Hellgate NDA lifted. Plus more!

Discussion in 'MMORPG Games: The Realms' started by Howitzer, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. Howitzer

    Howitzer Well-Known Member

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    I thought I'd post this. Trimethicon emailed it to me. But I thought you should all know. Released yesterday.


    As posted at Home | Hellgate London

    Subscribers And Patch 0
    Hey everyone! Lots of great news here. Below you'll find details regarding subscriptions, our upcoming Patch 0, and our first of many Holiday/themed events. Enjoy!

    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.

    So – how about some specifics?!

    DX10 Update
    The build of Hellgate: London which you are reviewing includes both DX9 and DX10 versions of the graphics library. The DX10 version of this build has a few known issues. They include a slow framerate compared to the same scene in DX9 and black loading screens. We’re currently working on a fix for the black loading screens. The slower framerate is due to the fill-rate intensive special features that only our DX10 engine has, including: soft shadows with proper contact hardening, depth-of-field, motion blur, interactive GPU-simulated fluid smoke, texture-array animated rain, and soft particles. The extra fill rate costs are mitigated by an initial depth-only render pass, which is now being tested and will be ready for release. When Hellgate: London hits retail, we expect the framerate of our DX10 target to be as high, if not higher than DX9, including these special features.

    Multiplayer Updates – All Players
    We are continuing to push both new multiplayer features and bug fixes to the Beta. Things that may or may not be in during their review time (depending on when they do it), but will be in by launch are:

    Buddy Lists
    Much better and easier ways to organize your friends!

    Guilds
    While only subscribers can start one, anyone can join a guild. Special name colors and tags on characters show their affiliation.

    Buddy and Guild Chat
    Special chat channels so you can keep your conversations clear.

    Bigger Levels in Nightmare Mode
    These increase the time players get to spend in each area, giving the game a more expansive feel at higher difficulty levels.

    PVP
    Players can both duel and elect to enter free-for-all PvP Mode. To duel, a player invites the person they wish to duel into a group, and heads into an adventuring area. Duelers, then right-click on the portrait of the person they wish to duel and select the Duel option from the displayed list. Dueling can only take place outside of Underground hubs.

    Players can also choose to enter into PvP mode which means they can be attacked and harmed outside of Underground hubs by anyone else that has chosen to enter PvP mode. That is, those in PvP mode, must always be ready for PvP. This is a way to have wide-ranging free-for-alls, or create your own “friendly-fire” way of playing the game.

    Tuned Game Progression
    Level and monster progression is more thematic in nature. While this does not affect the overarching layout of the world map, it does make each act feel more defined and focused.

    Gossip
    We’ve added loads of additional details on the people and places in the game through various NPCs in the world. This definitely helps make the stations feel more alive and provides players with more of the back-story.

    More Quest Information
    Quest NPCs do a better job of getting you prepared to know what you’re fighting and why. The overall story flows much better, the named demons that are encountered are given more story weight, and players gain a much better sense of overall direction.

    NPC Tweaks
    The vocal responses given by NPCs have been tuned so that they tend more towards the serious and “normal”, reserving the twisted commentary for specific player characters or in rare moments for the general populace.


    *Subscriber Features*

    Elite Mode
    This is for those players that always feel a game is too easy. The demons are tougher, deal out more damage, move faster, travel in larger groups, and have more champions at the ready. Numerous tweaks to the overall balance and progression of the game make this an extremely challenging mode.

    Hardcore
    Hardcore mode takes away the various resurrection options. For the gamer that wants the ultimate test, try playing an Elite Hardcore character!

    Themed Events and Items

    Halloween (October 31 – November 4)

    *Zombot - A special pet just for All Hallows’, this amalgam of meat and metal is sure to frighten and delight those players that are willing to put in the time to find all the necessary pieces in order to construct him.

    *All Hallow’s Visage - A Unique Helm that has not only very special properties, but as well a look unlike any other helm in the game. Ghost Rider would be jealous!

    *All Hallow’s Treats - Delicious and devious, these different candies do everything from temporarily boosting stats to temporarily altering the appearance of the devourer.

    *All Hallows’ Quests - There is a pair of special quests available, including one that is repeatable for continuous fun.

    *Nemo ~ Master of Festivities - This special NPC can first be found in Covent Garden Station to greet players and send them on their way with quests specifically crafted for the season.

    Guild Creation
    Buy purchasing a Guild Herald, a character can form a new guild. Characters can only be part of one guild at a time and should a Guild leader decide to abandon their post, they can pass leadership of the Guild to another subscribing guild member.

