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Black Gold's water-themed Bloodied Tides DLC arrives next week

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold
Snail Games has today announced that a huge new update will land in Black Gold on November 24th. Bloodied Tides, the steampunk MMO's second DLC since its soft launch last summer, will up the level cap as well as add Aurek Brute and Upyrian Vampire races, a brawler class, a new 4v4 arena, tweaks to the time vial system, and a weapon engraving system. There's also a ton of water-themed content in the form of underwater dungeons, underwater maps, naval warfare, and aquatic battle carriers, which had better be as cool in practice as they sound, darnit.

We've got the update's teaser video embedded for you below.

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Guns of Icarus Online overhauls progression and matching

Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Miscellaneous, Steampunk, Buy-to-Play

This may have been an ill-considered approach.
The latest patch for Guns of Icarus Online is going to make it a great deal easier for characters to get better. The game's progression system has been completely overhauled, with level now tied to experience earned via matches rather than to achievements. This is accompanied by a reorganization of stats and traits and a bump in the level cap to 45, which will also bump existing characters and give them more levels to play around with.

Said patch also improves the game's matchmaking system, which helps get players into the action more quickly while also providing a more balanced system for everyone. A new tutorial to introduce new players to the game and a spectator system that makes it easier to watch games unfold have also been added, giving players new and old alike plenty to enjoy. Check out the full patch notes or just steal a glance at the video showing off these new features past the break.

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City of Steam is merging US servers on October 21st

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

The first moments on a merged server are always weird.
City of Steam's US servers are coming back together. On October 21st, the US servers for the game will be merged into a single server for everyone in the US. Players on the US2 and US3 servers affected by the merges will be getting a bit of an extra benefit out of this change; not only will they get to play with a larger population, but a consolation package is being offered to players for the delay in starting the other servers in the first place.

The packages consist of subscription time, Metal, Alloy, Revamp Gems, Vehicle Parts, and Lucky Scrolls; US3 characters get more of these things, but the core contents are identical. There's also an offer to European players to obtain a similar package by emailing the support department, as those servers are already merged. Read up on the details, and get ready for the world to become a bit smaller but more populated.

Black Gold's Campaign of Ashes arriving a week early

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

Earlier this week Snail announced that Black Gold's first major update would debut on September 10th. As of this morning the firm has changed its mind, according to a press release that says Campaign of Ashes will instead release a week prior on September 3rd.

The update features a new skill surge system, new high-level gear, new battle carriers, and more.

Royal Quest begins early access... for a price

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Steampunk

royal quest
Royal Quest, an MMO "full of magic, technology, and alchemy," opened the doors to its early access test yesterday. While the game promotes itself as being free-to-play, this only applies starting the second week in August. Before then, anyone interested in checking it out needs to purchase one of the DLC packs.

Players who hop into the game will be assigned a regional server (out of three available) based on their location. To access the website's comments and forum, players have to level up a character to 5.

Royal Quest is being developed by Katauri Interactive (King's Bounty) and is only being offered through Steam for English users. Among other options in the game, players can own pets, eventually move into their own castle, and engage in special PvPvE zones in the game.

[Thanks to Dystopiq for the tip!]

Black Gold bumping level cap, adding cross-server PvP and more

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold is entering its second month of open beta, and Snail Games wants you to know that significant changes are on the way. Said changes include a level cap bump to 45, a new tier of skill upgrades, cross-server PvP functionality, and more.

How much more? Well, you'll just have to click past the cut and read the full press release, won't ya?

[Source: Snail Games press release]

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City of Steam previews its 2.7 update

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam, Steampunk

Dress to impress!
City of Steam has another update in the works, and it's going to make you look good. How, you ask? Well, partly by adding a new and expanded wardrobe system that will improve categories and free up storage space for your cosmetic outfits. The interface is still rough, but it's also a step toward giving players more options and power when it comes to character appearance.

What else is coming? There's a new Lucky Wheel option in the works, allowing players a chance to spin and win all sorts of great prizes whether they're playing for free or not. The Mercenary system is also being revised, with appearances being improved, new mercenaries being added, and an improved interface for organizing and managing the soldiers of fortune. You can check out the full patch preview, which sadly for players does not yet include a targeted release date more specific than "soon."

Black Gold Online enters open beta today

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold Online
Snail Games is opening up the coppery patina doors to open beta for its steampunk MMO Black Gold Online today. Interested players can hop in at 5 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. PDT) for a chance to win exclusive in-game items.

You can choose to play as either the mechanized Kingdom of Isenhorst or the magic-based Erlandir Union in a war to gain control of a crystallized energy known as Black Gold.

"The open beta lets anyone join who is eager to explore and battle throughout our unique bilateral land of steampunk and fantasy," says Jim Tsai, VP of Snail Games USA. "The open beta's massive activity data and player feedback will be leveraged to put the final touches on one of this year's most anticipated MMORPGs prior to its launch later this year."

You can find out more about the open beta events and in-game items on the official site.

