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Old 02-13-2004, 03:50 AM   #1
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Mythica Canned

I don't know if any of you had heard anything about this game, Mythica, being developed by Microsoft Game Studios. It was an MMO set in norse mythology. It looked pretty good with some features that definetly sounded unique...plus anything with the financial might of MS behind it has got to be good <snicker>.

Anyhow they cancelled the game today, and from screenshots and movies they had shown of it since debuting it at E3 '03 they weren't exactly early on in the development stage.

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Our goal with ‘Mythica’ was to create a truly innovative massively multiplayer online role playing game. While the game looked ready to deliver advancements to the genre, after careful evaluation of the MMORPG landscape, MGS has decided to stream-line its portfolio, making fewer investments in this genre. After a rigorous review of current and future projects, the decision was made that Mythica would not be one of the projects we would continue to invest in.
I'm posting this not b/c you should know about vaporware but more b/c I'm glad someone finally took the hint that the MMO market is flooded, and actually did something about it.

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Old 02-13-2004, 11:19 AM   #2
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Its not even so much that the market is saturated, its that Microsoft was singlehandedly backing way too many MMOG's, when they aren't the type of game that lends itself to that.

They dropped AC, and now Mythica.... So all they have to worry about is the Sigil game for PC and True Fantasy Online for the X-box... i.e., they are now backing a single race horse for each platform.
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Old 02-13-2004, 04:44 PM   #3
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This whole Sigil Games MMO thing seems like a scam to me. Maybe it's my inherently distrustful nature, but every game company I've ever heard of seems positive and enthusiastic about sharing information about their game. I understand the company doesn't have to, and they are being nice by sharing info, but it just seems like the, "It's too good to be true", kind of thing. They're playing off name recognition completely, and people are salivating over the game without knowing whether or not it's an MMO cooking sim.

If the game is too early to show anything, fine, but don't hype the game like it's the next coming as they are.

Plus if what you say is true then I'm bitter that Mythica was dropped for the Sigil game since Norse mythology owns everyone.

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Old 02-14-2004, 05:32 AM   #4
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I dunno. It doesn't seem to me that the Sigil guys have done much hyping at all. Its more like, their lack of hype has caused fanboys to overhype it all on their own. -- I personally, will be interested to see what they come up with, but do think its a bit ridiculous how fanatical some are being about a project that has such an absence of information.

Anyway, some confirmation:

http://www.gamespy.com/interviews/february04/mythica/

"Chris Lye: The massively multiplayer genre is a hugely crowded and competitive space. We didn't want to spread ourselves out over multiple MMORPG projects. We analyzed all the projects in the works and decided Mythica was the one to go. This wasn't about Mythica specifically. There were a lot of good things about the game. But, we had to make hard decisions about where we placed our assets. "

They don't mention Sigil's game specifically there, but since it and True Fantasy Online are their only other mmog's, thats where their emphasis is now going.
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Old 02-14-2004, 06:17 PM   #5
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My big problem with the Sigil project is that they provide a TON of information, none of which has anything to do with their game. You read their FAQ and it's pages and pages of MMO game theory. It's abosolutely too huge for a FAQ that contains not one bit of information about the game.

I think you're right they're specifically not hyping the game because they knew exactly how people would react to this, hush hush, someone might steal our ideas, information black out. As soon as you release information about a game people start picking it apart, this way the game can attain god status before anyone gets a chance to critique it. And people read the buckets of game theory and think, "wow a company that finally gets it, they must be making a fine product."

Reading the FAQ and boards you keep hearing the Sigil line, "We will be the first MMO to listen to the community." Well the fact remains that two-way communication about a product can't take place when one side has never seen it. And the longer you wait to let them see it the harder it is too change.

This post borders on being a rant, I know, but this just irks me to no end.

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Old 02-14-2004, 09:29 PM   #6
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Want to know Sigil's biggest reason for keeping game mechanics unsaid? It'll make a better game. They are never going to come out and explain how any aspect of their game works, trust me.

The game will allow grouping - they will say this. The game will have groups consisting of 8 characters maximum, with exp scaling as such X/Y*pi^0.5 - they will not say that.

The game will contain these races, with these classes available to each race - they will say that. The game will consist of these races, with dwarves having a, b, c, d, f, starting stats with X caps on weapon skills and able to wear 672264 items in game - that won't happen.

Now why will this make a better game? Simple, it forces players to immerse themselves in it to learn the game mechanics and become better at the game. There will be no max characters 5 weeks after it goes live. I'm hoping for a year+ on that.


