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Staff Abandons Flagship Studios "In Droves"

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June 12, 2008 5:07:36 PM

Article by Kevin Parrish.

According to the online journal of an employee, the morale at Hellgate: London developer, Flagship Studios, is taking a hit thanks to a reported mass exodus of many of the programmers and artists behind Hellgate.

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/06/12/staff_abandons_f...
June 12, 2008 6:30:07 PM

If I had any part of making or advertising that game I'd probably have tossed myself off the roof months ago.

That was the biggest waste of money on the least deserving product I've ever been a part of. I still log in occasionally since I dropped $150 on a founder's account and amazingly enough they manage to make the game play worse with every new patch.

It's really sad, because the game was almost there in so many respects. It looks great as long as you don't see more than a few areas or monsters and realize they are all the same. The low level game play is fun until you realize that your character isn't going to be able to do anything different for the whole game. The platform is good for a multiplayer game, but all of the social aspects were so badly handled that the game might as well be single player. The equipment in the game was interesting and probably in depth enough to make for a really good experience had the game play been fun.

I feel bad for the guy as it is the developers that end up suffering from the marketing department writing checks that the game couldn't hope to cash.
June 12, 2008 6:49:48 PM

Good. Complete waste of money and I hope they go out of business.

David Brevik:
Quote:
I drink the blood of children
Anonymous
June 12, 2008 7:38:26 PM

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, honestly, they deserve this.
June 12, 2008 7:50:02 PM

I do not wish unemployment on anyone, but I was also quite disapointed in the game. maybe Mythos will work out better?

Best,

3Ball
June 12, 2008 8:04:38 PM

3Ball said:
I do not wish unemployment on anyone, but I was also quite disapointed in the game. maybe Mythos will work out better?

Best,

3Ball
Mythos is old-school Diablo if you're into that. I've played very little of it tho.
June 12, 2008 8:25:06 PM

I was able to play the demo for about 1 minutes before I realize this thing would tank. I couldnt figure how after the demo, people were saying that it was going to be this great next gen game!?!?!?!?!???!!?
June 12, 2008 8:59:30 PM

Trialsking said:
I was able to play the demo for about 1 minutes before I realize this thing would tank. I couldnt figure how after the demo, people were saying that it was going to be this great next gen game!?!?!?!?!???!!?


I bought it on faith thinking that the guys who made a game as good as diablo would have produced better (as many others did to I assume). Kinda like what it will be like the next time bungie releases a game. You can bet that the next bungie release will be big regardless of what it is souly because of the fanbase that is the halo series.

Best,

3Ball
June 16, 2008 7:05:24 PM

Why would I ever want to spend another dollar on a game from Flagship Studios? I wasted $70 on Hellgate, plus about $3000 on a high-end PC with Q6600 and 8800GTX for it. I could have just kept using my old PC with Diablo 2 and Titan Quest and so on.

I can understand if they release a game that crashes a lot, because there's pressure to release quickly, etc etc. But, if it still crashes a lot 6 months later and there's no patch to fix it, then the company cannot be trusted and goes on my black list. Sorry guys...
June 17, 2008 12:04:36 AM

Oh Snap said:
Good. Complete waste of money and I hope they go out of business.



OK, fine, but I hope they do it only after Mel Odom's 3rd Hellgate book is released. The first two books were absolutely excellent. :) 
June 17, 2008 3:52:05 AM

I have no idea why this game gets so much hate when plenty of games out their had worse launches and are much worse....

June 17, 2008 9:37:40 AM

Heritor said:
I have no idea why this game gets so much hate when plenty of games out their had worse launches and are much worse....

Because they hyped it up and used the Diablo name to push a game that was nowhere near anything Blizzard has made. They promised a bunch of features that weren't released. Plus, everyone basically bought a $50 **** demo unless they were willing to spend more money for something that was provided for free in just about every other multiplayer game. It wasn't just another **** independent release, it was a **** "HEY LOOK WE'RE THE SAME PEOPLE THAT MADE DIABLO SO THIS GAME IS GOING TO BE EPIC" independent release that got everyone's hopes up with empty promises and dashed them to pieces just shortly after that $50 was unrecoverable.
June 17, 2008 1:13:52 PM

Excellent game. That i played for 3 hours. Liek said before it had everything to succeed. Its just needed more 9 months of fine tuning. Of course that goes against EAs Modus operandi. Fine tuning ? wuts dat ?

