Concessions Are Needed For Concurrent Player Numbers


First thing, I want to say I love Hellgate London. I love how you folks keep it alive.

It is still one of my favorite games all these years later, and I love playing it in any fashion.

I love that you folks enable this, I can logon and play HGL just like the old times.

I’m not sure how to write this out, and wanted to do it here rather than Discord, so here goes;

I feel that concessions need to be made, based on the realistic concurrent player numbers.

What does this mean?

First, please understand: this is not about play preference, it is about the reality.

The number of players in-game at a given time.

I would like to request that current game events, zones, creatures, bosses, etc. that are made for groups only, be made to scale to number of players. If that can be done with a patch, or whatever it takes.

Even down to 1-2 players.

This includes;

NM Sydonai.
The Wilds.
Dawn of the Dead.
Westminster Catacombs.
The Quinovarious boss (NM).
The Emissaries of Myth (if they are not).

Again, this is not about play-style preference. It’s due to the number of concurrent players.


On average, there are roughly 20 players online at a time.

There are peaks around 30, sometimes 40 at really good time, mostly early in the day NA/EST timezone.

A single 5 player group, is quite literally 1/4 the active players at a given time.

The NA evenings are very much ~20 or often less players. It’s not a simple task to get a group.

The player spread is something akin to this:

There’s a couple in HC mode. Again, around 20 players total on server, down to around 15-16ish here.

Then there is generally a guild only party around 3-4 players, down to 12-14ish remaining.

There are some people leveling, or similar, not sure, but not 50’s for endgame stuff playing.

Down to around 10ish.

Then there is what appears to be one active guild remaining with most players, taking likely 4-6 or so at a given time, leaving about 4 or so ‘stragglers’. Give or take a few on the guild/straggler sides.

There’s generally some afk types around, maybe 1-2.

Finally, in the early day, there appears to be a German guild of players, no real idea about them. They don’t appear to communicate outside themselves, likely due to language, I don’t know.

I am the last ‘Leit Knight’ for example. I don’t want to abandon this guild as it has a history, now a unique torso item, etc. it would be a shame to let it disband.

I see call-outs for things sometimes, parties, on the panel listed, never get filled.

Dread 2/5, Dread 3/5 … Dread 3/5 last call. etc. type stuff at most.

The new items added with Australia, almost none on the CH. Never really seen Australia even.

The new items/bosses added with 1.5.8, almost don’t exist.

This is not about disliking groups, or a preference; There aren’t really any groups on the panel to join period. If I make one myself, can literally wait hours if one ever forms at all. Chat is essentially silent.

I have been playing for 3 weeks now on this return, and have 19 fragments of one type, that’s it. I’ve tried speed running/farming zones for hidden passages (for no small amount of time I might add) and that’s as many as I’ve got. I average around 30seconds per these speed run zones, 1 minute for 2, repeat repeat repeat, and 19 after about 2-3 weeks playtime, every day EST evenings.

I feel these should be like, 10 frags = boss. I’m not sure on the drop rates or anything after, but 100 sure feels like a very high amount to hit for one boss run. Moloch is 4 heads, Abyss bosses are 5 rifts.

Their items going by the CH are nearly nonexistent. - This isn’t to say make it ‘easier’, I think it’s simply stuff just not being done outside a couple people in the one somewhat-active guild.

The CH itself, is pretty barren just as a statement.

Anyway, to cut this off, please;

I entreat you folks to make this stuff scale, how the Abyss bosses, Moloch, etc. things do.

This would enable such a small player-base to play things, and if the gods shine light on us, group up.

Maybe this is a tall-order, not possible, not sure. Sorry.

The mandatory nature of these otherwise however, the active player-base just cannot support.

Thanks for your time.

I personally cannot agree with this. For literal years there have been players complaining that the game isn’t hard enough, and we can’t have our cake and eat it. The grind and difficulty that people have asked for is now there for your enjoyment. I don’t partake in the super endgame stuff because it’s less fun to stream for me and my squad, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it. Great example of this is that Abyss drops can now appear in the daily quests from the Special Bulletins stands in stations.

