A Letter From Bill Roper

Bill Roper has posted a letter addressed to everyone in the Hellgate: London community. Here it is in full:

When we first started talking about Hellgate: London, there were a lot of interpretations about exactly what kind of game it was that we were making. Our online plans are as ambitious and exciting as the game itself, so I wanted to spend a few minutes talking directly to our fans about this very important topic.

Our intent from the beginning was to provide gamers an online experience not just comparable to, but even better than, what they got from Diablo II. It has always been Flagship’s goal to offer a robust multi-player experience that can satisfy players for months and even years, free from any subscription.

Hellgate: London is completely free to play online, out of the box. Anyone who buys the game can not only play through the fully randomized, storyline-driven gameplay offline, but they can also go online and share that experience with millions of players from around the world. We’re excited to be able to bring gamers an amazing, free online experience that is included with their single player game.

The Hellgate: London secure online experience is structured around shared, multi-player towns linking together randomly generated, “instanced” adventure areas, unique for a single-player or group of players. Both free players and subscribers will be playing together in groups and guilds on huge realms supporting tens of thousands of players simultaneously.

We want as many players as possible to find and group with their friends online, regardless of when or where their characters were created. Gone are the days of worrying about making sure your new character will be able to play with your old friends. Everyone gets access to our secure multi-player game servers. Players can party and trade with other players and play through the entire adventure to save London from the grip of the demons.

And all for free.

Gamers also want choices, and we have so many great ideas for Hellgate: London, and the concept is so extendable, that we know we can keep adding to this game for a long time. We want to continue moving Hellgate: London forward in some really exciting directions, and to support ongoing development we’ve created a subscription service to give players access to new content as we go along. This commitment to our gamers was also a part of our plans for Hellgate: London from the very beginning.

In short, what subscribers are getting is new content – not simply “better” things. Another way of thinking of this would be that we’re delivering smaller expansions over time rather than having players wait a year or more before they finally get something new.

We listen to our community and are making every effort to support players who want an excellent and complete experience for the price of the box alone, as well as those that want us to expand the game for years to come. Hellgate: London is a very special game to all of us at Flagship Studios. The crew at Ping0 has been working diligently on creating the best online experience possible. Together we envision launching a game that will appeal to both those who want to simply get online to play with their friends and those who want more and more from their gaming experience.

Bill Roper
Flagship Studios / Ping0

Thanks Kaiser for the heads up. Discuss!

Addendum from Bill Roper: “Asia countries are choosing business models that will be received the most reasonably in each market. We are discussing the sales model of our game with HanbitSoft and other related partners to yield the best strategy for each market based on a careful study, and all of this will be announced soon.”

57 Comments

  1. No longer a fan May 9, 2007 11:18 pm  Reply

    Blizzard would have never stood for segregating its players from each other like this. Goes to show that the company that made Diablo is Blizzard, not just Bill Roper and friends.

  2. Nodhead May 10, 2007 12:56 am  Reply

    yep. 5 bucks for update, ok, why not? but cutting the stuff of AN ALREADY BOUGHT GAME! into 2 pieces, not giving everyone the full original experience is ridiculous.

  3. Free-Player May 10, 2007 9:24 am  Reply

    Geez, where’s the love? I mean, I’m likely not to buy the subscriptions, because I don’t really need that stuff. I can economize my equipment, and hopefully I’ll fall so in love with my first character I won’t need to play any other (and if I don’t fall in love, BALEETED!) $50 bucks to play a next-gen RPG is sick. Being given the ability to then play online with friends is even sicker! (something I would have liked in the Elder Scroll games, but I still love playing those games by myself.) Flagship could pick whatever business model it wanted, it could have said “All online play requires a subscription” and people who didn’t want to pay would need to play by themselves (yes, people, there is such a thing as a single-player RPG, they’re not all MMOs). I still would have bought the game if that were the case, since I’ve been really looking forward to this game for the past 2 years when I first read about it in PC Gamer. However, Flagship will let me play for free with any friends of mine that have the game. Thank you Flagship!