I'm sad to hear they are leaving and Flagship isn't holding. Too bad they didn't hold it together.

Rest in Peace Flagship.
June 17, 2008 4:54:47 PM

Oh Snap said:
Because they hyped it up and used the Diablo name to push a game that was nowhere near anything Blizzard has made. They promised a bunch of features that weren't released. Plus, everyone basically bought a $50 **** demo unless they were willing to spend more money for something that was provided for free in just about every other multiplayer game.


Are you new to the video game world? As you must have started playing wow like at max a year ago. Blizzard has done everything you ranted about Flagship doing and more. WoW was hyped as a PvP game where on PvP servers we would be able to to sack cities... You obviously never played WoW during launch as the server issues were horrible... Every Server could only be up 50% or less a day and even when servers were up players had to deal with Roll backs. The Roll backs were so bad it would take people days to get beyond lvl 10....

Oh and lets talk about Server issues like on PvP servers how the PvP servers used to crash daily when horde and alliance guilds would clash. You get over a 25 vs 25 and the world server was ready to explode...

WoW also promised many features PvP wise that have never been implemented or now are getting implemented about what... 4 years later.... The only two implementation of 1 thing they promised was Halaa... a capturable town and the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King pvp zone in rend....



Oh Snap said:
It wasn't just another **** independent release, it was a **** "HEY LOOK WE'RE THE SAME PEOPLE THAT MADE DIABLO SO THIS GAME IS GOING TO BE EPIC" independent release that got everyone's hopes up with empty promises and dashed them to pieces just shortly after that $50 was unrecoverable.


SO your saying buying WoW which was a giant hunk of crap upon release and was dubbed "WORLD OF WAITING" because of issues like SERVER QUEUES which had people waiting up two 3 hours to get in game was an excusable loss because only a year later were they able to fix the games issues?

Fact is of any company that got away of releasing a giant hunk of **** it is Blizzard... They promised the moon with WoW and only delivered on about 35% on their promises. PvP in that game is still Terrible and in fact worse then before. The BGs ruined World PvP, Arenas is so poorly made and is one of the stupidest ideas for an MMO, the PvP is so imbalanced that when you arena you know if you are gonna win or lose just by seeing the class composition of the opposing team, the quests are still uninspired and boring, and what real reason is their to play that game if you can't get into a raiding Guild?

You realize that even Blizzard stated that most of its player base will never see HIGH END CONTENT? The casual player base of that game have no reason to lvl to 70 as the only real thing they will ever do is Kara....

Please before you are gonna talk about companies saying their product is crap don't use Blizzard to justify your argument. The only reason WoW is around is not due to being a good MMO... (it is one of the worst) but due to its name.. Warcraft was awesome so people think WoW is gonna be awesome. If WoW was stripped of that past and was released by say PlayNC EQ2 would still be the game of choice....
June 17, 2008 5:01:22 PM

I don't know about WoW, but with Diablo 2 Blizzard did a fine job. I played Diablo 2 between 2001 and 2008, in single player/open multiplayer (that is, with hacked characters)/realm multiplayer (that is, honestly). They delivered 10 patches, some of which not only fixed bugs but added new features. Sorry to hear your experience with WoW sucked. My experience with Diablo 2 was fantastic. That's the problem - people used to Diablo 2 had sky-high expectations from Hellgate because of the continuous comparisons.

And of course it didn't help that the Hellgate multiplayer cost a fee, while Diablo had been free...

Another thing: Diablo allowed mods (Ancestral Recall, Valhalla, etc.) made by fans. These were making the game totally different, and in some cases much better, especially if you're bored with the classic Diablo. We didn't get that with Hellgate either.
June 17, 2008 5:10:33 PM

clay12340 said:


It's really sad, because the game was almost there in so many respects. It looks great as long as you don't see more than a few areas or monsters and realize they are all the same. The low level game play is fun until you realize that your character isn't going to be able to do anything different for the whole game. The platform is good for a multiplayer game, but all of the social aspects were so badly handled that the game might as well be single player. The equipment in the game was interesting and probably in depth enough to make for a really good experience had the game play been fun.



