An Interview with Ivan Sulic, Community Manager
By Vivian for 21rpg (Chinese) and Hellgate Guru
1. What is the extension for all the weapons? How far can weapons reach?
Ivan Sulic: When you say extension, if you’re referring to range, some of our Weapons are capable of reaching just about anything the player sees (the Zeus Sniper Rifle, for instance). However, other weapons are balanced to reach only nearby enemies or those within specific areas. This varies considerably depending on weapon. Basically we can make range as close or as far as we like.
If, when you say extension, you are actually referring to capability, our 100 weapons are each modifiable in six different ways. Each weapon is capable of carrying a maximum of five different mod slots. Those mods are: Tech, Ammo, Battery, Fuel, Relic, Rocket. Further, the exact mod slots a weapon can have are randomized. So, I may find one Firestarter Pistol that has 2 Tech Mods and 2 Battery Mods and another Firestarter Pistol that has 1 Tech Mod, 1 Battery Mod, and 2 Fuel Mods.
To complicate this even further, each of our weapons comes in multiple primary categories. There’s the equivalent of Broken, Inferior, Base, Superior, Rare, and Legendary. Within each category, a weapon’s capabilities are randomized. So, it’s possible to find a Rare Holy Negotiator sword that differs considerably from another Rare Holy Negotiator Sword. The attributes are all randomly generated.
Now you can truly appreciate the diversity of our weapons and the possible combinations… When you combine the different levels of weapons (Legendary, Rare, Etcetera) with internal randomizations and again with the various types of mods, which are also randomized, it’s possible to come up with a nearly infinite amount of weapon combinations.
2. Does the game feature any traps?
Ivan Sulic: We currently do not have any traps in the game, but it is something a lot of us would very much like to include.
3. Can the Templar have more than one Aura enabled at a single time?
Ivan Sulic: Absolutely. A Templar can stack many aura effects atop one another.
4. Is there better to using Windows Vista than using Windows XP as the game’s operating system? What are the benefits?
Ivan Sulic: While I’m sure there is a more technical answer to this, I will say that unless you have the combination of a DX10 video card and Vista, there would be no apparent benefit to switching from XP. Basically, the major benefit of Vista is that it will be DX10 enabled. Hellgate: London will also support DX10 (a version with better graphics). So, if you have Vista and a DX10 video card, you’ll get a better looking game. The leap should be considerable, from what I’ve heard. Mind you I haven’t actually seen it our DX10 game yet, so I can’t promise it will be that drastic, but everyone says it’s going to be awesome. In any event, without a DX10 video card, Vista is still supposed to provide a performance increase, but that is also unverified. So it comes down the graphics and that all depends on your video card.
5. Do the loot tables for monsters differ between the online version and offline version?
Ivan Sulic: Not really. The loot drops are always randomized, so they will always be different all the time no matter what. But… It is still possible that in a higher level online game you may incur a better loot drop. Then again, if you play a super hard offline game, you’ll get the same thing. So no, it’s not really that they’re different.
6. Does character would have some special skills that would allow them to fly?
Ivan Sulic: Not presently, no. We had a huge superhero jump skill in the game, though. That let players leap all the way down a street. It was pretty cool. We took it out for collision detection issues, however. Whether or not it goes back in remains to be seen. But currently, players will not be able to fly.
7. Is there any built-in software that would allow players talk to each other while adventuring, like Dungeons & Dragons: Stormreach?
Ivan Sulic: We do plan to include voice over IP support so players will be able to converse with one another as they game. I believe the game is designed to support it out-of-the-box, actually.
8. Where did Flagship Studios come up with the idea to develop the monster Morpho Jr.?
Ivan Sulic: Morpho Jr. was an evolutionary design. Our outsourced artists at Massive Black provided a variety of concepts from which our Art Director began providing input. Eventually a basic arthropod evolved into a more tiger-like creature. That eventually became the final large part of Morpho.
Here’s an early quote from Phil. “He’s bigger than would seem “possible” coming out of corpses. That’s part of the weirdness of it. Like in Men in Black, that bug alien in the beginning that stuffed himself inside the redneck’s skin.”
My thanks to Ivan Sulic of Flagship Studios and Vivian of 21RPG for making this interview possible.