Not So Massively: Magic Legends is messy, deep, and more of an MMO than you think

    
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I can’t remember the last time I struggled so much deciding whether I like a game or not. I’m a fan of ARPGs, and while I haven’t played Magic: The Gathering since elementary school, I remember finding the world and lore really neat, so I’ve had no small amount of hype in my heart for Magic Legends, the new online OARPG from Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment.

Now it’s (soft) launched (into open beta), and I’ve struggled to decide how I feel. It’s a game with a lot to recommend it – but also a lot of rough edges.

Let’s start with the bad news. Cryptic and PWE games have a certain reputation for lacking polish and having overly aggressive monetization, and while I’d like to tell you Magic: Legends is the exception to this, that would be a lie.

A lot of people have reported issues with lag and low framerates. I personally have not had that issue – in fact I’ve been impressed by how smoothly the game runs – but I have encountered many other, smaller bugs. Menus don’t always load properly; voice lines play at the wrong time or not at all. In one hilarious incident, I wound up stuck in my ultimate ability for several minutes and facerolled most of a story mission — at least that was entertaining.

There are also some areas of the game that feel a bit phoned-in. I wouldn’t call the story bad per se, but it makes no attempt to provide explanation or context to anyone who isn’t already well-versed in Magic lore. The philosophy seems to have been hardcore Magic fans don’t need the explanation, and everyone else will just ignore the story anyway, but that’s really not a good way to do things, as there are those of us who aren’t experts but would like to learn.

None of the issues I’ve encountered is particularly egregious on its own, but the sheer volume of them makes the game feel sloppy and unfinished. I don’t think beta is a valid excuse because the studios already opened it to the public, and the game is already fully monetized.

The monetization leads to another major issue. Magic Legends has six classes. Five are available freely at character creation or as unlocks later one, but the other, the Dimir Assassin, was initially an extremely low drop rate from paid booster packs – aka lockboxes.

Suffice it to say this didn’t go over well. The pushback was intense enough that Cryptic has now decided to also grant the Dimir Assassin from the final level of the Battlepass – a rare concession for a company infamous for its love of lockboxes.

I plan to go into this in more detail in a future article because I think it’s an interesting case of a good plan gone awry, but for now I will say this: The way classes work in ML makes the idea of monetizing one this way much less egregious than it might seem at first glance, but the way it was handled left a bad taste in the mouth. It’s been a poor note for the game to start on, and it was definitely a PR hit that could have been avoided.

It’s a shame because aside from that one thing I would say ML has a surprisingly generous free-to-play business model, especially by Cryptic’s standards. The cash shop is actually fairly sparse and mostly stocked with very tame convenience and cosmetic items.

Nearly all of the desirable items have been dumped into the Battlepass, the premium version of which is only $10, but even the free version has a lot of good stuff. I also appreciate that it is somewhat frontloaded, with most of the really desirable rewards in the first 30 (of 50) levels, so it’s not the worst grind. Unless you want the Assassin, anyway. If that one issue hadn’t been handled so badly, ML‘s monetization might have earned praise rather than hate.

On the other hand, there are a number of things that Magic Legends does tremendously well. For one, I adore its build system. It’s up there with Wolcen and the original version of The Secret World for my all-time favorite RPG build systems. The possibilities are nearly limitless.

You start by choosing a class, but as mentioned above, it doesn’t really mean the same thing it does in other games. It’s not the most important part of your build; it just determines your basic attack, some generic passives, and a few other peripheral abilities. You also have the option to unlock other classes and switch between them, though it takes some time to get to that point.

You’ll then acquire artifacts and equipment as you adventure. Rather than the bland stat boosters items are in most ARPGs, almost all of the items in ML offer some kind of proc or other interesting boost to further augment your build.

But what really matters is your deck, a collection of 12 spell “cards” that can be drawn from up to two of five colors, with each color having its own specialties. To start, you get a deck of the same color as your initial class, but later any color(s) can be used with any class, and Cryptic clearly worked pretty hard to make any color viable with any class.

