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Snail introduces Black Gold's Thaumaturge

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

Black Gold Thaumaturge
Snail Games has added a new summoning class to its Black Gold Online steampunk MMO. The Thaumaturge "beckons dark spirits and miraculous forces for powerful long-range continuous damage casting," the company says.

Thaumaturges may be played by characters from the Buvont and Lokemean races, and they use magic staffs, enchanted scepters, and mystic vials to do their dirty work. As you might expect, they also wear cloth armor. More details are available via the Black Gold website.

Snail reveals Black Gold's Gunslinger class

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Classes, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold Online Gunslinger
Snail has released another class update for its Black Gold Online steampunk MMORPG. This time the focus falls on the Gunslinger, a ranged DPS and support archetype who combines AoE, single-target attacks, and medium mail armor into one powerful package.

Black Gold's Gunslinger special abilities include Ultra-loaded Barrel (heavy single target damage), Free-gun Spirit (a temporary boost to speed, health, and attack), and high explosive bomb (critical damage and slowing effects).

Black Gold's closed alpha starts today

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

Black Gold steampunk dwarf
Snail has announced that the closed alpha for its steampunk Black Gold MMO begins today. Eligible players will be able to test through March 30th. If you're wondering how to become one of those eligible players, it's as easy as registering a Snail account, filling out a survey, and hoping for the best.

If that doesn't appeal to you, the company says it will be "distributing access keys on a wider scale as Black Gold Online approaches its Closed Beta testing period later this year."

[Source: Snail press release]

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Black Gold Online unleashes the Beastmaster

Fantasy, Classes, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold Online
Snail Games has announced the new Beastmaster class for its steampunk-flavored MMO Black Gold Online.

As you might imagine, the Beastmaster commands beasts and the power of nature. Its main role is that of summoner and crowd control, but with heavy mail armor and two-handed weapons at its disposal, the class can also do a fair bit of tanking.

Special moves include Law of the Jungle, a stealth ability that increases critical hit damage; Thunder-crack, a spell that summons a powerful tropical storm; and Spirit Creature, an area-of-effect spell that causes damage to a wide area.

Be sure to check out the official class announcement for more info and screenshots of this new class.

[Thanks to Novas for the tip!]

Black Gold's Skycaller class designed for crowd control, support

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

Black Gold Online's Skycaller
If you're a fan of crowd control classes, chances are good that you'll like Black Gold Online's new Skycaller class. An update on the steampunk MMO's website says that the newly announced archetype is "capable of high-level single-target crowd control abilities plus excellent support." The Skycaller also boasts "long-range area attacks with light damage but crippling effects."

Skycallers wear light armor, and they can be played by either the Kosh or Yutonian races. Snail has also provided a description of the class's special moves as well as a bit of lore, all of which you can read via the links below.

Black Gold's alpha starts March 20, keys still available

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

Black Gold steampunk contraption
Snail Games has published a news post hyping its Black Gold alpha test that starts on Thursday, March 20th. The company says that keys are still available, but interested players will need to fill out a survey and then hope for the best, as Snail will select testers from "the pool of applicants based on their responses."

Black Gold is a free-to-play steampunk fantasy MMORPG. The survey and account registration info are available via the links below.

Black Gold dungeons to feature 'consequential death,' traps, and more

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

Black Gold dungeon
Snail has updated its Black Gold website with a look at the steampunk title's dungeons and instances. The post highlights groupfinder functionality as well as several gameplay mechanics including "difficult maps with no clear path," consequences in the form of respawning at the dungeon entrance after a death, and "hidden perils" like static and dynamic booby traps.

The update also features a few dungeon-centric screenshots, which you can see by clicking the links below.

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.]

Bring out your dead with Black Gold Online's necromantic Conjurer class

Fantasy, Screenshots, Classes, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold Online's steampunk faction just got a new mage -- one who mixes dark magic with steam technology. Called the Conjurer, this class provides long-ranged DPS and crowd control using necromancy that brings reanimated cadavers to the battle field. These scepter- or staff-wielding magicians can also summon demons and rip the souls out of their foes.

Unlike the controversial Occultist class, Conjurers can be any gender; they are, however, limited to only the Buvont and Lokemean races. And although they wear medium armor, they are the quintessential glass cannons that cannot endure sustained solo battles. For a look at the new class, check out the four new images in the gallery below.

[Source: Snail Games USA press release]

Allods Online Heart of the World update patch notes translated

Fantasy, Classes, Patches, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Steampunk

Allods Online
As a Russian-developed game, Allods Online usually gets each game update in Russia before it hits the rest of the world. Luckily for those of us who don't speak the language, fansite Allods Oracle has been translating these Russian patch notes into English so we know what to expect.

The latest update to hit Russia is entitled Heart of the World and it brings a new allod, a new adventure, and the highly anticipated Engineer class to the game. The game's stat system has also been completely revamped with this patch, and a wardrobe system has been added to allow characters to change costumes at any time.

Check out the complete translated notes, including side articles detailing the major changes, over at Allods Oracle.

Test drive Black Gold Online's alpha with fan Avril Lavigne

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Steampunk, Black Gold

If you want to check out Black Gold Online, you just might get your chance next month. Currently in beta testing in China, the steampunk game will be inviting top players in North America to test drive an earlier alpha version sometime during the end of March. The event is aimed at gathering player feedback and suggestions to help the game to grow and improve.

If you get into this test drive, you might even be playing alongside Avril Lavigne; the studio revealed that Lavigne is not only a fan of Black Gold Online, but one of its top players. The songstress shares her support of the game via video.

[Source: Snail Games press release]

Black Gold Online introduces female-only Occultist class

Fantasy, Classes, News Items, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

If you prefer to play female avatars in game, Black Gold Online has a new class just for you. Snail Games unveiled the new Occultist class, a female-only support healer and ranged DPS that sports leather armor. With a low resistance to damage, Occultists rely on sapping and stunning their enemies while replenishing the stamina of her group and providing heals. The Occultist joins Black Gold's line up alongside the recently revealed Spellsword class, the Pyromancer, the Assassin, and more. For a chance to check out this class when beta starts, sign up on the official site.

[Source: Snail Games press release]

Black Gold Online reveals new Spellsword class

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, Lore, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold Online is about to become a little more magical as Snail Games has announced the new Spellsword class.

As one might guess, the Spellsword uses both sorcery and swordplay to dominate its opponents on the battlefield. The Melee DPS/Agility Tank role is a versatile addition to the Kosh and Yutonian Humans.

You can read more about the Spellsword class, including background lore and strategies, in the game's newest announcement.

It's a battle of the titans in this new Black Gold Online trailer

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, MMORPG, Black Gold

Black Gold Online
Snail Games has just unveiled a brand-new trailer for Black Gold Online, teasing a fight between an enormous goliath and equally large behemoth and showing off behind-the-scenes clips of how the goliath was designed. According to the video description, the goliath is a creation of the engineers of Steam, built specifically to counter the Erlandir-summoned behemoth. And by "counter" we mean "punch." Check out the teaser after the break.

Snail describes Black Gold's universe as a "world where innovative Victorian steampunk clashes with traditional high fantasy." The game is set for launch sometime in 2014 with a closed alpha aimed at February.

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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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