City of Steam Alpha Weekend Round 2
By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist
Another wonderful weekend of City of Steam Alpha has come and gone. This was the weekend of the Elven Elite. Even though I could have rolled up another Human if I wanted to I decided to go for a Riven and I’m glad I did. Her entire look was completely out of place in the dirty starting zone that is the Refuge. Her wavy blonde hair made her easier to find for my partner in crime this weekend. This weekend I introduced my youngest brother to City of Steam, though we didn’t play as much as we would have liked to since he was playing on a laptop with no mouse, resulting in some tough controls to utilize. But he will be ready for next weekend and is already asking me how much longer he has to wait.
There are two Elven races, the Riven and the Draug. Both races scream money, prestige, and haughty views of the 'lesser' races in typical Elven fashion. Despite this though I will more than likely end up making a Riven when the game goes live. Why? I love beauty. And they are beautiful people. Almost the sort of put it behind glass so no one touches it kind of beauty.
At this point I’ve played 3 of the four classes. This weekend I was a Channeler and I think to date it is my least favorite. Not because it’s bad, but because it isn’t really my style. It looks great though. Admittedly I think I may be a bit biased because I found a class I really love. I’m not sure anything will compare now. I’m talking about the Gunner. Specifically the Gunner with a two handed weapon. Why is it my favorite? Well besides the fact that you look like a complete bad ass holding one, it is easy to use and powerful. During my sneak peak I got to play the Warder. I couldn’t really decide on one weapon type with my Warder and switched it around every other fight. But it was a lot of fun to play and you really felt like you were doing damage. So that leaves one more class to play. And lucky for me and you readers there is one weekend left to do it.
After noticing that most of the armor and weapons that were dropping were useless for me I decided to take a closer look at the marketplace. It was explained to me during the sneak peek that things would fall that you couldn’t use because they want to have a steady and widely used marketplace. And wow is it used! You can’t access it until level 4 but that is a pretty easy level to get to and it means when you do go use it the first time you have things you can sell. It works much like any other marketplace in any other game. Though if you plan on buying things make sure you have money. Things aren’t cheap. I could certainly see myself spending an hour or two every day playing around on the marketplace earning my fortunes though.
In City of Steam there are a few ways to get around. On the surface it looks like your choices are walk or take the train, and for the majority of your travel that is true. I’ve mentioned before the different ways to get around on foot. Wander aimlessly, use a sign to take you exactly where you want to go or use the quest tracker. You can also take the train which unlocks different zones as you gain levels. I use the train whenever I can because they went through the extra steps to make it feel real. You don’t just wander up and click on the train to use it. You talk to the ticket machine which will tell you what options are open for you. There are announcements on the platform. It feels like a real train station. There is also a short range teleportation device outside of the Refuge which admittedly I haven’t used yet because other than exploring, I haven’t ventured out of Refuge. Sometimes it's good to restrain yourself in a new MMO as I don’t want to play the whole game in Alpha and not have anything left to do when the game comes out properly.
This week I only noticed a few changes. They all dealt with the tutorial and start up of the game. When you first start up City of Steam you get this beautiful fly over of the city. It has lovely music that plays during the whole thing. But as I discovered during my sneak peek if you’re trying to talk to someone on Skype at the same time you can’t hear anything but music. It was loud and there were no settings to turn it down or off even. Well that has changed. During the flyover there is now a setting bar letting you play around with video and audio settings. There were also some new instructions in the tutorial explaining how to do things which may not seem completely obvious.
Mechanist are really going all out with these alpha weekends. And with just one more weekend left I’m not sure how I’m going to find the time to try out everything. If you’re interested in giving City of Steam a try this weekend OnRPG, has teamed up with Mechanist to offer Alpha keys. Alternatively you can sign up for the City of Steam newsletter. This weekend coming up I’ll be wandering around on Leliah. So if you see me say hi! I don’t bite. Often.