Your deck is what really defines what your character is about. Everything else is about supporting the deck. This is what makes character-building so flexible in Magic: Legends. There’s nearly 200 cards to choose from, so the possibilities for what kind of character you could build is nearly limitless, especially when combined with classes, equipment, and artifacts.

I can see tremendous replay value in simply trying different builds, and I expect I will probably spend a fair bit of time doing just that.

One of the weirdest quirks of this game is that only four cards can be on your action bar at a time, and they’re randomly drawn. This took quite a bit of getting used to, and I still have mixed feelings on it, but it does elegantly allow you to have a large pool of cards without causing button bloat, plus it creates some interesting tactical decision-making.

To compensate for the extra challenge of reacting to a randomized deck, Cryptic has ensured that combat in ML is a fair bit slower than in other OARPGs. I am again mixed on this, but I can see some people really appreciating the more methodical approach to ARPG combat. It does all take some getting used to, but the deck system is definitely more good than bad in my book.

Something else I appreciate is that there are so many different ways to earn cards. Some are random drops, while others are tied to specific content. It feels very flavorful to have to go to a zone tied to blue mana in order to earn blue cards. I hope future updates to the game continue to expand on this; it would be great to find new cards themed to whatever content is current, or maybe even have unique quests or achievements to earn specific cards.

It also helps that the game is pretty freeform in how you approach content. There’s a fairly lengthy tutorial sequence where things are very on-rails, but once that ends you can pretty much just go anywhere and do whatever you want. There’s a range of difficulty settings for all content, even the open world zones, so there’s no real risk of under or over-leveling anything.

Visual customization also offers welcome flexibility. Unfortunately the character creator does lack non-human options, which is disappointing, but the variety of outfits on offer in this game — even to a free player — is already quite impressive, and you can switch between outfits freely in any town.

What’s even better is that outfits save your character’s physical specifications as well, so a new outfit may entail not just new clothes but entirely new physical features. One “outfit” could be a willowy female character, while another could have a beefy male physique.

Between this and the flexible build system, Magic: Legends may well be the first game I’ve played where there is well and truly no need for alts. The only part of your character you can’t eventually change on the fly is the name.

Aesthetically, ML is also a win, with gorgeous colorful graphics and surprisingly lovely music.

One final thing I want to note is how surprisingly like a traditional MMORPG Magic Legends feels, despite claims to the contrary by the developers. The logical part of me argues that ML can’t meet the definition of an MMO. The maximum group size is three people, and the player cap for open world zones is only a little higher.

But yet it feels very multiplayer. Despite the low player cap, I’m always running into people while exploring the open world. The social hub zone is downright crowded. Ordeals can be soloed, but they’re quicker and more fun with other people, and I’ve probably done more grouping in the last week than I have in the entire year previous. Even the slower pace of combat feels vaguely reminiscent of some older MMOs, though not unpleasantly so.

Whatever logic and the developers might say, this sure feels like playing an MMORPG.

There’s a great deal to appreciate about Magic Legends, but I can’t deny it is a very messy game. I hope it will improve with time because there are some really good ideas here that deserve to shine.

The world of online gaming is changing. As the gray area between single-player and MMO becomes ever wider, Massively OP’s Tyler Edwards delves into this new and expanding frontier biweekly in Not So Massively, our column on battle royales, OARPGs, looter-shooters, and other multiplayer online titles that aren’t quite MMORPGs.
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Zuldar

It has both P2W and time-gating, neither of which I find acceptable in a game. The sad part is with a bit more polish it could have been an interesting ARPG, but Cryptic’s devil’s bargain with PWI pretty much ensures they can never make a decent game again.

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NeoWolf

In terms of performance, it is pretty much par for the course with Cryptic that performance is going to suck at launch. Does anyone remember Champions and STO’s launch? I do and the server performance was god-awful.

I also cannot say I agree this game has complexity. It has some depth in the form of Deck Building but to be fair that isn’t the games depth it is the I.P it is using’s depth.

