Hellgate: London – London 2038 Development Update #23

Following the launch of a new in-game event, we get this here development update for Hellgate: London’s massive London 2038 mod that primarily talks about the game’s updated loot tables, but also mentions the team’s approach to dealing with player feedback and some upcoming new features.

Check it out:

Hello folks.

This week marks the first week of our new permanent event – which does seem to have overshadowed all else, as one would expect. So, while it’s extremely early for proper feedback and analysis, let’s briefly delve into it and some other tidbits.

What is “enriched” loot, exactly?

First, because drop rate discussions still abound, let’s explore this treasure workaround and the whole Luck/drop rate issue.

What we dubbed as “enriched” loot, and applied globally, was a fairly simple tweak; normal drop tables with the minimum item quality removed. So, for Champions this would exclude Common drops, and for bosses (that did have non-predetermined tables, as some do and some don’t) it would exclude Enhanced drops.

So what’s the problem?

Now, this caused 3 distinct issues that removing it intended to address:

1. Early-game power levels and grade value.

Simple as, early players would reach massive power levels early because higher grades were immediately available. This in itself invalidated pre-Legendary grades, which both felt illogical to us and sidelined Flagship’s work on Enhanced and Rare Named items. This perspective had players dub Legendaries alone as “dopamine drips”; an oddity when Legendaries are contenders for the second most powerful standard item grade in the game behind Mythics. Yes, some Uniques are strictly better than Legendary variants, and Double-Edged ones can be great if rolled with harmless setbacks – but the point that Legendaries have 3(,5 with DEs) grades behind them, when even Commons see use in specific setups, still stands.

2. Crafting material acquisition rates.

In turn, especially with our Piecemaker expediting the process (which it should), high availability of those higher grades had players stockpile scrap materials to the point where selling them to vendors was a logical choice. This we initially tackled through higher material demands for recipes, but scaling both down in time felt more logical to us.

3. Obscuring and diminishing Luck’s effects.

Finally, whether one likes Luck or not (for disclosure, I personally do not), it is a mechanic that’s there and is seeing use. “Enriched” loot then had two distinct effects on it;

  • one, it obscured Luck’s actual effects, spawning inaccurate research on it, and
  • two, it made the mechanic less appealing pre-50 because its effect was globally present without investment.

Which, regardless of one’s tastes, is undesirable when Luck has the explicit purpose of taking up affix slots to produce this specific benefit.

Of course, I’m just one person – so those are the primary reasons I could pull and consolidate over a Sunday evening. But hopefully this clears things up and provides a better view of our side of this contentious change.

For that matter, our partial reversal of this change too is being monitored. Since Champion and density reductions followed it and affected it, we’re keeping an eye on its effects on the ground and how players perceive it in action.


Finally, for a brief clarifying side note on this subject, Australia’s drop rates are entirely unrelated to this change. Its drop rate changes 3 simply intended to make Common enemies not award massive amounts of Named loot, which was never the dungeon’s intended goal. Imagine, it was so overdone that players themselves reached out over it “raining” those rewards, which trivialized the dungeon.

But be that as it may, Australia’s changes are not related to “enriched” treasures. This too I feel bears mentioning; it was a calculated change, not a byproduct of a global one.

The day(s) after the event

Second, here I’d like to address early event feedback and outline our course. Before I do, I’d like to preface this with a much-needed disclaimer. It’s extremely early to act on any feedback we get; the event has been live for a few days and players are only now getting accustomed to it.

To explain this with a simple example, the feedback we got on difficulty escalated from “the bosses are unbeatable” to “runs take an hour and a half” to “drop rates are too low for a 30-minute encounter” – this between Wednesday and Saturday morning. Evidently, then, we can’t act on drop rates OR difficulty itself when reference points change so rapidly, and players still haven’t even seen the other 3 bosses yet.

For that matter, let me address their drop rates themselves here. On Discord I used Global’s drop rates for equivalent content, which seems to have been misconstrued and passed around as such. My post, verbatim, was this:

“Those bosses are absolute endgame content, similar to Global’s BD. To compare drop rates to that, Orpehell had 0.75 and 0.25% ([link]) and Darkan had 2 and 1% ([link]). 1% for sets, if we’re comparing value over grades.

Our bosses, then, have massively higher drop rates than those. Still, you can’t reasonably expect to get one within 10 rolls (5×2). At 100 you’d definitely have gotten one.

Now, if you’d like to suggest adding more items to their tables so unsuccessful rolls still yield something of some value, that’s a reasonable suggestion I can pass on. But Mythic drop rates in particular it’s very early to judge when people are still figuring the bosses out.”

So, to clarify, those event bosses do not have 0.x% or even 1-2% chances to drop new items. The entire point was that those are miniscule numbers compared to ours – so please don’t use those to fuel math calculations, especially when the speed variable also changes over time.

Having quoted that post, I’d like to end this section with a note on its last part.

We’ve conceded that those bosses should have more loot than their Mythics alone. For this reason we’re currently crafting more Uniques for them that should make runs more rewarding and exciting – as “failed” rolls should still yield something for the players’ resources and effort.

Skill planning

Finally, to end on another positive note, Seadee’s skill planner is progressing nicely. It is not quite done yet, as both he and we have been busy, but it’s already looking considerably better than its initial form. It also has a new function for gear-granted skillpoints, which I find extremely handy for guides.

No promises on this front then, especially as it’s not my work to expedite or promise on, but it’s shaping up. You may of course expect a proper announcement on it once it sees release.


And there you have it. I hope you found this brief exploration of those heated issues useful, whether you share our perspectives or have your own.

Until next time, all the best to you, fellow London survivors.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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