Magic the Gathering MMORPG?

A rather intriguing bit of gaming news has appeared on Massively OP this week. Cryptic it appears is to be launching a Magic the Gathering inspired action MMORPG. The IP is enough to get my considerable interest up-front, I collected and played this card game for years, although none of the online attempts at creating a game from it interested me that much. I have more cards than I can ever use from the early years of playing.

An earlier card, but I love the guildmages.

What actually interests me more than mechanics or comment debates over classes, is which of the many and highly varied ‘planes’ the game will feature. The lore of MtG stretches across dozens of different magical settings, traversed by the ultra-powerful mages known as Planeswalkers. Some of my favourite settings are likely to be of niche interest I would assume.

Mirrodin, a plane where all is made of metals

The settings offer countless possible opportunities for variety of zones and expansion ideas, whether Cryptic link the game’s stories to the back story of published card-sets or not.

Kamigawa – samurai and dangerous ‘kami’ spirits

Perhaps one my favourite setting of all is the more recent Ravnica, a plane covered entirely by a practically endless city. The setting is dominated by the politics between ten rival guilds of mages, ready-made factions that players could join or gain reputation with through their adventuring? I have very few cards from this set as it came out years after we stopped actively collecting. I suspect there are other sets that are more popular or more likely to be chosen as the main basis for the game – if Cryptic’s more recent releases for the Neverwinter game are anything to go by then this new MMORPG is likely to feature content that ties into upcoming MtG cardsets to cross-promote both the cards and the game among fans.

In any case it’s a game I’m likely to try just out of curiosity, the potential is certainly there to deliver something a bit different and more varied lore-wise.

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5 Responses to Magic the Gathering MMORPG?

  1. I haven’t played Magic since I was a kid, but I always thought the lore and artwork was really neat (I still have all my old cards for this reason). I think an MMORPG set in the Magic universe is a great idea with huge potential.

    I don’t trust Cryptic to do it justice, though. I’m fully expecting a game with dated graphics, low production values, overbearing monetization, and massive grind. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I will be.

    • Telwyn says:

      I’ve enjoyed playing Neverwinter and STO. The lockbox overload can be a bit much but then I’m not interested in end-game generally so the monetization issues with both games haven’t ever bothered me.

      • I played Neverwinter for a while and enjoyed it, but it had definite quality control issues, and I found it had no real longevity, which is a really bad trait in an MMO. Plus 90% of my interest in the game was due to the Foundry, which is apparently pretty much abandoned now. The professional content always underwhelmed me.

        I don’t think their Magic MMO will be terrible, but I don’t think it will do the concept justice, either.

  2. Shintar says:

    I only ever briefly tried Magic when an ex-boyfriend tried to get me into it, but I think this sounds pretty cool. It’s nice to see at least one Western game developer that is currently happy to make MMOs and make them work for them – Neverwinter and STO seem to pretty much always be at the top of the list of “top games” displayed in the Arc client.

    That said, I’m not sure how well the feeling of playing Magic would translate into an MMO. As I said I know little about it, but I’m not sure how you could incorporate concepts like lands into a combat system – I definitely see a risk of the game ending up being too “samey” to existing games, just with a MtG backdrop.

    • Telwyn says:

      In a sense I hope they stay well away from the actual card-game mechanics. I’d be happy with a story-rich action MMORPG with only some loose associations with ‘classes’ or other lore-derived mechanics. Being able to explore some aspects of the Magic multiverse will be enough for me.

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