So what you are saying is its just like every other MMO.... As that statement can be applied to the following games.... Age of Conan, WoW, City of Heroes/City of Villians, EQ2, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Lineage I-II, Arch Lord, RF Online, and most likely Even Warhammer Online if it ever comes out.

The sad part is the game play of HG:L is more fun the most of the titles i just listed..... In all honesty it has always seemed that HG'L wasn't the problem but the fact that much of the whiners and complainers of that game were people that didn't like RPG format games to begin with. Your own statement pretty much rules out all the game play of an RPG so if you said you liked any of those MMORPGs i will be shocked....
June 17, 2008 5:30:24 PM

aevm said:
I don't know about WoW, but with Diablo 2 Blizzard did a fine job. I played Diablo 2 between 2001 and 2008, in single player/open multiplayer (that is, with hacked characters)/realm multiplayer (that is, honestly). They delivered 10 patches, some of which not only fixed bugs but added new features. Sorry to hear your experience with WoW sucked. My experience with Diablo 2 was fantastic. That's the problem - people used to Diablo 2 had sky-high expectations from Hellgate because of the continuous comparisons.

And of course it didn't help that the Hellgate multiplayer cost a fee, while Diablo had been free...

Another thing: Diablo allowed mods (Ancestral Recall, Valhalla, etc.) made by fans. These were making the game totally different, and in some cases much better, especially if you're bored with the classic Diablo. We didn't get that with Hellgate either.


Thats the thing i do not get the comparisons between HG:L and Diablo weren't really made by the company. The hype was always "BY THE TEAM WHOM MADE DIABLO/DIABLO 2" which for me i never really liked Diablo because back in the time I was playing games like Freespace and Freespace 2 which were some of the best games EVER.

Almost everyones experiences with WoW sucks as you will not find anyone on a PvP server happy with that game. Blizzard alienates half of its audience while pandering to the other side.

Anyway the main problem i have always seen with HG:L was never the problems people have listed. The problem with that game is Soloing blows. Its easy to solo that game as the challenge isn't their and its only really fun when in a group which shockingly enough sums up every MMO. In its Instance design it reminds me of City of Heroes as the difficulty ramps up when you are grouped with people.

If i remember correctly about Diablo it was sorta based like Neverwinter nights on the old Battlenet right?
June 17, 2008 5:33:08 PM

Right.
June 17, 2008 7:27:43 PM

The guys who founded Arenanet never got this much attention..
June 17, 2008 7:50:49 PM

I have to completely and totally disagree with you from my experiences. I've played WoW, City of Heroes, and Age of Conan. I won't address the other games as I never felt the need to try them.

I expect a certain number of problems in any multiplayer game. Lag is the norm early on as everyone seems to under estimate their infrastructure needs. Along with the lag might even come the occasional server crash. Quests that bug out when you throw thousands of people at them are pretty standard. Class imbalances are expected as you're never going to be able to satisfy everyone. Various exploits will almost always end up giving some users max level and piles of money in the initial weeks.

Now all of the games you've mentioned have these things including Hellgate. There are some things I don't expect out of a multi-player game at release that Hellgate had in abundance.
Complete lack of social functions, including not even being able to see your friends if you do manage to find the same instance.
Instability so bad in the client that playing for more than 20 minutes at a time is impossible. Compound this with the fact that the whole game is nothing but instances that reset as soon as you leave.
A park, a ruined city street, and a sewer system as your only levels.
A handful of monster types only one of which actually did anything interesting.
A nearly complete lack of interesting abilities.
A free version which has all the benefits of the paid version minus the ability to create guilds which simply disappear upon logging out.

None of the games I played were anywhere near as bad at launch as Hellgate was 3 months into its release. WoW had some hellacious lag on high population servers. That can't be denied. There were some annoying issues and some things that occasionally set back or prevented progress. However, it was not even anywhere in the same ball park as the problems Hellgate had. I've never had any game be that unstable under any circumstances excluding old ass games on an emulator. Once they've resolved the crashing the game isn't even fun to play.

