Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Full Steam Ahead With CoS:Arkadia's Patch v2.7

Well that's just typical! As soon as I start praising City of Steam's UI they go and change it and for the better, no less! The latest patch not only smartens up some of the already perfectly presentable functions like the mercenary roster it also adds some very welcome new ones, most notably a full Wardrobe system and an event Noticeboard. 
 
The patch notes are here and I think it's fair to say the whole package has been very well-received. Global chat was ringing with unsolicited endorsements for most of the ninety minutes I was there last night. The revamp to the cosmetic appearance system is very impressive. There's a whole raft of outfits to collect, from the gaudy to the sophisticated, all of which you can try on for size, allowing you to work out your look before you work out how to acquire it - or pay for it.


You even get five free cosmetic Basic cosmetic items and one Rare a day.

The new Mercenary Roster, which enhances both the appearance and abilities of existing mercenaries and adds a small army of exotic new ones is a visual treat. Arkadia was teeming with people trying out their new sidekicks, many of whom seem to be about twelve feet tall.




As well as these visual and practical improvements there seem to be yet more freebies on offer. CoS is by far the most generous F2P title I've ever played when it comes to showering non-paying customers with gifts. As well as the usual rewards for logging in there are a whole host of mini-games and activities that reward money, items, xp, collectibles and crafting materials. So much so that in the hour or so I generally have to give the game I barely have time to clear all the gimmes and get to the actual storyline quest I'm still pursuing.


So far I got a top hat, a wraparound skirt, goggles and a pipe (you can see my goblin puffing away on it in the wardrobe picture). I also got a fantastic mount, pictured below.

Mounts and pets, however, are two things the game doesn't like to give away so it's just a three-day temporary ride but I don't in the least begrudge Mechanist Games trying to tempt me. Now they're back in control of their baby they're doing sterling work in turning it into an all-round excellent entertainment and they need to make a living somehow or they'll have to stop, which, on this evidence, would be a terrible shame.
  
I was having so much fun I stayed up later than I intended and finished two more segments of the main quest. Several very close fights ran my goblin up against the level limit again and I need to hit 22 before she can do the next part. Very enjoyable and satisfying it was. Anyone who's played CoS in the past and didn't hate it could do a lot worse than check out the new patch. There's a lot of fun there waiting to be had in an all-the-fun-of-the-fair amusement arcade kind of way and the whole game feels really slick and professional, barring the odd wonky translation.

If nothing else you'll at least get free stuff and who can say no to free stuff even when you have no real idea what to do with any of it?


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