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Is HGL worthy of the subscription?

17 Nov 2007 | Flash, Hellgate : London |  10 comments
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Question?
Is Hellgate : London (HGL) worthy of the monthly subscription?

Read on to find out what Deimos has to say.
(Click here to page down and cast your vote into poll)

Official subscription details here:
http://hellgatelondon.com/subscriber-chart

Flagship Studios’s reason for an “optional” subscription is such that, they can give subscribers better benefits as well as provide new content:

Getting Online with Hellgate: London

Hellgate: London is not only a great stand-alone game, but it’s also a compelling and exciting online MMO experience. Players can get online and play for FREE, as well as take advantage of massive amounts of continuing content through our subscription membership. How you play is up to you, but either way, we hope to see you online soon! Thanks everyone!

X = Live Content
x = Upcoming Continuing Content

Features & Benefits Standard Online Play Subscription Membership
Complete Storyline-Driven Game
X
X
Hosted Gameplay
X
X
Nightmare Difficulty
X
X
Elite Mode
X
X
Player vs. Player (PvP)
X
X
Achievements
X
X
Guilds
X
X
Buddy Lists
X
X
Hardcore Mode
X
Guild Creation & Management
X
Larger Stash
X
Themed Events & Quests
X
Unique Event Items
X
Special Event Pets
X
Auction Houses
x
x
In-Game Email
x
x
New Levels to Explore
x
New Monsters
x
New Weapons
x
New Skills & Spells
x
New Quests & Storylines
x
New Character Classes
x
Raid-Level Areas
x
More Seasonal / Theme Events & Items
x
Additional Difficulty & Gameplay Modes
x
Additional PvP Modes & Rewards
x
Achievement Rewards
x
Advanced Guild Management Tools
x
Web-based Rankings & Character Viewing
x

However, the problem with this is that whatever extra “benefits” that they are offering for the subscribers, Guild Wars already done the same, without any “optional” monthly subscription, as discussed in this article earlier.

Furthermore, their monthly subscription cost is quite high, as shown below:

Cost of Monthly Subscription
USD 9.99 per month x 12 months = USD 119.88 per year
USD 27.97 per 3 months x 4 = USD 111.88 per year
USD 51.94 per 6 months x 2 = USD 103.88 per year
USD 149.99 one time = “life time” founders subscription
(Note: The “life time” founders subscription is only available for those who has added a pre-order registration key to their account)

Cost of Retail Boxes
Standard = USD49.99
Collectors Edition = USD59.99

By comparing the above, it is very clear that the subscription costs for a year is enough to purchase 2 standard or collectors edition retail game boxes. If the monthly subscription is for the “new ongoing content” as advertised by Flagship Studios, then subscribers should be expecting the volume of “new content” to be equivalent to 2 times the current release of Hellgate : London.

USD 9.99 per month x 12 months = USD 119.88 per year

Standard = USD49.99 x2 = USD 99.98
Collectors Edition = USD59.99 x2 = USD 119.88

Leasing instead of buying new content
One important factor worth mentioning is that by subscribing to Hellgate : London for “new content”, you are technically “leasing” rights of access to the “new content”. This is very different from ArenaNet’s Guild War’s business model of developing and selling new standalone chapters every year, as players “owns” rights of access to the “new content” once purchased.

Comparing two scenarios
Subscribed from day one
Peter has been subscribing to Hellgate : London for a year since the initial launch, one day he decides to cancel his subscription and loses rights of access to all those “new contents” that he had been paying for that whole year.

Subscribed after a year
Jane who has playing the “basic” non-subscription Hellgate : London for a year, proceeds to subscribe for a month to try out the so called “new contents” and gains access to all the “new contents” that would have been developed in a year.

It would seems that Jane got a better deal when compared against Peter, but they are still technically “renting” the “new content” not “purchasing” and “owning” them.

Someone else is better
The multi-player portion of Hellgate : London is setup in a way that is very similar in nature to Guild Wars, there are instanced stations / chat channels where players can hook up and group together to explore instance explorable areas as a party of 2 to 6 players.

In fact, whatever Hellgate : London is trying to achieve, Guild Wars did a whole lot better and does not charge a monthly subscription, check out this article for a detail comparison between Hellgate : London and Guild Wars.

Purchasing and owning rights of access to new content
As of now, in order to completely “purchase” and “own” rights of access to any of the so called proposed “onging new content” is through the founders offer subscription, which is only available for those who has “pre-ordered” the game earlier.