    Oh, and I loved the thing about how Blizzard is what made Diablo, not Bill Roper. If that were true, why is WoW such crap? Not to mention, you can’t even play WoW without a subscription, can you? What, when you get the game, you get a month or so free (that’s pretty typical of MMOs, but I’m not sure in WoW’s case)? Way to split the player base! After a month, I’m “segregated” from my friends who pay subscriptions!

  4. No longer a fan May 10, 2007 10:17 am  Reply

    Blizzard would’ve never stood for segregating its players from each other like this. Goes to show that the company that made Diablo is Blizzard, not just Bill Roper and friends.

  5. Lookin Good May 10, 2007 10:27 am  Reply

    “but cutting the stuff of AN ALREADY BOUGHT GAME! into 2 pieces, not giving everyone the full original experience is ridiculous.

    Acutally you’re getting the full game just like everyone else right out of the box. If you want the expansions then you pay for them via subscription over time rather than big lump sums in a box like other games. Not sure why that’s so hard to grasp.

  6. Anistona May 10, 2007 10:59 am  Reply

    this is crap, why pay what amounts to $120 a year for what will be equal to a $30 expansion pack. This kind of game is not an MMO and should not in anyway have any form of montly fee’s. Even if the content provided is amazingly great and expansive, I really dont’ want more then one expansion a year, the game will get stale as it is NOT an MMO.

    The largest reason I will now not be purchasing this game is the limit of only 3 charactor slots without a subscription. This will limit me from trying every class and thus limit my gameplay experience without going “elite”. I want a full game not a gimped package for my fifty dollars.

  7. Machineman May 10, 2007 11:25 am  Reply

    Except… WoW is NOT crap.

    Roper is definitely pulling a bait and switch here, the language he uses is very calculated.

    Diablo was Blizzard. Not Roper.

  8. Dondasturu May 10, 2007 11:32 am  Reply

    Theres a lot of people that are saying they won’t buy this came cause of the fee… Well… So long? You complain about a monthly fee, big deal, just play the outta-box version. I also think that the single player will have unlimited character slots, its just the multiplayer version, you will be restricted on. So to the person complaining about being restricted on his character creativity… just play single player, then when you found a char you like… put him on the internet.

    I don’t suppose any of y’all have been keeping up with the way MMO’s are going now days. MMO’s are goin the way of online malls, sure you don’t pay a fee, but zomg if you want that cool lookin helmet you gotta pay 5 bucks. Oh wait, there are some pants, and I also could use that nifty XP bonus to cetch up to my friends… 15 bucks.

    I am sorry but payin 10bucks a month for a bunch of features, that aren’t needed but nice to have, is not that big of a deal. I would gladly pay a service that will help support people at Flagship to maintain the game, maintain servers, and make it better.

    I always loved City of Heroes/Villains “Issue” updates in which they were game changing. CoH releases several Issues a year. If Hellgate can do somethin like that then I can’t wait to see what Flagship will bring us… on top of this great game.

    In conclusion… See y’all on the Elite Side.

  9. H3LLG@T34L1F3 May 10, 2007 12:19 pm  Reply

    I dunno, I’d prefer buying a 30, 40 dollar expansion twice a year over paying 10 dollars a month, when we’re not even sure these promises of constant content updates will be met.

    They should have a clause stating the following “We promise 3 updates a year (which would equal 3 40 dollar expansions) We will credit each subscribers account 40 dollars per update we dont provide. Which is both incentive for them to put out updates, and encouragement for people to actually want to pay to play online. Maybe it’s not as simple as I propose, but it’s a starting point.

  10. Banegrivm May 10, 2007 12:28 pm  Reply

    You know, I could have sworn yesterday I read an article that you’lld only pay a monthly fee of $10 bucks and the expansions were included in on that. So whats the big deal? Is WoW a bad game? Depends on your persepctive and your play experience, but I’d never play it even if it was free, and I’d definitely never recommend the game to anyone either. To my knowledge all the makers of the original Diablo games are long since gone from Blizzard (along with most of the other original Blizzard staff and game developers), and most if not all are over at Flagship Studios now.

