to play after buying the boxed game, but only subscribing players--for the price of $9.95 a month--will have access to the planned content updates. Every three months, Flagship plans on providing a sizable amount of new quests, dungeons, weapons, and monsters. Only paying members can create guilds, play in the permanent-death "Hardcore" mode, have more than three character slots, and attain visually distinct "elite" gear. Of course, the whole concept is moot at the moment, as the subscription servers have been down since the game's release. I was initially more than enthusiastic about Hellgate. After spending a few hours in the beta, I was absolutely hooked. But after another few hours, and a lengthy once-over post-launch, I can say that I am off the hook--at least temporarily. The frustration of playing a buggy game that is screaming for core feature additions is too much of a hassle in this busy season of gaming. Hellgate could be great. It still can be. My advice? Wait now, buy later.

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Hellgate-gate 07: Subscription Servers Down As Game Launches

Related Topics – Hellgate: London, Internet Rage, PC

The Halloween release of Flagship Studio's RPG Hellgate: London isn't going as smoothly as it could be, with news coming that the optional subscription service remains offline as the game is being put up on store shelves. "Subscriptions are temporarily unavailable due to technical issues," reads a post to the official Hellgate website. "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." Most subscription bonuses are long-term perks, but the game's "Hardcore" mode, "elite" items, guild-creation ability, and extra character slots will be unavailable for would-be subscribers in the meantime.

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"So I ordered the collectors edition and I won't get it till Monday. Anyone know if I can apply ..."
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Flagship's Roper on Hellgate: London's Future

