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Hellgate London Beta Signups Begin

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the little-fps-with-your-arr-pee-gee dept.

PC Games (Games) 52

Via Eurogamer comes the news that Beta signups for Hellgate: London have begun. Folks looking forward to the unique blend of FPS/RPG/MMOG can sign up at the official site. From Eurogamer's blurb: "If you're one of the lucky ones pulled out of the gruesome sorting hat, you'll have a chance to get to grips with the ambitious multiplayer part of the game. You might remember that there are two tiers for this; one is a limited and free version, the other asks for a monthly subscription of [about $14] in return for bundles of exciting bits and pieces - player housing, extensive guild options, enormous raid encounters, loads of items to collect, and more. It forms an integral part of the package developer Flagship Studios will be offering when the full game launches on 2nd November."

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mac (1)

sam_paris (919837) | more than 6 years ago | (#20639281)

Available for mac?

Re:mac (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20639299)

It's a game, not a graphics suite.

Re:mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20640637)

Available for mac?


No.

Believe me I'd love to see another Mac MMORPG besdies WOW, as well as other new games, but I don't think we'll see it happen any time soon. Not only are the Mac users a relatively small market to begin with but the most popular machine (Macbook) and third-or-fourth most popular (Mini) have integrated graphics. So count these machines out, and that could be half of Mac owners right there.

Not to mention there are still a lot of PowerPC machines still in use (Powermac Quad G5 owners aren't tossing their systems for Mac Pros.) Still great machines but certainly not worth developing new games for.

So that leaves Mac Pro, Macbook Pro and Intel iMac owners, a fraction of an already small market, and how many of these are "gamers?" I can understand why developers say "let them use Boot Camp"..

Re:mac (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641055)

I have this suspicion that some of the developers who left Blizzard to found their own companies wanted to be free of having to worry about portable development, and thus gleefully shackled their products to Windows only.

I do hope that they enjoy the respite from having to worry about product viability. But it turns out that good, synchronous mac versions have been a huge contributor to the success of Blizzard's products. And the lack of them probably a contributor to the fact that none of these Blizzard-émigré companies have ever gotten very far.

Re:mac (2, Interesting)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642839)

Wrong.

I guess you've never heard of Guild Wars, which is a game created by some people who left Blizzard. It has sold more than 2 million copies...

Face it bud, the Mac gaming market is an afterthought for most developers. This is for a reason, not because they hate you, but because it's just not worth their time to port the game over.

I'd be really interested to see you backup your numbers to show that Mac WoW has been a 'huge contributor' to the success of WoW. Especially so, because I play WoW, and NOBODY I KNOW PLAYS ON A MAC.

Re:mac (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643561)

Guild Wars is in fact one of the titles I'd been thinking of as being far less successful than it should have been. Between the combination of being what sounds like a relatively fun game, and being free of subscription fees, it should have had a much more substantial impact on the market. I suppose the most damning way of phrasing it is that Guild Wars can only give away about a quarter as many subscriptions for free as World of Warcraft can charge fifteen dollars a month for.

I also play WoW, and most people I know--including 100% of my guild--play on macs. But I don't think that either your anecdotal evidence or mine is worth very much, so let's try some actual numbers:

  - The number of macs currently in use that can run WoW: around 20 million.

  - The number of other games of similar scope and genre available for the platform: 0.

  - So if even just 10% of mac users have any interest at all in any mmorpg, the mac portion of WoW subscribers: 22%.

  - Or, to put it another way, two million subscribers. The same number as the entirety of the Guild Wars player base that you tout, and all paying a monthly fee for it.

  - So if NCsoft even just managed to split the mac market evenly with Blizzard (which one would think they should be able to do, given the freeness), offering a mac version would instantly increase their player base by 50%.

I'm not disputing that the mac gaming market is an afterthought for most developers. What I'm asserting is that that's very unwise of them.

Re:mac (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20645487)

By all rights Guild Wars is a successful game, and has been very profitable. ArenaNet runs on more than just the initial game cost you know. They use a campaign and expansion pack based subscription model vs. a monthly model. So far there have been: Factions, Nightfall, and now Eyes of the North.

For a game that has no Z-axis it has done very well. For me, not being able to jump over objects was a deal breaker. Nevertheless, I did buy it and the Nightfall campaign. So they got their money from me.. I didn't use much of their bandwidth either. They made out really well, at least on me.

