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Here's part three of that Guns of Icarus post-mortem

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Dev Diaries, Crowdfunding, Steampunk

Guns of Icarus
Did you miss part one of Muse CEO Howard Tsao's ongoing post-mortem for Guns of Icarus? How about part two?

All caught up now? Good, because Gamasutra has published part three. In the latest installment, Tsao shares lessons learned from two successful Kickstarters. "We realized that Kickstarter was amazing, and it would fundamentally change the relationship between developers and fans/players, but we couldn't have predicted how soon and how spectacularly," he writes.

Black Gold opens up preorders

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

Cue ensuing discussion in comments about the fact that something can ask for money while still being free to play.  Because operating a game is a charity or something.
Black Gold Online is launching as a free-to-play game, but there's no reason you should let that simple fact stop you from pre-ordering it! Admittedly, it's not so much the game you're ordering but a retail box that also comes with a variety of goodies contained therein, but still. Pre-orders are now open, letting you plop down $20 to unlock a variety of perks in the game when it goes live this summer.

The pre-order package includes a special horse, special clothing, high-end crafting ingredients, and around $20 of in-game currency, which would serve to offset the cost of the boxed edition quite nicely. Aforementioned boxed copies will be shipping alongside the game's full launch this summer. If this is right up your alley, the game's official pre-order page will direct you to the retailers offering this deal; you can also check out the full press release just past the break.

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Black Gold Online outlines its Guild vs. Guild systems

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

For you, the day that my guild wrested control of your territory was the most important day of your life.  But for me... it was Tuesday.
Guilds in Black Gold Online have plenty to do. Sure, there are the usual social aspects of guilds, but there's also a constantly amplifying race for technological progress combined with territory control. The latest development blog on the official site discusses how guilds can advance and grow in power, as well as the basic outlines of the territory control feature with characters fighting it out over energy wells.

All guilds have a level of technology available to them, determined by the amount of eponymous black gold used to upgrade the guild. This can come from members, or it can come from energy wells, which can be fought over on both a factional and intra-factional basis. It's entirely possible for two guilds of the same faction to fight repeatedly over the same well. Take a look at the full article for more details about how you can send your forces to fight and die for that all-important energy.

Black Gold devs talk art design, 'clash of styles'

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold art
Snail's latest promotional post for Black Gold focuses on the game's distinctive visuals and art design. While there's little in the way of new gameplay information here, there is plenty of arresting concept art that melds fantasy, Victorian futurism, Wild West motifs, and of course steampunk.

The Stream Team: Just another magic Monday in Black Gold Online's beta

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Livestream, The Stream Team, Steampunk, Black Gold

The Stream Team: Feeling the magic in Black Gold Online's beta
Monday is a good time to feel some of that Black Gold Online magic! Or try to use it, anyway. Last week, Massively's MJ checked out the technology side of the upcoming title focused on faction-based warfare, so this time she's heading to the fantastical lands to try her hand at magic. Come check out how the other half lives on Montel! Join us live at 3:00 p.m. and see if anything can in the magic realm can top getting a motorcycle.

Game: Black Gold Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Monday, May 19th, 2014
Time: 3:00 a.m./p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Guns of Icarus postmortem on post-publisher challenges

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Dev Diaries, Steampunk, Buy-to-Play

I love Guns of Icarus and you should too
If you're a Guns of Icarus fan, an indie fan, or just a gamer interested in the creative process, you should take a few minutes to read the ongoing dev diary from Muse CEO Howard Tsao and co-authors Eric Chung and Tim Doolen at Gamasutra. Part two was published this morning, and it tackles the dev team's development struggles in the aftermath of part one's publisher debacle.

"Designs on paper are rarely any good until they're tested in some form," Tsao says. "Ultimately, everything begins with low fidelity (cards, dice, paper, and role play) prototypes but sometimes jumping straight into digital prototypes is required. At the time, it was important to move fast and find results quickly and in this it case meant one person going from ideation, designing interaction flow, to digital prototype. A combination of flexible responsibility, knowledge, and Unity's low barrier to entry made it possible."

The Stream Team: Peeking in Black Gold Online's beta

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Livestream, Steampunk, Black Gold

You've heard about Black Gold Online, now see it! Massively's MJ is jumping into the closed beta to show off character customization and delve into the newbie gameplay experience. Don't miss this opportunity to get a glimpse of the different factions in this upcoming RvR title that pits magic against technology. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. as we pry open these beta doors and peek inside.