I was testing this under NDA for some time, and my main question during my time was it was “What does this bring to ARPG’s that other games do not”. And the answer sadly is not much at all. Outside of the card based combat system and Deck building it doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre, it has all been done before, rinse and repeat and I cannot help but feel that that is something of a missed opportunity (albeit one that is pretty much par for the course with Cryptic sadly) it’s all very formulaic and done before.

Leyaa
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Leyaa

Nice review.
It’s difficult for me to picture the story issue though. I loved the card game, yet I am not that well-versed in Magic lore. Played mostly between Origins and Amonkhet, i.e. while Magic Duels was actively supported. Would I have trouble following the storyline?

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Castagere Shaikura

PWE wants to attract those older players that played the card game back in the day. That’s who this game is for. Those people are older and will not have a problem spending money in the store if they like the game. Many of them have been waiting for a game like this. If you never played MTG before and only think of this as a video game then you will not like it down the road. Right now it’s the new shiny.

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Bryan Correll

I haven’t played Magic: The Gathering since elementary school

Pup. Magic: The Gathering didn’t exist until shortly after I finished my Bachelor’s degree.

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Hikari Kenzaki

lol, right? My college friends and I all lived in a house together. 4-6 of us up all night playing Magic and Battletech while watching Danzig and Tom Petty on MTV (seriously.. they played the same damn music every night, but for some reason, we watched it)

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J

I peeked into this game very very briefly. It looks so dated and you can tell its pretty much the same engine as Neverwinter. Character creation options were few and all PC characters looked like they were made out of plastic.

Some folks here might be willing to call this an MMO, but if we keep lowering the bar like this the term is going to lose all meaning and value. This is not an MMO. There is nothing massive about any of the gameplay. Everyone is so thirsty for another title that we will left any crap pretender in the door.

Celestia
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Celestia

Thanks for a thoughtful and thorough article, Tyler. Looking forward to your opinions on ML as it progresses toward release.

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Hikari Kenzaki

There are a lot of things to unpack and a lot of negativity that isn’t really warranted. (Not in Tyler’s article, it’s a fair portrayal, I think.) I’ve watched 4 f2p game launches this year and each one has been riddled with regurgitated, generic “feedback” that doesn’t really apply to the game in question. There are legit gripes about the game, but there seems to be a contingent of player that just goes from launch to launch trying to cause a scene.

Yes, there are probably a lot of things wrong with it as an MMO. As an ARPG. As a game.

For me, I’m an MtG fan. I play Arena. I have played the card game off and on since the 90s. I hate isometric ARPGs.

Still, I’m having fun with this. I’ve nearly finished all the story, my first class is nearly maxed and I just unlocked the second (boy the cost of that third class tho…).

It’s Cryptic, doing what Cryptic does. Making a steady, low entry, money farm around an IP I enjoy.
Like every Cryptic game, it has massive content gaps (remember when CO went into Beta with literally nothing to do from level 32 to 40?), has server lag issues, doesn’t know what it wants to do with social systems, etc.
But it’s fun.

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Greaterdivinity

I think their core audience is really gonna be MTG Fans as they’ll get the most out of this. It’s kinda a mediocre MMO/ARPG at best, it’s deeply flawed on both accounts, but the one thing that seemed consistently good was their treatment of the IP. It seems pretty clear that while the design of the game may be severely lacking, that the team working on it had a big passion for MTG.

I haven’t unlocked my second class, but now I’m worried about how much longer the dreadful grind to unlock a third may be…

I’m just sad that Cryptic seems to be stagnating rather than improving with their games. IMO this is a big step back even from NW at launch, if memory serves.