As for the Consignment House, if players are hoarding items and not putting them up, then it’s not something that the devs could fix, is it? The areas are being farmed but people are only putting up their sub-par drops.

The single player Hanbit version on Steam has roughly or more the same concurrent players.

It’s not about difficulty.

Requiring players X or mechanics like so is simple gatekeeping mechanics.

There aren’t enough players.

Games like Elden Ring, Kenshi, Darkest Dungeon etc. show difficulty is irrespective of player number.

It’s not about difficulty.

As some one who is seeing data from the last 12 days of 2038 I can say that no, it does not. Please keep in mind that the devs are not a fully fledged company. Not a single member of the dev team does the work they do for payment. Neither do the shadys or the CMs. You’re comparing things that aren’t the same. Also your complaints about the market are pretty fallacious, you can’t force players to sell things. You’re comparing professional projects to a fan run project.


I have played on this server now for 3 years.

I check the online, /who every day I play.

I think everything is great with the updates etc. the things they do are fantastic overall.

I am not complaining.

Take Dessicator, made by FSS.

He turns you to stone.

That doesn’t make him hard or easy, it’s just a gatekeeping mechanic to force players X.

Those are normally OK, but Hellgate is now 15 years old, it just doesn’t have the players to support those kinds of mechanics, it’s a looter/farming game.

The game already has scaling built in, it’s just ‘always on’ in certain zones and encounters.

The Westminster catacombs, always have players x5 set. It doesn’t make it mechanically harder, it’s just group scaling is always active. Things like this.

Do you understand?

The scaling that is already in the game, should apply to all things that it does not. Those types of mechanics need a lot of concurrent players to support.

None of this is an attempt to be malicious or a complaint.

I have played on this server now for 3 years.

Okay, are you an active part of the community 24/7? Please consider that we actually have quite an international playerbase. I mean the vast majority of the devs are European for example but the server is hosted in Canada.

I think everything is great with the updates etc. the things they do are fantastic overall.
I am not complaining.

It kind of looks like you are, you’re asking for the game to be easier.

That doesn’t make him hard or easy, it’s just a gatekeeping mechanic to force players X.

He is entirely soloable. There is a lot of players who can. If you can’t I’d suggest asking in the LFG section of the discord server, maybe find a guild, or just ask the players who are on. There’s been a pretty hard balance as from the last big survey, it turned out that there was a near 50/50 split of solo to team play players. You can’t ask the devs to make everything easier, while they’re getting complaints that it’s too easy as is.

The game already has scaling built in, it’s just ‘always on’ in certain zones and encounters.

It’s also not working as intended. This has been discussed on the discord and as far as I know is something that is being looked into. The biggest issue with that is that there is very few people who can work on this game, it’s a proprietary code that is at best described as obtuse. If you want more details, check out the CM diaries. Especially the one on the Kilij.

Do you understand?

I’d say that if you’re getting argumentative but don’t seemingly have the right data to begin with then the problem is with you not the game. If you’re drawing comparisons to the steam version again, please remember that getting the steam version to work is literally as easy as paying and downloading. 2038 requires the original disc (if you’re playing legally) patching up to the last official patch, then putting in the required files. So this is going to lower the total number of players by dint of the amount of legal discs made.

They are not in any real sense the same, especially if you consider that in addition to all that I’ve said, it’s a single player experience with terrible support, hard locked to the dx9 version, with bugs that were present in 2015. Please don’t compare the two games, they are basically completely different at this point, especially considering the changes that the dev team have made to the game.


Again, I’m not asking for the game to be easy. Please understand.

Yes, the server is great. I’m in Canada too, my ping has always been like 30ms ha. It’s awesome.

I actually like my games very difficult. I like hardcore mode too in ARPG’s even. 1 life.

