Magic: Legends is a free-to-play ARPG (action role-playing game) created as a collaboration between Wizards of the Coast, Cryptic Studios and Perfect World. As of December 2019, it is in its beta phase. It is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. An official release is expected is expected in Spring 2021.
Description[edit | edit source]
Developer[edit | edit source]
Cryptic Studios is an American video game developer specializing in massively multiplayer online role-playing games. It is responsible for the major MMO hits Star Trek Online, Champions Online and Neverwinter (based on WotC-owned Dungeons & Dragons).
History[edit | edit source]
Development of a free-to-play Magic themed role-playing videogame was announced on June 7, 2017. It was originally announced as a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game). Cryptic Studios CEO Stephen D'Angelo explained that his "intent is to go forward with a Magic game that is not about the card game. It's about jumping into the world and the fiction of Magic: The Gathering." 
The name of the game, Magic: Legends, was officially revealed on December 12, 2019 at the Game Awards, a year and a half after the game was announced to be in development.
Premise[edit | edit source]
An ancient force moves in the darkness, and it's up to you to walk the planes and gather the power needed to fight. Choose your path through the planes, collect spells to create powerful spell hands, and control the chaos of battle as you fight to save the multiverse from its greatest threat yet.
- Become a planeswalker — Choose from five different classes. You can switch between all five as you play.
- Walk your own path — You'll need to cross various planes to save the multiverse, but how you weave your path is up to you.
- Control the chaos — Control and chaos intertwine in real-time combat. Strategically choose the spells in your hand because they'll be drawn at random as you fight.
- Collect and upgrade — Discover a myriad of spells and collect spell fragments to make them more powerful.
- Fight alone or together — Choose whether you traverse the planes alone or with up to two other planeswalkers.
Build a deck of 12 cards that constantly cycle, with 4 active cards and a slew of handy abilities to smash your way through endless monsters and maps. Combine buffs, spells, and summons to weave your way through the Magic lands.
Game features[edit | edit source]
Class[edit | edit source]
Classes are a large part of your progression in Magic: Legends, and having a variety of playstyles at your disposal makes deck building, Artifact collecting, and loadout creation all the more interesting. The free classes that can be played are:
- Long range damage dealer who benefits from incredible healing powers.
- Mind Mage
- Cool intellect utilizing psychic powers. Battle enemies from a safe distance - controlling projectiles with telekinesis, and locking down dangerous foes with spells that put them to sleep, or turn them against their allies.
- Mid-range damage dealer who manipulates the forces of life and death through their summoned creatures and foes to great effect.
Players gain experience (XP) by completing various missions and quests throughout their journeys. When a planeswalker earns a sufficient amount of XP, they level up. Characters get stronger as they level up, gaining more hit points and dealing more damage as they go. Upon reaching milestone levels however, players unlock class features: enhanced class abilities, class perks, and class traits.
In addition to the classes that are included in the game for free, you can buy extra themed Planeswalker classes that give you more class options to choose from when constructing your loadouts. These classes will have their own progression trees, Traits, Spark Powers, abilities, and a unique costume that can be worn on its own or mixed with the costume parts from other classes to customize the look of your planeswalker. These classes are not more powerful than the free classes that exist in the game, but are different from the free classes horizontally. They will have their own set of play options without giving a numerical advantage.
Deck[edit | edit source]
A deck in Magic: Legends is a collection of twelve spells that a planeswalker can cast during combat. The player can combine spells of different colors to create many decks with various themes and strategies. Each planeswalker class starts out with a preconstructed single-color deck of spells, but branching out to include other colors and swap out spells will be key to fine-tuning the ultimate deck.
Artifacts[edit | edit source]
Artifacts exist outside of the deck rotation and provide permanent effects for the characters while equipped.
- Lesser Artifacts: small trinkets and oddities that provide benefits in the form of passive character buffs. A player can slot three Lesser Artifacts to augment their planeswalker.
- Greater Artifacts: these also provide passive buffs, but additionally introduce triggered abilities, which are effects that activate as the result of a player’s actions. A player can choose to design a deck around one of these effects or select Artifacts that fit the playstyle they’re already comfortable with. Players can slot two Greater Artifacts.
