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City of Steam

City of Steam patch optimizes and improves across the board

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, City of Steam, Steampunk

City of Steam
It's the big patch day that you've been waiting for! City of Steam: Arkadia has updated to version 2.5, and with it comes a slew of quality-of-life improvements for the game as a whole.

In patch 2.5, City of Steam has added tutorial quests, included more offerings in the in-game store, refined elements of the interface, and optimized the quest tracking system. There are also new challenges and heroic dungeons for high-level players as well as a team-up boss raid.

Check out all of the changes, additions, and bug fixes in the patch notes.

City of Steam heads to Steam with a fresh new server [Updated]

Business Models, Events (Real-World), Patches, News Items, Browser, City of Steam, Steampunk

City of Steam
Steampunk browser MMO City of Steam is landing on, er, Steam today, bringing with it a brand-new server. Says developer Mechanist Games,
Coupled with the latest game version 2.4 ([which] will also be available on the established server), the new server will provide improved team-up function, restructured tourney events, new level content (lvl 50-60), and of course exciting new server event. This time, new server events will become goal-based so that they are capable of benefiting as many players as possible.
The studio tweeted that the Steam launch might be slightly delayed but that developers are "talking with Valve to make the launch ASAP."

Massively alum Matt Daniel dived into City of Steam in December to scope out last year's Arkadia relaunch.

[Update: Mechanist has postponed the Steam launch thanks to "critical issues (discovered) when testing (the) live server on the Steam version." The studio promises an update during local business hours.]

Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #40-31

Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, Opinion, RuneScape, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter, City of Steam, Jukebox Heroes, Music

MMO main themes hold the potential to be some of the most powerful and magical pieces of music, partly because we associate them with particular games more than anything else. A great theme will dredge up intense memories or euphoria by the third note, and I see composers putting in their all with many of these themes.

A long time ago I did an MMO theme countdown of 20 tracks, but since then I've heard a lot more and have wanted to do the list all over again. So this week in Jukebox Heroes, we're kicking off a countdown of the top 40 MMO themes -- in my opinion, of course. I listened to over 150 themes and spent hours ranking them to create this list.

Because these choices are bound to be a little controversial and stir up debate (which is encouraged!), I set down a few rules that I wanted to share here. I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So no points added or subtracted based on the love of the game; I'm counting down the best music, period. Let's see what numbers 40 through 31 have in store for us!

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Second Wind: City of Steam: Arkadia

Fantasy, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Browser, Hands-On, City of Steam, Second Wind, Steampunk

Screenshot -- City of Steam: Arkadia
I've been rooting for City of Steam ever since it was first announced, mostly due to my sheer love of the steampunk genre. We've got high fantasy and gritty sci-fi games galore, but steampunk has been largely neglected in the realm of gaming.

That's why it was so disheartening to hear that City of Steam's first incarnation (of which I spoke rather highly when I saw it at PAX East in early 2013) would be shutting down after only about five months of opening its doors to players. It was a bold move for Mechanist Games to make the jump to self-publishing, and when I saw the game featured on Kongregate, I decided I'd check and see how the troubled title was holding up in its new form. The question is, does City of Steam: Arkadia manage to stoke the fires or is it just a bunch of hot air?

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City of Steam: Arkadia launching December 4th

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Launches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam

Riding right along.
The death and subsequent rebirth of City of Steam has been an odd thing to watch, but you'll soon be able to actively participate instead of just watching. City of Steam: Arkadia is launching on December 4th, just a little more than a week from today, enough time that you might not even get to feel any sorrow at the original version's untimely and unexpected demise.

Of course, you may not have mourned the original version. Rest assured that the relaunch is not meant to simply be the same game with a new subtitle. According to the official announcement, the new version contains a variety of new systems as well as a revamp of both dungeons and game mechanics. Mechanist Games states that the developers have paid attention to player feedback from the Chinese version and will be releasing a game that should have a much wider appeal. You'll be able to gauge that for yourself very shortly one way or the other.

City of Steam: Arkadia offers first screenshots and update

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam, Steampunk

Since it bought back the rights to publish City of Steam in English, Mechanist Games has been toiling away at getting the re-christened Arkadia ready for its re-launch. To give players a peek at how things are changing in more than name only, the devs have released a few screenshots showing off the burning house in the Delton intro. Also included in this week's update was news that forum avatars and titles will be restored on the new forums and that CoS: Arkadia would be available as an all-browser gaming experience or via a easy-to-download micro-client that's "just megabytes."

