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[General Article] City of Steam: Review In Progress #2

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,597MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

City of Steam is a game aimed straight at the steampunk niche market in the MMO space. How well does it succeed? We've been playing CoS to find out. Today is our second in a series of articles building up to our final review next week. See what you think and then head to the comments to add your ideas.

Of course the argument can be made that every MMO plays this way and that's true to a certain degree. But same takes on new meaning in City of Steam. Every instance in which I've played is nearly identical but for layout to every other one. Even the placeables, the destructible environmental objects, are exactly the same as every other place I've been. The monsters are the same for the most part as well. Up to my current level, I've pretty much seen that same instance about a thousand times...or maybe it just feels like it.

*le sigh*

Read more of Suzie Ford's City of steam Review in Progress #2.

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She looks all puckered up because she couldn't afford a hat.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • MyrdynnMyrdynn Beaumont, CAPosts: 1,517Member Uncommon
    played it, deleted it
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,207Member Uncommon

    The cash shop I think is heavily influenced by R2, the publisher.  I tried another one of their games and the cash shop is ludicrously expensive.  People that can only play these sorts of games because they have a low end system would be better served saving that money, buying a new rig, and playing a deeper more engaging game that costs less.  Even Neverwinter, which has the most expensive cash shop of any game I play, delivers a lot more bang for the buck.

    I asked in last column Suzie, and I'm not sure if you want to answer, but I would like to know why this game gets a beta pass while charging players, but Neverwinter and other games got pretty brutally grilled over that.  Maybe it's just a different in philosophy between yourself, Rob, Bill, and the others who review, but since it was pointed out in those threads and Bill (sorry to hang out on this Bill) sort of spoke as though the entire site holds this view.

    As for the rest, yeah it's a disappointing mish mash of more of the same with little that made it interesting and unique during the alpha and beta periods.  Mechanist has flopped, twitched, and backpedaled many times over their changes and design shifts (heavy handed pay to win payment model, intricate character development, the energy system, etc), but never really delivered an answer that satisfied most of their early backers.

    One aspect of game mechanics you haven't touched on is the "energy" system which is a very typical trash-f2p / facebook system where you run out of stamina and can't do anything until it regens which means buying energy in the store or grinding out mobs in one area until you have it refilled.  It's a horrible system in my opinion and one of the defining deal breakers.

    This game is exactly why I would rather deal with "clones"  and safe design from AAA developers than flakey indie devlopers and pubs.  This game pushed me off the indie supporter train.

  • DraeghorDraeghor Sacramento, CAPosts: 50Member

    Yeah, I was really disappointed by the direction the game went after R2 picked up the publishing.  I really did not see the direction that the designers were talking about come into fruition once the shift was done.  I tried getting back into the game when beta re-opened, but it just did not feel right, and I agree with you on the more of the same feeling of the dungeons. 

    The game is a great idea, and I like the Unity engine being used for this type of game.  i just think the game essence has just been lost.

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,360MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    @Tor: This is part of the review... The final score comes next week. So, no pass at all.
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,207Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    @Tor: This is part of the review... The final score comes next week. So, no pass at all.

    Yeah, it's all good.  I wasn't sure if this was maybe a thing where different reviewers have different takes.  I have a mixed mind about it.  I understand the need for revenue and the difficulty in gathering quality dedicated testers, but I also don't think most publishers / devs have been very responsible or considerate to the early adopters who have helped fund them "pre-launch", that includes Cryptic/PWE, SoE/Runewaker, and Mechanist/R2.

    Anyway, thanks for the response.

  • st0rmM0nk3yst0rmM0nk3y Mesa, AZPosts: 3Member

    Myrdynn -  You can't "delete" City of Steam.... It's a browser based game. The best you can do is delete it as a bookmark or favorite. I have played it. I find it fun, but I must admit I haven't leveled any character past level 10 so far, even though I played in both closed and open beta. Which means I can't confirm or deny what the review claims about "sameness" - although I suspect it is likely true. I do agree with the cash shop being over-priced now,  too. Previously I was able to purchase a steam bike with my "electrum", but now I don't think I can do that. Perhaps they were being generous while they worked out the code for the cash shop itself, who knows?