I personally think Sigil's game is going to blow people away. A dynamic virtual world full of content and fun. Call my a fanboy if you want, I'll take that title. I loved the first two years of EQ; Brad's EQ. He's learned more now, has the programming and artisitic talent on his team to make what he wants, has other developers that see eye-to-eye with him, and has the needed financial backing with what appears to be very little attempt at product influence. If this game isn't good, I'm done caring about MMOG's and their fate, because there will be no reason for hope.
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Old 02-15-2004, 11:35 AM   #7
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MEKO, have you actually ever read any dev boards before? Do you think all the pre-game flaming, demands and speculation actually do any good?

If the company has a grasp on what the MMORPG market is, and where it went wrong and/or right, why does it need the retarded input of 35,000 Battle.NET dipshits? Hell, for that matter, why do they need to host their own 'idea' forums, when they can just go to Battle.NET and see what everyone is crying about. Or go to one of the 500 different EQ, DAoC, AO, UO, FFXIIXIXIIXUABCDEFG fan sites and read the forums there.

This isn't information that is game specific. If people want grouping, they want it in any MMORPG. If they want to be able to solo in the end-game, they want to do it in all games.

I like the fact they are making a game THEY think is good. They aren't just a bunch of suits looking for a buck, they are gamers like you and me who just happen to be able to build what they want. If you like it, you'll play it. If you don't, there are many other "awesome" games out there who do base everything they do on what the squeekiest wheel. wants
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Old 02-15-2004, 10:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Do you think all the pre-game flaming, demands and speculation actually do any good?
There are two answers to this question. In theory yes, the vaunted two way communication, that Sigil itself is promoting, is absolutely important to the development of a game. Making a game "for yourself" as you say, is a really bad idea. Back when 2 guys could smack together a game in a month, sure make a game for yourself. But when a game costs many millions of dollars and is the liveliehood of hundreds of people (all who have different ideas of what the final product should be), then it's a really bad idea. The second answer to this is that in practice, no, with a very large but attached. In practice there will be factions that disagree on what is the correct way to do things. So in real life you pick a faction and you make a game that they will enjoy.

Thinking that Sigil is making a game that they will enjoy with no hard facts market research to back them up, is just deluded. MS wouldn't back a game if they didn't see profit attached to it, and the only way MS will see profit attached is through market research. Nearly every company out there is composed of gamers just like you and me who have gotten a chance to make the game they want. Do I like Jak and Daxter? No. Did the people that made the game like it? I'm positive most of them did.

This is what really disturbs me about this whole deal. People will defend the game Sigil is making to the death, simply by how they are releasing, or as it were, not releasing information about it.

I'm a Blizzard fanboy; I won't deny it, and sure it colors my opinion on this whole situation. But the fact remains that Blizzard has a proven track record behind their games. Sigil has exactly squat. Blizzard has released copious amounts of information about their game. Some people liked the info some didn't. Has Blizzard listened to every whine on their boards about the game? There's no way for us to know until we play the game, but I can say with the utmost certainty that they didn't. Why am I confident in saying this? Because frankly they couldn't possibly listen to every whine because half the whines are inherently contradictory to the others. So they are making a game as they see fit, with market research to back them up no doubt, to fit in a market niche somewhere.

Everyone isn't going to like WoW. Maybe it won't be hardcore enough for the people that will flock to Sigil's as of yet unnamed MMO cooking sim. But at least they're being honest about what they're product is.

Blizzard realizes that their fans are what have made them one of the most successful single developers in the world, and so they listen to their fans. Sigil, as far as I'm concerned, shows their fans (though I'm wondering how a company with no record can have fans) no respect.

I could write up 20 pages of MMO game theory that sounds good to the masses of people that read it and post it on a website somewhere. That doesn't make me a competent game developer. And perhaps my judgement is again colored since I wasn't there in the glory days of EQ when fountains shot pudding, and everyone danced in the streets, but Brad is one guy. Only one guy. And to think the coach of a team is anything more then a guy who uses their assets in the best possible manner doesn't make sense to me.

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Old 02-15-2004, 10:59 PM   #9
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Hmmm, understand that I'm no real fanboy of Sigil's, but I do want to address some potential flaws in the way that you are viewing them.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they still super early in the dev cycle? When WOW was really early in the dev cycle, they hadn't even announced it. So, it could be argued that Blizzard gave out less information then Sigil...

