Hellgate: London R.I.P.

Last night, midnight CST the US and EU servers and forums went dark for Hellgate: London.

I had hoped to get more time in Hellgate its final month, but didn’t quite get to it. I played for awhile yesterday around noon, completed a few quests with my Marksman, Traeginn. Later last night I played some more, explored some new areas and got myself totally stumped on how to finish one of the quests I was working on.

Traeginn’s last quest hub was Templar Station and while running around I stumbled across an NPC (or something) who opened the portal to Stonehenge for me!

Some of the areas Templar Station linked to had groups of NPC Guardians who would attack the demonic hordes wandering the streets. Great help at times, and I even pulled a trick out of my old Guild Wars “North Wall” hat and aggroed a boss and several other mobs and kited them back to the Guardians for some easy kills! I’ve never played a Guardian class, so I don’t know if they have aggro management skills or tank via collision detection but they sure kept the mobs off Traeginn so he could stand in the back and light them up with his rifles! I suppose that’s what WAR was aiming for as well, but I never got to see it in action in the T1 Scenarios… But it drove home the regret that never once was I ever able to get a group in Hellgate. It’s the reason I stopped playing last year. Not the bugs, the repetitive environments or the memory leak. I don’t play multi-player games to only solo. The NPC squads made me realize that Hellgate should have had some type of NPC companions (Guild Wars’ Henchmen, DDO’s Hirelings, etc.) to fill out a group.

Despite the lack of a group, I found myself enjoying the game yesterday. Some of the places linked from Stonehenge were awesome, like Wake Hollow! If I’d found this stuff last year (and had found a guild or someone to group with) I may have been compelled to play more. With 40 minutes remaining, Traeginn reached level 22! The extra percentages of power and faster demon-killing was noticeable and quite fun!

The server was packed with players all day! Most people knew what was coming, and many of the wealthy level-capped characters donated to the War Drive NPC who puts buffs on every player. Those were handy! The chat was mostly friendly banter, people sadly exploring places they’d never visit again. Of course there were the occasional rants directed at Bill Roper but those were few and far between and for the most part everyone had accepted Hellgate’s fate. What was striking and perhaps even more emotional were the players who obviously enjoyed the game and had absolutely no idea it was counting down its final hours. They weren’t bitter in an “OMG Flagship sucks! Kill Bill!” way, but they did seem to be profoundly saddened and shocked. I would be too if I’d found an online game I liked, made friends and formed social relationships with others only to discover at the last minute that it’s all going away. How would you feel?

Former Flagship Community Director Diane “Tiggs” Migliaccio — yes, the same Tiggs that SOE fired for allegedly taking the players’ side after the NGE was released (many opinions on that debacle, your mileage may vary) — was back yesterday and spent nearly the entire day chatting and saying goodbye to Hellgaters. She’s currently the Community Director for Fallen Earth but she was given her powers back for Hellgate’s final day and placed in charge of “flipping the switch” for the forums. Someone else was in charge of shutting off the servers; if she ever said who it was, I wasn’t online for it. During the final couple hours, Tiggs went from simply chatting with us to using the Announcement channel, which is how the aforementioned uninformed players discovered the game was shutting down.

Tiggs’ first announcement read “Reminder that the Hellgate London NA and EU servers as well as the forums will be shut down at midnight CST.” That’s when the uninformed started asking “Is this for maintenance? How long will the server be down?” and some of us began explaining what was happening.

At 11pm CST, Tiggs announced “Sadly the servers and forums will be shutting down in one hour.” Every so often she would update with a countdown of time remaining.

She did manage one plug for her new job with “Since this world is ending why not join another world that ended… FallenEarth.com”

Tiggs’ final announcement read “The servers and forums will be shutting down in 10 minutes. Thank you all for sticking with Hellgate.”

At this point I had discovered how to complete the quest I’d been previously stumped on but with only ten minutes remaining there was no time to travel three zones to complete it. I would much rather get a gage on the players’ social reactions so I traveled back to Stonehenge, which was jam-packed with players! I got to see plenty of level-capped characters with really cool gear. Everyone disabled helmets as a sort of role-playing way to humbly honor Hellgate and its community.

The last few lines of chat that came across my screen were:

Take care all, let’s kick ass wherever we go!

love u all

dang this really SUX

bye everyone!

Seconds after that final goodbye, there was a sudden jolt of lag as we were all sent back to the Hellgate title screen and greeted with the message of a virtual world that no longer exists:

hgl-network-error


Posted in MMO by with 32 comments.