The core gameplay loop is fine enough, and when it’s not chugging the game looks/runs slick. Were it not for the MTG license I don’t think I’d have even lasted this long though, that’s likely doing a huge amount of the heavy lifting on the player acquisition/retention front.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Yeah, I think Cryptic’s main strength, if you want to call it that, is that they can make a fun IP-based game that doesn’t require you to be the best-in-genre gamer.
They’re basic, easy to understand, scale, and make a boat load of money, which is important when you’re paying license fees for popular IPs.
And as for monetization, an MtG fan is used to it, for better or worse. MtG is the original pay to win game. Arena and Legends are tame by comparison to the actual CCG.

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Greaterdivinity

I think their other titles have offered far more beyond just the IP’s in terms of design, which is why I’m so shocked that ML is so aggressively…meh, at best.

Like, this seems more designed not for gamers/core-gamers, but for MTG fans that do some light gaming and have little to no expectations for videogames based on genre.

Fine and all if they enjoy it, I’m never going to be one to tell someone they shouldn’t enjoy something just because I don’t or some nonsense. But enjoyment aside, the design is really pretty awful and terrible as a game. This is the most “Magic The Gathering-y” game I’ve played in ages (maybe ever? Have…there even been others? I feel like there were but none left much of an impression), that wasn’t just a straight digital MTG game. And that’s great, and really the only thing that kept me around for a while (as a former MTG player).

I don’t even really mind the monetization overall, just how they’ve extensively used garbage, uninspired, lazy daily/weekly currency capping in service of the built-in RMT. It’s not that RMT is even bad or that I care about P2W in a PvE/coop game like this (I really don’t), it’s that this implementation of it is pretty spectacularly awful.

I don’t recall aggressive caps on currency in other Cryptic games like this (there are caps, but they seem/felt fewer and more generous), mostly around the RMT currency. And capping RMT currency is fine and all, even if it’s necessary for just about everything else in the game, but it’s the combination of those caps plus caps/low limits on fragments, mana etc. etc. that just make the game unappealing to me. This is a game that “feels” like it doesn’t want you playing it too much, which is weird.

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Hikari Kenzaki

STO was much, much, smaller at launch (5% of the current size would probably be generous) and had quite a few caps, especially after the f2p conversion. CO, STO, and NW still have caps on the middle currency (the one that can be traded for Zen). It’s a very Cryptic setup. They tend to grow into their games.
Cryptic games tend to be evolutions of each other as well. I’m not saying your wrong, I just feel like this is about what I expected.
The story feels like they have something held back for “launch” whenever that happens, though it’s totally launched.

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Greaterdivinity

OH BOY, REACTIONS AND THOUGHTS! And this is not a beta, it’s rare an open beta is anything remotely close to. This is launch, period. Also, apologies for the wall of text, there is no TLDR : |

I can’t remember the last time I struggled so much deciding whether I like a game or not.

I can, it was right up until about Saturday or early Sunday. Then I decided I didn’t like Magic Legends very much : /

Cryptic and PWE games have a certain reputation for lacking polish and having overly aggressive monetization, and while I’d like to tell you Magic: Legends is the exception to this, that would be a lie.

Honestly…I feel that outside of some of the expected server mess and client-side performance issues, IMO this is a pretty polished product right now. Sure, plenty buggy and whatnot, but it largely looks great (at least when it’s running well) and it looks like they did spend a lot of time working on polishing up things like visuals etc.

I think the design is where the game is lacking much more, not the polish department.

I wouldn’t call the story bad per se

Considering I noped outta the story before I even finished the first zone, I won’t comment. But that’s less a reflection on the story itself and more on the fact that I didn’t come into this for some deep narrative, I just wanted to kill shit.

makes the game feel sloppy and unfinished

Honestly, design wise this game feels like it’s just coming out of alpha where they have the basics of most of the systems nailed down, and are entering early closed beta where they’re gonna start seriously testing each system and start tweaking it for fun/balance. Across the board the design feels either quarter-baked, or phoned in and leaning heavily on bad/lazy design like the hard-caps on currency and the intentional time-gating on progress unless you spend insane amounts of cash.

