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City of Steam

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]

City of Steam opens up beta to all on May 10th

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

City of Steam opens up beta to all
You know the special beta keys that you needed to access the upcoming City of Steam test? Yeah, well, you don't need them any longer. Mechanist Games has decided to drop the key concept in order to open up the beta to everyone. So starting on May 10th, anyone who has an interest in checking out this steampunk MMO may do so with no hassle.

The upcoming beta test will be continuous and will feature an improved tutorial, events, wiliderness levels, and the Massively-approved technique of jumping. The team also removed the old faction system and teased the possibility of a MOBA-like addition to the game.

[Source: Mechanist Games press release]

City of Steam open beta early admission starts May 10

Betas, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam, Steampunk

City of Steam open beta early admission starts May 10
Want an early look at steampunk browser MMO City of Steam? Mark May 10th on your calendar, because that's the day that Mechanist is launching an "early admission" ramp up to its forthcoming open beta test.

The testing phase will be continuous (as opposed to that trendy weekend-only tomfoolery), and Mechanist will start with three classes and four races with more to come as the process matures. If you don't have a key already, you can get one by subscribing to the City of Steam newsletter on the official site.

City of Steam gets the green light

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

City of Steam has been greenlit for Steam
The steampunk browser MMO City of Steam is happy to announce today that it has been greenlit by the benevolent members of Steam.

What does this mean? It means that the people have spoken and they want to see City of Steam on... Steam, and the folks at Mechanist Games can now work with Valve to get the game up on the popular game distribution platform, opening the free-to-play title up to much more exposure.

Out of 1195 games campaigning for a spot on Steam, CoS came out in "8th or 9th place," according to the team's recent news post. Up next: getting out of beta and on to a finished client-based version for Steam.

Congratulations to everyone at Mechanist Games!

City of Steam going public with wilderness areas

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

City of Steam going public with wilderness areas
If you were just thinking to yourself that the one thing City of Steam needed (besides being released already so you can play!) was an open, public hunting area, you're in luck! In the latest dev blog, Mechanist Games announced the addition of wilderness areas -- zones where many players can congregate, kill respawning mobs, and do quests. The wilderness areas give players a travel route that offers XP and loot along the way. Wilderness areas will also host public events and have an occasional rare spawn.

Even more things are in store for these public areas. The dev blog hints at PvP, as also mentioned in Massively's recent interview.

GDC 2013: City of Steam demo showcases crafting and other streamlined features

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, New Titles, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Browser, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), City of Steam

GDC 2013  City of Steam demo showcases crafting and  other streamlined features
It may seem like a while has passed since we last experienced City of Steam, the fantasy steampunk MMORPG that fits in your browser. That's because it has! The game's last closed beta testing round was back in December, and fans have been eagerly waiting to get back into the city-state of Nexus. Of course there has been some news to tide us over in the meantime while developers have been turning all of that beta feedback into fixes and updates, but that's not the same; people want to play. Luckily, it's GDC to the rescue!

While the rest of the world won't actually get to access City of Steam until it launches open beta (which is anticipated to be within the next two months!), I was able to dive in and explore the fruits of the devs' winter labors. And let me tell you, they've put their time to good use! I met with Communications Manager Gabriel Laforge and Operations Director Andrew Woodruff from Mechanist Games who showed off all the work that has gone into the game since the beta closed, from graphics to crafting to airships. They also highlighted the game's cash shop and revealed numerous rewards players can earn simply by playing the game.

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PAX East 2013: Hands-on with City of Steam

Fantasy, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Previews, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Browser, Hands-On, Races, Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Crafting, City of Steam

Screenshot -- City of Steam
I don't know what it is about steam engines, brass goggles, and copious amounts of clockwork mechanisms that excites me so much, but the steampunk genre has a special place in my heart. With that in mind, it should be no surprise that when I discovered that Mechanist Games, the
studio behind upcoming F2P browser MMO City of Steam, was going to be at PAX East, I immediately claimed the assignment.

For the uninitiated, City of Steam is a title that mixes the traditional fantasy flavors of magic, elves, and goblins with steampunk staples of industrialism, clockwork automatons, and airships to create what is described as "industrial age fantasy in a fallen world." During my time at PAX East, I got to spend just under an hour exploring the world of City of Steam and chatting with the game's developers who were milling about the booth. It's a fairly ambitious title that's aiming to bring a high-quality, modern MMO experience to players' browsers, but will it run like clockwork or go up in a cloud of steam?

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City of Steam fires up the Colossus

Betas, Sci-Fi, Lore, Browser, Humor, City of Steam

City of Steam fires up the Colossus
There appears to be no shortage of interesting sights and sounds to experience in City of Steam, although one particular landmark looms above the rest. It's the Colossus, a slumbering defensive... thing that rests in the city proper, and Mechanist Games has an amusing post giving a bit of backstory to the machine.

Apparently the Colossus was created a long time ago as a giant mobile fortress tasked with protecting the city in times of dire peril. As the city is more or less at peace, the Colossus is in stand-by mode -- although it could be woken at any moment.

This mega-sized robot features cannons and an arm that's good for punchin' and aught else. The devs revealed that originally it had several more limbs, but revisions turned it into a walking fort instead.

City of Steam's bestiary gives pre-launch advantage

Betas, Sci-Fi, Lore, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam

City of Steam's beastiary gives prelaunch advantage
While we're twiddling our thumbs waiting for the steampunk City of Steam to finally release, Mechanist Games has a great way that we can prepare for the launch. The team has put a spotlight on the website's bestiary, a helpful encyclopedia of creatures and people that players will be encountering in the game proper.

Beyond just providing some flavor and filling in some lore, the bestiary has a practical purpose by giving players details as to the strengths, weaknesses, and relationships between the mobs. The bestiary can be searched by individual creatures and by species and has plenty of cool pictures to boot.

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