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Hellgate Asian Character Wipe

Kotaku has word on issues applying the update dubbed Patch0 to the Asian Hellgate: London servers run by IAH Games (thanks nin). While the western launch of Flagship's action/RPG has been decidedly rocky, the troubles with the eastern launch have been more dramatic, and it turns out that a complete character wipe will be required to implement the required update. As a result, they are offering free subscription time to impacted players, and they say that future patches will be installed at the same time on eastern and western servers. The character wipe and patching are planned for Monday.

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89. Re: ... Nov 12, 2007, 19:24 FreonTrip
 
Back then they also said that you'd be a towering Viking warrior with a huge warhammer, and that it would have a lot of RPG elements. Ahh, memories.

Back to the engine discussion: sector-based lighting is a bit easier to get away with than proper lightmapping in terms of palette usage because having to render all of those transitional boundaries between light and darkness really sucks up color gradations. Rather than treating this as a straitjacket, id freely exploited the limitations that this posed and came up with a distinctive dark, brooding visual style. It's been a shame to see it get beaten into the ground over the last eleven years. :-\

Incidentally no publicly released version of Quake's software renderer supported 16-bit color. John Carmack tinkered with MMX support in an internal build and eventually managed to get 16-bit color at a slight performance hit, but decided that the overall effort put into it wasn't worth the trouble since 3D accelerators were superior options and were becoming increasingly available. He was also knee-deep in Quake II, as I recall...

Just FYI, 16-bit color represents 65,536 colors. 24-bit represents millions, and 32-bit represents billions (though in 3D graphics this is always 24-bit color + 8 bits for alpha, or transparency).

System Shock is a pretty good example of an early 3D engine, but Descent's probably the most readily comparable prior example of a well-performing 3D engine. Its capabilities were more simple - among other things, every level was built out of a series of cubes cleverly juxtaposed with some planes marked as passable, its lighting was vertex-based rather than lightmap-based, and its texturing played a little more loosely with perspective correctness than Quake - but it also ran on significantly slower hardware, and in less memory. Quake's rendering wasn't all THAT different from Quake II's at a basic level, though Carmack & company clearly put in some late nights to get some of those new 3D effects in and working.

Christ, what a rambling screed this turned into. To make this remotely relevant: Hellgate's choice of a muted color scheme is disappointing when one remembers what vivid use the original Diablo made of an 8-bit color palette. The availability of the depth-of-field tricks in the DirectX 10 OMG SUPER DETAIL renderer is also a perplexing gimmick: fun to show to your friends for about five minutes (hey, it's just like a movie!), and otherwise great to give yourself the impression that your character's near-sighted.

 
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88. Re: ... Nov 12, 2007, 16:19 Flatline
 
In fairness, the first Quake was hampered by several truly significant factors:

1.) It had to run on low-end Pentium hardware and fit into 8 MB RAM at the low end unless they wanted to greatly restrict their market penetration;

2.) It had to support the low video resolutions and color depths that most peoples' hardware could actually run at tolerable speed; and,

3.) It had to render a complex, lightmapped, textured environment in all of 256 colors onscreen at once.

Parameters like this greatly restricted what id's talented art team could do - hence the result that everything was set in a rusted-out hellhole of a tech base, a swamp, a mouldering castle, or a cave. I liked the game's artistic style in spite of its limited palette, and think it's a pretty good overall compromise.


Don't get me wrong, I love the quake games. However, saying that Hellgate is unique in that it uses a dull, bland color scheme is not accurate. Genre-defining games have used the same dull, bland color scheme.

However, to counter your counter-argument, if you look at Doom, Duke3d, or any of the previous generation of engines, the color scheme is varied by leaps and bounds more, and if memory serves, they were working with a 256 color palette as opposed to the 16 bit (millions of colors) that quake had.

No, it's safe to say that the color scheme of the quake games was an artistic decision, to give a grim, gritty feeling to the game. A small amount of blame can be placed on the engine itself, being one of the first truly 3d games on the market (System Shock beat them by a couple years) and thus not having the lighting or texturing systems that even Quake2 had.

