for a new angle in the crowded online RPG market, Microsoft has decided
to appeal to our huge egos with the Norse god-game, Mythica. Take your
vitamins, say your prayers, kick some butt and at the end of the day you
just might elbow Thor out of the spotlight. Think its awkward for a
celebrity to get mobbed by fans when they go to the grocery store? Wait
till you walk into town to do some business and find 50 NPCs (non player
characters) bowing down to you. Talk about an ego trip.
mentioned before, Mythica is set against a backdrop of Norse mythology.
Players take up the mantel of a fallen hero. At this point you are an
immortal, but not quite god material
yet. First you have to prove that
you have some serious clout as well as the support of a great many
mortals. The gods give you plenty of opportunities to show your stuff,
though. The land is being threatened by the Fire Giants, a potent force
of evil giving the gods a run for their money. Naturally with their
invasion all heck is breaking loose and someone needs to protect the
poor mortals from being annihilated. Time to go to work.
one of Mythicas most unique attributes is the way you build your
character. Much of your avatars identity has to do with which group of
mortals he or she decides to watch over. Say for instance that you want
to help out the Dwarves. As you continue to protect and aid the Dwarves,
they look to you as their patron. Once this happens you have the ability
to begin molding your character in the image of his or her Dwarf
followers. You may begin by changing small physical characteristics here
and there until eventually you end up looking like a full-fledged Dwarf.
Interestingly, developers hinted at your ability to aid more than one
group and taking on a more hybrid appearance. Of course this would only
be possible with two races that get along with each other. This in
conjunction with the class you choose will basically decide your career.
Mythica will offer several classes to select, from mages to the
berserker, a warrior who wears no armor and relies on glowing tattoos
for power and protection.
ties your eventual goal of godhood to your desire to aid mortals through
the worship system. Once you start helping people out they attribute
loyalty to you in the form of worship. Now each race is tied to a
certain type of energy, namely dark, light, physical, etc. The more
worship you attain from that race, the more deeply you can draw from
those pools of energy in order to utilize spells and various skills.
While its possible to be proficient in more than one type of energy, by
helping more than one race, you are not able to become proficient with
energy types that oppose each other such as light and dark.
aspect of Mythicas gameplay is the use of "playscapes." Many know this
by its more common term, instancing. This represents a new trend in
massively multiplayer realm. Often people complain about not being able
to finish a quest or recover a piece of treasure because theres a line
of people waiting for the same item, or "camping." To combat this some
games are separating crucial areas and quests from the main public
areas. Basically you and your friends will be able to play through a
quest by yourselves without having to wait in line or compete for kills.
Mythica is taking this a step further with playscapes. There will be a
large public area containing numerous settlements of the mortal races
along with lots of monsters to fight, quests, and territory to explore.
Several sections of the game have been cordoned off, though. These areas
represent rites of passage for you and your friends that will test your
strength and determine what kind of god youll become. Automatically
this should tell you that there is often more than one way to complete a
playscape. To compliment their flexible nature, much of the environment
within is destructible--sweet.
is getting an awesome twist in the world of Mythica. At the E3 demo we
were shown a group containing a Firemage, a ranger-like Huntress. The
Huntress was able to use an invisibility skill to sneak into enemy camp
to mark important units and structures. At a safe distance the Firemage
saw the marks show up on her screen and launched some serious heat,
throwing the camp into bedlam. Then she proceeded to use a catapult, one
of the several pieces of siege weaponry available, to further pound the
opposition. I was also told that several of the most powerful spells and
skills require energy from opposing sources, light and dark for
instance. By now you know that one person cant possess both types,
which leaves only one option. Oh yeah, baby, were talking group spells.
Banding together like that against a huge enemy will surely make for
some epic encounters.
Mythica is still deep in development with a release sometime in 2004,
but already its visuals are top notch. The characters are beautiful and
the special effects please with ease. Based on what Microsoft has
brought to the table so far, Mythica definitely has a chance of scoring
a large following. What is yet to be seen is how well they can execute
all those less glamorous, behind the scenes elements like balancing and
mechanics. Without them no amount of graphics or playscapes will save
this game. Based on the work done so far, though, that wont even be an