Fight or Kite: Myth of Empires’ early gameplay is classic survival fare, but not as amazing as the trailer


A title like Myth of Empires rolls off the tongue like a turtle running down a flight of stairs: You can’t imagine how that would work, and you’re instantly sad the moment you do see it. However, if you allow your mind put together and understand what that combination of words actually mean – amazingly large, powerful empires that can strike and bring about battles and excitement are but a myth – then I’d say it’s actually a very accurate title for this survival box.

In the time I’ve been playing since the game’s launch, gameplay so far has amounted to running around while staring at the ground and clicking “E” rapidly in an attempt to collect as many branches and rocks as I can. Of course, I am graduating to clicking on trees and rocks with my fancy stick now too. And while performing this rudimentary survivalbox initialization routine, I found my thoughts returning to the trailer I watched for the release a couple of weeks ago. That trailer made Myth of Empires look incredible. There were armies lined up. Players laying siege to this huge castle. Heroes diving off cliffs with their gliders. There were hot air balloons; I think I even saw a dirigible! So where is that game and how long before I get to play it?

Character creation is tops

Needless to say starting up the game, I was a bit excited. It looked like there were going to be all kinds of cool things available in Myth of Empires if I could just wait a spell before I get there. You naturally start the game by creating a character, which was pretty well done overall – all the bells and whistles MMO players are expecting in 2024.

Solid character creators are typical in a lot of the Eastern import MMORPGs; I don’t know really why that is, but they tend to be good, even when the game itself isn’t. Western games are far more likely to offer a handful of default faces to choose from, maybe a dozen hair styles, and some color coding. And that’s if we’re lucky. Half the time, it’s just a selection of heroes the developers made for us. Boring.

So I wasn’t surprised by how good the character creator was. The choice of skin tones and body shapes and sizes is awesome. Just look at me here. That’s a thing of beauty.

How often does a character creator really let you create a thicc boy? And I don’t mean muscle-bound beefcake like Guild Wars 2 Norn. I mean a real deal big boy. It’s poetry.

Server selection is daunting, but hooray for PvP servers!

Of course, I based a lot (certainly too many) of my expectations for Myth of Empires on the trailer, so I wasn’t really thinking of it as a siloed server type game as much as a proper MMO. Just because a game is billed as a survival box doesn’t mean it has to be set up with these independent servers, though I suppose that is what it means nowadays.

Anyhow, immediately after creation, you’re brought to the server selection screen, and that alone was scary. I read a number of Steam reviews that said that because of its launch origins, the game dominated by Chinese guilds, and most of the high-end players run in large guilds that will wreck you. So I did my best to navigate those waters.

Fortunately, the game does color code and distinguish PvP vs. PvE servers, and you can see the server’s lord’s name – which, if it’s in English, is probably my safer bet to not get instantly owned. There weren’t any instructions or filters that were obvious to me to find a place I could play that wasn’t going to be a fully harsh environment.

It’s notable that players do have the option of creating a private server. You can even choose to play solo only, which I can definitely appreciate it, though of course I’m not really trying to avoid PvP here, just being destroyed on day one. Coincidentally, last week’s Overthinking touched on exactly the topic of offline server play. So sure I could’ve gone for a PvE server, but that’s not what I would do. I want to be able to get up and fight some folks, I just don’t want to get steamrolled immediately. Maybe that’s asking too much.

With that in mind, I’d probably prefer a server that didn’t already have an established lord of the domain, but maybe outside of creating my own private server, that’s not a realistic option. I knew I didn’t want to play solo, and I’m not trying to be a complete noob on a near full and maxed-out server, so I needed to find something in between.

Beginner gameplay is your standard survival fare

After I’d picked a server and then a spawning location, it was apparent this was going to be a fairly basic survival game – at least for the time being. As I mentioned above, I ran around and collected sticks and rocks and worked on understanding what made this game unique. Off the jump, there really isn’t a whole lot of unique stuff honestly, at least for a starting survivalbox experience. Also, as some other reviewers pointed out, there are definitely some translation issues. Nothing was so glaring for me that I was offended or had to shut down the game, but it is very raw.

Still, the translations are good enough that I won’t knock it too hard for that. It did take me a few minutes to get my bearings and understand how the quests were directing me to perform different actions, though. Trying to understand what to do and in what order simply wasn’t obvious without those quests. I don’t love most of the interfaces for navigating your quests, skills, and recipes either. It just isn’t super intuitive.

For example, it might be normal in modern survival box games, but it just feels really weird having your known crafting recipes sitting above the inventory in this way. I think I expected them to be in smaller tabs that floated around my character so I could still see the world around me instead of being a full screen ordeal.

Now, as far as character development goes, I’m constantly gaining XP, which is great. Hopefully it was increasing my stats, but I’m not sure. I think I saw some stat improvements while I chopped multiple trees down. Also, the more I drew back on my bow, the better that skill grew. I think. At the same time, the overall leveling pool was earning me points to put towards learning new recipes. Luckily, the tutorial quests kept directing me towards what to learn next and sort of where to find it. It’s basic, but it works.

After a couple of nights of gaming, I was able to get some floorboards down and a few walls too. However, it’s hardly a home, and it’s a loooooong way away from the glory of that trailer. Of course, I wouldn’t expect to hit those heights after only my brief time in game either, but I wish I could experience it once. Of course, I wish I could experience that in New World too, but some dreams must remain dreams, it seems.

It’ll take a lot more time to report on how the late-game really plays, but certainly the early game was fun. There wasn’t a lot to be upset at. Graphics looked great, and I enjoyed all the tasks I was performing. The combat felt a bit stiff, but I was just stabbing a spear at a fox, so perhaps real PvP is real fun. There just comes a point when you don’t really feel like going through the early game struggle to see whether the game pays off the trailer. If you’re into survival experiences and perhaps allured by the awesome potential future castle you could build, you could surely do worse.

Every other week, Massively OP’s Sam Kash delivers Fight or Kite, our trip through the state of PvP across the MMORPG industry. Whether he’s sitting in a queue or rolling with the zerg, Sam’s all about the adrenaline rush of a good battle. Because when you boil it down, the whole reason we PvP (other than to pwn noobs) is to have fun fighting a new and unpredictable enemy!
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