Comments

  • DM Osbon UNITED KINGDOM says:

    Never played the MMO but reading this kinda made me feel a little sick, even the 1st MMOish game I played – Meridian 59 – is still running some servers…

  • Sigoya UNITED STATES says:

    Thanks for being there. Noted and linked from WarCry.com
    Cheers

  • Joerg GERMANY says:

    It was a great game. I hope there is a future for hellgate london …

    Seedreipio, Hunter, Lvl 50 Rank 18

  • Mallika SPAIN says:

    This makes me really sad — that network error message really hits home that the world is gone. Gah.

    There’re rumours that Hellgate will be back though, as a f2p game. Maybe this won’t be the last that people see of that particular world. http://www.massively.com/2009/01/26/hellgate-london-staying-alive-through-free-to-play/

  • Melf_Himself says:

    They’re leaving the servers up in Korea apparently… I wonder if international types can connect to those servers? Hmm…

  • dudeguy GREECE says:

    It’s ok to have a comment.

  • Waz CANADA says:

    Shame on Namco. They hold the IP for the game in North America and seem to be hellbent on keeping Hanbitsoft, owner of the asian (Korea) rights, out. Yet they can’t even be bothered to put a link for the Hellgate patches on their website.

  • Openedge1 UNITED STATES says:

    Namco is good about making games, or publishing games, then kicking them to the wayside.
    For example, a fun little game a while back was released called “Mage Knight: Apocalypse” (which I saw a copy of at GoGamer for $1.99). It was an interesting action game…BUT..
    They released 1 patch on launch day for a bug for install, then a patch after that to fix bugs, which introduced new bugs…then they disappeared…

    The forums died, and no more was done for the game…

    Sad.

    That is about the life of Namco Bandai, and as a whole I wish this company would go under…

    I will keep an eye out and see if Hanbitsoft gets any leeway on this venture to launch F2P here.

    Thanks for the story!

  • Kurt Hectic FINLAND says:

    Sad to see this go.
    I played HGL for about half a year myself. The game had huge potential. Unique world that offered welcome change from all the generic fantasy fare and solid combat, marred by badly written dialogue, crappy plot explosition and just-barely-there quest mechanics.
    However, this was in it’s core a roguelike, making it incredibly addictive, and with excellent graphics. So the game should have been salvageable, had Flagship not run itself to the ground by bad business decisions.

  • Scott UNITED STATES says:

    I hope Hanbitsoft gets the rights to re-open the game as F2P in the US/EU markets; I’d love to get back into the game, especially if they’re going to continue development as well and get the client fixed up.

    Tiggs was very adamant in chat that this wasn’t Namco’s fault. She’s not currently working for them, but I suppose after the SOE mess it’s better to not say things people can get screenshots of. How can this not be Namco’s fault? They’re the ones running the show for the western market.

  • Paul UNITED STATES says:

    Agreed with you there, Scott.
    It was dissapointing, as I had finally reached the TANK status with my blademaster, and wow was he fun to play, 2,200 life 1,100 armor without a sheild.
    Poor Mothatrucker. lol
    It was fun while it lasted, for sure. My Hopes go with Hanbitsoft to get the rights to re open game as F2P for US/EU.

    Until that happens, Been a pleasure playing with all of You guys on Shulgoth (US).
    Take care and maybe we shall meet again on a Relaunched HGL. If luck smiles upon us.

  • cullen UNITED STATES says:

    hanbitsoft wanted to buy hellgate but was refused. FSS tried a counter offer for a merger of some sort and was completely ignored, apparently tried many times. FSS closes. Hanbitsoft waits to buy the IP. Sad day for FSS. I’m loyal to the game until another action mmo comes along of at least its quality. hope they can work something out with bandai and get the servers/IP.

  • Luca_Blight UNITED KINGDOM says:

    What can i say wot a game will be sadly missed

    HGL Forever

  • Fred CANADA says:

    CMON! server back please! me and 3 of my friends want try this game :(

  • Arielle UNITED STATES says:

    It’s too bad, I loved this game and never got to play on the last day due to school and work… I ‘m hoping the EU and NA servers come back up with the help of the Asian servers… Hellgate was the best game I’d ever played. Wonder if there’s a petition out there to get the game back?

  • Hidan UNITED STATES says:

    If the game dosent open ill blow flagship studios in the air cause it was a hardbreacking for me by closing the servers.