Leap of faith
The USD 149.99 would sound like an adequate offer for a “life time subscription”, if the game is really that great and one is a great fan and supporter of the company, however Hellgate : London does not seem to be doing that “great” if one takes a read at the following reviews:

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/hellgate-london-subscription.php
http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3164383

For normal people, it would be a giant leap of faith if they do decide to “invest” that USD 149.99 into Hellgate : London.

No value for money
Economically speaking, Hellgate : London is not worthy of the monthly subscription, as highlighted above. Unless one considers oneself to be a die-hard, hardcore loyal supporter of Flagship Studios, one should avoid the Hellgate : London monthly subscription at all cost. Other than that, one could also be an individual who does not mind spending the meager amount of USD 9.99 per month to support Flagship Ship Studios.

As a conclusion to this article, I would say that the subscription model is definitely not value for money, as it is just not worth it to “rent” the so called “on going new content” as advertised by Flagship Studios.

Online Petition
Anyway, here is an online petition called “End Hellgate : London Subscriptions Petition” which managed to gather 1000 signatures to date.

http://www.petitiononline.com/hglsubs/petition.html

So, would you subscribe to Hellgate : London monthly?

[poll=3]


10 Comments

  1. 17th November 2007 
    10:22 pm         

    Jack
    said the following:

    You are wrong: GW content is entirely rented.

    Why?

    Because all the content you “buy” resides on the server, not your HD. Without their servers, you have no game.

    I don’t care what you think you’re paying for when you buy a game – if you can’t play it without someelse’s hardware, it isn’t truely your game.

    GW has no single-player mode. You are dependent on their hardware. Therefore, when the day comes (and it will) that the last GW server is shutdown, you will never again play GW.

    With HGL, you own the content. It’s on your machine. You can play the single-player version whether they run their servers or not. The new sub-only content (other than trivial MMO features like guilds) will be the same. If you subscribe, you will get that content *forever*. If you don’t, you won’t.

    So yes, a sub is definitely worth it. With HGL, you buy a sub, you own the content in the only way the really counts: you possess it and use as and when you like. With GW, you are renting the content in the truest sense: you can use only so long as the landlord feels like letting you.

  2. 18th November 2007 
    12:03 am         

    Deimos Tel`Arin
    said the following:

    You are wrong: GW content is entirely rented.

    😮

    Well, for the sake of this discussion, I would define “rented” as in requiring a “monthly subscription” while “bought” as in a “one time payment” and gain access to the said “content” forever, until one day ArenaNet decides to shut down the Guild Wars servers for good.

    Why?

    Because all the content you “buy” resides on the server, not your HD. Without their servers, you have no game.

    Actually, the “content” does resides on our Hard Disk, just that we need to log into the server in order to “have” our game.
    :mrgreen:

    I don’t care what you think you’re paying for when you buy a game – if you can’t play it without someelse’s hardware, it isn’t truely your game.

    Well, that would be your definition of “owning” a game then. My definition would be that if I do not need to pay periodic (say monthly) fees for a game, only one time payments for a said purchase, then basically I would be “owning” the rights to play the said game at any time I wanted to.

    GW has no single-player mode. You are dependent on their hardware. Therefore, when the day comes (and it will) that the last GW server is shutdown, you will never again play GW.

    Correct, since Guild Wars is an online game, and is advertised and marketed as one.

    True, the Guild Wars servers would shutdown one day, but by then I would be playing Guild Wars X or some other games?

    With HGL, you own the content. It’s on your machine. You can play the single-player version whether they run their servers or not.

    Hellgate : London is advertised and marketed as a Single Player Game with free “basic” non-subscribers Online Multi-Player function as well as an “optional” subscription system.

    Perhaps, when the day the Guild Wars servers are to be shut down, the possibility of ArenaNet releasing some sort of “single player patch” or a “Guild Wars server” is there, we will know when that day comes.

    The new sub-only content (other than trivial MMO features like guilds) will be the same. If you subscribe, you will get that content *forever*.

    But if you stop subscribing and if one day Hellgate : London servers shut down, you will lose access to that content. The so called “subscribers content” are not available to single player mode.

    If you don’t, you won’t.

    Well, unless Flagship Studios decides to have an alternative business model, i.e. “selling” the content instead of “leasing” it.

    So yes, a sub is definitely worth it.

    Would have to see what kind of “on going new content” they are going to offer. I haven’t seen anything spectacular yet, just a plethora of bugs.

    With HGL, you buy a sub, you own the content in the only way the really counts: you possess it and use as and when you like.

    Actually, the “content” is only available for as long as you subscribe, if you cancel your subscription anytime, you lose access to the “content” which in my opinion, is not worth it.

