John McCarroll
E3 2009: Atlus Online
Atlus USA later today.
06.02.09 - 4:21 PM

First thing off the bat at the show floor, I had the chance to talk with the nice folks at Atlus Online about their upcoming MMORPG Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent. Currently in open beta, the title is slated for release in a few weeks, although a final live date has not been set.

A free-to-play MMORPG, Neo Steam has been completely re-localized for its North American release by Atlus Online. The title takes place in a steampunk world, where two factions are fighting over the resource neo steam, which both the tech-focused Republic of Rogwel and the Kingdom of Elerd, which seeks to fuse neo steam with magic. There are several playable races in the game, along with four base classes: the Warrior, the Mystic, the Machinist and the Scout. Machinists were the class that stood out the most, as they take great advantage of the technology the neo steam and use guns. Machinists are also the class that is most adept at crafting, although all classes do have some ability to craft.

Neo steam, despite being something that is fought over by these two factions, also exists as a resource in the game. Players will have a daily allotment of neo steam, which are used with weapons, skills, and transportation among other things. As well, all players are blessed with a pet in the game, which will grow and evolve in one of three types: Attack, Healing, or Thief. These pets will eat just about anything and everything, so if a player is short on food and cash, they can feed their pets equipment that they're not using to keep them happy.

Neo Steam also features a skill tree system on top of a comprehensive PvP setup. There is a PvP ranking system, where players will gain access to more equipment the more that they PvP. There are zones marked specifically for PvP, so players who do not wish to engage in PvP behavior can steer clear, but the monsters in these zones do give additional experience to match the danger.

Like many free-to-play MMORPGs, there is a premium set of content for those who wish. Players can spend real money on new items in the game, though Atlus Online was clear to tell us that the items are not unbalancing. Most of the premium items are focused on small boosts in player statistics, additional experience, and most importantly, vanity. Players will not see any kind of increase in PvP and the game will remain balanced.

Fans of Neo Steam can check out the game, now in open beta, at the Atlus Online official website. As well, players can stream anime through this website, including popular shows like Naruto Shippudan. Keep reading RPGFan for more news from the E3 show floor!