An Interview with Ivan Sulic, Community Manager
By Sol Invictus and Vivian for 21rpg and Hellgate Guru
1. As FSS had announced before, they wouldn’t be using advice from fansites as Flagship would prefer to handle such design-related matters internally. However, we can see that there are some really cool ideas are posted, so does FSS still hold this opinion?
Ivan Sulic: We take into consideration all constructive feedback and advice we receive, but we won’t accept actual game ideas from third-parties due to legal issues. That being said, we’re always open to listen to what people say in the chance that they may inspire us to do something cool with our game.
I think it’s important to also note, though, that a lot of times these ideas are already being implemented into the game or at least being considered.
Finally, even though I joke about stealing other people’s ideas all the time and making them my own, we never actually do that. Never-ever-never.
2. Is there any replay function in HGL that could let players make some cool videos?
Ivan Sulic: Unfortunately not. I’ve requested this for my own purposes (since I take so much media of Hellgate), but it looks unlikely that any sort of replay functionality will get implemented into the game.
3. Is there any PVP model that you are considering in HGL? If so, is it more like the Guild Wars model, or can players PK others whenever they want?
Ivan Sulic: We do have PVP planned. Right now we’re considering whether to bind it to specific servers or to designated areas that would be analogous to arenas within all servers. We’ve yet to decide upon a final course of action in that matter. But there will at least be PVP and it will not impose upon a player’s solo or coop game in the least.
4. Does HGL have any title system? For example the title “pathfinder” would be bestowed to the player who explores and uncovers the HGL world, or the title “zombie slayer” for someone who kills a lot of zombies.
Ivan Sulic: We do hope to implement just this, yes. Titling of the sort will hopefully be part of a proposed stat tracking system.
5. Does HGL have any “fun areas” included? Like the circus in WOW?
Ivan Sulic: Not as of yet, no. While mini-games are being discussed, I believe it’s improbable they’ll be implemented since we have so many other priorities to concern ourselves with.
6. Does HGL will have any rank classes like if some player plays Templar on lv60 then he could transfer his class to Sword Templar.
Ivan Sulic: No, we do not have ranked classes either.
7. Are there any emotion actions? Like /kiss etc
Ivan Sulic: Yes. We have some basic emotions going into the game right now, actually.
8. How will Flagship protect players who buy the original edition of HGL?
Ivan Sulic: We haven’t finalized our security or customer service measures as of yet, but we’ll be no less capable of handling problems than any other provider of online games. Further, we will certainly meet every security standard applicable to us.
9. How will the offline version affect the online version? Are there any connections between the two?
Ivan Sulic: Offline gameplay should not impact online gameplay at all. We are currently planning to allow online players to transfer their characters to an offline world, but the swap is not two-way.
10. Could I reset my skill points in HGL?
Ivan Sulic: No. “Respeccing” is not currently supported.
11. Will HGL have a “dressing room” system that could let players try on some items first like WOW without actually having the items in the player’sinventory? For example items in the auction house or items other players are wearing.
Ivan Sulic: Nope. We do not have or plan to have the equivalent of a changing room. Players either don a wearable item and have it on their person or they don’t have it on at all.
12. Will players be able to link items in the chat like in WOW? E.g. “I use a [Templar Rifle]” and clicking on the item in chat allows players to see what the stats are and it looks like if they wield it.
Ivan Sulic: We haven’t developed our chat functionality yet. So we don’t have any concrete plans to do this, no.
13. Does Flagship have any plans to run HGL on PS3 or XBOX360?
Ivan Sulic: Flagship is developing Hellgate: London for PC. With that said, if our publisher intended to port Hellgate to Xbox 360, PS3, or any other platform known to man, we would certainly support that decision and help in anyway we could. We just want people to play and enjoy our game, regardless of what system they do it on. But ultimately that decision would be up to our publishers.
14. Does HGL support controllers like gamepads?
Ivan Sulic: Yes. Hellgate should support gamepads when it releases.
15. Do long distance weapons lose or gain damage depending on the distance between player and monster? For instance a particle accelerator would build momentum and do more damage if the range is longer.
Ivan Sulic: No. I do not believe range currently factors into how much damage is applied to an enemy.
16. If HGL supports custom UIs, what kind of programming language will be used in game (like XML)? Is it like WOW, where Blizzard published the API for other players to help them develop skins for game?
Ivan Sulic: Right now we don’t support user modified UIs. It’s being discussed, but since it’s not in now I am incapable of answering your questions here. Sorry.
17. Does the hit point damage done by the Cabalist’s evocation skills rely on the focus item?
Ivan Sulic: We do plan to have different Focus items and those should impact the effectiveness of a Cabalist Evocation skill, yes.
18. Can players break and destroy items on the street? Like mailboxes, etc. Will any decal marks be shown when buildings are damaged?
Ivan Sulic: Yes and no. Like most shooters, we have decals in our game that leave effect marks on the environment and indeed certain objects in the environment are destructible, but the backgrounds are not nearly as interactive as games like FEAR, Black, Red Faction, and Silent Storm. In fact, our environments are fairly static by comparison.
19. Are there any notes or indicators for players before they see the monsters?
Ivan Sulic: No, I don’t believe we have any sort of indicators that point out monsters before you actually see them. There’re audio cues, of course, but I hardly think that’s what you’re wondering about. We also do not currently have any monster descriptions players can access before they see a monster.
I am hoping to add a big equivalent of an encyclopedia to Hellgate that will take care of this, however.
20. Does the offline version share the same storyline with the online verison?
Ivan Sulic: Yes.
I hope these answers work for you! I know I didn’t answer all questions satisfactorily, but it’s the best I can do.
Thanks for your time, Ivan!