For example, here is a screenshot of my soloing Dessicator in last patch:

Yes, he is soloable as we see.

Why can I solo him on my summoner? Summoner is basically a make your own players X class.

I am turned to stone non-stop, but my dps doesn’t stop.

Solo/team doesn’t matter if things scale.

The Abyss bosses for example, people group up to kill all the time if possible.

They can also be solo’d if not.

The thing is, again, there aren’t enough players for team-only.

I asked do you understand, not as argument, as I think my point is not being conveyed.

As I type this, there are 36 people online. There are 2 groups on the party panel, with 2 players in one, 1 in the other. So counting myself, that’s 32 potential people to play, maybe some are in hardcore. Maybe some are leveling, maybe some are afk. Getting 5 players together out of 30 is 1/6th the total players.

The reference to the Steam game, was just for player count.

I never bothered with the Hanbit version, don’t intend to ha.

So, you’ve never played poison heavy Evo? You’re missing out bro. Again Dessi is specifically in one of the areas with the scaling on. So, you’re already in the scaling you don’t like. As for the player count, right now in the UK it’s quarter to midnight. There’s a large European playerbase, which are all asleep for the next 7-8 hours. Can’t force players to be on at this time of night. As for grouping, there are guilds out there recruiting. Please talk to these players as they often are the people running private groups that you cannot see in the party page. Please keep that in mind, as there are quite a few big guilds on the server and there’s even a separate discord for the Russian playerbase.

I haven’t played evoker since the game was live, but it was my main class back when it was.

Here’s a video from way back of it: Fath0m HGL - YouTube

I have another on there from when the server was closing up, I was a founder there.

I basically love the shit out of Hellgate.

And yes, this is what I mean, the majority of the players are likely from Europe, or UK, etc. not much NA anymore. The player count definitely peaks early in my time, when I have to work. I usually check CH in my 8 am and things like this, can see then.

That’s the thing, there aren’t enough players.

Yes, there is guilds running stuff that aren’t visible, that’s also part. Like out of 30 players online, there is not much options. There aren’t enough players for group only content.

I ran things with many Russians actually before I took a break for a while, but well, let’s just say I haven’t seen any of them online since I’ve come back.

If we want brutal hard, we can crank enemy damage and things like this. Gutgore spike ball shots now deal half my hp at 70% DR and so on all these options available, without locking out solo/small concurrent player numbers.

Right you keep saying there’s not enough players, but recognise the majority of the playerbase is not in your time zone. Well I’d say get some friends to play it in your time zone. You’re effectively talking about recruiting and as I pointed out, there’s a limit to the amount of legal copies of Hellgate London that were made. It’s still on Amazon and eBay so there are copies out there (I have two thankfully) at a fairly reasonable price. The team can’t actively advertise as again, none of them get paid.

I empathize with where you’re coming from, but the game is niche, the base is small because of a variety of reasons. If you want to help fix that, advertise for the game. Get other players involved. Don’t ask the devs to rebalance the game because if they got those extra players you want, they’d have to reverse all the changes you’re asking for.

Let me ask;

What is wrong with having things scale?

I have advertised, I’ve made comments linked to this site all over reddit where I can, things like this.

I gave the game to as many RL friends as I could that would play again on this server. Believe me please.

Again, I love Hellgate. It’s also 15 years old.

I was 27 when I made that evoker video ha. Watching it again, what nostalgia.

Anyway, I don’t see issue with having things scale up/down is all. No one loses.

I know a player in this, that if there are no groups, they log off. Just how they play. Watched them like this for years. I know others, that just never group period. This is why scaling I think is the right answer.

A player that likes to group, will. One that doesn’t doesn’t, I only care about playing myself.

Every game in modern time has scaling for this reason, even MMO’s. Lost Ark, crap as it is, can solo or group whatever you like. The game doesn’t care, it just wants you playing.

