1. Is FSS currently developing other titles as well as Hellgate: London?
Ivan Sulic: We’re focused on Hellgate: London and have made no other announcements.
2. Will Hellgate: London be released with compatability for Direct X9L from Microsoft since Windows Vista is planned for release in October? They have their own version of Vista called Vista Ultimate which is gamer oriented (this is the OS i am refering to).
Ivan Sulic: Hellgate will fully support Vista, DX9 iterations and DX10.
3. Are there any class specific quests and routes through the game? Like will a templar have to go to the place of his origins for an event (like a holy temple where he was baptised)?
Ivan Sulic: There are class specific quests, but not routes. Environments are shared between classes.
4. Is there any sort of character evolution aside from the base concept of getting ph4t l3wt?
Ivan Sulic: You thinking story-wise? If so, then not really. Players take on the role of character that partakes in a developing storyline, but aside from becoming an ultra powerful champion, that character will not really develop and have a mysterious back story of his or her own.
5. How long will the game/story be time wise? both with and without sidequest?
Ivan Sulic: We’re actually not sure right now. As development continues, huge chunks of the game get added and cut regularly. It’s thus impossible to pin down exactly how long the entire package will be. But a rough estimation of, “Just about as long as any other action-RPG” would be safe.
6. Will Flagship Studios legally be able to make references to past titles or in-jokes similar to those used in those past titles? For instance, clicking on NPCs repeatedly generating “joke” replies or nods to weapon names in the Diablo series. I’ve a feeling the answer is no but it’s best to voice the question regardless. I figure a cow level is right out.
Ivan Sulic: Not really. We don’t make any direct references to older Blizzard titles in Hellgate, but we do poke fun at ourselves and other things. We have some funny items, tasks and Easter eggs scattered throughout the game, anyway.
7. Will Hellgate: London bring back the naming schemes like in Diablo or Diablo 2 when you beat the game on different difficulties and such? Or if they kill main bosses?
Ivan Sulic: We do have different naming schemes, yes.
8. Hacking and botting was a HUGE issue in D2. Blizzard took an “active” approach rarely. It was more of a “if you care enough to fill out all of the paper work, we will be happy to do something about it” kind of thing. Is this the same way FSS plans to go about their anti hacking/cheating ways?
Ivan Sulic: No, I don’t think so. I believe we’re going to be doing more outsourcing to maintain a stable, cheat free multiplayer environment in addition to relying somewhat more heavily on our publisher. These two things alone should greatly decrease the amount of unscrupulous multiplayer action in our game. Additionally, we have a big internal focus on maintaining Hellgate’s multiplayer. It’s a huge priority for us, whereas at Blizzard current Flagshippers were split between expansions, other projects and regular upkeep. We get to focus more here, basically.
9. D2, generally speaking of the audience that played it, was a boring game when you went through the acts more than say, 5 times. After that, it was all about grinding your hero to 99. What are you doing to prevent this if you see it as a problem?
Ivan Sulic: In terms of singleplayer, we’re not doing anything to extend the longevity of our title past five play throughs. Honestly, if you have completed our game alone five times, we’ve done our jobs and feel happy that you’ve enjoyed it that much.
Now in terms of multiplayer… We have a much, much bigger game planned. While we’re always quick to point out that our multiplayer game will be everything Diablo was, it’s important to appreciate how that’s not all it will be. Unfortunately, due to previous editorial agreements, that’s about all I can say about multiplayer at this point.
10. Can you be more in depth about your PvP system? Will you “condone” it and encourage it more than casual outside of town PvP battles? How about tournaments or anything like that?
Ivan Sulic: I’m sorry, I can’t. Multiplayer details such as these are being kept secret for the time being so as to not spoil editorial agreements we have in place.
11. Will there be a hardcore mode?
Ivan Sulic: Yes, there will be. That, at least, I can say.
12. Do you plan to have more bosses than Diablo 2? Will the bosses be a bit more unpredictable than the ones in D2? How about difficulty with bosses? Will it be more of an issue of being undergeared, or more of an issue of trying to learn of how to combat the boss? Or both? Will strategy be involved is basically what Im asking. How much?