- Legendary Artifacts: these are much like Greater Artifacts, but provide effects that can more dramatically impact the battlefield or augment a player’s deck. Only one Legendary Artifact can be slotted in the player’s loadout.
Whereas spells are unlocked and upgraded by collecting numerous Spell Shards that players obtain through combat, every Artifact is a unique, random drop that a player can obtain from relic caches they find while exploring the Multiverse. Some Artifacts can also be crafted in the player’s Realm. Each relic cache the player finds has a chance of either unlocking an Artifact or providing relic fragments. Relic fragments come in four levels of rarity – common, uncommon, rare, and mythic – and are used to upgrade Artifacts.
Realms[edit | edit source]
A Realm is the personal sanctuary of a player that grows with them and reflects their overall power level. It reflect advancement regardless of their selected spells, classes, Artifacts, and so on. As players level the focal point of their Realm — known as the Aetheric Core — they are able to undertake projects at various workstations within. These workstations include the Arcane Library, the Artificers Workshop, the Mana Vault, Lands and the Cartographer. Each of these workstations serves a unique function and can be improved and advanced alongside the Realm’s Aetheric Core. By running projects at these workstations, players may earn rewards including new spells, Artifacts, class unlocks, mission reward multipliers, and more. In addition to this, players will be able to convert resources like gold into other forms such as Planar Mana while in their Realm.
Overworlds[edit | edit source]
Each region or area within a plane consists of a large map called an “Overworld”. These maps are massive, explorable landscapes.
- Known Overworlds are:
- Benalia, a church-state on the plane of Dominaria.
- Shiv, a volcanic island on the plane of Dominaria.
- Tolaria, a small tropical island on Dominaria which houses the Tolarian Academy.
- Tazeem, a lush jungle continent on the plane of Zendikar.
- Gavony, a dark, brooding province on the plane of Innistrad.
- Skirmishes — Bite-sized pieces of emergent activity that generally last between 1 to 4 minutes in length. They come in three levels of rarities, which are ranked as Minor, Major or Special
- Control Battles — Each Overworld region houses three tower-like structures that tap into an ancient power. Players who seek to take advantage of this power must wrest control of the three towers from enemy armies.
- Shattered Reliquaries — hidden dungeons that contain mysterious Artifacts.
- Mana Wisps — Enigmatic beings in the five iconic colors. They randomly spawn and wander the area aimlessly, wreaking havoc by enhancing the abilities of any creature they happen to fly by.
Combat[edit | edit source]
Players have two kinds of active powers at their disposal: Spells and Class Abilities.
- Spells exist as part of a player’s rotating deck, meaning that they are randomized and only available for use when drawn. They are generally more powerful than Class Abilities but require Mana to cast.
- Class Abilities on the other hand do not have a mana cost. These powers are directly tied to a player’s current active class and are always available.
Players have a hand of four spells, which are randomly drawn from a deck of twelve that the player builds themselves. Each time the player casts one of these spells, another random spell from their deck takes its place.  Mana is the player’s primary combat resource in Magic: Legends, setting the pace of gameplay akin to the way it does in Magic: The Gathering. Mana refills over time, up to a maximum of twelve mana divided among the mana colors present in the deck. A player can cast a spell as soon as they have the mana to do so, or save it all up for a larger multi-spell combo.
As a player progresses during combat, their Spark Meter will fill alongside the mana bar. Spark power increases much more slowly than mana, but it is an extremely valuable resource that can be used for two different powerful effects:
- Mana Surge — a mode that a player can activate to dramatically increase mana generation for a brief time, allowing the player to unleash a burst of spells during that window that would normally be too mana-intensive. This power becomes very handy during particularly tricky encounters.
- Spark Powers — unique class-based “ultimate” powers that unlock an extremely powerful ability or set of abilities for a brief amount of time.
Hubs[edit | edit source]
Hubs are designated safe spaces within the Multiverse where players can undertake a number of activities.
- Main Social Hub: This is a large social area that players can travel to and take a moment away from the action. The place to learn more about life in the Multiverse and socialize with fellow players.
- Overworld Hubs: Each Overworld map contains an outpost or town bustling with captivating characters with stories to share. Players will need to interact with them to advance the main story of the game and unlock regional missions along the way.
