Mythos Preview: One to Five

Posted by Stropp on January 11, 2008 A couple of days ago I posted that I had recently heard some good things about Mythos. One of those things was that Flagship Studios had allocated some beta invites to existing beta testers to give out to their friends. At the end of the article, I asked that if anyone could spare a beta invite to send it my way. Lo and behold, the next morning there was an email in my inbox from non other than Max Schaefer, the Executive Producer of Mythos with an offer of an invite. Needless to say I gratefully accepted the offer, and was forwarded the invite. Thanks Max, I really appreciate it. Tonight I created an account, downloaded the client, and logged in. This preview is a very early first impressions of my first five levels in the game. Later on, I'll expand upon that with a look at the other classes, and with some of the higher level areas and bosses.

First Steps

Mythos presented a very quick download of only around 330MB. The install was completely painless as we've come to expect in this day and age. Once the game was installed, I logged in on my beta account and the game started patching. Even the patch was nice and quick. As it started I realised that I was decaffeinated and went into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. Shortly after I got back to my desk, the patch finished and the game restarted. For the record, I'm on ADSL2+ and get a maximum download speed of around 7 megabits/s. Once I was back in I checked the option screen. I usually have to do this for every new game I buy because the default resolution is set to 1024x768, and my monitor is 1920x1200. Mythos had detected that and had correctly set the screen resolution. Nice.

Character Creation

Since it was the first time in, I was immediately taken to the character creation screen. There I was greeted by a surly looking blue haired gremlin sucking on a Clint Eastwood Western style cigar. It's great to see a sense of humour and the willingness to go against the winds of political correctness. Character Creation was the same as you'd find in pretty much any game of this genre. You get three species; Human, Gremlin, and Satyr, with male and female options for each. There are three class options to select from; Bloodletter, primarily melee; Pyromancer; and Gadgeteer, sort of like a hunter crossed with engineer/tinkerer. durkin1You get a range of the standard character options; face, hairstyle, skin colour, and the like to customise your character. Initially I felt that the number of options was very limited, perhaps too much so, but it's not really a problem since you are always looking at it from a top down perspective. Finally, there are two options to select from. Elite and Hardcore. Elite ups the difficulty setting, and I think increases the experience gain. Hardcore, a Diablo 2 favourite, gives you the option to play with permadeath. Since this was my first time creating a character, I left these unchecked. I ended up creating a Gremlin Bloodletter called Durkin.

One To Five

Durkin started in front of an abbey with a NPC standing next to him. These days the Exclamation and Question marks are the universal quest indicators, and this guy had an Exclamation. After clicking on him, he tells me that I have a destiny. Cool. I reckon that's just flattery to get me to help him. durkin2Seems the dead have risen and are causing a ruckus. They've must have been thirsty because the first thing they did was get on the turps. Brother Anselean just had no idea how to deal with drunken undead so he asked me. Into the vestry I go. After routing those wacky undead, I returned to Brother Anselean to receive my reward. Apart from some armor I also received enough XP to level up. Levelling up will also be familiar to those who have played enough RPGs or MMORPGS. There are attributes to raise, and skill points to assign. Without the manual it's tricky to know what each skill does, but fortunately there is an NPC available to refund those points for a price. durkin4 From that point I was directed to the nearest town, which is also referred to as a safe point. It's from here that I found merchants, quest givers, and the all important stash where I keep my stuff. Inventory space, as usual is at a premium, and unfortunately uses the same system that is common in Diablo like games. That is, different items have different sizes and shapes, meaning that reshuffling is one of the necessary skills to have. Mythos also has an achievement system similar to Lord of the Rings Online. When you finish certain tasks, or kill enough monsters, you get a trait that you can load into a slot to increase your attributes. However, this system is not as complex or involved as LotROs,. Quest givers will ask you to go to certain locations. You can only go to a location, like a set of caves or a farm if it's inscribed on your map. At this early stage at least, the quest givers will inscribe the locations they ask you to visit. I'm not sure about later. You can also buy maps from a cartographer, or get them as drops of the mobs you kill. durkin5 Maps come in two kinds. Normal (for want of a better word) or Elite. The locations on a normal map are suitable for a single player to adventure in. Elite maps recommend a party of five. And maps also indicate the level of the player they are suitable for. No worrying about if an area is too big for you. I finished up my session tonight about three quarters of the way to level six.

Graphics and Sound

The graphics in the game are great. The graphics have a very cartoony feel, almost Japanese RPG style as you can see in the screenshots. They're crisp and clean, and importantly very responsive. The game also sounds good. I have to admit, I'm not much of one for game sound and music, so a lot of it escapes my attention. The music and sound in Mythos is just right. I didn't feel overwhelmed with a need to turn the volume down. Even though I had to when a friend called while I was playing.

Gameplay

The gameplay is pure Diablo 2. If you've played Diablo 2 you'll know what I mean. You move around by pointing and clicking the mouse, and when you come across a monster clicking on it attacks it. It's a very simple mechanic, and it works. Quest givers provide quests in town. When you leave town, you are able to select any inscribed location on your map to travel to. These areas are instanced to you, in much the same way as Hellgate: London (also by Flagship) and Guild Wars. Loot also behaves the same way. There's the standard white drops which have no special stats. Then there are the green and blue drops of which I have already received. Some of this is unidentified and a charm is needed to make an identification.

What About The Bugs?

It is a beta after all, right? From the what I saw of the state of the game I reckon it must be about ready for release. I didn't come across any major issues. There were no crashes, nasty graphics issues, or gameplay issues. All the quests worked (which I'd expect for all the newbie quests). I didn't encounter any major lag issues, however some other testers did mention lag. The only issues I encountered were a few moment of stuttering graphics in the character create screen, and in the newbie area. However, it's still early days yet. I only played for an hour and a half after all, and haven't cracked level six yet. Make sure you check back later for more.