Don't forget that when Quake first came out, a pentium and 8 megs of ram were pretty damn steep requirements. If memory serves, when the quake demo hit, the pentium 90 and 64 megs of RAM were about as good as it got. This was back during a time when sound cards were just becoming standard, and a CDROM was several hundred dollars.

I actually have an article from way back when, and iD first announced they were working on Quake. They said the target system was a 486/33 and 4 megs of ram. I laugh when I go back and read that.

 
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87. Re: ... Nov 12, 2007, 13:41 FreonTrip
 
"Quake is infamous for the brown, tan, & gray level syndrome. Go boot up Quake 1 and be astounded at the 7 color [palette]. Even most of the enemies are brown, gray, or tan (there's some black and pink there too I think)."

In fairness, the first Quake was hampered by several truly significant factors:

1.) It had to run on low-end Pentium hardware and fit into 8 MB RAM at the low end unless they wanted to greatly restrict their market penetration;

2.) It had to support the low video resolutions and color depths that most peoples' hardware could actually run at tolerable speed; and,

3.) It had to render a complex, lightmapped, textured environment in all of 256 colors onscreen at once.

Parameters like this greatly restricted what id's talented art team could do - hence the result that everything was set in a rusted-out hellhole of a tech base, a swamp, a mouldering castle, or a cave. I liked the game's artistic style in spite of its limited palette, and think it's a pretty good overall compromise.

 
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86. ... Nov 12, 2007, 07:58 theyarecomingforyou
 
Quake is infamous for the brown, tan, & gray level syndrome. Go boot up Quake 1 and be astounded at the 7 color palate. Even most of the enemies are brown, gray, or tan (there's some black and pink there too I think).
I know, but even with Quake 4 the developers learnt that they needed to change the colour scheme to make it more interesting. However, I thought we were past that - Hellgate goes back to that Quake style of hideously bland colours.

Oblivion ended up being too small for me. Granted, I had ended up playing the other elder scrolls games, and was used to huge amounts of sheer territory to cover. I felt like I was in a vast, and grand area.

The step from Morrowind to Oblivion was evolutionary, not revolutionary like from Elder Scrolls 2 up to 3.
There's no doubt Oblivion wasn't perfect but it did a lot of things right as it introduced a stunning graphics engine and brought in top-tier voice acting. The automatic levelling was a bit naff but the developers did a good job of taking a game and dramatically expanding the target audience without dumbing it down too much... something that Valve also did but more successfully with Team Fortress 2. Hopefully The Elder Scrolls: V will improve on things and the developers will take onboard the criticism from Oblivion.

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85. Re: ... Nov 12, 2007, 03:00 Flatline
 
I guess I'm just missing the appeal of the game... it can't be the graphics as I've never seen such horrible shades of brown and gray used in such quantities.

*cough*every quake game*cough*

Quake is infamous for the brown, tan, & gray level syndrome. Go boot up Quake 1 and be astounded at the 7 color palate. Even most of the enemies are brown, gray, or tan (there's some black and pink there too I think).

Oblivion is still the best RPG / first person combo game I've seen, though it would have been nice if the RPG side was a bit deeper.

Oblivion ended up being too small for me. Granted, I had ended up playing the other elder scrolls games, and was used to huge amounts of sheer territory to cover. I felt like I was in a vast, and grand area.

The step from Morrowind to Oblivion was evolutionary, not revolutionary like from Elder Scrolls 2 up to 3.

I played Morrowind and it's expansions for something like 500 hours, or about a year and a half of steady play, by the time I was done with it (Total damage was like 80 or 90 bucks, a price point I would have hit after 3 months of WoW). I saw the f*cking sun enter total eclipse, which is something I've never seen before in a game. It made me stop and watch and I felt awe and wonder like I never had before in a game. I got tired of Oblivion after about 80 hours. Still very healthy, and an amazing deal in today's age of 8 hour single player experiences, but still, not even in the same league.