    I just hope that Flagship choses the route of inovation instead of the route of copy this business model or that business model. We’ll have to see how the game progresses, it’s definitely got an interesting story, atmosphere, and gameplay about it. Although so do alot of games and then you find them to be blaise. I still remain hopeful and looking forward to this. If the game play is engaging enough and there are enough things to spice it up, I’m sure the elite service will be just fine.

  11. iamjmk May 10, 2007 12:37 pm  Reply

    My question is will you then offer these same updates in a box for say $29.99? Will I be paying the premium just to have it earlier? So if you release enough for 2 expansion in a year I would have payed $60.00 or $80.00 if #39.99 where as the online subscriber would have payed $120.00 but got earlier access and presumably enjoyed it sooner than one buying the expansion? Is this the model you are using?

  12. Mac May 10, 2007 1:07 pm  Reply

    Well given all the confusion and the on/off nature of the subscription fee dibarcle I can’t help but feel that resource has in all likelyhood been pulled off developing/polishing the game to focus on this half house of a subs fee model.

    I was lucky enough to get in and pre-order the game for £17.99, as all sites that I have seen now have it listed for £24.99 – but given all of this nonsense i’ve just hit the .

    I would much rather wait and see how this model works/or doesn’t as the case may be before being parted with my cash … there are too many games released these days and then a long long wait for updats to make them playable – that is if an update comes at all … Gothic 3, Titan Quest Expansion, STALKER, etc. etc. and I for one am fed up of been taken for a mug.

    So if resources have been diverted away from polishing the game – I will hold onto my cash until the problems have been resolved, or if they are not I will invest my hard earned elsewhere …

    Thanks to all of you guys that are going to beta test the game/pricing model … :)

  13. Mokrunner May 10, 2007 2:12 pm  Reply

    They are not segregating people. If you choose to play for free or go the pay route, everyone is going to be on the same bunch of servers, and can even form a group and adventure together, pay or no pay. And anyone will be able to join guilds. If you look at all of the perks they are planning for those who go Elite, it isnt just about the post-release content either, and bug fix and pathing problem patches will be for everybody. But if you are willing to fork over the dough you will be given perks that I personally think will be worth $10 a month: You be put into a preferential VIP queue when you are trying to get into a crowded server. You will have access to online dungeon drop weapons and armor that, although the stats are no better than the drops that the rest of the folks can get at the same level, they will look flashier. You will get access to better customer service, 24/7 premium, because you are helping to pay the salaries of the customer support people. And although anyone can be in a guild, only the Elite will be able to form guilds.

    Have you ever heard of the saying “you get what you pay for”? The innitial box will get you the whole game, all in one nice package, one price. If you want MORE THAN THE WHOLE GAME you are gonna have to pay for it. They have announced that their update schedule will be monthly for small updates, but there will be a larger update every 3 months.

    My intent is to go through the main game offline, see what the different classes are all about before I start an online character. Even then I plan to see what the community is like before I begin to pay.

  14. Snob May 10, 2007 2:28 pm  Reply

    Great to hear from all these whingers who are not going to buy the game. Hellgate will be much more fun without you. If you want free games, go and play Runescape and see what sort of quality you get for nothing. Oh that’s right, you have to pay a monthly fee to really get ahead in Runescape, they just tell you its free to play.

    Wake up and smell the napalm – game companies are investing millions of dollars making games and someone has to pay.

  15. GET REAL May 10, 2007 2:47 pm  Reply

    Oh boy here we go again… A company makes a game. A single player RPG with a multiplayer server side. And then it announces that it will offer to whoever choses to pay some premium services in the form of early access to expansions and more character slots etc. in the multiplayer part of the game.
    And here go the crybabies: Boohoohoo i won’t buy it because i won’t be able to feel uber 133t with my 25 lvl 3 alts who i will never fully explore online. Well here’s the door! Don’t mind the fact that you can play the whole game for ever offline with 250.244.345 characters of every level you want and possibly update to the new content with stand alone consolidated expansions later. Don’t mind even the the fact that the multiplayer part isn’t even mandatory. You just sit and whine about not giving you enough bang for your buck. Just remember that this game is not advertised as a MMORPG but as a single player RPG with online components and you are not being charged for the single player experience but for extra online content and features.
    Oh and when the “real Diablo creators” Blizzard stops milking you for running BWL, AQ, FG, QWERTY and every other piece of instanced “phat lewt” money sink for the Nth time then…start using your head for something else than collecting DKPs.

