Mystera Legacy

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Runescape, Terraria and Rust. Banner image taken from the original website.

Introduction

Mystera Legacy is the sequel to an older game called Mystera Legends, which was made sometime in 2003 and lasted for five years until the game was closed in 2008. Although it seemed like a game that had poor graphics and limited gameplay compared to other MMOs that existed around that era, it was little different from, say, Runescape in its early iterations. Developed by one guy, it was as indie a project as one could be, somewhat like how Runescape started out as a graphical MUD (multi-user dungeon) in DeviousMUD before evolving into what was later Runescape Classic, 2 and currently 3.

I chanced upon this game when browsing Reddit and saw a thread that was looking for players to test out this sandbox prototype. Since it was a browser game, it loaded quickly, and quite some fun was had by those that were introduced to the game in that same thread. Although the thread was later removed for self-promotion by the moderators, it did help the creator (James) with some stress testing for his server and gave him additional ideas based on the feedback of the sudden influx of players. Since he’s still interested in expanding upon the game despite diminished player counts in recent days, it felt appropriate to write a short piece on the game that I played for a bit on the day I saw the reddit thread.

What the game has to offer

When I described the game as being Runescape, Terraria and Rust, I was referring to three elements within the game that are prominently exhibited in these three games. Firstly, it has a similar skill system to that of Runescape, with multiple skills that can be learned instead of just being a dungeon runner like Dragon Nest. These skills come naturally, with moving around resulting in an increased exploration skill that lets your character move around quicker, while woodcutting and mining being levelled up as you would expect: Cutting down trees and mining rocks.

 Character Progerssion

Interestingly enough, the game also differentiates between several types of combat, so using a spear to poke something does not level up your melee combat in the same manner that using a sword or a hammer would.Doing so would level up your spear, sword and hammer skills respectively instead of a common attack skill as in Runescape. In this sense, the game bears similar resemblance to what The Hive Leader talked about in the Character Progression that he would like to see in a dream MMO: You are equally able to do anything that a higher levelled character would be able to do without being locked behind an arbitrary requirement as in the case of say, Runescape. Levels mean a lot less in this game with no skill points being given to you upon levelling up, because there isn’t a magical tutor that teaches you how to execute a particular move when you pump skillpoints into it.

PvP and PKing

One might say that Project Gorgon, being 3D and having flashier graphics than Mystera Legacy, is superior to Mystera Legacy in this aspect. Having greater funding, a larger team working behind it and more hours spent testing and tweaking the game, it is understandable why this is the case. But Mystera Legacy differs from Project Gorgon in the construction and PvP aspect, with Mystera Legacy allowing you to build houses anywhere you like and also killing other players if you so choose. Compared to Project Gorgon where PvP has yet to be implemented due to balancing issues, Mystera Legacy lets you loot the corpses of dead players completely, with no ‘3 items saved’ as in Runescape. Given also that there currently is no ‘karma’ system in Mystera Legacy which automatically penalizes PKers and PKing is allowed anywhere, it does seem like a PKer’s paradise.

However, griefers would likely be deterred from going on a killing spree due to the death penalties of starting over in a delevelled character at a random location. Due to the simple nature of in-game combat*, it is considerably more difficult to take down multiple players than in other games. This would mean that an infamous killer would quite quickly be hunted down by other players if spotted and could be overpowered, with the dead player respawning as a lower levelled character with vastly reduced effectiveness in killing, and hence being less dangerous than in other games where the only question for PKers was how quickly they could run from their respawn point to the next target. In this sense, the game rewards both vigilant players (through defanging dead players quite effectively) as well as daredevil Pkers (through a generous looting system) that can successfully evade detection by the in-game society.

*At present, there is no talk of combos, i-frames or min-maxing in Mystera Legacy. It is more of…say, how frequently your character pokes with a given weapon and whether you, the target or both of y’all are rubberbanding. Of course, server improvements have been done recently, but latency is still sometimes an issue in combat.

Secondly, the game utilizes graphics similar to Terraria with 2D sprites that seem like they came out of Pokemon. Those coming into a game like this looking for gorgeous detail similar to Black Desert Online would be sorely disappointed. But if you’re okay with graphics that are about par with Terraria, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

Finally, the game is similar to Rust in that there are some elements of survival and crafting, with a hunger bar that both Runescape and Terraria lacks and crafting of tools being necessary to one’s survival. Fortunately, crafting isn’t locked behind levels as in Runescape, but it does require sufficient materials as in most games. Given the lack of an automatic trading system such as Runescape’s Grand Exchange, most materials are gathered and crafted by players as in the case of Rust or Terraria.

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Crafting options that are available on the right after clicking on ‘Build’

Being a sandbox game and having the freedom to build anything anywhere, most of the earlier players that came in the reddit wave built little houses that formed a miniature town. Some of the fun thus came in wandering from each player’s encampment and observing player creations that were built when someone mined a load of rocks and decided to set up shop in some remote locations.

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An unfinished house that was sadly broken into.

Community

At present, the game has a small but active and friendly community, much like how it was in its predecessor. Most players that stumble upon the game aren’t looking for a retro, Pokemon-style sandbox RPG and leave after walking around for a bit, but a few have stayed and made a home for themselves. They’re quite helpful to new players given the lack of information of how much material is required to craft something, while past PKers have been hunted down rather successfully to prevent them from griefing new players within the game.

Conclusion

Mystera Legacy is a good game for a side game, given that one can afk when mining within the game. No auto-log out function exists, while listening to audio cues do help one to judge when they’ve mined through a rock or cut through a tree. It’s certainly not a game one expects tension and drama in, but it has a certain charm in its simplicity and character progression that appeals to those that can look past the passable graphics and combat system. If you’re wondering whether it’s for you, why not give it a shot? It being a free browser game, no money and minimal time is spent to see if the game’s something you’d like.

 

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