I have a secret to tell you. I write an online gaming blog… but I’ve never played an mmorpg! Actually that’s not entirely true, we released Runescape at work about 3/4 years ago, and I played that quite a bit (levelled up to about 35/40 iirc), but in the grand scheme of things you could say I am lacking in mmo gaming skills.
I have considered getting an mmorpg a number of times so when I was asked if I wanted to beta test Mythos (after mentioning it recently) I jumped at the chance.
Obviously reviewing (or previewing) an mmorpg is a tough task, it’s not the sort of game you can complete, so this preview is based on my first 5/6 hours of play. So far I have managed to level up to level 8.
The first thing to point out is that Mythos is to be free. Once you create your account on the Mythos website (you have to be invited) you can download the game file (about 450 Meg) and play. Currently there are no clues as to how the game will be monetised but I suspect it will be through some sort of microtransactions within the game (buying items. clothing/ weaponry).
[photopress:Mythos_050608_10.jpg,thumb,alignleft]After installing the game you will probably want to change the game settings – this took me longer than the installation as the default settings on my laptop were full detail for everything, so the game ran at 3 frames per second on my laptop. I will probably try the game on my desktop computer but it would have been nice if I had been given a chance to set the detail levels in an environment that wasn’t so processor heavy.
Once you’re logged in and playing you can go through the standard rpg character creation process. I chose a gremlin but there are 3 other races to choose from (human, cyclops, and satyr). You can also chose which game mode you want to play, normal (which I chose), Elite, Hardcore, and “Shadowlands Only”, each mode being harder than the one before and offering different positives and negatives. This means you can play the game the way you want to play it, making it hard or easy as required.
[photopress:mythos_012508_14.jpg,thumb,alignright]The game starts quite smoothly with no long tutorials or cutscenes. You are quickly tasked with going into a vestry to return the undead to the soil from which they crawled and once complete are sent to the castle town, Stonehill. This is the primary world hub, where you can get new quests, buy/ sell and upgrade items, and access your storage chest.
One thing that interests me (and this is where my lack of mmorpg/ classic rpg experience shows), is the random dungeon generation. As you move from area to area the environments get loaded with random layouts. Going back to the hub city seems to reset the generation. This makes learning the levels more difficult but since the actual maps don’t affect the gameplay I don’t think it’s a problem at all.
The game seems to play mostly like a classic rpg. Complete quests, fight bad guys and monsters, and level up your character. The quests are generally fetch and carry, or rid an area of a certain monster/ monsters.
[photopress:Mythos_050608_01.jpg,thumb,alignleft]My biggest concern with the game is that there’s a lot to take in for first time gamers. For a normal rpg I wouln’t think this is a problem – but since this is free it has the potential to attract a much broader audience. Hopefully, since this is a beta, the extra dev time will allow them to improve the tutorial/ docs. Being a massive multiplayer game you can always ask if you get stuck, however currently the world is quite empty. I am not sure if this is due to the fact the game is a closed beta or that the game has been designed this way.
I haven’t spent as much time with this game as I would if I was reviewing it, but so far I think Mythos has a lot of potential. Superficially it looks really nice (despite my having to reduce the graphics settings) and the game is fun to play.