  16. ShadowGryphon May 10, 2007 3:40 pm  Reply

    You know, I do not see what the big deal is.

    As “Get Real” stated, this is NOT an MMO so why all the bitching ?

    I blame sony for introducing evercrack in the first place, now we have kids running around expecting every game that has online playability to be an MMO of sorts……. got news for you, there WERE games that allowed online play long before MMOs.

    Also, try actually READING what was said before you just jump off and assume something not in evidence.

  17. Anistona May 10, 2007 3:56 pm  Reply

    They are failing at communicating what is available and what is not.

    From what I heave read so far I thougth with the boxed game you only got 3 slots for charactors period… online and off. If you are allowed ulimited charactors offline, that would be very nice.

    I feel very sorry for the person who has to write the back of the box copy and try and explain this clearly.

    I’m sorry, but this is all to confusing and I will not be bothering with this game anymore.

    good bye

  18. ElricX May 10, 2007 6:58 pm  Reply

    So what if I subscribe for one month and hit all of the new content, increasing my level cap past the soft cap, and getting elite gear? I lose all of that when my subscription expires? Are you all subscription or all no subscription. Thanks for the half assed description. The only thing I got from this letter is, we want to charge $9.95…You could have said that back in 2006. Not to mention what this is going to do to PvP. And gold farming…I might just pay the money and farm the elite stuff to resell to the non-elites. VIP my ass

  19. Exe May 10, 2007 7:10 pm  Reply

    what the supporters are missing is this. If this model works, others will adopt it. How long till your FPS become pay to play online? EA has already made the BF series into a game where if you are not on a ranked server then your game is crippled. An ordinary person can’t host a BF game and get full value without paying 200 a month for a server.
    At what time do we stand up and say “I can’t afford to pay $10 a month for each game I own”. EA is making these models and we are falling for them. And on top of that they are still tossing in advertising and selling the games for 50-60 bucks.

    I am against crippling a game and charging extra to uncripple it. You want to charge me 10 dollars a month? then I had damn well better see 10 a month new content every month. The only game I have yet to see deliver on episodic content promises is Sam and Max.

  20. Sardu May 10, 2007 11:00 pm  Reply

    Here’s one of the best examples I can give for why this is simply a bad idea:

    EQ2′s base subscription gives you access to the base game plus any expansions you purchased for your account. This would also include the ‘Adventure Packs’.

    BUT.

    You can also gain access to the APs / gain more character slots if you pay the higher ‘Station Access’ sub. vs the sub for that single title.

    So we have a similar situation here even though the type / genre of game may be different.

    The issue?

    If you at any time change from the Station Access to the single title sub, you lose access to all Adventure Packs, as well as those four extra character slots. Even better (or make that worse) you don’t get to select which 4 characters you’re going to lose.

    Say over the course of a year you pay $10 extra per month ($120) for the Access pass, you’ve more than purchased the APs and paid for data storage of those 4 characters. But the moment you change your subscription it’s like throwing money away.

    How will this be different for Hellgate?

    In fact it will be much, much worse.

    They’ve created a situation where once you pay for an elite account you’re somewhat stuck either A) Paying for as long as you plan to play online or B) You lose the vast majority of your characters AND half of your item storage space (no doubt losing the items in said storage as well).

    I’ve been excited about this game for a long time, but admit I’m a bit disappointed by this announcement as are many others. I can fully understand the concept of generating consistent income for development of future content beyond what box sales provide … but at the same time if I’d rather buy a smaller ‘episode’ style update once every 6 months and not be forced to pay every single month for the sake of keeping what I’ve already paid for.

  21. Necrosis May 11, 2007 8:15 am  Reply

    I agree with a lot of the complainers here. The business model is a slippery slop for the gaming world. I understand gaming is big money now days, but what happened to the day where you went to the store, you purchased a game and that was the end of what you pay? Now days, everyone is looking for ways to get extra money out of gamers. Again, I understand that they are trying to make a buck like the rest of us.

