Saturday, May 11, 2013

(Open) Beta Time!

Lots of betas this month! Dragons Prophet is in closed beta, which I managed to snag a beta key, thanks to an awesome friend keeping me in mind! I can't talk about that now though. Also City of Steam has gone into open beta, as of yesterday. I've really wanted to get a good look at that, I love all things steampunk! And, of course, Neverwinter open beta, which I wanted to talk more about today.

City of Steam
I saw this last minute, yesterday, I had forgotten that I'd read somewhere about the open beta starting. I wanted to pop in for a few and managed to get sucked in for longer than I had intended. It is really a tight little indie game! I like the look and feel, it has charm, though not cutting edge graphics, I like it as it is. The game has a decent UI, the mouse is free, not locked or causing the screen to rotate when moved, which is a huge plus for me. It drives me up the wall when a game does this!

I like the combat, the quests, the whole steampunk vibe. The music is quite awesome! There is already a cash shop, though it does look a bit steep in pricing. I saw a few things I'd like to pick up if I do stick with the game, which I really want to, but I have to see how things go after level ten. One of the things I like, thus far, is how mana and health regenerate at a decent rate.

What seems to be the catch with this game (there is always a catch with F2P isn't there...sigh) is that you rely on energy to run dungeons. This game is a dungeon running MMO, a dungeon crawler. Why would you limit how much a person can run? Bots, farmers? Eh, I think that is too harshly punishing your legitimate players, the ones you want to stick around. Now, I can't say I ran out of energy, I haven't played long enough to, you also gain energy every thirty minutes. You can also go into the wilderness when you run out of energy, mobs can drop energy (or even purchase it from the cash shop, that is limited also though). How much? I've read varied reports on the forums, so I am still not sure. The wilderness is basically an open world, unlike dungeons. You can quest, grind, kill rare bosses and such, with random people alongside you. I think my biggest beef is the energy, I could see myself playing this game a lot, but just how much will I be hindered because of energy? Is it even enough to worry about? I just don't know at this point.

Getting past the energy deal, I really like this game. It is a LOT of fun. The controls are smooth, the UI feels clean. I've also seen people complain about the view, how it is weird, sort of Diablo style camera angle. You can toggle that, where you can look up at the sky also. It is in the bottom right hand of the screen, camera toggle option. Makes the game feel much better. You also have multiple weapons. A 1h and shield, dual wielding, and a two hander. You can toggle these by selecting the little icons (which appear as 1h, 2h, 1h/shield) in the bottom right hand corner. You just have to look for them!

The game is also a browser based game, quick to jump into, no large download before starting. Very easy and painless, just make an account and go. If you're looking for something fun and lighthearted, this seems a fantastic choice. Plus, what have you got to lose for trying it? It's free. Overall I give this a big thumbs up, with hopes the company takes a second look at the energy system, I can see myself playing this title on a regular basis.

I have been really looking forward to Neverwinter for some time. I don't do well with hype. It is sort of my ADD tendency to either be: Now or NOT NOW. If a game is throwing out weekly updates about something I can't play, I don't tend to follow it very well, because, well, it's not now. I'll get to it when it is here... now. So while I heard about Neverwinter I didn't follow it too closely. So everything is pretty fresh and new to me. I enjoy reading about a game as I play it.

I didn't know just how much I'd like Neverwinter, since it is an action based game. One where you have to get out of the bad stuff, and the camera swings when you move the mouse... yuck. Aside from those two things I found myself really enjoying the game.

Neverwinter is a pretty game. The models are decent, not super awesome but they have charm, I can deal with them, I've seen far worse. The landscape is pretty. The music is, different. It does remind me of Champions Online, heh. It is just... different.

What really pulls me in is the RPG feel. I enjoy the questing and heading into dungeons. I like the idea of companions, I like taking my companion and delving into an adventure, exploring nooks and crannies for treasure chests. It is all quite fun.

I enjoyed it so much I bought one of the founders packs, the cheaper one. I couldn't see myself paying two hundred dollars for a founders pack, even if I did want the race that came with it. I just thought it a bit expensive for my tastes. I'm happy enough with my wolf companion and other goodies I've gotten.

I like the combat a lot, the whole no mana thing is cool. Cool downs on skills are easier to manage in many ways. The gameplay feels solid for the most part. Not as much moving around as some action games, but it is still there. I don't mind it on a lower scale... as much.

All in all, I really have enjoyed Neverwinter thus far. I think the foundry will add a lot of play into this game. The cash shop is a bit steep on some things, also there are a lot of things people do not like being in the cash shop, like enchants. I'm still up in the air on it. I don't mind supporting a game but I hope it doesn't become a fiasco much like Allods online cash shop was. Overall I'm pretty glad I picked up the founders pack, I give this game a thumbs up as well, I plan on playing it for some time!


  1. The whole Energy thing in City of Steam is new to Open Beta. I've played every stage of CoS so far, from Sneak Peak a year ago through all the closed beta phases and they never had anything like it before. The default isometric camera angle is new, too. All previous phases had the free camera as default. I was tearing my hair out tonight with the terrible locked three-quarter perspective camera until one of the on-screen tool-tips came up pointing out the options.

    I've rarely if ever seen a Dev team that changes things so much and so often as Mechanist Games. Every version has been very different. They're going to have to stop fiddling about with stuff eventually and decide what they want the game to be. I actually liked it best in the very first incarnation a year ago. I think every version has been slightly less convincing than the one before. The current version looks very populist to me. I could see it being pretty successful. I'll be playing it for sure - even with the changes I don't like there is still far, far more I DO like there to enjoy.

    Neverwinter is odd. I like it quite a lot while I'm playing it but I barely thinkof it at all once I stop. If it was the only MMO on offer I'd probably love it, but it isn't so it isn't getting much of a look in.

  2. Oh and I forgot to mention Dragon's Prophet. There's an NDA. Just as well. For them.

    1. Yeah, that's what I gather from reading the forums. I really love the vibe and still want to play even though I don't like the energy idea, it is a great game. Very fun, I keep logging in, having a blast and coming back to see more. I can see myself playing this for a long time, I really would like to see it do well.

      It is a toss up on Neverwinter and CoS, I really like both but I think CoS has my heart hooked already, (it is STEAMPUNK!!) lol. Once the NDA drops I'll share my thoughts on Dragon's Prophet, I still need to mess around with it more, just got into beta yesterday.




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