 
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84. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 12, 2007, 02:39 Armengar
 
grammar nazi mocking grammar nazi?

merde!

As for the news artical. It fairly sucks and id sertainly not bother with the game

(sorry I couldn't resist )

 
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83. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 12, 2007, 01:06 Prez
 
By George, I believe you are correct sir! My sentence structure is still the correct form, that error notwithstanding.

EDIT: You didn't actually create an account just for that, did you?


This comment was edited on Nov 12, 01:09.
 
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82. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 11, 2007, 23:32 simmery
 
Actually, it's also grammatically incorrect. It should be

"Whomever said that this game is the biggest flop since Daikatana is just jealous... etc."


No, it shouldn't. "Whoever" would take the form of a subject in this case. "Whomever" would be an object form.

Examples:

Whoever said that was wrong.

We can blame whomever we like.

 
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81. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 11, 2007, 22:37 FreonTrip
 
It is really sad, all things said and done. There was a lot of hope pinned to this little star.

Who's up for beer and TF2 at my place?


This comment was edited on Nov 11, 22:39.
 
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80. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 11, 2007, 20:19 JohnBirshire
 
This is like Half-Life 2, or Starcraft 2 sucking on release. This was not supposed to be "just another game." This was to be an event.

You've pretty much summed up my thoughts on this issue with your comment. I couldn't wait for this game, I thought I'd be playing it for a solid year. Unfortunately it just ended up being better than average at best, major disappointment.

 
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79. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 11, 2007, 19:49 Prez
 
Actually, it's also grammatically incorrect. It should be

"Whomever said that this game is the biggest flop since Daikatana is just jealous... etc."

So many errors in such a small sentence. Definitely an over-achiever.
 
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78. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 11, 2007, 19:44 Creston
 
Who ever (1) saifd (2) this this (3) game is the biggest flop since Daikatana, there (4) just jealous becaus (5) there (6) mommy can't afford the 9.00 a month for him. (7)

7 mistakes in a single sentence. It's funny how the retards making jokes about someone's "mommy" are always the ones who are either still IN elementary school, or dropped out at that point.

Creston

 
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77. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 11, 2007, 19:41 Prez
 
Completely disagree with you there, Prez. Anyone with half-open eyes could easily tell from the trailers and screens that Hellgate was gonna suck major ass. It was right there, plain to see for everyone. It's just that a lotta people totally ignored the obvious for some weird reason. Honestly, I never understood where this "hype" was coming from in the first place. Must have been coming from tards who never even looked at a single screenshot or video. Everything always pointed to this game sucking all along the entire development cycle and I told y'all so, too. But then people just said "STFU CJ u have no cloo cuz bill roper is teh maaaannnn!!!111". Yeah. Some real man he is, you tards.


Huh. I guess I just heard the words "First Person Diablo" and got wrapped up in the hype myself. It can happen to the best of us, I guess.

As an aside, because of this game, my hopes aren't quite as high as they once were for Fallout 3.


This comment was edited on Nov 11, 19:43.
 
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76. Re: Congratulations Flagship Nov 11, 2007, 19:38 Creston
 
I remember Myth 2 when it came out. The original CDs had a bad bug in them. When you uninstalled the game, it formatted your computer if you had installed Myth 2 to the root of the drive. You had to delete the game and NEVER run the uninstall program.

True, that was pretty bad. Ofcourse, it was really easy to avoid that bug. I doubt Hellgate's memory leak is easy to avoid.

Also, Myth 2 never tried to scan your computer for anything it might find interesting (or anything any of it's third party friends might find interesting), and it never gave you half a game then tried to charge you 10 bucks a month to rent the remaining content.

So that's a tough one. I think this character wipe (absolute gigantic no-no if you try to run anything of a persistent nature online) puts Flagship over the top.

Creston

 
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75. Re: No subject Nov 11, 2007, 19:32 Creston
 
I don't think I have what it takes to become a regular poster here even if I wanted to

Fortunately for us, you took time out of your extremely busy schedule to inform us of your decision to not become a regular poster. Phew. Thanks for that!

