Calling All God Killers: An Interview with the Mytheon Devs

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Since the birth of the massively multiplayer online game, developers across the globe have explored different variations on that theme. While some continue to strive towards that classic “massive” model, others are doing things a bit differently, introducing player-filled hubs but allowing players to experience the content in their game through instances and in much smaller groups.

This is the case in Mytheon, an upcoming online action game where thousands of players can congregate in centralized hubs, but only a small group can actually be in the same dungeon. This upcoming fantasy-based action title is being published by True Games Interactive, which many Ten Ton Hammer readers may be familiar with thanks to titles like Warrior Epic. Recently, the crew at Ten Ton Hammer sat down with Mytheon’s lead designer, Chris Rubyor, to talk about his feature title.

Ten Ton Hammer: Your official site features a pretty prominent display of Poseidon (or Neptune, depending on your favored mythology). What can you tell us about some of the interaction with gods we’ll find in Mytheon? Is it simply about kicking the crap out of them, or are we going further than that?

Chris Rubyor: In short, The Fates have determined that man is ready to take control of his own destiny. They've given man the power to challenge the gods outright, and that's where these power stones come into play. The player sets out on journey to collect these power stones which will be used to kick some godly butt: Zeus, Poseidon, Hephaestus, Hades, and more.

At launch, Mytheon is all about challenging the Greek and Egyptian pantheons.

Ten Ton Hammer: With the expanding of the game, are you looking at other pantheons that you might explore? Everyone loves the Norse pantheon...

Rubyor: I can tell you that the core design behind Mytheon was built in such a way to seamlessly integrate new pantheons.

Ten Ton Hammer: Character creation is a huge part of the MMO gaming process. Should we expect a cut-and-dry system – pick a race and/or class and that’s it – or something more in-depth?

Rubyor: We do have a character customization system: Players will be able to choose different hair styles, different facial expressions, different accessory types, etc. But for the most part, it is very streamlined. Once inside the game we will potentially support additional vanity options via micro-transactions for players to further enhance their look and develop a unique presence from other players in the game.

Ten Ton Hammer: Are the characters going to advance in their looks as they progress?  New armor types and clothes and that sort of thing?

Rubyor: Mytheon will offer players a plethora of unique items that will make their characters stand out.

Ten Ton Hammer: Would you say Mytheon is a gear-based game?

Rubyor: Sure, but gear in Mytheon really compliments the power stone gameplay. You'll pick up things that might increase the duration of the creatures that you summon onto the battlefield or perhaps it improves the run speed of those creatures. We always say gameplay in Mytheon is all about the stones. The types of items and gear in our game should make for a really fun and engaging experience for the player.

Ten Ton Hammer: Can you talk in-depth about the power stone gaming? How does that work with the online gaming portion?

Rubyor: We believe Mytheon will offer a very unique experience as it combines action, strategy and RPG with a highly addictive collectability element. (Power stones) There will be hundreds of different types of these stones in game, and collecting them will be paramount to your struggle. Power stones contain the essence of many powerful beings and earthly elements.

From our perspective Mytheon isn't a classic MMORPG. We see Mytheon as an online action game where thousands of players can group up and adventure. Our world is not open like WoW.

Ten Ton Hammer: So it's more like what we've seen out of Guild Wars or Warrior Epic?

Rubyor: Along those lines. It has some similarity to Guild Wars, and it also has some Diablo type skill to it as well, yet it's very unique as a whole.

Ten Ton Hammer: Back to the power stones...

Rubyor: Power stones are essentially a combination of spells, creatures, and cool structures. From a back-story perspective, I already mentioned that the Sisters of Fate gave humans these stones, which contain the essence of many mythological creatures including: Gorgons, Cyclops, Cerberus, Disciples of Anubis and many more.

As players build up their stone libraries, they have to pick what stones they want to use at a particular time.. The stones you select are the stones that you're going to bring with you into tactical combat.