Hellgate: London is promised to be regularly updated after its release, to offer worthwhile exclusive content for those who opt into its $9.95 subscription fee, and to still be a fully-featured online experience for those who do not. It's a tall order. How does developer Flagship Studios plan to pull it off? In the final days before the game's release, I met with Flagship Studios' Bill Roper in a small San Francisco sandwich shop to discuss just that. Roper briefed me on the immediate Halloween content and the seasonal content that will immediately follow, the first major content expansion for subscribers coming in December, responses to criticisms of the beta, plans for other near-future additions, the possibility of a full retail expansion, and the team's attitude towards incorporating fan feedback. December's "Patch 1" 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. Patch 1 will add a new hub, the first to be located outside the city of London. It deals with Stonehenge which, unlike the city of London itself, has proven to be impervious to demon attacks. Roper showed me some artwork of the Stonehenge locale, which has the iconic standing stones remaining untouched despite the surrounding earth being utterly destroyed. The henges themselves will serve as transportation portals for players among the various new areas, as humanity attempts to figure out how to harness the power contained within them to push the demonic incursion back. Along with the new hub and surrounding areas will of course be new monsters, items, quests, and even potentially new classes; the latter has been promised to come to subscribers in content patches, though it is not clear if Patch 1 will include new classes. Unsurprisingly, Flagship isn't providing many further details just yet, with the main game not even yet on store shelves. How does Flagship plan to maintain its stated quarterly schedule? "We're already hiring up again," he responded, adding that the upcoming Guy Fawkes content (see below) has been a good testbed for how long it takes to create various types of content. Flagship developers plan to work on multiple patches concurrently. "We don't want to be in crunch mode week after week," said Roper. Auction Houses and Mail Without actually touching on the question of whether Hellgate is an MMO, the game will be getting some more traditionally MMO-like features, such as item auction houses and in-game mail. Such features will be available for all users, both subscribers and non-subscribers. When will we be seeing these additions? "As soon as possible," promised Roper, clarifying that with those kinds of broad game features Flagship will not be waiting to slot them into the normal patch schedule. Whenever they're ready, they'll be in--hopefully before Patch 1. Launch Tweaks and Responses to Criticism I shared with Roper one of the chief criticisms of Hellgate: London's beta phase, the overly repetitive nature of the environments. He was aware of the concerns, and in fact had a rebuttal to those holding them. "We have as many, if not a few more, locations than in Diablo II," he said, but pointed out that they are not separated in the same hard-edged "act" structure of that game. He also noted that beta players have still yet to see the fourth and fifth acts, present in the shipping game but not the beta, which he describes as wildly different from the first three. Still, in an attempt to ameliorate those complaints, Flagship has readjusted the environment flow, grouping environments more according to their theme, and hopefully providing an experience that feels better separated into discrete acts. This tweak will be enabled once Patch 0 goes live and the game is officially launched. A main frustration of mine with Hellgate has been its approach to weapon stats and comparisons--items include a fairly long list of attributes and statistics, but boil them down into a single "power rating" that can be arguably difficult to use as a practical real-world metric. I asked Roper if there are any plans to provide a more straightforward "damage per second" rating on weapons or characters. To my surprise, he answered that Flagship is actually trying to look for solutions to that very problem, but it is more complex than many players may think. "It's really hard," he explained. "The weapons all work so differently. Is it direct damage? Is it splash? What about modding? Do we have four DPS [damage per second] numbers depending on the weapon's damage types? So we tried to have this big number instead, but it's kind of a bitch because there are so many mods you can put on things. We spent a lot of time on that." I pressed him further regarding the team's willingness to modify basic game systems such as the way Hellgate displays damage. "If someone comes up with a better way to do it, we'll look at it," he said. In general, he noted, Flagship is open to hearing and implementing fan feedback if appropriate. Turn the page for details on Flagship's attitude towards Hellgate's subscriber content versus non-subscriber content, potential ideas for retail expansions, and upcoming seasonal content. _PAGE_BREAK_ Subscribers and Non-subscribers
It's something of a balancing act deciding how to split up features between subscribers and non-subscribers. "Even as the game goes on after months and years, we want to make sure the free players don't get forgotten," said Roper, "but on the flip side, we want the subscribers to feel like they have a reason to be paying, getting the cool new areas and monsters and everything." The way this seems to be working out is that subscribers will be getting the ambitious new content, such as Patch 1, while both tiers of users will be getting broader game-wide features such as PvP duel and free-for-all combat, guild support, auction houses, and mail. The catch is that, while non-subscribers will be able to use all these things, subscribers will often have a greater level of control over them. For example, any player can join a guild, but only subscribers can create and administer guilds--though some features, such as in-game mail, are likely to be more universal. Features such as the auction house may or may not have subscriber-specific abilities; Flagship is likely to work out such distinctions closer to the release of those components. Also planned for both subs and non-subs is an Xbox 360-like achievement system, which will reward players with points for completing various tasks ranging from the mundane to the impressive--killing some number of zombies, identifying some number of items, completing three quests with no armor, killing a difficult boss with a certain low-level weapon, and so on. These achievement points will eventually be able to be spent on special rewards; Flagship is toying with the idea of having two tiers of available rewards, one for subscribers and one for non-subscribers. Retail Expansion Plans Diablo II, and indeed nearly every other modern Blizzard title, has seen a retail expansion package. Does Flagship have similar plans? "I think we would consider a retail expansion," Roper said. "I think it would be geared towards some kind of entirely new experience, some completely new story or something. We might look into other new locations." I asked if the subtitle "London" implies there will be future content as diverse as Hellgate: New York or Hellgate: Shanghai. "I'd love to see this conflict in other parts of the world," he answered, "and see what their archetypes are, and their demons." Still, Roper clarified that one reason Diablo II had a traditional expansion was simply because there was no real mechanism to update the game and add originally planned features--indeed, longtime fans may remember that guild support, promised before the game was released, never even made it into the expansion. Hellgate's capability to be updated extends patch content, and will be used for regular class and weapon balance post-release. "A lot of this stuff we actually wanted to get into D2, but we had no mechanism to just update stuff," said Roper. "We knew the skills in D2 were far from perfect, but we had no way to fix them until the XP, then again in patch 1.10." All Hallow's Eve
Hellgate is officially launching on October 31, and it will come with a spate of Halloween-themed content intended to offer both accessible goodies as well as more difficult rewards for players willing to invest more time. A fairly simply repeatable "trick or treat" quest will grant players randomly selected treat items. Some treats are non-functional, while others offer buffs; sugar bombs appopriately increase players' speed for a limited time. Others are entirely visual: ghost candy gives players the translucent glowing effect seen when retrieving your corpse, and dragon's breath candy douses your character in flame. The medium tier of Halloween content is the Zombot, a purely decorational zombie robot companion that will accompany you if you collect and assemble all of his parts. Some components are generic items such as scrap, obtained by breaking down weapons as normal, while other unique items like Zombot's Ticker will only drop during the week of Halloween festivities. The best part: Zombot features a Thriller-like dance animation. Finally, on the upper end there is the All Hallow's Visage, a rare helm that will spawn only during Halloween week. It is the first non-weapon equipment to feature particle effects, and looks very much like Ghost Rider's fiery skull. It comes with its own unique color set that can be applied to the rest of your character's equipment after donning it. Remember, Remember the Fifth of November On November 5, in recognition of the foiling of Guy Fawkes and the other members of the 17th-century Gunpowder Plot that attempted to blow up England's Houses of Parliament and assassinate King James, Flagship will be launching a week of Fawkes-themed content. For the duration of the celebration, players will have a chance to acquire Fawkes' Flame Guards, a set of rare flaming gloves. The Fawkes property, which gives weapons or armor an increased chance to ignite and which adds a visible smoldering effect to the equipment, also has a chance of spawning on drops. When entering non-hub areas, there is a chance that levels will spawn as "bonfire" versions of themselves, featuring fiery skies and higher chances to spawn Fawkes-related items. Flagship has created some 30 to 40 in-game recipes for a number of candies traditionally eaten on Guy Fawkes Night (some call it "Guy Fox Day," apparently), including bonfire toffee and toffee apples. They seem to be more varied and useful than the Halloween candies, with a tiering system that sees some rarer recipes combining multiple common recipes to create particularly powerful consumables. One of the more easily-obtainable recipes produces grenades; Roper explained that the team wanted to give non-Marksmen the opportunity to hurl grenades from time to time. Flagship Studios' Hellgate: London will launch on October 31 in North America, with an Australian release following November 1 and a European release on November 2. The game is published by Electronic Arts and Namco Bandai Games.