Ivan Sulic: Right now it looks like we’ll have substantially more recurring boss-like characters and a few more named bosses. I don’t know what you mean by predictable, though. Our bosses are bosses in that they’re bigger, meaner, tougher hell bastards than what you’ve been fighting, but they’re still just hell bastards of a different sort. So I suppose they are a bit predictable in that sense, but then they’re kind of supposed to be. In terms of strategy, you’ll need to learn how to combat bosses since they all have specific strengths and weaknesses and are prone to certain actions. You don’t just need to be tougher. It’s more that you need to be prepared. Of course, being tougher would certainly help. As an example, Lee beat Shulgoth on the first run as one of our classes because he knew how to handle him with skills and certain weapons. I, on the other hand, died about 20 times because I just tried to hit him with my very strong sword.
13. How far will you take modding? Can you mod weapons in combat on the fly, like in the middle of a battle?
Ivan Sulic: You sure can. Right now you can apply any modification to any applicable item at any time. The game does not require any sort of work bench or vendor to allow for this.
14. In Diablo 2, up until the facelift of Hell, “partying” in the game had no real purpose except to clear an area faster. Will you make partying of bigger importance in HGL? Will strategies be implemented, or will it be more like a run and gun?
Ivan Sulic: Partying won’t be required, but since the game configures itself depending on your character / party, playing as part of a group will result in a different experience that requires participants to use their characters accordingly. For instance, the game will identify your party and prepare an instance that plays off your party’s strengths. So, when you do group up for a quest you’ll need to cooperatively implement low level strategy because the instance is forcing you too. Of course, we’re still all about the Diablo-style slaughter of thousands of creatures, so it’s not like you suddenly have to put yourself in the middle of a squad-based tactical strategy game. You can just beat things if you please.
15. You mentioned guilds being a part of HGL. In most games (mmo’s. Where most of my experience with guilds come from… or just WoW ) with a guild, content was “locked” to those without a guild. Bosses and dungeons were only passable with a guild. Will guilds be more of a community thing, or will they be of dire importance in reaching and passing game content?
Ivan Sulic: More of a community thing. Currently none of our planned content requires guild, clan or any sort of group membership.
16. How big will trading be in HGL? Will modding contstrain trading in any way, or will it actually help it? How so?
Ivan Sulic: Unfortunately, this is one of those specific multiplayer questions I have to keep a lid on for the time being. Apologies.
17. It was mentioned a while back that the implementation of unlockable artist-designed ‘color sets’, as opposed to having dyes for each piece of equipment in the hands of players (which would allow for the creation of a myriad of horrific color combinations, producing characters that looked like clowns) would be used to customize armor would be a feature in Hellgate: London.
Most of the community is in full support of the implementation of artist designed color sets, so if they’re implemented, how exactly will they work? Will these color sets be unlocked via acquiring equipment ‘sets’, for instance, and will they be applicable on other non-set pieces of armor, once unlocked?
Ivan Sulic: Right now we’re still toying with the way colors will work. As I understand it, the current popular plan is to provide characters with some sort of accessible library of acquired dye sets they can apply to their suits at will. How specific sets are discovered and added to this library and whether or not the library itself will be contained at a vendor or within the player’s inventory is still to be determined. Talk is players will be able to purchase new sets, discover new sets as loot, acquire sets as rewards, and even acquire pieces of color sets attached to specific individual items that can then apply to entire suits. In any event, we’re still working on, so it’s just not finished yet.
18. One of the goals Guild Wars had when making instances of the world was to make the environments more interactive and fun to play in. In Hellgate I have read interviews that says that there will be random generated events while playing the game; such as a NPC’s wanting help from a demon attack and such. Can you tell us more about these different kinds of events, will there be events that affect the environment? Like for example pushing a button and a cannon will shoot through the wall making a way for the character or the character have to place explosives on a bridge before masses of demons rushes over it
Ivan Sulic: We do have emergent events planned. Most that I’ve seen revolve around assisting spontaneously generated NPCs unattached to assigned quests or tasks… Players may stumble upon a group of struggling survivors and provide escort, or they may help fend off an attack, or they may seek out a lost child. It’s all that sort of thing. We don’t have any environment interactions planned, however
19. Bascially, can you clarify how the aiming system works? It it purely stat based? Can you still miss from a foot away with your crosshairs right over a target? From the gameplay vids I’ve seen, it looks like if your shot intersects a target, then you score the hit. If that’s the case, then what does the accuracy stat do? Determine your chance for criticals?