    Achievements
    These are long-term goals for players. The player starts with a few new goals in an Achievement Log. These can be as simple as slaying a certain amount of specific demons to something as difficult as completing quests without the benefit of armor! Players uncover new goals as they start to meet the requirements of that achievement. For example, after 50 zombies have been slain, an “Achievement Unlocked” message displays on the screen. Checking the Achievement Log shows how many zombies must be eradicated to complete the achievement. Rewards for completing achievements can be anything from reputation to tags on the player to special particle effects to items to special skills to – well, anything is possible!

    Extra Character Slots
    While everyone gets 3 character slots, subscribers can have a maximum of 24 characters.

    Larger Stash
    Each character’s storage locker is doubled in size with an extra 6x8 section, making the hoarding of all sorts of goodies that much easier. Packrats rejoice!

    Founder’s Perks
    Name Color
    Forum Icon
    More to come… (this will be an on-going area, as well)
     
  2. Yukkione

    Yukkione Retired Captain

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    I'm having a blast playing HGL. After I installed it (beta)a couple days ago I havent been able to stop playing. (server down today!) I have a lvl 12 Engineer now running 3 Drones that slow the enemy, one floating one that can now shoot 5 missles at a time and another drone that is equiped with a modded sniper rifle. The game keeps you moving and there is alot of fun to be had playing with weapon mods and building stuff.
     
  3. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    Yeah, I haven't stopeed since I got my beta invite either. I like the Envoker and the Marksman the best so far.

    The Envoker has some really nice powers that just feel really tight for an MMO. I didn't like the engineer, it felt too similar to other pet based classes in other MMOs to me. I'm not a fan of managing simplistic AI's that fight for you. Been loving the marksman though, the launchers and grenades are hell fun.


    My only worry is that they don't have character respecs where you can re-pick your skills. Still, the skill trees are really varied and offer completly different types of gameplay so I guess it provides some genuine re-play value.

    Still, current bugs asside, this is a very solid game.
     
  4. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    Is there anywhere to get a preorder with a beta code in Australia? I'd like to see how much the AU Lifetime membership costs, and as I understand it, you need to preorder and create a beta account with the preorder code in able to get that Founders lifetime membership offer yes?

    And is there any word of there being an Australian server? (They're all heavily instanced, so I can't see why it would be a huge issue). The lad compensations works well, but playing HtH characters is noticable laggy with a ping of 300+ :(
     
  5. Voodou

    Voodou Active Member

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    I'm guessing that that there will be trainers made for the single player game as there were for both Diablo games so that may let you unofficially respec a singleplayer character
     
  6. Bloodwrych

    Bloodwrych Retired Moderator

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    I havnt found an australian server per se..... although i DID happen to find an asian server....with 3 different unique dye packs Pre-Order Choice
    ..and the cost of ordering collectors version and shipping it here is comparable to getting in store here. Dunno if that is of any help. Either way the URL is

    Hellgate Alliance

    Still...im also interested in the founder cost for us aussies if it is even available.


    either way...due to the the fact that there isnt a lot of talk atm about getting an official TOG guild up and running for hellgate....and that there is a huge time differential between australia and either usa (average 18 hours behind us) and eu (average 12 hours) the server down times dont go well with prime aussie playing times so i am getting the asian version (2-3 hours difference). Helps when the servers go down on tabula rasa during my prime playing hours lol (will be on US west coast server Orion for that due to guild presence)

    regards,
    B
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2007
  7. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    Will the game code you use to create an account lock you into a region of servers?

    It sucks how Australia always gets shafted when it comes to all of these pre-release deals.
     
  8. beetfield

    beetfield Getting Started

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    I'm trying to find some info for you that's specific to Australia. I know I read that European and USA players could play the free content across both regions, but would have to subscribe twice to play the subscriber content for both. Only one box purchase is necessary to do that. (edit: to clarify, FSS says they will support this feature "at, or shortly after, release.)

    I don't know who's publishing the game in Australia and how that's going to work, but I'll keep poking around the beta forums and see if I can find something out for you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  9. beetfield

    beetfield Getting Started

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    I have also found out that Asian servers are a whole different deal, you won't be able to able to play outside your own territory with an Asian registration key.

    Here's some more info:

    Q: Just curious, is Australia counted as part of Europe or America? I would assume Europe, but if we can choose what server to join, I believe it would be cheaper to pay the American rate of subscription.

    A: you can choose which server to join. you'll probably want to see which one has less latency.
     
  10. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    Yeah, I'm hoping it'll let you join whatever server you want regardless, but with separate companies taking the money for subscribers the whole things quickly becomes very muddy. There's also a severe lack of open information about everything. I'll try to dig around some more too.