ML has a surprisingly generous free-to-play business model

Sorta agreed. I was surprised by how sparse the cash shop was, too, but the problem is that this is both really light and REALLY AGGRESSIVE monetization for me. The way monetization ties into literally every progression system leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, even if I don’t much care about “P2W” and stuff anymore. Like, everything in the game seems to constantly remind you that you could be doing better if you just bought a ton of zen and exchange it for refined whatever it is. Even if the game doesn’t actively needle you about it like SWTOR does for subs.

Battlepass

Ugh, can we not talk about how Cryptic apparently has never seen a battle pass system from another game before? Seriously, capping progression based off daily/weekly quests (that don’t even show for many people)? If you miss more than 2-3 days you’re functionally screwed out of hitting BP50 unless you buy progress boosters? The rewards look great and actually make me want to unlock them…and then I look at how the BP too is AGGRESSIVELY time-gated (unless you pay!) and it once more kills my interest in playing.

I adore its build system

In theory I agree, tons of flexibility here! In practice…not so much. I can understand the grind to unlock other classes (or buy them) and that’s fine by me, but so much about the system is lacking.

Loadouts: Not being able to change them around in any combat zone is awful. Being in-town in a combat zone and needing to go back to Sanctum/your realm to swap things feels truly terrible.
Cards: Mostly fine, IMO. Could use improvements in sorting and speed up things like upgrading, but this is one of the less bad parts. They really need to do something around summons though, they feel like such a wasted card if you draw one while having that summon already active/at high HP.
Gear: I REALLY LIKE THE CONCEPT OF GEAR! I dig the unique interactions, I dig the modular upgrades and stat swapping (once I figure that out). I loath how it’s implemented. Just giant lists of gear with no way of sorting or filtering, now clear information on what may be good or how a lot of the stats realistically interact with gear etc.
Relics: Functionally the same opinion as gear, though at least these are much more straightforward.

On the topic of gear/combat…few big things stand out to me –

Cryptic went full, “Ion’s Advanced Tooltips” and the tooltips on just about every card seem functionally useless, most stats are painfully opaque, and the lack of any kind of stat-sheet for characters makes it increasingly difficult to figure out what the hell you’re doing. Why does my 1/1 summon hit harder than my 3/2 summon with higher DPS? Why does my ability that hits for 10K tooltip damage critting for 400K? HOW MUCH HEALTH DO I HAVE?! Who knows!!!

The actual implementation of playing cards is…kinda awful. Like, combat really lacks any depth so far, though I haven’t started the “hard” versions of missions (can you even make the overworld “hard”?) as I’m just getting my power level around where it should be. But even when I wasn’t one shotting everything, more often than not the best strategy for any serious fight was more or less to just…burn cards as fast as you could and either use your ultimate or juice your resource/card generation rate to keep playing them. There really feels like little tactical depth to the actual combat/card system at all and more just “SPAM SPAM SPAM”. Fun in a sense, but really underwhelming especially considering the source material.

I can see tremendous replay value in simply trying different builds

If there’s ever enough diverse content and it’s rewarding enough for folks to grind longterm I agree, but the game doesn’t have that right now in the slightest IMO.

ML is a fair bit slower than in other OARPGs

Kinda sorta not really? I mean, if you’re just playing cards normally I guess, but if you’re boosting your mana regen rate using your special and start with a full hand combat can be pretty darned fast. It’s no PoE where you’re zooming everywhere (mostly due to the lack of spamable movement skills…), but it’s very much in-line with the speed of other OARPG’s like Torchlight 3 or Grim Dawn, and heck, even close to/matching Wolcen.

there are so many different ways to earn cards

Kinda agree, but the largely random nature of what card fragments you’ll get is limiting/underwhelming. Like, knowing that when I unlock my next class that I’ll likely not even have enough cards from that color to build a full deck is pretty underwhelming, because apparently you don’t get a “starter deck” for those like you did for your first class.

I like that the game is always throwing some sort of loot at you (gold, mana, card fragments, few other things) and it feels good collectively, but individually each drop feels pretty “meh”.