    But, where is the promise of the content? How many times have we read a FAQ for an MMORPG and someone ask what is the monthly fee for? The typical response that it is for server up keep and for all those regular content updates… those updates that never seem to come. Or if updates are released they are merely to fix bugs that should have been taken care of beta. They are not guarantying any real updates or telling us what the updates will consist of. They are merely telling us that you are paying for them whenever they come out. So you buy the game, pay your $10.00 a month and wait for their content. 2 months goes by, no content, 6 months goes by, no content (WE ARE WORKING ON IT GUYS!), 10 months goes by, no content. Content is released! OMG! You have now paid $100.00 for 10 months of no new content. You know what the new gamer that just purchased the game pays for that same content when it finally gets around to purchasing the game? $10.00… yep one months subscription, while you just paid $100 buddy boy! Grats!

    Pay $120.00 for content a year that would be equal to say three or four expansion packs is not a bad price. I have no problems with that! The perfect example is Guild Wars. An expansion pack is released here and there with new content and a price of about $45.00 so what is so bad? I will tell you so bad, it is the fact that after you buy one of Guild Wars expansion packs, Guild Wars does not force you to keep paying them money after the initial $45.00 purchase of the expansion pack and if you don’t, Guild Wars does not lock you out of the expansion pack content or worse take away all the work you have done over those many months. If you pay $10.00 a month for 4 or 5 months and content is released, then you should simply be able to keep everything you have PAID for PERIOD, not lose it because you feel like you need a break and cancel your subscription.

    Looks like a good game but I doubt they will get 1 months of a subscription for free. Sorry guys….

  22. Vincent Salieri May 11, 2007 10:10 am  Reply

    The question is, if one pays for a month of ‘elite,’ can one still use the ‘elite’ stuff they got during that period of time after one’s subscription expires?

  23. me May 11, 2007 11:43 am  Reply

    ok you pay 15 a month for just about all current mmos. there are no guaranteed updates or addons. 1 year after release a new expansion comes out. you buy it for 50 bucks lets see 230 bucks or 120. really i dont think this is that bad of deal when compared to other online games. from what he said above
    “Both free players and subscribers will be playing together in groups and guilds on huge realms supporting tens of thousands of players simultaneously.”
    that sounds very massive and multiplayer and online plus its a role playing game. hmmm mmorpg yup i think it fits. quit bitching you wining brats. just dont pay, you can still play. no other mmo gives you this option. either pay or dont play they say.

  24. Vertrick May 11, 2007 1:29 pm  Reply

    I’d like to point out to those saying, “Development takes time and money, etc. etc.”. Guild Wars does this without charging a monthly fee. You pay for new content when you GET the new content. So, presumably, if one (young) company can afford development with this kind of structure, why can’t another?

    Flagship is stacking the deck in their favor. By charging a monthly fee with the promise of new content, they can slip up, fall behind, and by the time you (the customer) realise you’re not getting your money’s worth, they already have months of subscription fees from you.

  25. Sarcomastigofor May 11, 2007 3:07 pm  Reply

    A lot of people are pegging the W”hiners” as being poor, runescape-playing newbs with no money. Wrong.

    Oh, I have the money, as do my friends whom were all so jazzed about playing this game…but there is no way I’m going to pay $10 a month for it. Why, you ask?

    First of all, like so many others who posted before me said, there is no gaurantee that new content will come on a regular basis, nor is their any gaurantee that it will be significant enough to justify the subscription rate. Take Phantasy Star Universe for example. I subscribed to that game for six months, and after six months of paying a little over 10 a month, every single “promise” Sega made to its customers was broken. No new content, Japan had more stuff then us, and the game was barely playable. Sixty bucks later and I had nothing “new” to play with in the game. They talked big, but never delivered. Just like most subscription-based games.