    EA Seem to be the Australian publisher, HanbitSoft are the Asian publishers, and I as suggested, looks like they will maintain their own servers. Australia will likely get lumped with the European lot, I just hope they're smart enough to release servers in AU and the UK as having them all in central Europe would suck big time. Although some MMOs have divided regions by language and not geographical location, who knows. I think I'll get the game anyway and simply protest very loudly if they don't have decent servers for multiplayer. If it's big enough people will figure out how to hack it and have their own non-official servers eventually anyway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  11. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    Ok, this explains a lot:

    Q: Will I have a single account that lets me play in all territories?

    A: For now, you will have to create separate accounts in each territory.

    Q: What is a server anyway?

    A: A server is a collection of computers hosting the game. Players select a server when they create an account and can interact with all other players on the same server. A single server supports hundreds of thousands to millions of players.

    Q: Can I transfer my characters from one server to another?

    A: Not initially, however, that is a feature we’re very interested in implementing in the future!

    Q: Will I be able to create a free account on the European servers using a North American box (and vice versa)?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Will I be able to sign up for either lifetime or monthly subscriptions on the European server from North America (and vice versa)?

    A: We are planning to support this feature at, or shortly after, release.

    Q: Will I be able to sign up for either lifetime or monthly subscriptions on the European server using a Registration Key purchased from North American (and vice versa)?

    A: Yes, subject to the caveat given above.

    Q: Do I need to purchase a separate box to sign up for a free account on both the European and North American servers?

    A: No.

    Q: Do I need to purchase a separate box to sign up for the subscription or lifetime services on both the European and North American servers?

    A: No.

    Q: Why do I need to pay separately for subscription services in Europe and North America?

    A: Our billing and accounts services are currently separate in the two territories. We’re looking to rectify this at some point post-release, depending on technical feasibility.

    Q: If I’m in Europe playing on a North American server, what rates am I charged if I decide to subscribe?

    A: You will be charged the European rates if you are playing from Europe as we are required to pay VAT for anyone playing in Europe. We will collect those funds in Euros (or British Pounds).

    Q: What happens if I sign up for subscription services in both territories and then you later implement cross-continental accounts?

    A: One step at a time! However, we’ll definitely do our best to make you happy.

    Q: Will I be able to get the pre-order dye-kits or collector’s edition pet bonus if I create an account on the European servers using a North American box (and vice versa)?

    A: Yes. You will get the bonuses for any account you create.

    Q: How does any of this apply to players in Asia?

    A: Registration Keys purchased in Asia are only valid for the territory in which they were purchased. The reason for this is that we have vastly different distribution partners in those territories.

    Q: What about the rest of the world?

    A: That depends on where you’re located. Generally, you should be able to purchase either the European or North American boxes and play on whichever servers you choose. If you decide to subscribe, you’ll pay the rates associated with the server on which you create your account. All subject to local laws and taxes, of course.

    Q: So just for clarification: I gave my pre-order Beta code to a friend because I'm in the Alpha and got rolled over. When I receive the actual box, will I get the dye-kit and the Mantawraith, or is that tied to the Beta code?

    A: The dye-kit and founder’s offer are tied to the pre-order Beta code. If you want these, you should swap accounts with your friend. The Mantawraith comes with the Collector’s Edition and gets applied to your account when you enter the Reg Key from the CE manual.

    Q: Will I need to have the DVD in the drive in order to play online?

    A: No, there is no disc-based copy protection for the online game.

    It Seems there will be 3 territories, US, Europe & Asia. Asia has a different publisher and games bought there can't be used to create accounts for US or European servers.

    US Servers Subscriptions will be $9.99/month
    European Servers will be [SIZE=-1]£9.99/month! <- They claim this is due to VAT, info is still sketchy if you have to pay the full [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]£9.99[/SIZE][SIZE=-1] fee outside of Europe, some posts hint at it being [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]€9.99 or [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]£6.99[/SIZE][SIZE=-1] in non-VAT areas or something.

    Regardless of which region/territory you buy the game in, you will be able to create either a US or an European account, unless you buy an Asian copy of the game, then you can an only create an Asian account, I think. Pre-order bonuses will work with whatever accounts you create (except maybe the Asian CD Keys/Accounts).

    It looks unlikely that there will be an Australian multiplayer server on release day. West Coast US servers will likely give better pings than European servers as most major Australian ISPs have direct traffic into and out of the US, but Europe to Australia is all via Asia, so it's a bit of a muddy route.
    [/SIZE]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  12. beetfield

    beetfield Getting Started

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    I read somewhere that there will only be one server each for US and Europe on launch day.
     

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