One of the big challenges for the developer team when designing an open world sandbox game like Albion Online is that a common strategy for players is to group up in very large groups called Zergs. They came up with the idea of Hellgates. They are supposed to promote players running around in the world in smaller groups.
They tried to create fair and evenly matched combat situations for players. Hellgates, a rift to the Hell Dimension, are the outcome of that idea.
How Hellgates Work
You and four of your friends can actually go through a portal which will take you to these special Hell dungeons. And within these dungeons, they're filled with demons. You will fight these demons to get soul stones, and at the end you will encounter a huge demon boss.
In order to open a Hellgate in Albion Online, you have to find a Gatekeeper. Albion is ravaged by a previous war, and there are many places that are weak, where the connection between the planes is damaged. At these places, gatekeepers will appear and can be defeated. And when you fight one, if you manage to defeat one which isn't easy, it will open a portal to Hell. This Hellgate can only be used by those who defeated the demon, and only up to five people can enter it.
The Hellgate itself works very much like a mini dungeon. So, it is filled with very nasty, hellish creatures.
Chance to Fight Against Players
The most exciting thing is that at the same time there's a second portal somewhere in the world, and if another group of people discovers that second portal, they will come rushing in into the same place where you are.
When you enter Hellgates, you never know what is going to happen. It's possible that you are alone, that you're just up against the demons of Hell and their boss, but it's just as likely that you will encounter another group.
And if you encounter these groups down there, they will usually be out for blood. They will try to fight you(pvp). They will try to fight you for the spoils that you'll find in this place.
Because the number of how many people can enter Hell and also how many enemy groups you'll encounter there are limited, it's going to be a fair, square and skill-based fight.
The creature waiting for you at the end of the Hellgates is a powerful demon. The interesting part about the demon boss is that he throws off these lava bombs. These lava bombs actually stay on the ground and deal damage to anyone that gets close to them.
He can slam the ground, flood the combat area with lava and knock everyone back dealing massive damage to them. And then, obviously, if you get too close to him, he will strike you and deal a lot of damage that way. But when you defeat him, you get a lot of souls, and these souls are used for crafting really powerful items, and that's why you come to Hell.
In addition, demons in Hellgates drop soul stones. It's a rare and very expensive item used for high-level equipment. It's an essential item for all players.