Hellgate London - subscription based MP?

This blurb just got posted over at Gamespot about Hellgate:London at CES. The one interesting thing that came out of it was the statement that you could play singleplayer or that you could “turn it into a subscription-based multiplayer game if you want to play with others and enjoy lots of new content.”

This is the first time I’ve heard that MP would involve a subscription. I suppose now I understand why Bill Roper calls it a MMORPG. I suppose up to this point I assumed it’d follow Blizzard’s Diablo II model of free MP.

I’ve been hyped for this one for a while, but I gotta say that tempers my enthusiasm somewhat. Oh and this video doesn’t really make it seem special either - it looks just like any old generic shooter (though I must say I dig the music). I’m hoping there’s more to the game than this video illustrates.

It could still be a free subscription…?

I agree though, I have high hopes for this title but the videos aren’t impressive.

I don’t think I’d pay for online Diablo in its current form. How is Hellgate going to be handled for multiplayer? Is it a persistent world with a lot of locations to visit and the potential for dozens if not hundreds of players to be in the same location at once, or is it instanced locations limited to a handful of players per instance?

When I go to someplace like Eastern Plaguelands in WoW, I know I’ll run into other players, some I may know, some enemy players, and I know that anyone who is in EPL is going to be in the same EPL I’m in. That’s appealing and feels like an MMO to me. That’s what I expect from a subscription fee.

Mark, from what I’ve read and heard, I believe the subway “tubes” are going to be areas where you congregate, ala the towns in Guild Wars. Then when you go to a “station” or whatever, you’re popped into an instance. So I think the feel will be very much like Guild Wars as opposed to what you describe.

I thought it was a FPS/RPG. In other words, it’s more Deus Ex than Diablo, except there will still be lots of loot.

It depends on the class. The hunter can be played more like an FPS; the others are handled more like regular RPGs.

I’ve read a few things about Hellgate, but I’m still not exactly sure what the deal is. Maybe the developers aren’t even sure. Ah well, I guess I can just read reviews when it finally comes out.

Maybe it’s free MP but you have to pay a subscription to get access to the new content?

The game is supposed to be slated for summer release of this year, so it’s not like they have all the time in the world to figure it out. If they’re going one way or the other it’s going to dictate some of their network architecture.

The quote does not suggest the existence of free multiplayer: “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.”

Going by this sentence, there are two possibilities for playing the game:

  1. single player
  2. subscription-based multiplayer (including “lots of new content”)

Furthermore, I can’t imagine the subscription will be free, unless he’s trying to convince potential investors that this game is like an MMOG when it isn’t.

That’s exactly what it sounds like, and since Guild Wars is free, a subscription would probably piss people off.

Well, to be fair, Guild Wars puts out an “expansion” every six months or so, whereas we don’t really know the plans for HGL. On the other hand, you don’t HAVE to purchase the Guild Wars expansions.

But if Joe Blow is standing there comparing HGL to GW, and they both look the same (roughly) yet HGL requires a monthly fee to play - well, I think we can all see where that one goes.

Hmmm…I don’t know which one is better. With Hellgate, I presumably get access to all the online content with a single monthly fee. With GW I pay for content in in a piecemeal fashion.

The claim for “lots of content” isn’t an reliable one.

Many online games have promised lots of content and ongoing development but actually delivered the bare minimum. Today even the bigger mmorpgs give very little new content from month to month and are mostly sticking to bugfixing and maintenance while content is delivered through expansions. That you have to pay for again.

So lets quantify this “lots of content” before it can be used as a selling point or a feature.

For once, I agree with HRose. I don’t see any reason to believe they will deliver new content for a subscription fee.

This news vastly decreased my interest in Hellgate London.

Was that video supposed to make people excited?

Well, I could care less about the multiplayer portion of the game. It’s optional, and the game is designed as a single player game first, most likely. Of course, multiplayer gives a game longer life, and if you want that you can pay for it (maybe…as Andrew says, the quote is unclear).

Crap. I was somewhat excited about this game, but it looks WAAAAY 4GETTABLE 2 THA M-A-TRIPLE X in that video. So far, the biggest disappointment of 2007 is the Hellgate London gameplay video.

The music WAS cool, though.

Well thats disappointing. I guess here to hoping we see a Diablo 3 announcment in 07.

I feel kind-of obliged to be loyal to Bill Roper, thanks to the other games of Blizzard. But, i dunno. With that video, it was hard to tell things like graphics and even gameplay feel… but like items dropped “zooming” to your character, the whole “running up and down to avoid a monster” spectacle, not to mention the chance of being charged for online play (and while the singleplayer might be reasonable, the game is focused on social gaming), doesn’t realy bode well for me.

I was hoping for some sort of GOW-esque feel, like with night-time and staying in the light. The longer you are outside a ‘tunnel’, the more demons home in on you, making quests and the like dangerous if you linger around. This would mean dashing to objectives, retreating to a ‘tunnel’ if the mobs get too heavy, or even possibly needing to team up, so that some of you can hold off the demons while one does the quest.

Did like that music though.

I think that the things that looks worst in the video beside the telekinesis on objects is the fact that the weapons seem just big, stupid toys.

There are these huge, rainbow colored, slow moving particle effect and it doesn’t feel like very fun ranged combat.

No cover, no decent animations, just a straight corridor shooter that seems way too simplified to be involving.