And now Guild Wars 2 is coming soon. Not sure if it supports Macs, but I can tell you are intelligent enough to realize that if they're making a second game the first one did well.

I suppose the most damning way of phrasing it is that Guild Wars can only give away about a quarter as many subscriptions for free as World of Warcraft can charge fifteen dollars a month for.
So I've hope we've addressed that by talking about the campaign/expansion pack subscription model vs. the monthly installment model.

The main reason I don't think it's profitable (except in rare cases) is that co-development of patches on two platforms is a very difficult and expensive process.

So I imagine that if Hellgate sells a certain number of copies and reaches a certain level of subscriptions some accountant at corporate will go "Good to go" and the Mac version will suddenly appear, but not before then.

Re:mac (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644877)

And nobody that I know is playing Metroid Prime 3 on their Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. Or even Windows. Or OS X.

People can't play games on a Mac BECAUSE THERE IS ALMOST NONE.

It's a chicken-egg problem, mostly. But developers should take note that people with Macs tend to pay for their software, instead of pirating it.

Re:mac (0, Offtopic)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20645349)

Really the pirating factor has nothing to do with subscription based games, because they cannot be pirated.

One thing I am wondering... It *is* possible to get a two+ button mouse on a Mac now, right? Using a one-button mouse would kill games dead imho.

That probably shows you how little I know about Macs.

Re:mac (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 6 years ago | (#20645423)

That probably shows you how little I know about Macs.

I'm afraid that it does, yes. While I don't mean to be insulting, you may want to be slightly less willing to denounce people as wrong regarding a topic about which you have very little information.

(And yes, it has been possible to use multiple-button mice with macs since os8, which was released in 1997. Multi-button mouse support has in fact traditionally been far better for macs than for Windows; the OS itself is quite capable of handling 5+ buttons, scrollwheels, and so on automatically, without any third-party software or special drivers needed.)

Re:mac (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20645541)

Well, you were wrong about the pirating in the context of these games.

The rest, I admit I was wrong, for the most part. Might want to read the replies back and forth on this thread with the other guy who hates me now because I talked shit about Macs ;p

Re:mac (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20659325)

"Multi-button mouse support has in fact traditionally been far better for macs than for Windows; the OS itself is quite capable of handling 5+ buttons, scrollwheels, and so on automatically, without any third-party software or special drivers needed."

You mean because it is a Mac mouse with driver support already built in? My logitech mouse has 7 buttons and a scroll wheel an I can use all of them in windows without a "special driver", i just can't program them for alternate uses in the OS without a driver... in games i can reprogram all of the buttons for any use...

Re:mac (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 6 years ago | (#20662553)

No, not Apple mice in particular, just any mice. I'm currently using a an 8-button logitech mouse, with the additional buttons controlling things like Expose, without any software installed other than the base OS.

I had the idea that Windows tends to want drivers for anything so outre as even mice, printers, scanners, cameras, and so on. But I'll be the first to say that my knowledge of Windows is negligible, so I'll take your word for it if you say that's not the case these days.

So you know...? (1)

fallen1 (230220) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650339)

Especially so, because I play WoW, and NOBODY I KNOW PLAYS ON A MAC.

So you know exactly what percentage of the 8 MILLION people playing WoW to back up your assertion that the Mac has not, in fact, made an impact on the game? Around .0000375% or something like that? In other words, around 300 people or so. If that. Even if you extend that an order of magnitude, your sample size is woefully small.

Even if you could say you knew 30,000 WoW players this does not make you any more of an authority than the original poster. Basically, until someone comes up with solid numbers of Mac players on WoW you're each waving your flags at the other shouting "Mine is much prettier than yours!" The only people I'd trust to give a remotely accurate count on the Mac percentage of WoW players is Blizzard themselves. How about both of you drop the flags and go back to getting Kara attuned, um-kay? :)

gmail kiddies (-1, Troll)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 6 years ago | (#20639373)

and watch the number of beta applications using gmail accounts go through the roof

Re:gmail kiddies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20639487)

What the fuck does gmail have to do with it you cunt?

kiddies? (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#20639607)

I have a professional email address, a school email address ... but yes, I signed up with my gmail address. Why?