City of Steam: Arkadia outlines compensation package

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Promotions, City of Steam, Steampunk

City of Steam Arkadia outlines compensation package
Last week, Mechanist Games assured that returning City of Steam players would be compensated as the company worked to restore fans' faith in the title. Today, the studio released the details of that compensation. For early supporters, the in-game currency will be refunded using the scheme that was utilized in alpha and beta: money's worth plus extra percent bonus. And for all players -- paid or not -- who reached at least level 30, the company is offering two tiers of welcome back packs, one for levels 30 through 37 and one for players who made it to level 38.

Both packs include a large supply of vehicle parts, revamp kits, transmuter orbs, key bundles, cardiotonic, transmuter coolant, spiremarks, and more. Both packs also offer a Santa cap, and the level 38 pack includes an "awesome mega super dooper mystery item." Each account can claim one pack by contacting support. Full instructions and the contact information are available in the announcement.

Mechanist Games working to restore faith with City of Steam's community

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam, Steampunk

Mechanist Games working to restore faith with City of Steam's community
Mechanist Games will be taking actions to "restore faith" by those affected from City of Steam's impending shutdown and rebirth as City of Steam: Arkadia.

The studio announced three initiatives to draw back players. First, it will be recharging alpha and beta supporters' Electrum, although it doesn't look like refunds are in the cards. Second, it will be compensating returning players who will need to start fresh on a new server. And third, Mechanist is opening up a new English-speaking forums on the website for the community to use.

The exact nature of the compensation for affected players was not revealed, as the studio said it has yet to finalize details in that regard.

Mechanist paid to reclaim the English publishing rights for City of Steam and will be self-publishing the title going forward. Other language editions of the game will continue to be operated as is.

[Source: Mechanist Games' press release]

City of Steam powering down, switching to new name and ownership [Updated]

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam, Steampunk, Sunsets

City of Steam is powering down Novemeber 22st
It's the end of the line for the free-to-play steampunk game City of Steam -- at least on R2Games servers. The publisher has announced that doors will be closing at 2:59 a.m. EDT on November 22nd. Even with what are probably the most impressive graphics in a browser-based game, CoS apparently couldn't keep enough players to remain viable. With the closure, the in-game currency Electrum can no longer be acquired, but all previously bought Electrum can be spent on store items throughout the month.

Does this mean that CoS is powering down for good? Not according to developer Mechanist Games, which has announced that it plans on releasing a new version of the game the same month:
Circumstances have contributed to a significant loss of players and we've decided to cease the current game operations for the Global English version and take City of Steam back. This is a decision we have taken months to reach, and are confident that it's best for the health of the players, the community and the game itself. City of Steam is not shutting it down. We at Mechanist Games will improve and self-publish the game, and endeavor to make it available to as many of the original fans as possible by cooperating with popular English language browser-gaming platforms (to be announced). City of Steam will be upgraded during the time it is offline to better suit the player demographics of the new browser-gaming platforms publishing the game; new content, new features, new systems, massive change to the economy and statistics, new equipment and cosmetics, new quests and an overhaul of most of the level art and main quests. Some features will be removed. There will also be a massive flying fortress for characters of any level to congregate in. Because of these numerous and sizeable changes, the game will be re-launched in November under the title City of Steam: Arkadia.
[Updated with the statement from the press release from Mechanist!]

Jukebox Heroes Extra: A chat with City of Steam's composer

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Interviews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, City of Steam, Jukebox Heroes, Music, Steampunk

Jukebox Heroes Extra A chat with City of Steam's composer
When you're called in to create a score to an off-kilter steampunk game like City of Steam, then you had better bring a unique sound that highlights the difference between this and all of the yet-another-fantasy-MMOs (YAFMMOs) that litter the field. Composer Daniel Sadowski fully invested himself in this project to make that happen, and I wanted to talk with him about the making of this interesting soundtrack (which you can purchase on iTunes and Amazon, by the way).

So for this follow-up interview, Sadowski shares his soundtrack influences, how he got involved with City of Steam, and what he used to make a steampunk world come alive through music.

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Jukebox Heroes: City of Steam's soundtrack

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Opinion, Free-to-Play, City of Steam, Jukebox Heroes, Music, Steampunk

Jukebox Heroes City of Steam's soundtrack
City of Steam has to be the first MMO soundtrack that I've seen sold prior to the game actually launching. I mean, it's probably happened before, but I can't recall when. In any case, I had a good listen to this steampunk-inspired score months before its launch, but its lack of a presence on YouTube kept me from writing it up.