    Secondly, look at the things that this 10 dollar subscription gets you that you wouldn’t have otherwise:

    #1: Extra character creation slots
    #2: A storage box to put extra loot (Like in D2 & Titan Quest)
    #3: Cooler Items available only to paid members
    #4: The ability to enter guild buildings.
    #5: Bigger backpack size
    #6: No waiting in line.

    The only ones I feel justify some sort of extra payment would be #1 and #6, since they directly effect server stress. I can see paying a nominal fee for those things…perhaps at the point of sale or a one-time “Founder’s fee” of 20 bucks or so. But charging 10 a MONTH for these 6 things?

    I mean, the recently released Titan Quest, and Dungeon siege had Storage boxes and ways to icnrease your backpack size…and they didn’t charge for it. It was built in.

    As for not allowing you to enter guild buildings (even guilds you BELONG to) unless you pay…that is just plain crazy.

  26. Grumpy Old Wizard May 12, 2007 9:12 pm  Reply

    I was really looking forward to this game. Now I doubt I’ll be getting it in light of the revelation of “elite” membership.

    I wouldn’t mind buying extra content in the form of expansions, but not in the form currently planned to be used.

    One big problem with the “elite” and “free” player being in the same games is that as time goes by the elite players will be getting better gear and skills than “free” players creating an ever widening gap of power between the two “classes” of players.

    Yes. Classes. This form of gaming is creating a caste structure and will not be good for the longevity of the game.

  27. SomeDudeYo May 13, 2007 1:56 pm  Reply

    I don’t care much about the rift between the two “classes” of players since PvP isn’t a focus of this game.

    However I am worried about these constant, regular content updates. This is a game developer we’re talking about (and one made of ex-Blizzard to boot). Game schedules and timelines mean jack shit to them.

    So, I’m guessing that either you’ll be getting the promised every 2 week update or monthly update or whatever (since they’ve already stripped a bunch of content from the game ahead of time to plan for this and want to show the subscribers they’re on track) or you’ll get a bunch of crap updates (new armor piece, whee!) every month and a big update half a year later.

  28. Objulen May 13, 2007 5:17 pm  Reply

    The amount of gripping over this is getting ridiculous. If you don’t pay for the elite membership, you get the full game, just like Diablo II or any other non-pay game, and you can play online. If you do pay, you get the updates and content that takes money to produce. Maybe that will be released in a box later, but given that they are planning quarterly updates, $120 a year is reasonable, assuming these are fully fleshed out updates.

    As for not suscribing, that has yet to be hashed out, but they have said that they are trying to set it up so that not paying your subscription merely removes access to pay-only content. I’m going to wait to see how that works, instead of getting bent out of shape over something that’s not even fully detailed yet.

    Personally, while the subscription isn’t a bad thing mechanically speaking, it might make more sense to do an expansion-type system, like Guild Wars. In the end, it would be the same, but unless it comes in a box it seems the masses have the misconception that it should be free.

  29. Nekora May 14, 2007 6:59 am  Reply

    I’m firmly on the side of the ‘quit whining and GTFO’ camp here, I must admit. Considering the fact that running a server for a mass-market game of this sort is so expensive nowadays, there’s no way ANYBODY, not even ‘The Real makers of Diablo’ could do it anymore. Sorry to bust your bubble, guys, but Diablo II was the last of its kind. You’re just not gonna see a game of this quality with completely 100% free online play anymore. That’s how it is. If you don’t wanna pay, you should feel GRATEFUL that they’re offering a free option for you guys! I don’t know many companies who would do that! They could stop ‘segregating’ the player-base and make EVERYONE pay, you know!

    Anyway, that said, I had one little thing that I wasn’t quite clear on. The special gear that free players don’t get, and things like that…are they going to be available in the Single Player mode too? In essence, is everyone ‘Elite’ in single player? Or does the Multiplayer Elite experience have items and features that the Single Player version will never get? If that’s true, that would be something I would complain about.

  30. Necrosis May 14, 2007 2:01 pm  Reply

    First off, money whiners are not broke drunks sitting behind their computers…. OMG really?!

    Do you really think people are complaining about the $10.00 a month? I don’t think anyone is whining about paying the money, it is what they are getting in return and the fact you LOSE it when you stop paying. And Nekora, Diablo 2 was NOT the last of its kind. There is one VERY successful game since then that has 100% FREE online play, that game being Guild Wars.

