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Steampunk

Black Gold Online video shows off action combat system

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

Whether you prefer the steampunk or the fantasy faction, if you are a fan of dodging and constant movement to try and out-maneuver your opponents, combat in Black Gold Online should be right up your alley. In the latest feature unveiling, developers delve into the ins and outs of combat in the upcoming game, eschewing the traditional stand-still-and-button-mash version of combat in favor of some action.

Most skills in the upcoming game are collision, or hit-box-based, and melee fighters will move in the direction they are facing with every swing. Ranged works a bit differently: Although most ranged skills will remain locked on their target, some will require players to anticipate enemy movements and target accordingly. And don't forget these battles also involve vehicles! While mounted, players will be in FPS mode. Get a preview of Black Gold Online's combat in action in the trailer below.

[Source: Snail Games press release]

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Black Gold Online unveils The Chambers of Greed instances

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dungeons, Steampunk

A new feature is coming to Black Gold Online in addition to the main quest-line and normal dungeons that players already enjoy: The Chambers of Greed. These instances chambers, or greed pockets, bring variety to the game by offering challenging side activities that blend PvE and PvP and give another avenue for acquiring new gear by slaying higher level monsters and completing assorted other tasks.

Unlike the openness of the over-world, The Greed Chambers have a darker, mysterious ambiance aimed at making players watch their every step. These chambers, which are more challenging that quests of the same level, will have hidden entrances to get inside. Players will need to discover these entrances themselves by getting in close, slaying a gatekeeper, or tripping some other trigger. Peek inside these new instances in the video below.

[Source: Snail Games press release]

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Scope out Black Gold Online's vehicular combat in new trailer

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

By air or by land, Black Gold Online offers players a variety of transportation options that do more than just get you to the battle, but also take part in it! Muscled mounts face off against mechanized ones as The Erlandir Union (the fantasy faction) and The Kingdom of Isenhorst (steampunk faction) duke it out to get control of a mysterious energy substance.

An essential part of Black Gold Online's PvP system, these mechanical mechs, war hounds, flying machines, and dragons can all be summoned in battlegrounds for PvP objectives as well as the open world. Players obtain these Raid, Aerial, Anti-Air, Penetration, and Assault vehicles through both questing and battleground achievements, and each mount has its own achievement path and customization options. Get a look at the vehicles in tactical battle formations in the trailer below.

[Source: Snail Games press release]

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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!]

Black Gold could possibly start beta in early 2014

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

Black Gold could possibly start beta in early 2014
Dying to get your hands on the scrumptious-looking Black Gold? If you've already registered for a beta key and need a little hope, here it is: Snail Games said the game could possibly start its closed beta in the first quarter of 2014.

"The first closed beta is planned to launch at the earliest Q1 2014," the studio posted in a recent Ask the Devs segment. "We are ensuring quality when it's ready to meet the public eye. All players who have registered prior will have a high chance of receiving first round of beta codes via their email."

Black Gold's beta and release is initially aimed at North America, although Snail Games said it is "not ruling out" the possibility of future releases elsewhere. There will also be no region block for the title.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

MMObility: Introducing Deepworld to Minecraft fanatics

Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Patches, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Casual, Humor, Family, Miscellaneous, MMObility, Sandbox, Crafting, Steampunk, Player-Generated Content

Deepworld screenshot
My nephews are visiting this week; they are nine and seven years old. And if there is one truth about these two, it's that they love Minecraft. Oh, they're also creative and smart young kids, but Minecraft is always a ready topic of conversation. Jeff, the younger one, loves to drill me on my knowledge. "Did you know..." is how it starts off, followed by some cool fact about the game. John, the older one, is calmer about the situation, and he has gained the ability, thanks to his elder status, to pull his gaze away from the game (I have it running on three different PCs and three iPads) in order to maintain an air of politeness. When I ask him something, he can give me an answer that has nothing to do with Minecraft!

