Even though Hanbitsoft ran the game poorly to milk customers, it made me fall in love with HG again. I didn't play online when Flagship ran it so it made me discover SH/catacombs and Tokyo.
The game still had all the bugs because they Hanbit didnt bother using the TCv4 patch, which was supposed to be the savior of the game. They only knew how to handle the cash shop which is sad. The game servers closed last february in Korea after a long agony.
All hopes are not lost though ! Some shady chinese people are running Hellgate:Reborn which seems to be roughly a private (most likely illegal) server that has SH + Abyss cause they get their hand on the MP source code it seems. So we can still hope that one day, someone could do a real rebirth of the MP and use the TCv4.
However, we can still play SP and have fun with the game the way we want.
I recommend nagahaku 3.0b mod, which contains the famous TCv4 patch on top of a LOT of new things that never made it to live like double-edge items or mutant mods, and thx to this patch once again, bye bye memory loss and FPS drops <3
OP, you were talking about "stupid minigames" but Tokyo introduced cow level and base defense. They both had intersting mechanics, were really challenging in Hell mode and granted access to set pieces. However, unlike the lab in PoE, they were not mandatory for the character. And their access were nearly unlimited, and not RNG gated.
Sure you could say that ascendancy points are not required but it would be a lie. We play the game to constantly increase our power so we want those points. Some say that a 6L is a luxury but we want them to be better, we dont need wands to cast spells but we eauip them cause it's better.
So yeah, hellgate shut down before being able to release all the good stuff it needed, and i hope GGG will realize that gating content for the vast majority of players might not help them.