Dev Talk: Hellgate Rework
The Call to Arms update arrives March 17, and along with other major features like the Faction Warfare rework, this update includes a complete re-envisioning of Hellgates. In our newest Dev Talk, Game and Level Designer Dominik Müller discusses the changes coming to Hellgates and some of the goals behind them.
Prefer a written summary? Then read on...
A Core Albion Feature
Hellgates have been around since the early days of the game, and exemplify one of Albion’s core concepts: tough PvP with high risk and high rewards. To bring Hellgates up to date in terms of mechanics and balancing while opening them up to more players, we did the following:
- Made Hellgate PvE more entertaining with a much greater variety of mobs
- Added a huge variety of map layouts that support different playstyles
- Implemented a matchmaking system to ensure worthy opponents
- Added a new lava mechanic that ensures fights eventually happen
- Created a whole new 10v10 Hellgate mode where large groups can fight for even bigger rewards
How They Work
Previously, entering a Hellgate required killing a demon at a preset, static location. With the new system, Hellgates are accessed via Hellgate Maps, which can be crafted at the Artifact Foundry, looted from mobs, or bought. Like Dungeon Maps, they only work in zones appropriate to the map type; the Hellgate then spawns several zones away to maintain the danger of reaching the entrance.
Entering a Hellgate requires the following:
- Sufficient base item power, a new stat that only measures your gear's tier, quality, and the enchantment while ignoring Mastery and Specialization levels, to ensure you no longer encounter players in overcharged 4.1 gear
- A party size matching the Hellgate (2, 5, or 10 players respectively)
- Channelling to enter is no longer interrupted by damage, so preventing someone from entering is more challenging
New Layouts and Monsters
Once inside, you'll encounter one of ten completely new Hellgate layouts at random. These add a variety of different features: some have chokes, others have varying altitudes, and yet others are vast and open.
Matchmaking is based on the average Hellgate Infamy of your party (see below). You have a chance of joining another party's Hellgate instantly; if no suitable opponent is found, you will enter your own Hellgate. The matchmaking criteria grow wider with time, until eventually another team enters your Hellgate or you enter theirs.
To complete a Hellgate, you can kill mobs until an Infamy threshold is reached. Depending on which Hellgate layout you are in, you will find different mobs and minibosses, and occasionally a boss with huge rewards. If another party enters the Hellgate, all mobs (other than those guarding chests or shrines) will disappear.
Once two teams are in the same map, a new rising lava mechanic will occur:
- After sufficient time passes, lava appears at the edge of the map and moves towards the center
- The first part of the lava is a warning zone that causes less damage
- The second part of the lava causes drastically more damage
- To avoid a stun/CC combo meta, players will become immune to crowd control effects once they have been in the lava for a short time
- The lava pauses after enclosing a final area at the center
- If more time passes without a winner, the lava starts encroaching again until only one party is left
- Defeating an enemy team causes the lava to disappear and completes the Hellgate, allowing your party to continue onward or return to the surface
Completing a Hellgate
After killing enough demons or defeating an opposing party, your Hellgate will be complete and a marker will appear on your minimap. If you kill an enemy party, you will be rewarded with an additional chest. Here you will find an exit portal and another entry gate. The portal will bring you back to the surface, while the gate lets you chain into a new Hellgate if you meet the same IP and group size requirements as before.
Infamy and IP Caps
Infamy works similarly to Corrupted Dungeons but is independent, with separate Infamy rankings for 2v2, 5v5, and 10v10 Hellgates:
- The higher your Infamy, the better the loot in the corresponding Hellgate type and the higher Infamy opponents you will encounter
- As mentioned earlier, the longer you remain unmatched in a Hellgate, the wider the matchmaking criteria become until you eventually find a match
- Killing players steals a portion of their Infamy and adds it to yours (and vice versa)
(Note: with IP caps and requirements, we tried to strike a balance between keeping Hellgates competitive and making them more inclusive; we will keep a close eye on player feedback and adjust these numbers if needed.)
That's all for today - we hope you're as excited about the new Hellgates as we are, and that you are looking forward to testing yourself against your fellow adventurers when the Call to Arms update goes live on March 17. Thanks for watching!