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Hellgate: London to Add Offline Friend Requests, Ladders, Guilds in the Future

Related Topics – Hellgate: London

While Flagship Studio's new online RPG Hellgate: London is currently missing a few significant social features, developers are apparently working to add new functionality on the day of release and beyond. "Grouping is indeed receiving special attention," said Flagship's Ivan Sulic to Shacknews. "We've recently added a tighter buddy system, chat system, and guild system. We're also working on ladders, more guild options, and more grouping options for our first major patch." The game will be launching with a "Patch 0" which Flagship hopes will lift the current build of the game further up to fans' expectations. "The goal is to focus very heavily on our multiplayer systems, expanding them frequently with new features and options," added Sulic. Players of the Hellgate beta know that the inability to add friends to your buddy list who are currently offline is one particularly annoying oversight. "Unfortunately we won't have the ability to add friends who are offline," lamented Sulic. "Right now it should give you a message that says they're offline. That sort of Xbox Live-like requests system is something we are working toward, though."

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"I truly was a non-believer of this game and did not plan to buy it. I got into the beta three ..."
- Defacil    See all 25 comments

Preorder Hellgate: London and Crysis from EA, Play Early? (Update: No Early Hellgate Launch)

Related Topics – Hellgate: London, Electronic Arts

Update: Flagship community manager Kaiser has chimed in on the matter, explaining EA Store's listing of an early launch as an error. "This is actually an error and not true in any way," Kaiser wrote on the Hellgate beta forums. "Sorry!" However, those looking to level up early are still in luck, as beta participants will be able to access the retail servers a few days before the game officially releases. Original Story: Reports are coming in claiming that those who preorder Flagship Studio's Hellgate: London from the official Electronic Arts store will be able to start playing the online RPG a full week early, beginning tomorrow. EA's Hellgate store page currently lists the game as pre-releasing for digital download on Wednesday Oct 24, at 12:00:00 CDT. All Hellgate beta testers--which includes all preorder customers from other stores--will also have a jump-start on the official release, according to a post on Flagship's official website. However, beta character holdovers will still be restricted in level until the October 31 release date. It is unknown whether EA pre-release customers will be held to the same restriction. The deal also applies to Crytek's upcoming shooter Crysis. Fans who preorder from publisher EA can expect to grab the title three days ahead of its November 16 launch, as well as play the single player demo this Thursday, a day ahead of the Friday release. Preorder deals guaranteeing earlier release dates have become more popular of late, with games such as Tabula Rasa promising early adopters a three-day head start on leveling and looting.

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"5,99 for extended download service? Why I never buy EA games."
- latency2    See all 52 comments

Hellgate: London Q&A

Related Topics – Hellgate: London

Computer & Video Games has the latest Hellgate: London Q&A, asking Bill Roper about the imminent release of this action RPG.

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