Hellgate: London, Day Two
by, November 7th, 2007 at 09:45 PM (1882 Views)
Shortly after my first post, I made a new character and took the evoker class. I was quite fond of it, to be honest. All the class skills I have so far are FPS type range attacks. They also get some gnarly looking armor and weapons.
A couple things I want to touch on here. First, the weapon system is actually pretty cool, even if it's pretty much just a new version of the gem/rune system from Diablo. Most of the weapons after the first few missions in the game have slots where you can put upgrade components to augment it. Anything from increased range, to shield penetration, to extra damage of various types, to chance to stun the target. You can build some pretty wicked guns if you put the right stuff in them. I have a sniper rifle on my hunter that does a pretty insane amount of damage, plus has an extended range and does extra spectral damage. Thankfully, unlike some other FPS games I've played, it's completely useless in anything but long range as there's about a two second pause between being able to fire. However, I also have a modded swarm rocket launcher... I'll stop there.
You can also, at terminals in the stations throughout the game (after the first), add "magical" augmentation to the weapons. It costs 600 for a minor upgrade, and I think 2,400 for a medium and something large for a major. You can't choose the augmentation, it's completely random. I don't think it puts useless ones on the weapon types, a sword one on a rifle for instance, but it's still a crap shoot.
There's also an NPC who can create special components from stuff you pick up around, but I haven't seemed to have found any of these components yet. Perhaps they only show up in the more difficult settings (heaven forbid I should read an instruction manual!).
Second, here's the quest system. So far every quest has pretty much been a bug hunt. Go here, kill x or collect x. There have been a couple that were as simple as exploring an area, or finding an NPC or using an object on something, but the majority have been your run of the mill "grind" quests. This isn't necessarily bad, but there are too many non-story quests for a game with a storyline, IMO. Truely, Oblivion and STALKER both had a ridiculous amount of these side quests as well, but in Oblivion, most served a purpose, like moving your way up in a guild, and in STALKER, it wasn't really necessary to do the side quests unless you wanted cash.
Third, the character inventory and other misc interfaces such as shops and the augmentation or unconstructor are quite laggy and not all that intuitive. Perhaps it's just because I'm accustomed to the games I've been playing for years, but when I drop a weapon on my weapon slot, I don't want to have to then drop it again somewhere else to get it off my cursor. When I right click an item in inventory, I want to wear it, not examine it. The former is an annoyance, the latter a preference I suppose. But it also takes several seconds for the interaction interface to come up at all for the shops sometimes. You can shift-right click to buy and sell, which is nice. The unconstructor needs a take all button for serious though, or a right-click-to-get option. Having to pick up and drag six components out of the box and into my inventory gets old real quick.
In the end, what I'm basically saying is, the interface just isn't doing it for me, and I want the story to progress more quickly. True, I could just skip all the side quests and stick to the main plot, but I feel like I should at least get some more world involvement out of doing the side quests. I am hoping that finishing out the main quest is at least fulfilling and not lackluster like I found Morrowind and Oblivion's original stories to be. I actually found Shivering Isles to have a better story. More entertaining at least, which is getting important to me in my old age.
Still, if you're still looking for Diablo 3, as I said previously, here it is. Come and get it.