  • Hidan UNITED STATES says:

    I’d loved this game for me it was the best game ever i had friends in that world and now all are lost.From the day it shut down i feel my live miserable.speak with me if u agree.By the way i love all the hellgaters keep fighting for this game and dont forget remember the dead fight for the living my friends god bless.

  • Tim says:

    Man..This is terrible I want to come back to the game and look. Offline mode is no fun.

    Remember the dead, and fight for the living.

    Hope for a new Hellgate server.

  • Devon says:

    man i want hellgate back! :( i just got a new computer on the 8th of december in 2008 and i never realy did get to playing it in its entierty…the farthest i got was probly level 25 as an engineer (techy93)……this is heartbreaking for me…i feel the game has more potential if its in the right hands and i hope hanbitsoft brings the game back because that would make ALOT of people happy…and to all you people that say this game sucks…BURN IN HELL and get raped by sydonai.

    remember the dead, FIGHT FOR THE LIVING!

  • Hidan UNITED STATES says:

    Man i have 1-2months to play hellgate and wibouth it i feel like i have no air.And i agree with u Devon who says Hellgate London suks may burn in hell.Damn the people who closed this extraordinary game.To think i was a full iuniqe items guardian lvl 35 name Hidan00 i hade lots of powerfull friends.
    Remember the dead fight for the living.

  • Oddball99 UNITED KINGDOM says:

    i loved this game !!!!! we ran 3 computors in my house so kids could play they loved it too been a long time since i got htis into a game not since original UT
    i would even pay there must be some hope out there SP sucks no life in it

    Marksman for ever !
    ps i miss stone henge and friends

    any game recommendations for similar games?

  • phenryll CANADA says:

    im so mad!! this was one of those games i craved, i seriously went and bought 4 copies, two for the house, and one for my bud and one for my bro….then this happens??? is there anyway we can still play by direct connect. i cant believe that it wouldnt have the capability. even blizzards other titles had the Free Standing Game Server available for us. does anyone know if that or another program can get us back into the game.

  • Hidan UNITED STATES says:

    As i see this may be the truth we must exept it hellgate may never open the multiplayer againg.if that happen i swear that i will never play any games created by this company.Mutch love for all the hellgaters and cya in hell.

  • Darkigr UNITED STATES says:

    I will never forget this game ever i was playing this game for hours.id like this game even more then lineage2.i had a evoker 33 lvl.and was the best character 4me.

  • Asinarath CANADA says:

    So often I’ll punch this game into google and see if anyone has a private server running, or anything.

    This is the one GOOD mmo that died to the deadly, addictive juggernaut known as WoW…..

    But, if any of you are looking for a new MMO, Warhammer is awesome- the pacing is about the same as good ol’ HGL too.

    RIP.

  • Danielle UNITED STATES says:

    Always good quality info from this site!

  • Hidan UNITED STATES says:

    I need hgl back now i misst it more that my x girlfriend.Pls to all HGL players come to livechatworld so we can discouse about the game there my nickname is Hidan00 and if im not there pls send inbox.Remember the dead fight for the living.

  • CJ UNITED STATES says:

    Hellgate..dead.The company who owns it could of least made a LAN server before they went under.I’m so angry that they aren’t re-releasing the servers to the U.S.I only got to play the game for 2 months before it went to Hell. :.>; I never got the chance to install those patches because I didn’t get to go back on before they killed the poor servers.

  • Nehil SWEDEN says:

    Hellgate will live again, there is a team modding it right now. Google “Hellgate Revival”. For the living :D

  • MiiCoo says:

    OMG Nehil is right HGL is coming back SOON cant wait, my new character name will be MiiCoo or Annihilus (diablo II charm) x)

  • MiiCoo says:

    http://www.hellgateaus.net here is the link to the site..cant wait..though i cant create an account for some reason but still..^^ some SP patches are out already…they are good :D ow and idk how u people can say SP sux… i love the MP as much as the SP..i in the server i played in i got nooo help from others -.- as for single player i was lvl 38 blademaster and now i have a 15 marksman(started today cuz my original hgl cd was scratched so i could install game again (reinstalled windows…) so i had to wait for some time to get better grades in school for my mom tto buy me a new copy of the game :P)

    remember the dead, fight for the living!!!!

  • Rage ESTONIA says:

    Fight for the living, But remember the dead. There’s something going on tht the servers will be reopened again. Can’t wait for that. :D

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