True, Blizzard has released a ton of information relatively recently in the scheme of things, but I imagine that if Sigil wants to be successful they will do the same thing when they get closer to release.

Lets take a look at an example of the opposite way of doing business for a moment. Horizons. They released all the information you could possibly want about the game, its systems, etc. -- And then, all of that was thrown out and the game that was released is a hollow shell of what was originally planned. IMHO, not releasing information you aren't sure about yet is the way to go. Again, I'm operating under the assumption that Sigil's game is still super early in development and very maleable.

And to address track record...true, Blizzard has been around and released a lot of great games, but they have yet to release an MMOG. They have no track record with them. (Understand that I am a hardcore WOW fanboy and I think the game is going to fucking rule, but still) Sigil's team isn't just Brad. Its Brad as well as, from my understanding, most of the other guys that made early EQ so great. So, it can be argued that they *do* in fact have a track record. But still, a track record of one game isn't really saying much either. Anyone can get lucky once. =)
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Old 02-16-2004, 03:36 AM   #10
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I guess maybe that's where my confusion is coming from. The way I read into this game they're fairly far into the dev cycle.

The company was started January 2002, which gives them a year of making the game (According to mythic president in a recent interview, if you're MMO isn't ready to be beta'd at the two year mark you started, you're financially boned). So I took that to mean something with Sigil. Plus they give out comments like this said about about the game:

Quote:
It’s kind of like knowing what someone is giving your friend for her birthday and knowing she is going to love it. You want to tell her what a great gift it is, but you don’t want to spoil the surprise ahead of time.
I wouldn't make this comment about a game that isn't semi-working. Unless you're friend is getting a box containing a list of things they want for their birthday.

I guess my frustration arises because I don't know how far they are into the dev cycle. It seems like they want to have their cake and eat it to, so to speak. They make it seem as if they have this fantastic product that's going to revolutionize the industry. Yet they tell us nothing about the game.

So I guess I'm either angry that they're releasing non-information about a product that doesn't exist yet, or they're not releasing information about a product that does exist. Either way they need to stop. I didn't like when I started seeing previews for Independence Day 1.5 years before it came out, and I don't like it when I don't hear about a quality movie because they never release a trailer.

If I wasn't absolutely sure that this media blackout was deliberate, I probablly wouldn't be so annoyed at the whole thing.

I do agree though. Releasing too much information about the game is a serious problem with current MMO's. SWG, and Horizons are huge offenders with this, they offered up too much information too early and then they had to lose a lot of it. I remember the announcment that SWG space travel would be postponed to an x-pack after they assured everyone it would be in, and the x-pack was supposed to be released this last January.

And on the other hand releasing too much info about game mechanics cuts down on the fun level significently. I'm not asking for details that might change. A backstory of the world the game takes place in (if they don't have this 1 year into development forget about it) would go a very long way. Heck, it would probablly wet the appitites of of sicko's like me that play games for story, and increase the number of people interested in the game. Tell us some of the races that are going to be involved...tell us something, anything that makes me actually beleive that this is an MMO with some sort of design doc behind it rather then a bunch of people waxing poetic at Starbuck's about what's wrong with other MMO's they've played.

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Old 02-16-2004, 07:28 PM   #11
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I'm going to stand by my prediction of WoW taking a big hit (probably not outright failure) due to the Bnet playerbase. Those people aren't social, and from my wc3 experiences, a simple mistake will have 12-year-old-timmy calling you a "nub" and saying how he fucked your mom.

But, that's only if they cater game mechanics to the Bnet WC3 wanker and Starcraft/Diablo hacker crowds. If Blizzard makes a solid MMOG that caters to comminity and fun above being superleet and fucking peoples' moms, they can do it.

I'm all for as many MMOGs making it as possible, cause the more that do the closer I'll be to plugging my brain into a virtual porn palace and living happily every after on life support.


About Sigil's status in development:

Their main (well known and quasi famous) artists have only been hired for ~6 months now. I think that means that actual game creating (drawing landscapes and characaters and cities, etc) has just started. Furor's and Gamespy's (I think) reports indicate the world to be fucking massive, like... horse cock compared to 6 year old asian boy massive. All indication from Dev talks and Brad himself show they want as many character customizations as possible - more artowrk. Lots of artwork that has to be done.

Most of the first year+ has been coding various shit, building platforms for the world and what not (I'm pretty dumb in this area, so yeah.) Basically getting down their ideas for what the game is going to be, contemplating what is possible with technology, and getting the code right to support it.

