Hellgate: London Beta Bugs Don't Worry Devs

Currently populated with more bugs than beta testers can shake their swords at, playing Hellgate: London can feel downright hellish at times.

With Flagship Studios' highly-anticipated online RPG only 16 days from release, many otherwise-glowing previews, including Shacknews' own, have included a caveat explaining the game's current instability and, in some areas, a disturbing lack of key functionality.

However, watching closely from behind the scenes, Flagship staffers aren't especially worried.

"We are aware of the issues some people are experiencing, but there's nothing we've seen that's any real concern to us," said Flagship's Ivan Sulic to Shacknews. "We're not flipping out, anyway."

Throughout the testing phase, Flagship community managers have continuously stated that the various beta builds are outdated in comparison to internal versions of the game.

"[The] changes we've been working on have not been integrated into the beta yet, which means that particular Hellgate experience is way behind the times," reiterated Sulic. "We do, however, hope to release a substantial beta patch in the near future, which should bring our test up to a level of quality that's more representative of the final release."

A new patch released yesterday brought sorely lacking social features to the game, but also introduced a round of new problems. This process is hardly atypical for a beta test, but with only two weeks left, Flagship is certainly cutting it close.

"Basically, it all boils down to Patch 0," explained Sulic. "Since our Hellgate multiplayer servers require users to create an account and login with us, we have the ability to incorporate fixes all the way up until launch and release them as a mandatory patch, our number zero."

But with a release-day patch already planned, will the game's Halloween launch turn into a horrorific experience for fans?

"You're not going to be hit with an enormous patch day one. We're launching alongside a small patch that fixes lots and lots of things--it's all data--not an enormous patch that changes art, sound, etcetera. Patch size is something we're real keen on keeping small."

In all, Sulic is sure that early Hellgate adopters will be treated to a bug-free game, rather than tricked into buying an unfinished product. "We're confident we'll launch with a solid product come Halloween," he concluded.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 15, 2007 2:04 PM

    Thanks to my 8 years of covering games and game releases, I don't believe a single word of this.

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      October 15, 2007 2:10 PM

      Its a shame aswell because I was quite looking forward to Hellgate, but it seems pretty obvious that its going to be as riddled with bugs as the beta supposedly is on realease.

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      October 15, 2007 2:13 PM

      Yea as a game developer I have to say I feel the same way. Some of the bugs that are being pointed out are not ones that should be coming up in beta. In many ways it sounds like the game hasn't even hit feature complete much less Alpha, and it SURE as hell doesn't sound like it's ready for a real beta. If they DO have a more recent build, why would they roll an older one out to testers knowing that they'd then be swamped by CRAPLOADS of bug reports for bugs that were already fixed. This really doesn't seem like reality and does sound very much like damage control.

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        October 15, 2007 3:37 PM

        I thought that was kind of strange, too. Why release an old build of a game to beta testers? Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

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          October 15, 2007 5:05 PM

          They could be hoping to find bugs they previously haven't. But I would assume any major bugs/show stoppers would already be caught and it wouldn't be worth it.

          When I tested games that was one of the reasons they gave us older builds.

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      October 15, 2007 2:13 PM

      "but there's nothing we've seen that's any real concern to us"

      That quote is frightening. Makes you wonder if a lot of it will ever be fixed :)

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      October 15, 2007 5:31 PM

      Yeah, kind of hard to ignore the stench of damage control.

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