The stones and the mobs have a unique "rock paper scissors" element them. Players will encounter monsters that may be really tough for their particular deck. So they will have to reassess their stones and figure out if they need to change up their deck.

The strategy in the game is very simple. Basically, you have attackers, defenders, and ranged creatures. For example, using an Ice Archer stone in tactical combat will allow the player to dramatically slow enemy movement for a limited duration. Now team that Ice Archer up with an Arrow Volley Tower stone, and you’ll be able to slow the enemy pummel them into oblivion.
The gameplay is very fun and offers players a very unique and challenging experience.

Ten Ton Hammer: Would you mind explaining how the power stones work with the individual classes?

Rubyor: Let me go into class differentiation first...

Ten Ton Hammer: You got it.

Rubyor: We have three classes: Warcaster, Elementalist, and Eidolon.  The Warcaster class is all about creature control and has a secondary focus on structures. This means that the Warcaster is the "tank" powerhouse of the three classes.

The Elementalist primarily focuses on AOE and range spells with a secondary in structures. So most of his spells are derived from the elements and he can control a variety of different structures that manipulate the battlefield. He's like your wizard in an MMO.

The last is the Eidolon. He's very much a hybrid of the three classes. He’s great at healing and does decent damage if configured well. His stones can be spec’d out in a way that can be all healing, a combination of healing and damage, or all damage. He's a great class to have, especially in the higher tiered instances.

All stones are class specific for launch. But we do allow players to equip stones from another class through unique slots. As the player levels their cross class stone slots will increase in number allowing them to equip more stones.

Ten Ton Hammer: You’ve made comments alluding to the fact that your microtransaction system will be worked seamlessly into the game. How does that work? Whenever you’re altering gameplay for one person over another, it means that someone is gaining an advantage, correct?

Rubyor: We truly believe that micro-transactions should really be limited to cool visuals and convenience rather than game-breaking unique epic items. It would just stink if players were able to buy their way to the top.... that isn't any fun or fair.

Let me give you some specific example of buyable versus droppable items that we have in our game.

An item a player will see as a F2P (Free to play) is the Shield of Perseus. It drops off the god Hephaestus. Anyone can get this with a little luck. Or you could go to an RMT vendor and buy the Mirrored Shield of Perseus... it has the exact same functionality, but has a cool glimmer effect on it. It's all very cosmetic.

Ten Ton Hammer: Does a player have to have the dropped item before they can buy it from the vendor?

Rubyor: No. There will only be level reqs.

We've also done some fun things with potions. A lot of our RMT potions affect a group as a whole. For example "The Speed of Hermes" RMT Elixir will affect your entire group and everyone will get a speed boost. "Protection of the Titans" does something similar and gives everyone a damage resistance buff. So when you have a paying player in your group, you're definitely going to get the benefits of it.

Ten Ton Hammer: Is there a limit to what players can buy? Are the items level restricted?

Rubyor: We do have level restrictions in the game, so if the Shield of Perseus is level fifteen, then the Mirrored Shield of Perseus is also only usable after level fifteen. It just wouldn't be fair to do it otherwise.

Ten Ton Hammer: How many stones are you planning on having in the game?

Rubyor: At launch, we'll have close to 200.  We'll continue to add more stones on a bi-weekly or monthly basis as content updates and sales promotions.

Ten Ton Hammer: The game seems set up to have competitive or tournament play in the game...

Rubyor: We do have competitive play, and there's going to be a ranking system within the game.

Ten Ton Hammer: Final question: Can players progress through PvP matches?

Rubyor: That's something we're experimenting with. I don't think it's a bad idea, but I'm just not sure how well it will work in Mytheon. After the game releases, maybe it's something we could further explore.

We are looking at implementing some scenarios where two teams battle to reach a kill count goal. The winning team will have the right to fight the PvP boss for the map. Dropping the boss will yield the team some awesome PvP gear and stones. It should be fun.  =)

Ten Ton Hammer: Thank you for your time, and I hope we can talk again soon!
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