Game: Black Gold Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, May 16th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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City of Steam teases patch 2.6 improvements

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

How pimp do you think my ride is?  Be honest!
While its initial launch had some definite issues, City of Steam seems to be doing quite well for itself with new servers, new platforms, and a new patch on the way. That new patch shows off some of its new features in a recent development blog, starting with inter-server PvP between the top 20 players on each server. Yes, that means you'll need to muscle your way to the head of the pack in PvP before you get a shot at competing, but getting there means fantastic prizes.

Patch 2.6 will also bring with it the Tower of Peril, rewarding players for how far they can climb and generally challenging any high-level high-intensity players. There will also be numerous improvements to in-game text, bugs, and the like. If that sounds like just what you want to see, you can take a look at the blog post for a few more details and then jump in and start playing right from there.

City of Steam opens new US, Euro servers

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

City of Steam
City of Steam has officially opened two new servers, one for eastern U.S. players and another in Europe. Mechanist Games says that it is "trying to bring in as broad a gaming demographic as possible" by presenting its steampunk MMO on Kongregate, Armor Games, and Steam. "More platforms will come in soon," the firm states.

There are in-game events underway to help celebrate the additional shards. Check out all the details on the official City of Steam website.

Black Gold Online closed beta begins May 15th

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, News Items, Free-to-Play, Steampunk

In a press release issued today, Snail Games announced that the closed beta for its steampunkish MMO Black Gold Online will begin on May 15th. Says the release,
Closed Beta participants will see large-scale battlegrounds with customizable 'Carriers' (large battle mounts for each faction) and can develop over 100 distinct carrier-types for battle. Black Gold Online also features true hardcore PvP, where players can fight against members of their same faction as well as opposing forces across a variety of battlegrounds, arenas and 'Chambers of Greed.' Finally, players can join even larger Energy Well battles as they form armies to fight for control of precious resources in large-scale faction and guild battles.
The closed beta will also include revamped graphics and a refreshed interface. We've embedded the latest trailer below!

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City of Steam getting new US and EU servers

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

City of Steam Riven Gunner
Mechanist Games has announced that its steampunk browser MMO City of Steam is on the cusp of delivering a long-awaited European server. There's no firm launch date just yet, and Mechanist also notes that EU players who have been biding their time on the existing US servers will not be able to transfer their characters to the new EU shard. Electrum will be transferable, though, so there's that.

The devs also said that a new east coast US server is in the works.

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.

PAX East 2014: Guns of Icarus Online's expanding environment

Game Mechanics, Opinion, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Steampunk

If I don't look at you, you can't shoot me out of the sky!  I think?  Those are the rules, right?
PAX East taught me that I am apparently not the right person to pilot a ship in Guns of Icarus Online. In my defense, I was trying to do what my ship was designed to do. The co-op mode on display is all about delivering supplies to a final point on a map, and I was flying the fast scoutship. So I figured, why bother slowing down? Why not just jink left and right and avoid anything in my way?

As it turns out, the reasons to not do that are quite simple: The boss encounter at the cargo dropoff requires two people, and you need to actually retain control of the point rather than just wing to it at full speed. So I may have sent my ship crashing to the ground in a tumble of burning wood and broken steel. (By "may have" I of course mean "I definitely did this.")

This isn't a failing on the part of the game, just a failing on my part for trying to bull-rush through something. But it's still fun; the game gives players a variety of things to do while they're busy crewing the various stations across the ship. And it's just one place the developers are going with the game.

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Black Gold's closed beta getting 'major changes,' new classes

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold Online mage art
Snail Games says that fans of steampunk MMO Black Gold Online can expect "a newer, smoother, updated version" of the title when closed beta testing starts "soon."

The game's UI, graphics, battlefields, and vehicles will be tweaked, and Snail says that "major" combat system, quest line, and PvE changes are already happening. While there's no date on the closed beta just yet, today's press release reveals that it will feature four new classes. You can click past the cut to read the full notice.

[Source: Snail Games press release]

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Steampunk MMO Argo Online resurfaces with a new beta round

Betas, Trailers, Video, News Items, Free-to-Play, Steampunk

MMO vets might remember steampunk hybrid-MMO Argo Online from its 2011 debut on Alaplaya, but apparently it's now being run by Games-Masters.com on UserGames.com, complete with a refreshed testing period. In fact, the first round of beta testing is slated to begin April 10th, which gives interested parties a tiny window to sign up on the official site. According to the press release, beta participants will earn an exclusive bundle of launch items including a title and minipet.

The game still boasts steampunk-flavored wearables and mounts, 16 classes, guild housing, a castle war siege system, and a "unique optional third-person shooter mode, allowing for fast, fluid, dynamic combat with smart-casting skills." We've posted the trailer below.

[Source: Games-Masters.com press release]

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