Enter Composer Daniel Sadowski, who emailed me asking why I hadn't covered his soundtrack yet. I was like, "Well, it's not on YouTube," and he was like, "Well it is now," and I was like, "I saw Ferris pass out at 31 flavors last night." True story.

I'm glad he did because this is a surprisingly decent score. With many browser-based MMOs, it might be easy to dismiss the music with the same wave of the hand that some dismiss the game itself, but that would be a shame. There's a lot of passion and ingenuity at work here. Let's listen!

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City of Steam's Tears of the Oracle patch hails the return of the greenskins

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Races, Dungeons, Crafting, City of Steam, Steampunk

City of Steam's Tears of the Oracle patch hails the return of the greenskins
When City of Steam threw open its browser-based beta doors to all players, certain classes and races were noticeably missing from the soirée. But some fan-favorites have finally gotten their invitation and will be rejoining the party when the 1.3 patch Tears of the Oracle hits next week; greenskins, dwarves, and Channelers will once again be available to play.

And that's not even the half of it! This next patch will also be raising the level cap, expanding questlines, and adding plenty of new things, including the Founder's Annex suburb, a PvP event, a collection system, rare mobs in dungeons, plenty of cosmetic items, and even a new crafting system. On top of that, levels one through nine can resurrect for free in dungeons and the salvage system got an overhaul. So get ready to get your goblin (or hobbe, or orc) on next week!

[Source: Mechanist Games press release]

City of Steam dev journal discusses game events

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dungeons, City of Steam, Steampunk

City of Steam dev journal discusses game events
With a name meaning the center, you'd expect City of Steam's Nexus to be a happening place even in beta, right? That means plenty of events for folks to get in on. Well, it just so happens that there are two general events already in game and a third on the way, and Mechanist Games gives players the lowdown on how to get in on the action in the latest dev journal.

Unlike temporary in-game events, events in CoS are permanent instances you queue for. Of course, victory promises reward. Of the two current events, the Arena is all about survival of the soloist as waves of mobs crash into you whereas Tesla Defense is a five-man tower defense. When patch 1.3 releases, the PvP-based Siege of the Spire will join the event lineup as a MOBA-inspired arena that includes mobs, turrets, and team bases. Players can join the regular events as well as daily and weekly events with larger rewards. For more details, check out the official site.

Mechanist launches City of Steam's patch 1.2: The Vault Unsealed

Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Races, City of Steam, Steampunk

City of Steam: Draug and Riven
Tomorrow (or tonight, depending on your point of view) is patch day for free-to-play, browser-based title City of Steam. Starting at 2 a.m. EDT, the game will be taken offline for four to six hours while Mechanist Games pushes live patch 1.2: The Vault Unsealed.

This new patch adds quite a bit of content to the still-in-development City of Steam, including new quests, the return of the Riven and Draug as playable races, the addition of a new content hub by the name of The Vault and a brand-new Wilderness level known as The Broken Stair. The level cap has also been raised up to 32, and PvP enthusiasts will find a new map and new tournament event in which to slay their fellow players.

Mechanist is promising more details once the servers come back online; in the meantime, you can discuss the patch over at the official City of Steam forums.

City of Steam opens beta doors at 10 p.m. tonight

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam, Steampunk

City of Steam opens beta doors at 10 pm tonight
If you've been eagerly awaiting your chance to get into the browser-based steampunk goodness of City of Steam, your wait is nearly over. Clear your Friday night plans because in just a few hours at 10:00 p.m. EDT, the city of Nexus will be welcoming its new residents. And you won't be needing any early access key, as Mechanist Games is throwing the beta doors open wide for any and all!

Returning testers will notice many new features have been added since the closed beta runs, like events, a plethora of new cosmetic items, and more streamlined skill, talent, and crafting systems. And jetpacks -- who can forget the jetpacks! Players will also find over 80 dungeons, over 100 quests, new PvP maps, open Wilderness levels, customizable gear, and more... and that's only to start! The devs have an aggressive release schedule plan of adding new features and content on an almost bi-weekly basis throughout the beta.

For more details on what you can expect, check out Massively's hands-on experience as well as the official open beta features list.

[Source: Mechanist Games press release]

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