The scaling is not working as intended. I already covered this, and it’s been spoken about on the discord. Every single change to the code to alter things takes hours and takes away from new content. You are asking for the game to be easier in real terms, but if the playerbase expands and those changes go away, it would increase the difficulty and many players would leave. Do you see my point now. As for individual player behaviours (I don’t see any squads so I won’t play or start one) it’s not a dev problem. It’s a people problem.

What is the point of new content, if no one, or barely any is doing it?

The scaling works, they just have it on. Can see this on Abyss bosses, Moloch etc.

FSS built it into the game.

HP sponges and mandatory mechanics checks aren’t difficultly.

Having to maintain poison SFX as a new one, faster than one player can keep it on, etc. also.

Being a group, makes things easier, not harder.

Is Talox difficult solo? You bet. Takes me like 30-40 min straight all phases.

He’s a 2 minute farm in a group, if that.

There would be no difficulty increase, it’s like Moloch, or Diablo with /players8 or any.

It’s just gatekeeping.

For expansion,… the game is 15 years old. This is my point.

Let me clarify, because I can see you typing and I don’t want to wake up to a post I have to wait 12 hours to get a response on.

Scaling that you are talking about right now, is not working properly. There are clear issues that need to be addressed. The other thing is that implementing it across all zones would require months of work as many creatures such as story bosses, can’t scale the right way. For example Sydonai spawns in NM at level 62, 12 levels after you stop scaling which is why your armour gets eaten through, as the percentage negated that appears in your inventory is based on you facing level 50 enemies. This is not to even countenance the XP scaling which caps out if you’re too high or too low level compared to the enemies.

This is all ignoring how at the moment it’s actually easier to take on the game as a duo, rather than anything higher, so what you’re asking for would actually make player play in duos RATHER than in larger squads. See what I mean when I said you’re asking for an easier game.

This is all to say that I’m not trying to belittle your issues, they are to a certain extent, valid. However what you are asking for is not feasible in real terms. If you post about us on Reddit all the time then thank you, it does help. I personally stream 6 hours of Hellgate a week and have been doing so consistently for over a year, so I am trying to get the Twitch community involved as much as I feasibly can, however I don’t stream as a full time job so I can’t stream it for 30+ hours a week. I’m a little confused with this line though:

One that doesn’t doesn’t, I only care about playing myself.

So you’re a solo player that wants more groups because…reasons? Listen, it’s late, I’m sleepy, maybe I’m reading something wrong. However I think that given what you’re asking for it would be easier to grab new players in, rather than implement a broken scaling system that needs to be fixed.

I can’t stream it for 30+ hours a week

Not that I would. Burn out is a real thing.

Ha, yes, I find it neat we can see typing on this forum, this is why I stuck around, I saw it too :smiley:

So the scaling I’m talking about is like Catas, Wild, DoD etc.

Those are strictly set to players * 5 always. Whether you enter as one, or 5, it’s set to 5 always.

Turn that off for first thing. Put in the normal group scaling. If I am 2 players, scale to 2. etc.

NM Sydonai, yes, he’s a problem. He was orignially set to this level, as a ‘wall’ for players, while FSS tried to get content out quick enough. So he can probably be set to a lower level to fix him up if that’s possible.

Duo’s even, would be good, as again the main issue is player numbers. People online to group with.

But this depends on which class you are.

For example, I can also solo NM syd with that summoner np. Just can. Before my break last time, I would use it often to carry players needing to get him done to unlock the new dailies they put in.

A Blademaster? Guardian? You might be there for days.

So class plays a big factor too, but that’s a side discussion.

I will say, I like to play Blademaster most, especially with the spin to win changes. Spin. To. Win.

I made a post just other days in some comments with links to here in Lost Ark sub. I do it wherever I can.

For the line you question,

I meant like this:

A player that likes to only play as a group, will only play as a group and log off if there are none.

A player that doesnt’ like to, will not, and log off if all they have to do is group stuff.

Me? I don’t care, I just like to play.