Your complaints with WoW sound like a matter of personal preference more than any sort of valid complaint. The game is built around the high end content. If you don't like that you'll probably not like level 70 in that game. It is the reason I left. It doesn't make WoW any less of a fun game. It just means I don't want to wrangle 40 people just to try and play a game.
June 17, 2008 7:58:28 PM

Quote:
Please before you are gonna talk about companies saying their product is crap don't use Blizzard to justify your argument. The only reason WoW is around is not due to being a good MMO... (it is one of the worst) but due to its name.. Warcraft was awesome so people think WoW is gonna be awesome. If WoW was stripped of that past and was released by say PlayNC EQ2 would still be the game of choice....

I think the problem here is that you missed the point and went off on a rant about world of warcraft. Flagship Studios promoted their game as "The makers of Diablo", as if to say that Diablo was a previous work of theirs, and as such, a newer work is going to be far better and improved. It felt like a bit of false advertising, as Diablo and Diablo II are without a doubt in my personal top 10. I played through launch of Diablo II, witnessed the bugs, but also the excellent gameplay and rich content, and the fast action by Blizzard to fix the issues. I also got the full game for what I paid for the box, fancy that! Years later I can still log into battle.net and have access to all the content, including new free content added with the last patch. Plus they have Ladder seasons, also free.

The fact of the matter is, here we are almost a year after release of Hellgate: Mexico and the game is still bad. Plus, I paid $50 for half of a game, as the "non-subscribers" don't have access to content and features where Blizzard has provided similar content and feature updates for free in Diablo II.

As for your WoW tirade, you're right, I wasn't playing in the first year. However, I remember a lot of people saying that it was fun, regardless of the bugs. Once the bugs have been fixed, you have a really fun game that even I enjoy as just a casual player with only a few hours a week to play. You might not like WoW, that's your opinion, but millions of players think it's worth paying for. Obviously very few feel the same way about Hellgate, and I think that's where you're going to have a tough time comparing the two. Sorry.
June 19, 2008 11:34:03 AM

Wow, someone is bitter about WoW. I'm not big on PVP, never really interested me, and I didn't play WoW the first year it was out. When I DID start WoW, I found it to be one of the smoothest and best designed MMOs out there.

I played some Battlegrounds and found them to be somewhat enjoyable, certainly better than most PVP I had played before.

As for promising the moon, well if you spend a lot of time on MMO forums you will find that is nothing new. City of Heroes for example. I quit that years ago, but a friend of mine still plays. When I ask him about all of the stuff they promised would be "soon" back in the first year it was out, they still aren't there.

Sadly, buying into all the promises the first year an MMO is out is just setting yourself up for disappointment.
June 19, 2008 12:50:57 PM

This is why I try to avoid reading previews. It's only natural for the developers to big-up their product, but most will inevitably fall short of what was promised / hinted at.

The best thing to do is wait until you have an honest (or near-enough) review of the finished product.

This has served me well; Caesar IV and Master of Orion 3 are two turkeys that I managed to dodge.
June 21, 2008 2:58:52 AM

Aw ya know, I own this game and it was fun enough playing through the first time with a couple buddies, but after that I dropped it.

It really doesn't have a lot of replay value - I hate to say but Diablo 2 was a much better story game and the online community was way more fun. I don't feel Hellgate really captured the feeling that playing Diablo/2 did.

I don't really know what else to say, but I just think that Flagship could've and should've done better with this game - but frankly there are just way too many bugs, glitches in this game that will instantly turn people off of it.

Want to know the biggest bug in this game? THE DAMN PATCHING PROCESS just so you can play it online. I'm serious, the patch page on their website has had a corrupt link for like a damn year, and you can't download this patch through the updater.

To find the correct patch takes a great deal of dilligent forum searching which I guarantee you will basically drive away anyone starting this game very quickly.

If you made the patching process for the game more logical, fixed the SLI/Crossfire issues so that DX10 was playable, and expanded on the story in such a way that it was actually worth reading what the main NPCs were saying instead of just skipping over their drivel - it might have half decent replay value.

As is the game is just too damn big and it always feels pointless because there is rarely diversion from *kill X monster*, not to mention the multiplayer online aspect is just not conducive to multiple players! If it used a system like Diablo2 where you simply created a game for other players to join as they felt fit, or hosted a private game it would be a lot more accessible. But the current instanced party play is not conducive to multiplayer in this game if you are a new player.
June 21, 2008 9:49:12 PM

infornography42 said:
MOO 3 still makes me sad.