Instances[edit | edit source]
In addition to the persistent activity of the Overworld, each region contains a number of engaging replayable instances, which are individual maps, scenarios, or dungeons set aside for players to enjoy privately.
- Story Missions: immersive story scenarios that encapsulate a defining moment within the ever-expanding Magic: Legends narrative.
- Ordeals: are highly replayable instanced challenges where players really get to test how much their Planeswalker powers have grown.
The Director[edit | edit source]
In order to provide a dynamic gameplay experience Magic: Legends makes use of a system called the “Director”. This system controls which enemies spawn, where they spawn, and when they spawn. The Director spawns 2 kinds of enemies, wanderers, which wait for the player to engage, and hunters, which seek out the player and attack.
Monetization[edit | edit source]
Magic: Legends will not be selling content updates or playable missions. The developers' goal is for the entire game to be playable and fun from beginning through endgame and beyond without having to spend a dime. They will be offering a variety of items for purchase that will give players alternative options when building their decks or loadouts, but not give them a numerical power advantage.
Magic: Legends offers booster packs for sale as a way to collect spells, and collect shards of spells in order to expand and level your spell library. If you choose to purchase these booster packs, there are several other types of items you have a chance to unlock in addition to spells. These range from unique Artifacts, to unique spells, and even a unique class. These classes and items are not more powerful than the free classes or other items that exist in the game, but are different horizontally. They provide a different set of play options, but don’t give a power advantage.
Players can exchange a specific currency earned through play, Aether, with other players for actual cash store currency at a conversation rate that is completely community driven. The exchange empowers people to purchase cash store items or lower the cost of them by playing the game.
Magic: Legends also provides a Battle Pass system for added progression and even more rewards. There is also a variety of convenience items for sale, such as loadout slots, deck slots, XP boosts, and other items that assist with leveling throughout the game. None of these are required, but they do allow for faster progress.
References[edit | edit source]
- David McCoy (December 12, 2019). "Magic: Legends, an MTG MMO, Revealed at the Game Awards". Hipsters of the Coast.
- Daniel Tack (January 8, 2020). "Cover Reveal – Magic: Legends". Gameinformer.com.
- Stephen Ricossa (September 30, 2020). "State of Development 2". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Mike Minotti (June 7, 2017). "Magic: the Gathering is becoming an MMO". Venturebeat.com
- Brandan Sinclair (June 7, 2017). "Taking an IP and making it your own". Gamesindustry.biz
- David McCoy (December 12, 2019). "Magic: Legends, an MTG MMO, Revealed at the Game Awards". Hipsters of the Coast.
- Matt Campbell and Barclay Chantel (July 30, 2020). "Revealing the Sanctifier". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Tradd Thompson and Barclay Chantel (August 12, 2020). "Designing The Necromancer". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Phil Zeleski (April 9, 2020). "Class Progression and Traits". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Stephen Ricossa (June 29, 2020). "Magic: Legends and Monetization". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Tradd Thompson (April 2, 2020). "Fighting Through the Multiverse, Part 1 - Strategic Deckbuilding". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Matt Campbell (April 16, 2020). "Artifacts". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Robert Gutschera (April 23, 2020). "An Introduction to Realms". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Robert Gutschera (April 30, 2020). "Diving into Realms". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Sean McNamara (May 14, 2020). "Overworlds, Hubs and Instances". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Matt McCulloch (June 17, 2020). "Benalia: the Evolution of an Environment". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Matt McCulloch & Barclay Chantel (June 11, 2020). "Bringing Shiv to Life". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Matt McCulloch (October 22, 2020). "Tolaria: The Magic of Building the Land of Mages". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Matt McCulloch & Barclay Chantel (July 1, 2020). "Tazeem: The Art of Environment". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Matt McCulloch (September 16, 2020). "Gavony: Environment Art Hits a Stride". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Phil Zeleski (January 16, 2020). "Combat Design". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Tradd Thompson (April 3, 2020). "Fighting Through the Multiverse, Part 2 - Tactical Combat". Playmagiclegends.com.
- Daniel Hogberg & Macoy Madson (June 24, 2020). "The Director". Playmagiclegends.com.
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