The reality is though, with so much mandatory group, + player numbers, there is not much opportunity than to be the latter, or play my summoner.

I am not asking for a new implementation of scaling, use the scaling that’s already in the game.

Turn off the mandatory players * 5 in areas, use the group scaling that is the base game instead.

Like when you run whatever zone solo, mob has idk, 100 hp. Your friend joins, he now has 150. → This scaling to everything, not always set at *5 players in zones like wilds, DoD etc.

The only mechanical change I would request if possible, is delete the stone form skill on DoD/Dessi so classes like BM can do it too alone if need be.

*and maybe tone down the new necessity of poison for one person. The new wurm boss for example. I cannot keep poison on him enough as a blademaster to kill it. I’ve killed it in a group np, but solo, you just cannot poison the bastard enough (basically need permanent poison).

You didn’t read my post did you? The Scaling that you are asking for, that is currently implemented in the game, does not, work as, intended. What you are asking for is to implement the current system across all maps, which as I’ve said for the forth or fifth time, is not working right. As it stands right now, with no changes to that system duos are better to play in because the scaling system is not working right. At 2 players it’s a breeze, at 3 and above the game spikes in difficulty. The issue is not tied to the monsters, it’s tied to the number of players.

You’ve also made quite a few assumptions about players, which is not he wisest thing to do.

A player that likes to only play as a group, will only play as a group and log off if there are none.
A player that doesnt’ like to, will not, and log off if all they have to do is group stuff.

That’s a pretty big assumption about the players as a whole. Also your experience isn’t everyone’s. I do play solo, but generally I do it with a specific character on my account. You clearly don’t understand what I’ve tried to explain several times, so I’ll stop trying, but please understand:

What you have specifically asked for is scaling applied to all maps. The scaling system is not working right. You are asking for the game in it’s current state to be significantly easier due to this broken scaling system. That’s not going to happen any time soon for a variety of reasons, however it will not in any meaningful way change the number of players online in your time zone to play with, and if it did, then the scaling would have to change back to the current numbers. If the barrier to entry for new players is the scaling, then as it stands it’s better for new players. If the barrier is new content (which people have highly implied is the issue) then it’s better for the devs to fix the scaling and add new content.

There are now 23 players online.

That is why there is a necessity to allow any player group size, 1-5 to be able to do stuff.

I have read every reply thoroughly.

Idk what else to say.

But you can do all the stuff in the game. Nobody is holding you back to do so, but yourself.
There is videos of classes soloing Catas, The Dessicator, DoD, …
Just search through the forums/discord and you will find those eventually. Right off the top of my head, I know for a fact that there is videos for MM, Engi, and Evo running and clearing DoD solo. BM also has some tricks that can enable you to run DoD solo, but doing so will make you take ages. (bm is not my main but i know that ppl tried it) I don’t know about guard as that isn’t my main either, but it should be doable with a proper specc and gear. And given how items are mostly readily available on the CH, if one is unwilling or unable to farm for them, this might be a good place to start looking.

As for the number of online players, well what can one say about that?
People have a daily rythm. They eat, sleep, go to work, play games, have a family, do whatever. You cannot expect such a small playerbase like 2038 has, to always be ready and online when you are online.
And that’s not even looking at the fact that 2038 has a WORLDIWDE community.
You know, timezones are a thing. And for a small playerbase like this, a massive one at that.

I’ll say it again: Do not expect people to be online, when you are online.

So, if you advertised the game and such, that’s great! But with this you did all you reasonably could to (passively) increase the playerbase. See, I don’t know the specifics on why the 2038 team does not, cannot or is unable to advertise the game. But it also doesn’t matter to me as a tester.
Would it be better/great if there were more people to play/test with? Hell yeah. But there is only so much you and me, as testers/players, can do. And demanding the game to become easier, when there is legitimately people on that are able to solo like 99% of the game, is not one of those things.

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That’s the point.

How many times I gotta repeat it’s not about difficulty.

I give up, whatever.