Monday, 25 November 2013

Back On Track : CoS:Arkadia

It seems City of Steam will be pulling out of the station a bit sooner than anyone expected. Okay, than I expected. I really have no idea what anyone else thought. I also have no idea why I keep using train metaphors every time I write about this game...

In not much more than a week, December 4th to be precise, should you be so minded you can start playing CoS: Arkadia, the new "English" version of the game formerly known as City of Steam. It was barely a month ago that I reported on the startling news that Mechanist Games had bought back the rights to their own game and closed the server down. They announced a plan to revamp and relaunch for the English-speaking market and look, here it is, back already.

A month really isn't long enough to revamp and re-launch a stalled MMO. One can only assume some work was going on in the background while the game was stagnating. A lot of work. Must have been some fun times, working in that office. I do hope the full story of all this comes out one day...

The official announcement emphasizes change. "Please don’t get the idea that the English version will be the same. It won’t", they assure us. It seems they got the message loud and clear: the highly-committed fanbase this game had built up before launch did not like the final version they were given nor the way it was run. Let's hope there are some fans still around and that they're willing to take another look.

We're promised "a slew of new features such as Mercenaries, Alchemy, Fishing, etc, along with redesigned dungeons and improved gameplay". Given the excruciatingly long and painstaking testing process City of Steam "enjoyed" the first time around, this is an astonishing change of approach. No public testing at all - straight to Live.

Well, I'll be giving it another go. Fortunately the new launch date is the day before the end of GW2's World vs World Season One. I should finally have time to play something else. Maybe even time to write something longer than this squib, which was all I could manage today between map calls...

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