Hellgate: London - London 2038 Development Update #38
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Roughly two months after the previous update, the latest developer diary for Hellgate: London's London 2038 multiplayer mod lets us know that the planned expansion for the game is taking longer than initially anticipated. Despite that, we should soon be getting a new patch with assorted fixes and improvements. We also get a quick progress report and a notice about an upcoming in-game mail system overhaul.
Here's more on that:
As has become tradition by now, it’s once again been a while since last time. A bit over 2 months, in fact, which is a big part of why this entry is coming out when it is.
So, this entry won’t be like the recent ones. It’s less of a progress report and more of an update, and it has good news and bad news. And to address it all properly, I’ll adopt the less to-the-point tone I feel works better for this sort of stuff.
The gist of it
I suppose the bad news should come first, as they can best frame the good news. You’ve probably guessed it, but yeah… CS isn’t coming yet.
As for why, it all really boils down to time. For what’s likely the best example, take my mentor Alternalo; we’ve been hoping he’d get a decent bit of time off work once October ended, and here we are in almost mid-April. Work has been brutal for both him and me, and that necessarily pushes CS back as together we make up the almost-pair of content devs (#notadev).
That said, here come the good news.
We’ve somehow been finding bits and pieces of time to work on an array of stuff, from in-game information to new global items and everything in-between. The previous diaries have outlined most (but not all, thankfully – as we do like having left a few surprises) of said stuff, so I won’t bore you with highlighting all that here. It’s about 15 pages worth of Google docs, for reference.
And that stuff, unlike CS, is coming shortly. Probably.
I say “probably” because efforts to separate CS content from all the rest are still underway. I can’t 100% guarantee it’ll be entirely successful, and it’s not something we’ve done before. By memory, anyway.
All that said, this decision comes from a place of understanding and realism. We understand it’s been a long time since the last release, which itself was half-done given the circumstances. We also can’t realistically keep all this peripheral content and optimizations gated behind CS’s completion, as the current pace isn’t promising.
So, if all goes well, you can expect a CS-free but still quite large patch shortly. How “shortly” that will be will depend, but you’ll definitely know if you’re a member of our Discord server – as we’ll have to warn players about a specific component of it well in advance. More on this in a moment.
The rest of it
With the main part out of the way then, the peripherals. Consider this a mini progress report, if you will, just less structured.
Since last time we’ve added more voices into the game, including (jarringly enough for me) my own. We’ve assigned new items to dedicated sources, so as to mind the global pool, but also gave the global pool an indirect polish. We’ve polished texts, added some where there were none, added more loading tips, and refined new recipes. We’ve applied more minor fixes here and there, and tested some encounters extensively to make sure they’re up to par. We’ve even had a wardrobe change, bizarrely, but we stand by that decision; the texts clearly state something different from what was there, and we’d rather tweak model choices than the texts and stories therein.
We’re also sitting on prototype damage dummies, but they’re not there yet. So no promises in that area, but we do have something going here.
You’ve got mails
And finally, the bit mentioned above about warnings.
You likely know that some players face some odd, hard-to-pinpoint issues. Death in Abyss followed by character lockouts would be the best example of these.
While the roots of these have not yet been identified, and some will likely take a few different strokes to address, we’ve revisited an old suspect; the mailbox. Indeed, multiple item assignments can cause an array of issues, and the current mail (and auction) system doesn’t help; expiration dates, caps, what have you.
What seems to be a good solution, then, is to limit the mailbox capacity down to the 20 slots that Global opted for. Unpleasant as that may be, there was a reason for it – as we’re also seeing.
So, if this is finalized and does go through, it will necessarily cull items being stored in the players’ mailbox beyond the cap of 20. The Alpha item recovery process will kick in at that point, but we’d still like to save players as much trouble as possible. Therefore, if this does go through, we’ll start warning about this well in advance, so that players have time to sort out their mailbox-bound belongings.
And with that I can leave you in peace, brave hunters. It’s almost Easter time, too, so you can look forward to the Easter event before what’s coming.
…can’t believe it’s already been a year since that event’s creation. Where does the time go.
So, until next time. All the best to you and yours, and happy hunting.