I thought this week would be a cool time to introduce Deepworld to both of them. Deepworld is a fantastic iOS-based Minecraftian MMO that is free-to-play with optional and fantastic cash-shop items. The last time I looked at it, I bought an entire private server for only 10 bucks! I logged in this week for the first time in ages and found my server still sitting, waiting for my creations.

Then I showed it to my nephews.

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Rise and Shiny: City of Steam

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Browser, Casual, Post-Apocalyptic, Rise and Shiny, Livestream, Steampunk

City of Steam screenshot
The first thing that people say when they see City of Steam is, "Wow, this is a browser game?" I've seen the comments on videos and even talked about it during my own livestream (you'll find it embedded after the cut), but in the back of my mind I know that browser-based games have looked good for a while now. Still, the game does look good. It looks darn good in many places. It's a world of oily, smoky machinery and grimy dungeons, and the graphics do their job. With the dirtier styles and dungeon crawlers, however, comes the risk of repetitive design that toes the line between neat and bland as cold porridge. City of Steam mostly wins in the graphics department but does fail occasionally.

It's still fun to tell people it's a browser game. The beginning intro alone feels like a well-made MMO, while some of its staging and tutorials make the game feel as if it cost more than it did to make. The rest of the game isn't bad, either, aside from occasionally repetitive gameplay.

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Black Gold Online introduces the Yuton race

Sci-Fi, Video, Lore, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Races, Dev Diaries, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold Online introduces the Yuton
Snail Games has unveiled the second race in its new steampunk MMO Black Gold Online. The Yutons, considered more of a primitive (yet not barbaric) race of humans, were the first to settle in Erlandir. They saw the introduction of steam technology as their salvation and ticket to freedom from Kosh rule. This eventually led to a split between those who followed Hoca and steam, and those who rejected this new power.

You can learn more about the Yutonian humans on the lore page and a short video just after the jump.

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PAX Prime 2013: Guns of Icarus Online's new Adventure mode, features, and PS4 version

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, Patches, Events (Massively's Coverage), Steampunk, Buy-to-Play

PAX Prime 2013 Guns of Icarus Online's new Adventure mode, more features and info about the PS4 version
Guns of Icarus' Online's concept of crewing airships in a steampunk future might be a little strange at first, but it's something that Muse Games is really passionate about. I linked up with founder Howard Tsao yesterday at PAX Prime to talk about the game's upcoming Adventure Mode, which will add new context to battles over the unfriendly skies.

The new online mode won't replace Guns of Icarus' current lobby-based multiplayer mode, but it will add new content, including missions and factions to provide a backdrop for actions in the game's steampunk world.

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Black Gold: Introducing the Buvont

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Lore, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, MMORPG, Black Gold

Black Gold
Snail Games today released a video and blog post centered on the Buvont, marking the first in-depth exploration of any of Black Gold Online's races. A group of science-loving humans, the Buvont live peacefully with Black Gold's dwarves and are responsible for the militarization of steam technology. Accordingly, Isenhorst (one of the two competing Black Gold kingdoms) is considered to be under the thumb of the Buvont dynasty.

Buvont can take on the role of Inquisitor, Mystic, or Tech Adept and dress in the neo-Victorian style. You can learn more about this race by checking out the reveal video after the break.

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Guns of Icarus Online coming to PlayStation 4

MMO Industry, News Items, Consoles, Steampunk

Guns of Icarus Online coming to PlayStation 4
Muse Games is bringing Guns of Icarus Online to the PlayStation 4. Muse's Howard Tsao penned the announcement post on the official PlayStation blog earlier this week, and it's worth a read since it details the game's long and often arduous three-year journey from napkin sketch to PC release.

There's no official date attached to the the game's PS4 debut yet, but you can keep your eyes peeled via the game's website. You can also see what we thought of Muse's dieselpunk airship extravaganza when we checked it out late last year.

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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