    What Hellgate is trying to do is nothing different than what Guild Wars has already done. Buy the game, free online play. However, the difference here, is the fact that Roper wants you to pay for promise of “imaginary” content put out “whenever”. The gripe is you pay for the content, then unsubscribe and you LOSE EVERYTHING YOU PAID FOR! Why should players NOT be upset about that? Again, Guild Wars does not take away your expansion areas, or your characters or even your stash! I have no problems paying a monthly fee for new content as long as I get to keep it after I pay for it.

    Guild Wars has the right idea. If Hellgate really is going to release new content every so often, let them do it in stand alone expansion packs. I mean why not? If they are going to put out the new content, why not sell it that way? Hell, I don’t care if they sell all of the subscription extras as a small expansion for a small fee (stash, character slots, etc.) and release content as expansion packs we pay for. What would it hurt? It hurts them because that way they only get a “set” $40.00′s out of you, instead of a possible $40.00, $50.00, $60.00——$100.00 while you wait on new content. That is $XX.00 bonus per person just for making us wait for that content. Why would they rush out new content anyway? If content does not come timely, you will do what cancel your subscription? They have your money… You go back to the free service which you had in the beginning, minus your subscription fees, of course.

    Yeah, great game model…… nothing wrong here….

    Necrosis

  31. Objulen May 15, 2007 12:56 am  Reply

    Of course, the issue here is that everyone is jumping to conclusions. While it is possible that you could subscribe for a year and get nothing, how likely is that to happen? There still a massive amount of assumptions being made on the topic.

    The way the game is engineered, a Guild Wars-esk model may be more appropriate, especially if content is going to be made available to free customers at some later date; it may be that elite customers end up just paying monthly to get everything sooner; for example, expansions may be released down the road (say 3 to 6 months after the initial relase) for a fee; subscribers who’ve been paying for a certain amount of time can get it for free.

    Ultimately, I don’t care what the model is as long as it works. I can definantly see alot of logistical issues with a monthly subscription model, though. Given that nature of the beast, it would probably just be simplier to have expansions adding new areas, items, classes, etc with a flat fee for them, instead of paying monthly.

  32. Xaos May 15, 2007 5:59 pm  Reply

    Hmmm. I think Flagship has partly failed at really communicating things to the player, but this mostly goes at fault to Games for Windows magazine with their vague descriptions of what is and isnt being offered.

    Anyways, some people here have said a few times about the gap between Elite players and non-elite players. This might ease your mind:

    There is no level, or equipment difference between Elite and non-elite players.

    The soft cap of 35-40 exists, but that just means for the initial normal difficulty. All players can start over in a higher difficulty mode and get to 50 (the current hard cap) and receive good loot. An Elite player has the potential to reach level 50 in his first run through before deciding to start over and play in the harder difficulty. The gear Elite players earn will not be any stronger than the gear free players get.

  33. Rabidwombat May 15, 2007 6:18 pm  Reply

    Wow, there’s some decent replies on both sides, and some pretty sad replies, mostly on the “nay” side.

    For years we as a consumer/player base have demanded more from game makers.

    We want secure servers hosted by the company.
    We want no queues for these servers.
    We want the servers to stay up for years.
    We want new, regular content updates.
    We want moderators for full in-game support.
    We want full access forums with prompt developer replies.

    We want, we want, we want.

    Well you’re getting what you want, and you are now finding out that there’s a cost associated with it. There will always be other games out there that do things differently, and one of those things will be the cost associated with it. What you have to ask yourself is: what do you value more? a couple dollars a month? The added services those dollars will buy you in-game?

    Flagship is doing something pretty special here, considering they’re trying to accommodate both types of players. If you really like Hellgate so much that you can’t live without the extra content, pony up the cash.

    If you can’t afford to pay for every game you want to play online, PRIORITIZE, like you do in every other facet of your life.

    Hellgate London is going to be a wonderful game, and I have every confidence they will come through on their promises of updates. If they don’t, I have recourse as a consumer to look elsewhere. I’m certain that won’t be the case though.