1) I don't think it is appropriate to sign up with a work address ... plus I don't check it at home

2) Should they choose to spam the crap out of my email address for signing up, or give/sell my email address, my gmail address is an address I can walk away from without caring much. I use it for all of my mailing lists and online signups (including slashdot).

So i guess I fail to see what your point is ...

Re:kiddies? (1)

r3dx0r (716364) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642719)

I guess his point is that you can easily create multiple gmail accounts by inviting yourself over and over again, so that you can then sign up with all these accounts for the Hellgate:London beta and have a higher chance of getting one of the beta slots.

Smart move (3, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 6 years ago | (#20639473)

Smooth move posting the beta signup link on slashdot. Now, the hordes upon hordes upon hordes upon hordes of slashdot users that will sign up for the beta will ensure that the likelihood of actually getting accepted are rapidly approaching zero ;-)

Re:Smart move (1)

Sefi915 (580027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20639937)

Then again, if the Slashdot crowd were testing it, they might be able to figure out things better than "the average tester."


After all, after posting the link on Slashdot, look at the website now?


Getting a whole bunch of "drupal" errors and a weird login screen.

/. effect? Script kiddies? Who knows? Certainly not the beta testers.

Re:Smart move (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20640841)

But if the avg. Slashdotter wasn't a cheap bastard they might buy the pre-order and get a beta invite from that!

But you didn't hear that from me.

Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20639535)

Anyone know how well it works with WINE yet? I was thinking about buying the preorder but not if it won't work.

$14 beta tier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20639539)

Why would I pay $14 to quality test somebody else's product? Are there really people dumb enough to do that?

Re:$14 beta tier? (2, Interesting)

mconeone (765767) | more than 6 years ago | (#20639597)

A majority of people who sign up for betas just want to try the game out before buying it.

Re:$14 beta tier? (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 6 years ago | (#20640277)

Not me. I also take the opportunity to complain about the game on every forum I know of and brag about how awesome it is to everyone I know.

Re:$14 beta tier? (2, Interesting)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642817)

I for one am very grateful for betas.

They sate my curiosity about a game and typically prevent me from wasting money on it.

Re:$14 beta tier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20639879)

Or you could NOT pay the $14 and see how the game runs/plays. If I like it then I'll end up paying $14 at release. If not, keep the free account and play at your leisure.

Sounds like a good choice to me.

"Optional" subscription (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 6 years ago | (#20639971)

I remember when I first heard about the game I think in like early 2006 or late 2005 maybe - it was like "Holy crap this is gonna be good." And then EA bought 'em out, and I started thinking "Shit, this is gonna be just like every other action MMO." Then when I heard about the "optional" subscription, I knew there wasn't a chance in hell I'd play the game - personally I think its gonna end up being a situation like "Sure you can play without subscribing - but you'll never get any of the good items you'll need to kick ass or even beat the game."

Re:"Optional" subscription (1)

penp (1072374) | more than 6 years ago | (#20640187)

"Sure you can play without subscribing - but you'll never get any of the good items you'll need to kick ass or even beat the game."
You'll never "beat" any MMO, because they never end. They're traps designed to keep you playing until you're 30 years old, living in mummy's basement doing dungeon raids all hours of your conscious existence, and draining you of your life and wallet in the process.

But boy, I sure can't wait for the next 4 pokemon games to come out!

Re:"Optional" subscription (3, Interesting)

fireduck (197000) | more than 6 years ago | (#20640285)

personally I think its gonna end up being a situation like "Sure you can play without subscribing - but you'll never get any of the good items you'll need to kick ass or even beat the game."

Based on the last Hellgate story [slashdot.org] we had (the interview with Roper), this doesn't sound to be the case. The free online play is the exact same game you get if you play single player. The only difference between free and pay, is that the monthly subscribers get a "bonus", which at launch is a slightly larger stash, an extra character slot, and what sounds like the ability to acquire vanity items (slightly better or differently colored items).

Also based on that interview, it sounds like some of the things the submitter suggested were pay-only aren't. To quote Roper [newsweek.com]: "It's for free having that same experience online with your friends. And then we also give you access to a bunch of stuff. Like community things like being able to join guilds, trading items, auction houses; all those kinds of things that we never even had with Diablo 2." Stuff above and beyond that is for the monthly subscribers.