[Source: Snail Games press release]

Black Gold opens up character creation before open beta

Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Steampunk, Black Gold

You can start asking what in the world these outfits are supposed to be well before the game is launched.
Are you looking to start playing Black Gold Online's open beta? The servers open up completely on June 20th, but veteran players will be able to access the character creator starting today at 5:00 p.m. EDT. That means that you can just jump right in on the 20th, and you can earn a few extra prizes along the way for starting early.

All players who make a character early will have access to a special gift pack to help jump-start their adventures in the game. They can also take part in a contest to create the most attractive character, the best likeness of a celebrity or other real individual, and the most hideously ugly character possible. Everyone who's not a veteran will have to wait until the 20th and won't be eligible for these special rewards; if you've been involved in the game's testing up until now, you'd best get in and start creating today.

E3 2014: Hands-on with Black Gold's PvP

Betas, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Steampunk, Black Gold

It can be hard to demo an MMO at E3. Some studios stick a bunch of journalists together and have us try an instance, which can be fun or, if the worst of us ends up taking a key position, it can be rather frustrating. Other studios let you into a questing area but, to be brutally honest, these usually feel pretty stale compared to the nearby console games that let you do more than kill 10 goblins.

Snail Games broke from the mold by letting us PvP in its upcoming Black Gold Online MMO, and while there were some issues, I felt a bit more confident about the title than I did last year.

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Black Gold Online brings mechs to PvP battlegrounds

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold
When you head to the PvP battleground in Black Gold Online, don't be surprised if you're the only chump walking around on two legs while everyone else is lording over you in mobile fortresses of steel, iron, and beastial flesh.

In a new dev diary, Snail Games elaborates on the Battle Carrier system in Black Gold's PvP. Players will be able to choose and customize their own walking mech or creature out of over 100 models. The Battle Carriers come in five varieties -- Raid, Assault, Siege, Aerial and Anti-air -- and each of them are strong against some and weak against others.

Producer Kee Zhang promised that no one Battle Carrier will dominate the landscape in PvP: "The idea of using a battle mount, with its own damage and attacks and such, came into the mix pretty early. The real light-bulb moment came when we thought of this 'Rock, paper, scissors' assortment -– every Carrier has advantages and attack bonuses over certain other Carriers, and in turn is vulnerable to another. It makes teamwork and strategy a must."

Snail Games announces mobile titles, Black Gold Online open beta date, E3 lineup

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Expansions, MMO Industry, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Age of Wushu, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold Online
Snail Games has announced its lineup for this year's E3, and along with the expected expansion to Age of Wushu and showing off some Black Gold Online, the publisher is also revealing three new mobile titles.

Heroes of Gaia, Puzzle Heroes Saga, and Taichi Panda are all set to release on iOS and Android platforms at a yet-to-be-announced date. Age of Wushu's fourth free expansion, Tempest of Strife, is now available but will be showcased at the Snail Games E3 booth as well. And then there's the highly anticipated Neo-Victorian steampunk MMO Black Gold Online which will begin open beta on June 20.

Watch for our own coverage of Snail Games and all other MMO goodies from this year's E3 next week.

[Source: Snail Games press release]

Guns of Icarus dev blog talks player feedback, Hurricane Sandy

Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Dev Diaries, Crowdfunding, Steampunk, Buy-to-Play

Sandy in NYC
Launching an online multiplayer game is challenging in the best of conditions. Try launching one in the midst of a natural disaster, though. That's what Guns of Icarus developer Muse faced in October of 2012 as Hurricane Sandy battered the northeastern United States and left New Yorkers -- including Muse staffers -- without power and internet for weeks.

Muse CEO Howard Tsao tells the full story in the fourth part of his Guns of Icarus post-mortem, which Gamasutra published this morning.

City of Steam preparing to overhaul crafting

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

City of Steam
City of Steam is, well, full steam ahead for its upcoming 2.6.1 patch. Mechanist Games said that the big focus of the patch will be an overhaul to the crafting system to make it easier to understand. The studio will be converting catalysts into a "valuable" substitute and will replace the Spiremarks currency with Bound Electrum when the update lands.

Currently, the game has finished its first cross-server PvP bout and is challenging its playerbase to the aptly named Tower of Peril dungeon.

Massively's first impressions of Black Gold Online's beta

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Free-to-Play, First Impressions, Steampunk, Black Gold

Do you prefer a steampunk or fantasy flavor in your MMO? With Black Gold Online you don't have to choose! And for those who vehemently dislike one or the other, you're welcome to express that distaste on the battlefield; Snail Games' upcoming free-to-play game features realm versus realm warfare that pits machine against magic. With these two different genres represented, the game looks to please a broader spectrum of players than the traditional single-genre titles that populate the MMOverse. The question is, will it succeed?

Even though we've perused available news and watched a variety of videos about everything from the various classes and different races to action combat to guild vs. guild systems, nothing beats getting into the MMO and experiencing it for yourself. Closed beta for Black Gold Online began mid-May, so I jumped in to get a taste of what awaits players when the game hits open beta this summer. What I found is that while the game excels in some areas, it comes up short in others. Here's a run-down of my first impressions.

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