My best guess from what I've read, is that as of right now they have 25% of the world completed with developed content. They play the game as they go, and if running somewhere strikes one of them as "wtf this sucks" they change it to make it fun.

I'd bet a nut the game is fantasy-based, with maybe, maybe some sci-fi elements thrown into the background. The backgrounds of most of the Devs and Artists just screams fantasy. So, sadly, 18-Wheelers Online was just a joke, and who can say when a real trucker MMOG will be released?

Their focuses are on:

Dynamic content (Boss mobs not doing the same thing every time.) My speculation: An AI overlord sort of dealio that will react to what the players throw at them - aka, changing an encounter for the harder if people try and zerg it. There will be a happy medium of numbers + strat (but not without on-the-ball changing still) to be found for each encounter.

Complete customization of the user interface, character looks. My speculation: Expect in-depth guild customization too. Perhaps on the level of guild items, meaning if Bobby the sellout warrior tries to guild hop, he'd lose half of "his" gear and thus make it so guilds with such a system have a huge pre-req of loyalty to join. Unloyal people won't think twice - again, all an option to you to make such a guild.

No instanced areas. Brad is adamant that instancing any amount of content hurts immersion. But, at the same time, he isn't a huge fan of rampant griefing - expect measures to be in place to hamper that. Brad and co. feel that healthy competition draws people further into a game, and I agree. For those who played years on Xegony, honestly, would you have half the memories if there was no IC and HL? It'd have been fucking boring! My speculation: There will be enough content to where people won't be forced into bitch wars and grief fests in order to progress - there will be other, equally worthwhile areas to adventure in.

Sigil will announce during E3. It's pretty much been stated, so... when the fuck is E3, is that like the third quarter of the year?



Hope that can give you a little insight into what Sigilgame will be, MEKOSQ. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer em if I can, or speculate on it since I'm pretty confident I want the same from a game as Brad does.
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Old 02-16-2004, 09:14 PM   #12
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E3 is May 12-14.

***

Quote:
For those who played years on Xegony, honestly, would you have half the memories if there was no IC and HL?
I dunno about the instancing thing Neero... I agree with you to a point, maybe... But.... That shit was never fun. Ever. Sure, it provides "memories" in retrospect, just like it would provide "memories" if I went to prison and got anally raped. That doesn't mean I would seek that out.

In a PVE game, I don't know if I will ever again want to cope with the bullshit that was guild vs guild drama. In a PVP game, sure, at least then you can REALLY fight back. Taking out the IC city in Shadowbane was fantastic. Beating IC to ubermob #1 never actually felt good. The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth.

Now... It *IS* possible to NOT instance and have enough good content that it isn't rats fighting to escape the fire by tunneling through your face, but until I see it *actually* happen, I think I'll favor instancing.





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Old 02-16-2004, 10:09 PM   #13
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Ya taking the city was good in SB....

Someone else getting it 6 months later was not


Those not in Uber guilds not seeing the whole game isnt good either.
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Old 02-17-2004, 10:12 AM   #14
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Remember the days when people just bought a game and played it? Then the web comes along and everyone thinks they are a developer, or should have a game company custom tailor everything to meet their desires.

The internet continues to ruin gaming, more and more with each post to a thread like this.
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Old 02-17-2004, 01:59 PM   #15
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Or more specifically, bought a game, played it, realized it was a waste of time, and returned it. The internet is the only thing that keeps the game industry alive through the cacastorm of mediocre games that are released everyday. Well, in my opinion anyway.

As I have stated numerous times in this thread I haven't made a single comment concerning the actual content of Sigil's game. I'm complaining about their PR, that's it.

And thank's for the info Neero it helps clear a few thing up. I'd still like to see a backstory of the game though, I eat that stuff up, and it doesn't really have anything to do with the actual gameplay itself.

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Old 02-17-2004, 02:16 PM   #16
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We'll have backstory out the wazoo come May 12 (Thanks Xand.)


And Xand, I agree with you that run-ins with IC were rarely fun, but I also believe that that's what makes MMOGs MMOGs - fun and unfun player interaction.

Either way I'm looking forward to see how Instancing works in WoW, and won't be pissed in any way if I'm proved wrong by their design.
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Old 02-27-2004, 06:23 PM   #17
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I finally had the opportunity for some reason to read up a bit on what Mythica was supposed to be...

And well, its a shame they canned it. It was "relatively" close to release, and the concepts behind it were really nothing like anything else out there. It would have been different, definitely.
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