Yesterday, we got our first look at the gameplay in Cryptic’s upcoming Magic: Legends MMO, and, well, it didn’t go over that well. In spite of some of the cooler bits (for example, MOP reader Greaterdivinity spotted the “deck-of-skills” setup), there was a lot of disappointment over the realization that the game is isometric and a bit more Diablo-like than we’ve been led to believe in the last few years of anticipating the game.
Cryptic and PWE have pushed out more information this week via Gamestop-owned promotional magazine Game Informer. Redditors have posted the salient bits from the print edition already; though it was originally pitched to players in 2017 very directly as a “free-to-play, action MMORPG” – a “next generation MMORPG,” even – this piece calls it an “isometric action/RPG” set in an “always-online” world that “allows players to play content solo or with a group, creating a meeting point between familiar experiences like Diablo and Destiny.”
Just so we’re clear, literally nobody looking for a “next-generation MMORPG” means a meeting point between Diablo and Destiny. This sounds a lot more like an MMOARPG to us if anything. But apparently, Cryptic struggled over the type of game it’d be for a while, even after the initial announcements. “This is something Cryptic considered heavily as it determined to go with a traditional isometric action/RPG format over some of its already tried-and-true MMORPG designs,” the piece says. Here it is quoting Cryptic’s Stephen Ricossa on the trials and tribulations of building a card-game inspired title where the players were summoners:
“We went back and forth a couple of times on the type of game. We initially were like, ‘Oh, we’ll go with the kind of traditional MMO camera. And then we were like, ‘Maybe we’ll do a third-person action game.’ But because you’re summoning so many things, and especially the exciting big monsters, you were looking at a lot of Earth Elemental butt and things like that because you’re running around trying to find dudes to fight.”
Well OK then. The article is several pages of glossy pics and text long, with discussion of how much input Wizards of the Coast gets (a lot), how grouping feels, how the card-game elements work their way into action gameplay (it sounds a lot like Classic Guild Wars, and for good reason), how instanced missions work, how the AI challenges the player, and how impressively huge the open-world zones are. While the article confirms the game is still F2P, monetization is apparently not on the table yet; Cryptic merely says it’s trying to “learn from the successes” of it other titles (those would be Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and Neverwinter).