Shock and awe, we’re only a few days away from Beta! Yes Beta, we’ve dropped the early access part with keys and all that for a few different reasons. One of which is that we want as big a batch of players in the game as possible, since we really want to make sure the servers will be able to hold up to the actual launch later on. Another one is because we want to reduce the chance of technical problems to a minimum; some people might remember a few problems we had in Closed Beta… we’re not very keen on a repeat of that. We understand this is a bit of a sudden choice, but it means that anyone who wants to play the game will be able to jump in right from the start!
So, how is this going to work and what has changed? Well, that’s exactly what we’re planning on telling you! As we’ve announced about two weeks ago, you’ll all be able to play City of Steam on May 10th. What we hadn’t announced yet was that it starts at 10PM EDT (GMT-4). If you have a CoS account, just go to cos.r2games.com, log in and click the big button… or you know, use any preferred arcane method to play the game.
New in the Beta are Events, Wilderness Levels, Jumping, Jetpacks, a much smoother tutorial, a streamlined skill, talent and crafting system (more on crafting soon!), a new way of doing quests, cosmetic items and sets, a new PVP system, an energy system (more on this a little further down), more balanced everythings, improved itemization, further improved UI, customizable keybindings (finally!) and cancelable auto attacks. We also took something out of the game; the Factions, as they previously existed, are no more. Your company will no longer be aligned to a Faction as we weren’t happy with how the system turned out. On the other hand, you will still be interacting with the Factions very soon; we have some interesting plans for them coming up in one of the soon-to-be released hubs. We’re also wondering if there are any MOBA fans in these parts ‘o town? They *might* have reasons to be pretty happy as well.
So, now that you’ve heard about what we’ve changed, we’d like to talk about a few things. As you may already know, this Beta will start off with 3 classes and 4 (human) races and we’ll continuously release more races and the 4th class (Channeler) over time when we’re closer to the actual release of the game. As for the energy system, it’s to incentivize people to look at all the content and to counteract botters/farmers. As Dave has already mentioned in the forums, we’ll also be implementing PVP to Wilderness zones soon, so people who want to get their open world PVP groove on will be able to do that soon as well.
All in all a lot has changed since Closed Beta. We’re looking forward to you all playing the game and giving us feedback on what you like and dislike and all the new features. We’ve also got quite an aggressive development schedule, with continuous updates over the following weeks. As this is still Beta we’re of course also still in the process of balancing combat and the games’ difficulty, so please tell us if you think the game “feels right” in both PVE and PVP!