There’s a range of difficulty settings for all content, even the open world zones, so there’s no real risk of under or over-leveling anything.

Haven’t figured out how to change the overworld difficulty yet, but IMO a HUGE MASSIVE WHAT THE HECK stumbling block is the total lack of an endgame. Like, you finish your last zone and…you’re done. No breadcrumbs leading you to something new opening up now that you’ve completed the main story. No direction on where to go from there…just keep playing and upgrading your personal zone and that seems to be it. Like, I’m gobsmacked at how underdeveloped the endgame is so far, though again I haven’t tried the harder missions yet as I just got enough player power to get into them.

SO MUCH of the game is poorly explained, but this is a huge sticking point to me because it’s indicative of how under-developed the game is. And add to this constant “What next” posts I see from both streamers and rando’s who finished the story and are underwhelmed that the endgame seems to be, “Keep doing what you’ve been doing and there’s nothing much new or different for you now.”

Visual customization also offers welcome flexibility.

While I think some of the customization is lacking, I’m not complaining. It’s fairly good overall, and the fact that they don’t seem to have really monetized character customization at all is a huge plus for me and really rad. Like, full character customization at any time in-town? Freely collect and swap gear appearances? Save multiple loadouts so you can have a “look” for each deck you have?

A+, this is the best part of the game IMO.

there is well and truly no need for alts.

Apparently the game even warns you if you try to make an alt? I dunno, haven’t tried, but I like that it’s a “single-character” game unless you want to have an alt to play with friends or something.

But yet it feels very multiplayer.

To me…honestly it doesn’t. Like, the social aspects are hugely lacking.

Chat system is garbage, initially unusable due to the !claimfreeitempack zone spam or whatever and then made useless by making it to your instance only. Chat default to zone as well, with no dropdown menu for channel options, so hope you remember to type “/p” before any party message.

Low player caps in zones makes coming across other players pretty rare unless you seek them out, but trying to find them is sometimes difficult with THE WORST MINIMAP I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE HOLY SHIT WHY DOES IT RANDOMLY RE-ORIENT ITSELF EVERY TIME I PORTAL EVERYWHERE AND WHY DOES IT GIVE ME A BLOODY LOADING SCREEN WHEN TELEPORTING BETWEEN SPACES IN A SINGLE ZONE IS THIS 1999 AGAIN?

The lack of any kind of social features like guilds or clans is a huge one for me. I’m not much of a “guild guy” I fully admit, but it’s one of those things I look for, yaknow?

HOLY CRAP CHARACTER LIMIT CAP!

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Greaterdivinity

Not a bad place to stop!

In conclusion, I think I was maybe a bit harsh on Day9 or whatever when he was slamming the game and giving it a 0/1 out of 10. I still think that’s hyperbolic, but the more I play the game the more the structural design flaws become apparent and the more I question how much of the team actually spent much, if any time, seriously playing modern ARPG’s as a part of the creation of this game. And the more I feel that, while hyperbolic, some of his extreme criticisms have some actual merit.

It’s extremely lacking as a MMO. It’s extremely lacking as an ARPG. It’s extremely lacking as an online game.

It’s a great little game if you want to get some MTG feel. Killing Shivan Dragon’s is kinda fun. It’s also a very pretty game when it’s running well, even if it has the “Cryptic look” that is depressingly consistent throughout all of the art in their games. They’ve done some interesting things integrating MTG mechanics into an ARPG too.

But those are pretty much the only positives I have to say about the game. Everything else is pretty critical/negative, sadly. I’m just glad I went into this with very low expectations and not at all expecting a loot-grinder ARPG, but I’m surprised that even with these low expectation that I was still sorta underwhelmed with the game.

For now I’m “done” with seriously playing it and will likely stick around for daily quests for a while to see how things go once I’m a bit further progressed. But I can’t see myself sticking around longterm, much less spending money on the game at this point. Hell, I could even see a pretty expansive redesign in the cards at this point unless they’ve got some huge fixes already planned/in the works for post-launch.

