City of Steam needed (besides being released already so you can play!) was an open, public hunting area, you're in luck! In the latest dev blog, Mechanist Games announced the addition of wilderness areas -- zones where many players can congregate, kill respawning mobs, and do quests. The wilderness areas give players a travel route that offers XP and loot along the way. Wilderness areas will also host public events and have an occasional rare spawn.
Even more things are in store for these public areas. The dev blog hints at PvP, as also mentioned in Massively's recent interview.