One of the reasons why we made a blog our official guild hangout spot is not just for guild-related news and discussions, but also to chew the fat about gaming (and WoW) in general.
Although we all obviously like WoW, it doesn’t stop us from looking at other MMOs, too, with the hope that TWW will go on and survive in other games as well. With many of the more promising upcoming MMOs delayed from 2007 to 2008 (Warhammer, Conan, Pirates), the only interesting online RPG that I’m eying is Mr. Hellgate: London — which coincidentally is released this Halloween.
Hellgate’s connection to WoW isn’t just lip service (there is the BIGGEST fly in this room right now, it’s like a B-52 with germs). Hellgate’s design team is mostly made up of ex-Blizzard employees who worked on Diablo and Diablo II. Hence why many people are calling Hellgate “Diablo 3” — the hell theme is present, as is fast-and-furious RPG hack-n-slash action. If you go ahead and get the preorder, you’ll be instantly admitted into the beta, which continues for the rest of the month. I’m in it, but unfortunately unable to discuss it due to the NDA.
However, I can comment on a few things that are public knowledge. Hellgate is comprised of six classes (three types and two subtypes each), with skills and talent trees that are somewhat familiar if you play WoW or Diablo. However, while there are stats and talent choices, the action is mostly a giant click-fest pitting you against a swarm of baddies filled to the brim with loot.
It’s hard to decide whether Hellgate is a bonafide MMO — while it has several components of MMOs (including persistent characters, playing with loads of other people), it lacks a persistent world (Hellgate’s is largely instanced). You can also choose to be a “free player” or an “elite” subscriber; free players just pay for the box and can play on and offline as much as they like, grouping with other people and joining guilds if they like. Elite players get more benefits, including more content that will arrive on a regular basis, the ability to create guilds and be an officer, more loot and better looks. You can pay $10/month for an elite subscription, if that’s your bag.
I’ll definitely be playing this come October 31 — and hope to see you there!