    Hope to see you in-game! If not, I hope you have a hot sister and she decides to play instead. :p

  34. Killer_Tofu July 31, 2007 6:20 pm  Reply

    I am very very sad to find out about the elite stuff.
    As for the last replyer there saying the “nay” side is weak, well they must have skipped a few of the posts.
    I am a very, very avid Guild Wars player.
    As we all probably know, a few of the old Blizzard team are the main part of the ArenaNet, the people who make Guild Wars.
    I paid for Guild Wars once. Thats it.
    I never have to pay again.
    I have bought all 3 campaigns, and people, please don’t call them expansions. The only expansion to ever come out for Guild Wars isn’t out yet (Eye of the North). Each of the 3 Guild Wars games are COMPLETELY stand alone, you can own any campaign, and the other 2 are NOT required.
    Anyways, back to Hellgate.
    Guild Wars offers me all of that. They come out with content upgrades every now and then, and do not charge.
    From what I was reading elsewhere on a business analysis, the instance zone type deal that Hellgate will be using (Guild Wars does this) saves a ton on server processing and needs. Perhaps that is why Guild Wars does not need a monthly fee.
    Hellgate will. I still do not understand why.
    Diablo 2 has no monthly fee, and you can STILL play online on their secure servers. That has been around for how long now? About a VERY freaking long time. I think 10 years, has it been that long?
    Still no monthly fee.
    Yet Flagship will be charging a fee for people to get access to all the this extra stuff.
    Phooey.
    I will NEVER be milked to continue to play a game I like.
    I refuse to play Everquest (1 or 2), refuse to play WoW, refuse to play Eve, and all others of their ilk.
    I have even stopped playing other games such as Gunbound (its a weak example, I know) because if you pay, you get extra stuff. It REALLY does segregate the population into the haves and have nots. I have seen it in many a game.
    I was SOOO looking forward to Hellgate.
    It makes me a sad panda to hear about this “elite” bull shit.
    Very sad panda indeed.
    My chances of buying the game went from 110% down to 25%.
    =(

  35. Killer_Tofu July 31, 2007 6:24 pm  Reply

    Oh, and by the way, I would gladly pay 30 – 40$ for an expansion, or additional campaign every so often.
    That way the small content can be given to EVERYONE, and the major stuff can be released as an expansion.
    Guild Wars has basically done that.
    Many other games offer the expansion once a year or so.
    Would much so prefer that than the monthly fee.
    $30 = far less than $120

  36. Elite and Loving it August 13, 2007 2:42 am  Reply

    I have a simple set of questions;

    When was the last time there were new quests in Diablo 2?

    When was the last time there were new monsters in D2?

    When was the last time there were New Character classes in D2?

    If Diablo 2 had an elite server that cost you $10 a month to play on and updated all this stuff every 3 months, new quests, Monsters, Bosses, Character classes, Skills, etc… Would you pay to extend your D2 experience?

    I got so fricking bored of doing all the same stuff every time in Diablo II that I could not stand playing it anymore. I knew where Every Boss was, Their resistances, Their Vulnerabilities, Their loot possibilities etc… That I got bored.

    I do not feel that this will happen in this game, it is setup more like Diablo 1 in that the dungeons change. I played Diablo 1 for many years due to this simple difference, Quests changed, Dungeons changed, etc…

    Bring on the Elite Subscription, $10 a month is a BARGAIN for a game I don’t get bored with.

    P.S. When I get bored with a game or beat it, I buy another, sometimes 3-4 times a month. MMO’s have lasted longer, some lasting years, some lasting months. For example, WoW, got so boring just grinding and doing the same stuff over and over that I found it pointless after 2 months, AC I played for years… (Much Much more content than WoW will EVER have) Again I say, $10 a month for something I will enjoy to play is a Bargain… If it fails to deliver, I will move on…

  37. BoNe August 24, 2007 8:24 am  Reply

    10€ is really expansive
    bill roper said you can compare it to a addon

    “ok” a addon for 120€ a year
    for that money you can buy many addons

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