    With GW, you are renting the content in the truest sense: you can use only so long as the landlord feels like letting you.

    As long as the servers are up, I am basically “owning” the rights to play the game without having to pay any additional “monthly fees” to the “landlord”.

    Cheers!
    😆

  3. 19th November 2007 
    7:07 pm         

    Wan Kong Yew
    said the following:

    At this point, I’m not even sure that HGL is even worth buying, let alone subscribing to every month. I’m keeping it an eye on it sure, but I want to make sure all of the bugs are fixed before I even buy it.

  4. 22nd November 2007 
    5:40 pm         

    Deimos Tel`Arin
    said the following:

    @Wan Kong Yew:
    Aye, that would be the most appropriate thing to do at the moment.

    As of now, Hellgate : London simply has too many game breaking bugs on hand to make the game playable. Except for the die-hard, hardcore loyal fans of Flagship Studios, of course.

    Cheers! 😀

  5. 2nd December 2007 
    12:42 pm         

    Mo
    said the following:

    Interesting article; as a Founder, I don’t regret the $150.00 I spent; I haven’t even reached a point in the game yet where I’ve run out of current content. Unpolished and buggy, the game has issues currently, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone subscribe currently unless they aren’t having issues with bugs (I have a scarce few network errors for instance, but not as bad as at release).

    It seems interesting to me that people say there are game-breaking bugs they have encountered, and then assume everyone else hits on these same bugs. I’m on a fairly low end system, and haven’t hit on nearly as many bugs as some people say they have. For me and the people I play with, the game isn’t broken or unplayable; it’s fun and very addicting. Does that make me a “hardcore loyal fan of Flagship Studios”? No; it just makes me a gamer with a game that works for me.

    Are there a lot of features I’d like to see added? Certainly. Are there bugs I want fixed (like Hand of Nostrum not working)? Of course. Will I pout and stop playing because of it? Probably not, because I enjoy the gameplay in spite of bugs.

    Right now, HGL is a mediocre game due to the bugs, technical issues, and missing features. As those things get sorted out, HGL will grow into a superb game; and I’m willing to endure the bumpy ride at the beginning, whether it’s warranted or not, in order to see where it goes.

  6. 7th December 2007 
    3:47 am         

    JJ PornoGraphy
    said the following:

    USD 119.88 (or easy to calculat…USD120)….with that money I can buy 2 GW box.[but I don’t do that becuase I already have all of GW box 😆 ] and I got alot of thing with out pay monthly subscription.

    I didn’t try to tell what game is batter….but all offer from HGL for monthly subscription is not make me interest enough….for now.

    Making Guild?? – no….i not good leader 😆

    PVP?? – no…this is should be battle for save london…not killing your comrade. 😛

    Hardcore Mode – I noob and I die alot. ➡

    New Classes & skill – ok…this one hit me…but question is…when?? 🙄

    New Levels to Explore – this one is hit me too…but again…when??

    Additional Difficulty and Game Play Modes – and again…when??

    in the end….all i can say is….when they have all of that “ongoing content”…I will happy to pay for it.

  7. 9th December 2007 
    9:24 pm         

    Treize
    said the following:

    @Mo

    The reason you aren’t having as many problem is because people with good computers are the ones with all the problems. Having dual core or quad core causes the game to use twice or four times as much memory. Basically the more you spend on your computer, the worse it gets.

  8. 9th December 2007 
    11:47 pm         

    yung .
    said the following:

    So deep I don’t know what you guys talking -.-

  9. 10th December 2007 
    2:21 pm         

    Deimos Tel`Arin
    said the following:

    @Mo:
    Aye, glad to see that you are satisfied and happy with Hellgate : London. 🙂
    True, you are not exactly a “hardcore loyal fan of Flagship Studios”, perhaps a minority group of satisfied player base then. 😛

    @JJ PornoGraphy:

    no…this is should be battle for save london…not killing your comrade.

    I totally agree with ya, mate. We should be killing demons, not our team mates! 😆

    Well, I still believe that it is more worth while to be able to purchase the rights of access to the new content, instead of only leasing it on a monthly basis. ➡

    @Treizze:
    Thanks for the explanation, aye. I never knew that! 😮

    @yung .:
    😆 Are you a PC gamer? We are talking about a new PC Game called “Hellgate : London” which was released on 31 October 2007.

    Cheers! 🙂

  10. 14th June 2008 
    3:53 am         

    watch friends online
    said the following:

    I always wanted to play HGL but I havn’t had time to go buy it yet. and now…. im reconsidering buying it lol

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