During our play session of Magic: Legends last week, I had the chance to talk about the ARPG with Principal Lead Designer Adam Hetenyi. During our session, I asked something that as been on my mind for quite a while regarding Legends: Why doesn’t Cryptic refer to it as an MMO anymore?
When Magic: Legends was first announced, it was billed as an MMO/ARPG hybrid, and it makes sense. Cryptic is known for their MMO chops, developing both Star Trek Online and Neverwinter. However, as the months and now year since it was formally announced have gone by, we don’t really hear MMO uttered by the developers when talking about Legends any longer. Adam gave some insight as to why that is the case. Turns out, as the team developed Magic: Legends more and more, it became more apparent that this was less MMO, more traditional-ish Action RPG.
“For bigger projects, longer term projects, the media that comes out at the very beginning of the game tends to be more based around the vision, the plans, and that stuff changes over time,” Adam told me during our play session last week. “It just does. And so over time we really found ourselves cleaving more and more in the direction of an Action RPG with lots of online mechnics, right, and a little bit less of an MMO with Action RPG mechanics, you know what I mean?
“And so we felt like at a certain pint, there’s a lot of MMO stuff in here, but it doesn’t feel accurate to call it an MMO anymore, right? And we were getting questions along the lines of what you just mentioned, saying, ‘Okay, you call it an MMO? Where’s the MMO in here?’ We’d say, ‘Oh well, you know, you have a friends list, and you play with your friends. And you know you can group up and it’s multiplayer encouraged.’ And they are like, ‘Oh cool. Overworlds with like, 50 players?’ And we’re like, ‘No, no, over worlds with six players.’ And that kind of thing.”
Adam says that the team simply had a realization internally of what’s the best way to talk about and show the strengths of Magic: Legends, especially with journalists, and even Perfect World Entertainment. In the end, the team decided that MMO was not the right term any longer, rather it was much more an online Action RPG.
We recently had a chance to go hands on with Magic: Legends in a recent press preview ahead of the start of next week’s beta. Check out our full thoughts here.