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...
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:
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:
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 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 works similarly to Corrupted Dungeons but is independent, with separate Infamy rankings for 2v2, 5v5, and 10v10 Hellgates:
(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!