Ivan Sulic: If you fire at an enemy within range while aiming within its bounding box — meaning you have a green light, which the game will indicate — you will score a hit unless said enemy flies out of the way, which is rare. So basically you have to look at a thing to hit it. Even then, most weapons provide splash damage and lots of leeway. And accuracy does determine chance for critical hits, BTW.
If you can still miss even though your projectile hits the target, what happens? Does the projectile just clip through the target? Or veer off to the side at the last second? Or does it still impact, only cause no damage?I’m concerned that the game will feel sloppy if the player and monster can stand still trading shots and not have them register cause everyone’s defense is to high.
Ivan Sulic: This isn’t possible. Hitting is hitting.
Does the term ‘soft aiming’ simply mean that the game doesn’t have sniper weapons or railguns or headshots, but that the weapons simply have area of effect or lock on or cone spread, etc.
Ivan Sulic: We don’t have headshots or railguns or sniper weapons. Most of our guns do have area of effect or opponent seeking abilities, too. Soft aiming is basically a way to say our game is not reflex intensive. It isn’t a hardcore, demanding skill-based shooter like Quake 3. It’s an action RPG with a third and first-person perspective.
20. Will it be possible to turn off the “soft aiming” feature?
Ivan Sulic: No.
21. Intel is speculating (or not) that by the end of 2006, +70% of home computers will have dual core processors. With that in mind, will Hellgate: London take advantage of the second core?
Ivan Sulic: It doesn’t right now, but who knows? We may find ourselves adding support later on if we deem it warranted.
22. When you have finished the game in single player mode in every difficult, is there a way to use again you single player character for something? In Diablo II you can return to boss for the drop, but you said in the past that boss will not respawn…
Ivan Sulic: After you’ve finished Hellgate on every difficulty setting you’re pretty much done, as I understand it. You’ll be able to reenter the game at your leisure, but I don’t believe we’re providing extra incentive for players to go back in the 10th time or whatever. That’s what multiplayer is for. That’s how people will continue playing and enjoying themselves.
23. Will there be huge dungeons that needs about 50 players to complete it? (In WoW there are 40man raids)
Ivan Sulic: I don’t believe so. I don’t think you’ll ever really “need” anyone.
24. How much tactic you need when you solo or are in group (like in a raid)?
Ivan Sulic: I already talked about this as well as I can. The ‘tactics’ questions are also so vague they’re practically unanswerable. How much tactics? I have no idea how to even respond, so I’ll just throw out an arbitrary number of 78 and say you need a rating of 78 tactics to be successful, provided you first have D-CF-1 Class A Priority Tactics Certification, of course.
25. Is it going to be a max lvl in HG:L and if so, what will it be?
Ivan Sulic: We don’t know this yet.
26. Making a guild, do you need to chose more then just name for it? ([tag], cape/logo…?)
Ivan Sulic: This is another specific component of multiplayer I can’t really talk about, but we will provide players the opportunity to input more than a simple guild name
27. In Diablo 2 you (almost) only used the money/gold to repair and recharge stuff and buy potions. will the money/gold actually mean something in HG:L?
Ivan Sulic: Almost? What is that? Like you could also use money to buy anything but often chose not to? That kind of almost? Well then that’s the same thing as any other game.
Basically, anything you find in Hellgate you can probably purchase somewhere. Whether you choose to or not is entirely up to you and in no way reflects upon the importance of economy in our game, nor does it imply money is ‘almost’ useless.
That being said, the game is more about discovery than acquisition. We encourage our players to kill monsters because the rewards are worth the work.
28. Will it be some kind of storage/chest/bank in HG:L for each player, and if yes, how big will it be?
Ivan Sulic: I believe there will indeed be some kind of a repository for goods. Its size is yet to be determined.
29. What do you think about the great community of Fansites (actually 20) that follow your project?
Ivan Sulic: I like them quite a bit. Fan participation is very important to Flagship, since happy fans generate positive word-of-mouth, which translates to higher sales, which means we can get paid enough to eat dinner. Eating, of course, is what keeps us alive and I sure do like living free of starvation on a day-to-day basis.
30. Bill Roper said in some interviews that fansite will have a great role in the making of the game: what will be the role of fansite administrator in the next steps of the development of the game?
Ivan Sulic: Hell if I know. I basically just want you all not to kill me.
Also, fansites already host content for us, contribute ideas and concerns to us, and will eventually participate in the game and its beta with us. All this comes in addition to providing places of interest for new fans to congregate. I’m sure later on fans and fansites will also be majorly responsible for ensuring the continued success of the game and Flagship Studios in general by of way of user created content and multiplayer-centric events.
