Cryptic should be terrified for Magic Legends

If I were Cryptic, I would be terrified for Magic Legends right now. Like, all hands on deck, perhaps we should go back to the drawing board kind of terrified.

Why? First, there’s just no enthusiasm out there for it. Oh, there was a whole bunch of excitement — including some from me — when this MMOARPG was announced a year ago as Cryptic’s secret project. Hugely popular IP, experienced developers, an actual MMO… yup, it was checking off some good boxes there.

Then Cryptic quickly dropped the “MMO” portion altogether, downgrading this to a multiplayer Diablo clone, which was… fine, it’s their decision. Didn’t make me happy, nor MMO players looking for a massively multiplayer game from a studio that specializes in such things, but it’s their choice.

And then it spent a year haphazardly putting out underwhelming dev diaries and videos… just every once in a while. The result of this was to reinforce this notion that this is a substandard Diablo-esque game that doesn’t really have that Magic: The Gathering feel nor much in the way of a unique hook.

Finally, Cryptic should be scared after seeing the absolute lackluster performance of Torchlight III — another game under its wing that downgraded from an MMO to put out a multiplayer ARPG. And from where I’m sitting, Torchlight III had more in the way of personality and interesting hooks than anything we’re seeing from Magic Legends.

The proof is always in the pudding, of course. If Magic Legends is downright fun to play and offering a lot more than we suspect at this point, it could generate a wave of word-of-mouth publicity and establish it as a sleeper hit (or better) for the studio. But honestly, I do NOT see that happening. If Cryptic was more proud or sure of this game, we would have seen a lot more from it by now, but we haven’t. I’m guessing that there are a lot of hard talks going on in the office and that 2021 could see some major changes and/or delays for this title.

Your thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Cryptic should be terrified for Magic Legends

  1. Yeebo December 22, 2020 / 11:46 am

    Magic could potentially form the basis of a fun but fairly slow paced MMO, ala Wizard 101 (a MMO obviously inspired by it). However there is nothing about the game that seems like it would make for a fun Diablo clone/ action roguelike. It will almost certainly be a MtG game in name only, drawing on the five color theme of the game an little else (maybe the names of a few abilities?).

  2. Tipa December 23, 2020 / 11:15 am

    I may or may not have known someone who played in the beta. They reported an underwhelming experience and never went back after a couple hours played. It did have some nice references to Magic lore. I imagine serious Magic players just want to play Magic. Unsure who the target audience for this is. It would mean nothing to a non-Magic player.

  3. Telwyn December 23, 2020 / 12:05 pm

    They simply needed to make an updated modern-graphics version of the Shandalar PC game from 1997 with coop story mode and PVP dueling. That game was excellent, I’d been playing the card game for a few years and it still taught me a lot about mechanics because it was such an excellent, in-depth implementation of the card game’s rules. Cryptic could have gone for a coop Baldur’s Gate-style RPG feel but with card game combat. There are even modes where two or more players play on the same side of the match already there to make coop play make sense within the rules. That’s what the whole digital world of Magic is missing, decent coop gameplay for friends to jump into. I still want to feel like I’m playing Magic in some form, not just a diablo-clone with some razor-thin Magic-esque stylings.

  4. Moltres February 28, 2021 / 10:01 pm

    I think that this game has some potential. For sure it had problems during alpha and will have during the beta too, but I think that is normal.
    Look at cyberpunk… Huge hype and had a lot of bugs when it was released. But if you remember Witcher also had many bugs (remember the horse on top of the houses) and it is one of the best games I ever played. I’m not comparing those games with Magic Legends, they are in a completely different category, just want to point out that all games struggle with bugs and issues in an early phase.
    What I love about Magic Legends are all the possible builds that we can come up with and the flexibility to switch between them.
    This website has spoilers of almost 200 cards https://www.mlarpg.com/ just imagine the possibilities of decks combined with artifacts and equipment! Almost endless combinations of builds.

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