Hellgate: London Second Look – Hellgate Chronicles Chronically Bugged
Flagship Studios released its first major patch for Hellgate: London yesterday after a short delay. Unfortunately, it appears that it should have waited a little longer before releasing this one into the wild.
I covered the contents of the first edition of Hellgate Chronicles (as it is called) yesterday, so I’ll only briefly sum up the new content. The Evoker and Guardian classes were completely overhauled, and multiplayer subscribers were treated to the new
- There’s a new display option to help with virtual memory issues by filtering how many unique characters will be displayed.
- A number of tweaks have been applied to the item modification process, such as requiring nano shards to use the Nano Forge to upgrade weapons.
- All in all, most of the changes are for the better.
However there are several problems with this patch that haven’t been ironed out even after two weeks in beta. There are sound distortion issues with some sound cards. The lag was incredible on a server with an average population making mouse movements difficult. After I’d been killed by four identical rare MOBs spawned at one point, I found that my video display didn’t revert to color after I revived. I wasn’t able to normalize my display even after using a PRD or traveling via the Station Terminal.
When I first reviewed Hellgate: London, I gave it a fairly good rating. I did cite the difficulties with release, but chalked them up to a new company pushing to meet a deadline. Flagship Studios has several veterans on staff, however people still need time to learn to communicate effectively and work together well. Unfortunately, it seems the Flagship Studios’ team may not be functioning as a cohesive unit yet. Despite the firm launch plans and the extra month delay, part of the reason for further delay of the patch was the release had been broken thanks to a developer putting in “some strings (lines of text in skills and such)” that are meant for the next big update. Perhaps Flagship just isn’t ready to sail into the open ocean yet, and should follow the coastline a little longer.
The bigger question I see on the game‘s website is “Is this worth $10 a month to subscribe to?” and unfortunately the answer at this point is wait a little more. Let Flagship pull out a few more content updates and see if you want those. The current crop – Stonehenge included – is not even as much content as free MMO’s like Guild Wars pushed out shortly after launch and definitely isn’t on par with 1st tier games like Lord of the Rings Online or World of Warcraft.
Personally I hope this product survives and thrives, but it is becoming unfortunately clear that Flagship Studios may not quite be ready to support all their grand plans.
via Hellgate Forums