For a certain generation of PC gamers, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura brought a world to life that is all but impossible to forget. Steampunk settings have been done a few times, but it is a sorely under utilized atmosphere. BioShock has brought more notice for a newer generation, but misses the fantasy side of things the way Arcanum succeeded with it.
Steam-tech with orcs, goblins, wizards, and other fantasy regulars, called “industrial age fantasy” by Mechanist Games, is a setting I’ve been dying to get back into. Now Mechanist Games is giving players a chance to experience this unique combination with it’s unity player MMO City of Steam. I haven’t spent much time following the game, but I’m glad that I found it. You guys know we love our indie and smaller developers, and it seems this group is keeping us invested in the reasons why.
Smaller companies have a ton of things going for them. They bring in fresh ideas that the bigger AAA titles just don’t have the ability to explore. City of Steam is no different, apparent by its setting alone. But there are more reasons to spend some time in the city and see what makes this a title to watch. Four classes with nine races is a solid offering for a free to play MMO, and the fact that the company is clear about staying away from a pay to win system gives me the confidence to back this game in a big way.
Most free to play games hit it big in the early boom by offering game breaking items for big spenders. This put those that spent a modest sum, or nothing at all, in a lower class of player – not because of skill, but because of a lack of investment. Now that developers are seeing that players are willing to support their games with convenience and vanity items, we are moving to a new era of free to play where fans can find themselves on even ground, regardless of their investment in their title of choice.
Some of the items Mechanist Games is putting up for “spendy” players will include things like a larger stash or reduced travel times. This is a balance that allows busy working gamers to spend some of that hard earned cash on keeping up with their friends that have more time in game. There are a ton of systems left to iron out in the game, but once I read that items are randomly generated, my little ARPG loving brain lit up with excitement.
A final note about the game before we head into how the contest will work. This is an MMORPG/dungeon crawler. This means you enter a hub city that has a huge population of players, then delve into a dungeon alone, or with people you meet in the city, fight mobs, get loot, complete quests, then head back to the city. The game is being built to be playable alone or in groups, with some dungeons focusing on teamwork and party mechanics. Head to the site and read the FAQ to get a much deeper understanding of what they team is working on. You may be pretty surprised at how much you want to play this game.
Now for the part you’ve been waiting for: the contest. We will have a number of keys to pass out for the upcoming alpha tests occurring on July 20th – 22nd, July 27th – 29th and August 3rd – 5th. We want you to comment with contest ideas for these keys. If we choose a suggestion, the person that submitted it will win a key, and the rest will fight it out when we roll out the competition. Keep in mind we want this to be a contest that focuses on the site, but if you would like to see something additional on RipTenTV, feel free to suggest that also, and we will discuss that side of things as well. This is a community project, so feel free to work together on coming up with ideas, if you see one you really like, help iron it out to really make it work. Throw it in the comments below and we will pick winners within plenty of time for the first alpha test.