Erobert here, and this week we’ll be taking a bit of a breather to highlight some of the exciting features of Mythgard. This is an expansion of some parts of this blog post at Inked Gaming that you should definitely check out as well. While more veteran players are probably familiar with the many ins and outs of Mythgard, the features are sufficiently complex that it’s worth going through them carefully and deliberately, especially as guidebooks in game are still a work in progress. It’s easy to take for granted exactly how smooth and polished so many of the edges are on this game, and there are so many little things which make Mythgard so impressive.
Art and Story
I’m usually so focused on gameplay that I don’t always stop and pay attention to the graphics and music in a game, but this one is an exception. I have actually gotten distracted in game by wanting to look closer at card art as it was introduced. I’m also not the only player who turns on music for this game and only this game. The art director, Hoon, has assembled an exciting and eclectic group of artists to bring the world of Mythgard to life, drawing on many different artistic styles and traditions, and yielding breathtaking results. The story is only one chapter deep, but it lays the groundwork for exciting campaigns through the Mesoamerican magitek of Aztlan, the Slavic folklore of Dreni, and other corners of a vibrant world. The art is showcased in a Gallery Mode and honestly, I still enjoy spending idle time waiting for an opponent to queue up by flipping through artwork. Like the original core set of Magic, the artists all have unique styles and the variety feels exciting and interesting, like the design is open to many possibilities down the line, rather than confined to a specific paradigm.
Game Features for Every Occasion
Though Mythgard is in Alpha, it has been in development for well over a year, since long before I arrived and, frankly, it shows in the product. The game can pass smoothly between mobile and steam clients, not even missing a turn if your phone runs out of battery and you open the game on your laptop. A feature which deserves a ton of attention in Mythgard are its viewable replays of every game, including the ability to spectating ongoing games in real time. If you go to your own profile, under the “history”, tab, you can pull up your past couple dozen games and watch them slowed down, sped up, even switching to your opponent’s perspective, allowing you to see the board from the other side. From that “history” tab or in the social menu, you can even click on other players you are friends with or have played recently and look at their history of recent games to view! This also is the protocol by which you will issue challenges in 1v1 games to skip the queue and get straight to a game with someone you know!
Deckbuilding functionality features most of the standard features for filtering cards by color, type, cost, and rarity. Even more exciting is that the search function not only operates to find keywords and card titles, but can be used to find all cards at, above, or below (inclusive and exclusive) a certain gem cost, strength, or health. Typing “gem = 2” into the search bar, for example, will show you all cards with two gems in their cost and can then be filtered for color or other aspects. The deck information, opened by a small tab in the lower right gives you a pie chart, histogram, and breakdowns of the deck by category and cost! Your favorite decks can be imported and exported in a plain-text format that lives in your clipboard, so you can even easily make your own and post them on the discord. You can even go into Options and under the “game” tab change the layout of the deck editor from horizontal to vertical.
An in-game deck tracker keeps a comprehensive record of what cards have already been drawn, burned, or left play, making it easy to remember what has already gone in and out of your hand. This function is tabbed in the bottom right during games and functions while watching replays as well. The tracker can be organized into zones or as a full list, with green dots representing unburned cards and red dots indicating that they have already been burned. In the zoned view, cards in the boneyard will appear in the boneyard zone, but in the full list mode, cards that have left play will have a gray dot. Within these lists, you can organize cards by cost or alphabetically, easily switching with the touch of a digital button.
New players can test drive “Featured Decks” made by members of the community and available to play in ladder while building up one’s own collection. Climbing the ladder, fulfilling missions, and getting dailies on a limited card pool can be frustrating and daunting, but the featured deck makes it so that, at the very least, you have something to start with as you build your collection. These decks rotate every Monday and Friday, for weekend warriors and those playing throughout the week, so you get to see a variety of decks. New strategies and experimental combinations of cards will be delivered straight to your account twice a week, and while you can’t keep these decks, you can make copies of favorites to fill in later, as your collection grows, giving you something to work toward.
The game already has some great streamers from Team Rankstar, Tune Star and Noah stream solely Mythgard and showcase fun decks, competitive decks, grinding through ladder, and wild rides in 2v2 bedlam. Eolis and EndoZoa both frequently work Mythgard into their stream schedules as well. The Twitch interface has a lot of common features, letting viewers mouse over cards to get information on cards in play. Viewers can also sift through boneyards and otherwise interact with the gameboard getting a fuller picture of the game state and immersing themselves further into the game. Streamers can take viewers through a more complex set of interactions and explain more thoroughly the gamestate, which in turn can yield exciting opportunities to explain strategy and loop viewers into the complexity of the game. Mythgard’s complexity and depth can be managed by viewers as they explore the gamestates on their own, and afford vital interactivity as streamers help viewers become acclimated to the game’s finer points and nuances.
Quality of Life
Maybe the most exciting about all of these features and the true quality of life feature in the Mythgard isn’t actually in the game itself. Some of these features emerged as part of conversations between the Rhino team and the community, and many others have been tuned through this close relationship between developers and the community. I only regret that I might leave someone out in praising the team, because everyone in every aspect, designers, programmers, artists, musicians, VFX artists, are all fantastic to talk to and honestly willing to hear out suggestions and ideas. While Rhinos have created such a polished and beautiful game, demonstrating their obvious abilities, they are also thoroughly willing to collaborate with the community. As much as the experience of playing Mythgard is already fantastic, I have sincere expectations that it will only get smoother and more polished!
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