Re:"Optional" subscription (1)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 6 years ago | (#20640739)

I've done some reading, and it seems like a bit more than that. Only subscribers can found guilds and serve as officers, but anybody can be a member of a guild. Subscribers also get a larger stash (don't know how much bigger), many extra character slots (3 vs. 12 or something along those lines) and "ongoing content", whatever that means. Monthly content updates instead of waiting a year and a half for the expansion pack - a lesson learned from D2, it seems. The subscriber-only items aren't supposed to be unbalancing.

Sorry, can't cite sources - stupid work filters.

US players will be able to get into the open beta... next week was the last rumor I heard... by pre-ordering (buying a $5(?) box) at Best Buy, Wal*Mart or EBGames/Gamestop. Buying the preorder gets you the open beta, a "dye kit" for coloring your armor, and the option to buy a "lifetime" subscription for $150.

Re:"Optional" subscription (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20641725)

what sounds like the ability to acquire vanity items (slightly better or differently colored items).
 
Keep in mind, this is awfully similar to what raiding gear in WoW was supposed to be like--marginally better but nicer looking and flashier, a status symbol more than anything.

Re:"Optional" subscription (2, Insightful)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20640785)

Personally, I wish there was an even higher tier, Tier 3, for which you had to pay $30 per month. And I would only want it to have one extra thing: You whiners who can't pony up $15/month can't play on my server.

This would filter out the 8-12 year old group pretty effectively.

It would also filter out the 12-17 year old group very well. You know the type. The ones who think they know everything. The ones who love to grief other players. The ones who act immature. From Diablo they were known as "B.net Kiddiez" and I never, ever, want to talk to one of them again. "LEIK DO U NO WAT I MEAN?" Argh.

Re:"Optional" subscription (1)

R00BYtheN00BY (1118945) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641207)

think ur gud dont u nub lets see how good u r @ dust2 im waitin 4 u @ doors i got my deagle

Re:"Optional" subscription (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641389)

haha... CS is bad like that too, yea. I've played CS competitively... It kinda ruined the public servers for me. Besides, I got banned for 'cheating' a lot anyway. Bastards. People can be good you know!

Re:"Optional" subscription (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641229)

Actually, it wouldn't- their parents would just pay. And from my experience, the biggest morons tend to be the ones old enough to have a job.

Re:"Optional" subscription (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641327)

Their parents would certainly NOT. At least not all of them, after the website informed them that the game has 3 tiers, one of which is free.

I disagree 100% with the remark that the older players are the biggest morons. They may cause drama at times, but they are far more enjoyable to play with than a 12 year old who can't spell and uses all caps.

Re:"Optional" subscription (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642593)

Most of their parents would- parents are more than willing to pay a small fee per month for their kids entertainment.

And you missed my point- the people who can't spell and use all caps aren't generally the 12 year olds. Most of those are in their 30s. The 12 year olds tend to be a bit immature, but most of them know how to type.

Re:"Optional" subscription (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643001)

If only there was a server that only granted you access on the successful submission and review of a written Hellgate: London essay or short fictional work.

I would play on that server in a second.

NCSoft - Dungeon Runners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20641353)

NCSoft did the same thing with Dungeon Runners (http://www.dungeonrunners.com/ [dungeonrunners.com]), and it actually works out just fine. For free, you can play the same game as everyone else, you just can't use yellow-colored items which have slightly better stats than comparably obtained items which are available to the masses. Since the pace of the game is fast and very Diabloish, individual item mean very little as you're constantly trading up with whatever happens to spew from the RNG.

I won't lie, I had a blast playing this very mindless little game and I was tempted to upgrade to a pay subscription as the min/maxer in me came out - but wouldn't you say that was the point, and NCSoft's plan a success without being evil?

doh (1)

gblfxt (931709) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643067)

shoulda checked if site directed to right spot, was FAST beta signup, just enter email address and GO! it coulda been redirected to windows vista sp1 beta signup site for all i knew....

403 Forbidden (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644541)

Anyone having trouble with a 403 forbidden error?

Re:403 Forbidden (1)

Clark Gable (1158185) | more than 6 years ago | (#20645015)

Yeah, I am (and many others are, too, I'm sure). And because the site I'm sure is being/has been barraged by thousands of people thanks to the post here...it'll be a while before they fix themselves.

403 Forbidden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20649991)

I tried going to the signup page normally, then through an SSL proxy. Both got 403. Since the URL does end in 'invite_signup.jsp', is it possible that this is an invitation-only signup?...
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