I’m honestly, kinda shocked at how poor the design is in this game. Like, legitimately. I’ve never viewed Cryptic as a top tier studio, though I’ve had respect for their design chops as they’ve turned out solid/solid-enough titles. Plenty of stumbles and issues, but the design has always been fairly solid and sound to me. In ML…the design has more the consistency of a bowl of jello, and isn’t strong enough to really hold a game up.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

Agree with most of this and I truly appreciate that you have way more energy that I do to go into such detail.

The actual dev work that is there is not bad and I think there is a good game in there at its roots that could be salvaged.

But the decisions made to move forward with the bits and tools available and to say they are ready for Open Beta (as it is understood in the current gaming atmosphere) and also start monetizing are frustrating to me…..not only for this game, but for the industry as a whole.

Unless those decision makers are replaced (ala Yoshi P.), I see no change.

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Greaterdivinity

There are some good bones that can be salvaged for sure, but I’m so exhausted and tired of games launching quarter-baked and being “remade” in live circumstances. Like, it shouldn’t be the case anymore, especially from a studio like Cryptic that’s well established and has multiple successful games under its belt. Like, I’m kinda done waiting around for games to “get good” as a whole.

My bar is already exceedingly low, far lower than it should be, and that Magic Legends wasn’t even really able to clear that bar genuinely shocks and astounds me on many, many levels. It’s the year of our lord 2021 and how much health does my character have?

SERIOUSLY, WHY DON’T WE KNOW HOW MUCH HEALTH OUR CHARACTER HAS? LIKE, IN A VIDEOGAME, AN ACTION ROLE PLAYING GAME WHERE STATS LIKE PLAYER HEALTH ARE INTEGRAL PARTS OF THE GAME?

To me, that omission alone is emblematic of the extensive design issues with the game.

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cursedseishi

You are a braver sort than I to have persisted through the game as long as you did.

The worst part of all this is how it feels like Cryptic, and by association Perfect World, learned literally nothing from Torchlight 3 and its blunder. I’ve joked about how Magic Legends got delayed because they saw how Torchlight tanked itself and didn’t want a repeat…
And yet we’ve gotten a repeat. Even worse for Legends though, is that it rather openly feels like it’s just a skeleton. A bunch of bones cobbled together from a few piles to get something functional out the door. It’s simply underdeveloped.

The game looks pretty, sure, and people have said that since they ‘announced’ it as an ARPG–but the only reason it ever looked so good was because these assets were developed well before any of the recent developments when it was still meant as an MMO. It feels so disjointed and mismatched… because it’s literally just a patchwork skinsuit to fit over said awkward skeleton.

This game needed several more months of proper work by people who KNOW ARPGs. It needs a complete reworking of that abysmal tutorial as well as how they handle the doling out of that initial deck to players. And they need to dump the Battle Pass until they actually figure out how to properly implement one.

Seriously. I’ve not seen a game handle them as inelegantly and so clumsily as this–at least as far as I’ve played.

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Greaterdivinity

I completely forgot about the delay and looking back at it…60K beta testers and they delayed it and this is what we got? Even the areas they specified in the delay note like improving the tutorial and onboarding experience remain extremely lacking and lackluster : /

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MolleaFauss

Kinda my same feelings.
The game is interesting, the overall gameplay isn’t bad, but the level of polish is … standard Cryptic. Which means quite sub-par comparing with my current game of choice which is FF14.
Plus the level of visuals don’t feel much improved from Champions (2009) or Neverwinter (2011).
The monetization – I can see it’s again very aggressive, but on the first 10 levels … it wasn’t shoved in my face at all, which is good.
I have the feeling that Cryptic/PW weren’t too sure of what kind of monetization they wanted: I see the standard store with very few convenient items, the lockboxes, the battlepass. There seems to be some timed thing in your realm which I’m suspecting we’ll see accelerators for…
I don’t know, I can’t shake the feeling that they opened the door as soon as the gameplay was stable enough to understand how the could monetize it…