  • DrigusDrigus Syracuse, NYPosts: 50Member
    The combat is very clunky. 
  • st0rmM0nk3yst0rmM0nk3y Mesa, AZPosts: 3Member
    And yes, R2 does seem to be overly greedy. I've played some of their other games also and felt the push and pressure to buy, buy, buy too much too soon, and not worth the little entertainment value it attempted to provide. Too many "publishers" jumping on the f2p wagon, imho. And I don't think they really know what they're doing. That, or I horribly underestimate the intelligence of the average player of these types of games. I hope the ranks of the greedy get thinned out very quickly and someone or some company steps up with people at ALL levels that are passionate about what they do and aren't in it for just a quick buck or two. I'm tired of companies like Cryptic, NCSoft, and many others who don't really support their games or their players.
     
  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,444Member Uncommon

    I was actually interested in this awhile back,i did not know it was out.I might have to try it,i find it hard to take other people's word for anything because 90% of gamer's come from Wow and think everything has to look and play like Wow.

    So i will try the game for myself and see :P

    Although make no bones about it,i don't like cash shop,but if there was ever a reason,i think Indie games need it because they simply don't have the marketing clout or notoriety  to gain players based on sub fees.


    Samoan Diamond

  • MyrdynnMyrdynn Beaumont, CAPosts: 1,517Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by st0rmM0nk3y

    Myrdynn -  You can't "delete" City of Steam.... It's a browser based game. The best you can do is delete it as a bookmark or favorite. I have played it. I find it fun, but I must admit I haven't leveled any character past level 10 so far, even though I played in both closed and open beta. Which means I can't confirm or deny what the review claims about "sameness" - although I suspect it is likely true. I do agree with the cash shop being over-priced now,  too. Previously I was able to purchase a steam bike with my "electrum", but now I don't think I can do that. Perhaps they were being generous while they worked out the code for the cash shop itself, who knows?

    I know its browser based, its sarcasm.

    as for deleting it, I actually did have it bookmarked when I got into Alpha, only to delete it after a very short time

     

  • Postal13Postal13 Milton, ONPosts: 94Member
    I played this in alpha with teh weapon contests and stuff, it was pretty neat, but I haven't had time since then to play it.  Guess I'll just pass over this one.  Too bad, because the atmosphere and characters are really interesting. I hope this doesn't ruin the steampunk genre for any other developers...

    Cunfushus says "Only through wasting time do we realize that time should not be wasted."

  • 43%burnt43%burnt StuttgartPosts: 143Member Uncommon

    The game is pretty much dead at the moment, and rightfully so. What was once a promising title while in beta (with a whole lot of problems) is now a tedious boring p2w mess (with a whole lot of problems). All the same problems, bugs, balanceissues....it's all still there. But the good and interesting parts were dumbed down or even removed entirely. And they added an energy system.

     

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,743Member Uncommon
    Games like this are why its hard to get very excited about MMOs anymore...This game should have been pretty good and turned out bad....It doesn't take alot of changes to sour on a game quickly.
  • SubhawkSubhawk Campbell River, BCPosts: 6Member

    I was an Alpha Tester, "Special" Tester, and a Closed Beta Tester. All the tests were awesome and showed a game with great promise.  The Developers asked players questions, and responded to comments. 

    After the Closed Beta Tests, the developers went silent, coincidently this was the same time R2 was announced as a publisher. The only information we got was they were do a complete overhaul.  What they overhauled into was an asian-styled P2W MMO.  Mechanist basically lied to their original supporters, and turned the game into what would make the most profit, not what the descriptoin of their company says they are all about. Was it R2 alone (don't get me started on the "new" multiple servers)? was it the promise of a quick buck at the expense of quality and loyalty? Who knows, but as the review states, good for a short time-kill, but not much else.

  • tkwizard001tkwizard001 Derry, NHPosts: 7Member

    As far as I can tell, this is still an Open Beta. I may be expecting too much, but I can foresee many changes before release. If not, this will just be another failed MMO, unable to hold a player's interest long enough to make it.

     

    Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for thou art crunchy, and good with ketchup!

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