Hellgate: London: 5 Tips for Fledgling Summoners
Games age rapidly nowadays. 2007 wasn't that long ago, but in terms of video game mechanics and user interfaces, it can seem like ancient history.
The 2018 re-release of Hellgate: London has had a rocky development history. It's mostly the same game that it's always been—minus multiplayer support—which means that it may take some getting used to if you never played the original.
The Summoner can be an especially tricky class to play solo, but is still a highly effective one once you understand the basics. Start building and playing a strong Summoner with these 5 early-game tips.
1. Let Your Minions Do the Heavy Lifting
If there's one lesson to learn as soon as possible, this is it. The Summoner is a largely hands-off class; you'll be firing your ranged weapons at times, but they're never your primary means of dealing damage.
Summoning is all about controlling the battlefield and keeping the heat off yourself. You should almost never find yourself being directly attacked. By character level 3, you'll have the ability to control two summoned creatures at once, and they should both be on duty at all times.
Keep your distance from enemies, let your minions handle the melee scuffles, and concentrate on supporting them as needed. Take potshots with your own weapons only when your minions don't need anything from you.
2. Look for High Ground
We've established that you should avoid melee combat whenever possible. What better way to do that than by making it physically impossible?
Sometimes, the most effective tactics are so simple that many people never think to try them. A good deal of the terrain in Hellgate: London can be jumped onto in one way or another such that melee enemies will have a hard time reaching you.
Relax and have a latte in relative safety while your minions do the hard work.
3. Prioritize Your Stats
A Summoner's most important attributes (in descending order) are: Will, Stamina, Strength, and Accuracy. Will and Stamina together should probably receive a solid 80% of the points you gain each level. The former affects the size of your power pool (MP, effectively), while the latter governs hit points.
Summoners need lots of power to maintain constant conjuring, so Will is an obvious first choice. The extra hit points from Stamina are nice, but the main reason to level it is because of equipment requirements that limit the gear you can wear based on your stats. Most Summoner gear requires high Will and Stamina.
4. Give Your Minions Regular Breaks
For the most part, the tutorials do a decent job of letting you know how to perform various tasks, but the process of dismissing your summoned minions isn't immediately obvious. Not only does banishing and re-summoning your friends refill their health, it's also the only way to "refresh" their stats and skills if you've leveled them up since they were last summoned.
To send minions away, hold Alt, then click and hold on their portrait. This will open a pop-up menu. While still holding your left mouse button, hover over "Dismiss," then release the mouse button. It's a bit finicky.
Get in the habit of refreshing your summons out of combat when they need healing, or if you've beefed them up recently; you don't want to find yourself in a boss fight with minions that are several levels out of date.
5. Demons vs. Elementals: Know the Difference
Summoners can call forth two different kinds of friends, and they serve different purposes. End-game builds tend to prioritize one over the other, but in the beginning, it's helpful to use both frequently.
Elementals are your pawns. They're disposable, they can be summoned in large numbers, and they disperse themselves among large crowds of enemies to keep the focus off of you. Each summoned elemental reduces your maximum power as long as it's active, which is why you'll want to spend a lot of points on Will—to ensure you'll still be able to cast other abilities with a big group of Elementals in play.
Demons can only be summoned one at a time, but they're a lot beefier than elementals. They will generally seek out the strongest enemy in a group, and when you invest a decent number of skill points in them, their physical offense and defense are both formidable.
Stay Flexible and Adapt
Hellgate: London becomes a very different game at higher levels, and it will be difficult to make an effective generalist or "jack of all trades" Summoner build. Some of these specific strategies won't be as effective 50 hours into the game—they're intended to help beginners get comfortable with the basics.
There's no way to respec your skill points, but don't worry too much; your first character is a "normal" hero, and later in the game, you'll be given a chance to make an "Elite" character and to effectively start over. Your normal character is intended to be a way to test the waters and feel out how you want to specialize later on.
There you have it! Summoners are a challenging but rewarding class to play in Hellgate: London. Play defensively and cautiously and you'll surely get the hang of them before long.