Make sure not to let the door hit your dumb ass on the way out. Say hi to Bill Roper for us.

Creston

 
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74. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 11, 2007, 18:52 CJ_Parker
 
This was not supposed to be "just another game." This was to be an event.

Completely disagree with you there, Prez. Anyone with half-open eyes could easily tell from the trailers and screens that Hellgate was gonna suck major ass. It was right there, plain to see for everyone. It's just that a lotta people totally ignored the obvious for some weird reason. Honestly, I never understood where this "hype" was coming from in the first place. Must have been coming from tards who never even looked at a single screenshot or video. Everything always pointed to this game sucking all along the entire development cycle and I told y'all so, too. But then people just said "STFU CJ u have no cloo cuz bill roper is teh maaaannnn!!!111". Yeah. Some real man he is, you tards.
 
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73. ... Nov 11, 2007, 18:30 theyarecomingforyou
 
Who ever saifd this this game is the biggest flop since Daikatana, there just jealous becaus there mommy can't afford the 9.00 a month for him.
Wow, yet another Hellgate fan that is irrational and of below average intelligence. It seems the Hellgate marketing campaign was targeted at 12yr olds, racists and bigots... nice combination there - makes for a nice community feel.

I guess I'm just missing the appeal of the game... it can't be the graphics as I've never seen such horrible shades of brown and gray used in such quantities. The only thing that appealed to me was the concept of mixing a first person shooter with an RPG game - I just wish it did either of those things well. Oblivion is still the best RPG / first person combo game I've seen, though it would have been nice if the RPG side was a bit deeper.

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72. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 11, 2007, 18:26 Prez
 
Clearly, Flagship thought that this game had the potential to be as big a phenomenon as the Diablo series. I read a few previews and kind of began to think that was possible. Let's be honest - we want the media we consume to hype things to us and get us excited. There's a limit, though...

The hype notwithstanding, this seemed to be a sure-fire hit, and it seemed the only question that would remain unanswered untilthe release would be whether this actually could become a cultural phenomenon. This doesn't happen with every game. For a lot of us 'hardcore' gamers here on Bluesnews, the disappointment from the botched marketting, development, and release of Hellgate:London for something that seemed so promising is far greater than just you're average bad game release.

This is like Half-Life 2, or Starcraft 2 sucking on release. This was not supposed to be "just another game." This was to be an event. The disappointment only naturally turns to a degree of anger when it becomes obvious that the game very well could have been that special had the developer not seemed to have its head up it's collective a$$ during the entire production cycle. Sure,we're just talking about a PC Game here, not a cure for cancer, but still...

I'll end up buying this game once it's in the bargain bin, and I have no doubt I'll probably enjoy it to at least some degree for the couple of days or so I play it for. But that's so far below what I, and most everyone else here was hoping for and expecting. So far below in fact that it seems like an utter failure. Shame on you Flagship.
 
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71. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 11, 2007, 16:56 CJ_Parker
 
While I'm not a big enough asshole to correct your grammar and spelling mistakes...

But I am. CJ "big enough asshole" Parker at your service, Mr. Belzabub. You need to change "...there just jealous becaus there mommy..." to "...they're just jealous because their mommy...".
There are more mistakes in your class A retarded post but why should I bother explaining all this shit to a guy who if he accidentally swallowed a fly would have more brains in his tummy than in his head?
 
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70. Re: Biggest flop since Daikatana Nov 11, 2007, 16:16 JohnBirshire
 
I don't think this really has anything to do with whether somebody can afford something or not. Personally I've been playing online games since Meridian 59 in the 90s, and have played every MMORPG with at least 10,000 subscribers in the last 12 years. That being said, I wouldn't pay $9 a month to subscribe to Hellgate because the game shouldn't even have subscriptions, it was a poorly executed idea that shouldn't have been executed to begin with. They should revamp the entire idea and stick with releasing expansion packs with new content every year, to both attract new players and reattract old ones.

 
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