31. Will there be same system as Guildwars got in map traveling? Do you need to walk all way to next city or like in Guildwars you push ”M”, city and ”Travel” or will there be like in WoW, pay to get another place. Like in HellGate you could pay cash to get into a train that takes you to where ever you want to. So whats the travel system?
Ivan Sulic: We have invisible transit lines that run between our equivalent of towns and safe hubs. To reach a haven for the first time, you must travel to it by foot through an instance(s). Once you have reached one of these safe hubs, you can then return to it instantaneously by accessing a simple transit marker at any another hub.
32. How much can we expect those Weta collectible figures to set us back? Will they be priced at like $20-50 or more?
Ivan Sulic: I have no idea whatsoever. Some will be super rare, probably autographed and definitely very big. Others should be smaller and cheaper and more easily found. Prices will thus be all over the place. And, they’re not even finished yet. So I really have no idea.
33. Will Hellgate:London feature detachable monster body limbs? Similiar to that of Soldier of Fortune? If so, will the limbs sever at point of impact, or have certain hitboxes?
Shoot of the arm, he stops swinging. Shoot of the leg, he starts crawling. ?
Ivan Sulic: We do have dismemberment. You can’t actually shoot off specific parts by aiming at them, however. It’s just something that sort of happens to some monsters when you hit them sometimes. Right now arms, heads and torsos can be blown / cut off. And obviously if a creature loses its arm, it will not try and punch you.
34. Will it be possible to use special characters in naming a player?
Ivan Sulic: Not right now. But our character creation system is so early it’s not at all representative of the final version. Who knows what the final will be like? But frankly, I’m voting no. I don’t know about you guys, but I hate people with names like:
That shit is idiotic and totally annoying. So I say screw ‘em. I’d just like to see foreign language characters and a select few English accent marks and extras.
35. What’s the deal with the ranks you see on weapons, armor and other equipment (e.g. weapon mods) in the gameplay videos?
Ivan Sulic: You mean like Superior, Inferior, Broken, etcetera? Those are just tentative titles to distinguish weapons by their effectiveness. Superior weapons often deal more damage and can accommodate more modifications, for instance.
36. I’d like to get the story straight on the subject of the ‘skill tree’, versus the ‘skill menu’. As I understand it, you learn new skills simply by choosing them from a ‘menu’ of sorts, and you can get them should you have the necessary skill points that they cost. But what about a skill tree?
We’ve read from a Taiwanese preview that the Templar can choose to pursue several profession ‘paths’ (rather than a free-choice skill menu), or something like that. What’s the deal with that?
Ivan Sulic: This changes so often there’s really no way to know how it will wind up right now. Basically everyone who ever said anything about the skill system in the past was probably right but is now probably wrong, though they could very well be right again in the next 20 minutes.
We don’t have career paths, however. There are specific categories of skills into which we lump abilities, but players needn’t funnel themselves into a specific category.
37. Would it be possible for a player in the United States to play with someone who owns a localized version in (for examples) Japan, Korea, or Europe?
The reason I ask is because it’s not possible for a player in Europe to play their localized version of World of Warcraft (WOW-EU) with somebody who owns the US/Intl version, unless the player gets the Intl version. That’s a major pain in the ass.
Ivan Sulic: Probably not. There are fundamental technological limitations to consider, not to mention the very likely possibility that the game will be configured differently across different regions to accommodate the basic preferences of locals.
38. Will Champions and Unique monster be in Hellgate: London?
Ivan Sulic: Yup.
39. Can you tell something about randomization of the skills with skills node (if they really are in the game)?
Ivan Sulic: I don’t believe skills are randomized, actually.
40. How many abilities will each class have?
Ivan Sulic: This is to be determined.
41. how will the skill system work?
Ivan Sulic: See question 36. But in general, and as of right now (as in this very second), when a player reaches a certain experience level a set of skills becomes available. Players can then freely choose which skills to effectively purchase with experience points or which skills they’d rather improve with those same experience points. There is no prerequisite beyond level to purchasing new skills. You can then assign active skills to hotkeys to initiate whenever you please in-game, whereas passive skills can just be turned permanently on or off in the inventory screen.
42. Will you be able to play any other race then human?
Ivan Sulic: Not really.