Is it really that bad? Just curious. I'm still playing MOO1 from time to time. Yeah, I know, MS-DOS application on a quad CPU and 8800GTX, it's silly, but I love the game. I tried MOO2 and gave up, but I was hoping MOO3 would be better. Is it worse than MOO2?
June 23, 2008 12:29:47 PM

MOO2 is a truly brilliant game.

MOO3 was a travesty.
June 23, 2008 2:22:34 PM

Oops, sorry I insulted MOO2 then :)  OK, I'll save my cash and not buy #3, thanks!
June 24, 2008 11:26:31 AM

MOO2 was similar to MOO 1 but added some fun gameplay elements. The tactical combat was a bit better, the colonizing of individual planets was cool, the tech tree was better fleshed out, etc.

MOO3 tried to do the same thing but everything they added sucked horribly.

They completely changed the tech tree into a stagnant progression of similar things rather than dynamic and interesting modules and truly unique weapons. It was just disappointing.

They made the planetary improvements extremely limited. You could not make every planet a virtual utopia. You had to pick and choose what you did, but on the "bright" side there were a lot fewer improvements to worry about. On top of that they made the entire interface so convoluted and confusing that a lot of people just gave up and let the governor figure out the mess.

The council of planets (or whatever the hell they called it) did not automatically include all races and if you didn't get invited, then they could elect a galactic leader without you and it was game over. You didn't have an option to oppose their rule, it just ended the game with "you lose". This just pissed me off more than you can imagine.

Lastly, the game was so horribly unbalanced in favor of certain tactics and weapons that even inelegantly designed ships that made use of them could decimate everything else.

The game sucked. It was tragic and depressing, but it sucked horribly.
June 24, 2008 11:32:26 AM

Galactic Civilisations 2 is a worthy successor to MOO2. There's a couple of omissions - no tactical combat and the tech tree is a bit dull, but it's made up for by superb AI - which if you mainly play singleplayer is a huge bonus.
June 24, 2008 12:37:59 PM

Oh Snap said:
Because they hyped it up and used the Diablo name to push a game that was nowhere near anything Blizzard has made. They promised a bunch of features that weren't released. Plus, everyone basically bought a $50 **** demo unless they were willing to spend more money for something that was provided for free in just about every other multiplayer game. It wasn't just another **** independent release, it was a **** "HEY LOOK WE'RE THE SAME PEOPLE THAT MADE DIABLO SO THIS GAME IS GOING TO BE EPIC" independent release that got everyone's hopes up with empty promises and dashed them to pieces just shortly after that $50 was unrecoverable.


Yup, it makes us Diablo fans sad... and hypothetical...

Seriously Flagship was just out there to get Diablo-fan money... thanks for ruining Diablo 3 PR

aevm said:
I don't know about WoW, but with Diablo 2 Blizzard did a fine job. I played Diablo 2 between 2001 and 2008, in single player/open multiplayer (that is, with hacked characters)/realm multiplayer (that is, honestly). They delivered 10 patches, some of which not only fixed bugs but added new features. Sorry to hear your experience with WoW sucked. My experience with Diablo 2 was fantastic. That's the problem - people used to Diablo 2 had sky-high expectations from Hellgate because of the continuous comparisons.

And of course it didn't help that the Hellgate multiplayer cost a fee, while Diablo had been free...

Another thing: Diablo allowed mods (Ancestral Recall, Valhalla, etc.) made by fans. These were making the game totally different, and in some cases much better, especially if you're bored with the classic Diablo. We didn't get that with Hellgate either.


Well I haven't been in the Diablo thing for long... only a Lv 50 Amazon... *wishes diablo 3 was JUST a graphics upgrade with customisable characters of course!*

Lighting Fury! (sorry about that!)

I'd hate a pay-per month Diablo tho... one of the better parts of Diablo was battle net...
June 24, 2008 4:52:42 PM

amdfangirl said:

Well I haven't been in the Diablo thing for long... only a Lv 50 Amazon... *wishes diablo 3 was JUST a graphics upgrade with customisable characters of course!*


I still have my lvl 89 Barbarian. Sword+Board. Full resists+concentration and iron skin. Ramping on hell dificulty in Multi player.
Oh the joy.

Good god i miss D2. Get D3 out Blizzard !!!! FFS !!
!