City of Steam: Third Time Still Charms
By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist
When I logged in on Saturday morning I was surprised to discover that the Greenskin Incursion had turned into the Goblin Incursion. One of the developers had been called away on business. And in a small company like Mechanist having even one person not there is a big deal. As a result Hobbes and Orcs were taken out of the plans for this weekend and a fourth Alpha weekend was sketched in. Either way I see it as a huge win. We get another weekend of this awesome game and I had planned to play a Goblin anyway.
There is something important about City of Steam that I haven’t really talked about. And it’s something that means a lot to me. History, the lore behind the game. City of Steam is unique, because it isn’t just Humans in a steampunk setting. It has all sorts of fantasy races and they prefer to call it Industrial. I mentioned previously that the history of the world could be read in game in the books that are scattered all through the world. But that isn’t the only place to read up on the lore of City of Steam. The official website has…more lore than I’ve had the chance to read. Just when you think you’ve read it all you find another page you never noticed before.
History starts in the Forgotten Age. A time so long ago that nearly everything about it is a mystery. From there it continues on to the Era of Myth. It is said to be a time of creation. Flesh beings were constructed but for reasons that aren’t completely clear, jealousy is one possible answer, they were cast away and automatons called Titans were made to replace them. A golden era followed and there was no famine or war. This was called the Revel. But all good things end. And when this did a great ark was built to take the people away from their home. Twenty years it took to build but it proved to be a failure. It fell from the sky. There was a long period of darkness while the world repaired itself. But it was a peaceful time and people expanded the reach of their cities. Starvation soon became an issue as the population expanded. Greenskins, who were known for their survival skills found themselves highly sought after. After the threat of starvation was gone life went on. City States were formed, alliances born. Perhaps the most important city of them all came to be, Nexus. It is there where a new archaeological find has drawn people from all across the world. And it is there where City of Steam takes place.
There is something else I haven’t said yet, something very, very unique. In City of Steam the world isn’t round. It isn’t entirely flat either. It is called the World Machine. This machine is made up of the Great Ring, inside which sit gears. The Major Plate takes up most of the space inside the Great Ring. But there are also four Elemental Spokes around the outside edge of the Major Plate. Beyond the World Machine sometimes rogue gears can be seen, drifting. It is believed they were once a part of the World Machine.
This week I didn’t notice many changes from previous weeks. The tutorial had a few new tips. And the first attack button has been moved to Q. The map in the corner of the screen had new icons to represent a variety of things. I thought that was everything, until I decided to reroll a new character and I noticed something I had never seen before. On the lower left hand side of the creation screen I saw three little boxes. This was part of a new class tree system (specialization that we haven’t seen in City of Steam before now). From the start you get to pick one of three ability trees to specialize in. Archanists for example can pick from Fire, Ice, and Lightning. Channelers get Harmony, Healing and Radiance. The stats on them aren’t final and the Design team is working on making them better balanced so look out for any changes in the next Alpha weekend.
Speaking of the next Alpha weekend, break out your calendars because it is set to take place August 17th to 19th. And this time around the focus will be on the Greenskins we didn’t get to play this last time around, the Hobbes and Orcs. Sadly I won’t be at home to cover it. Instead I’ll be in Köln getting the latest news from Gamescom. But, never fear. I have asked for a bit of help in making sure OnRPG is there from fellow writer Remko Molenaar (Proxzor). So be on the lookout for his article on the last Alpha weekend in about two weeks’ time. Or just grab a key on our Event Page and see the game for yourself!