Published on April 13th, 2011 | by Richard Motokovsky0
Mythos is the latest MMO to come out of Asia, specifically from South Korean developers HanbitSoft. The origins of the game is obvious, just by looking at the four playable races and the almost manga-fied look to the Gremlins and the Satyrs. They scream cute and not in a deadly, might kill you kind of way. And, after its success in Asia, the game was acquired by Redbana in the US and Frogster here in Europe, where it is now undergoing a closed Beta before an official release.
Set on a planet named Uld, Mythos (which is Greek for ‘a mythology’) introduces a world torn by the races’ enmity. Unlike other MMOs, there is a small selection of races but they are not exactly standard – you won’t find any high Elves or Orcs here, nor are the races divided into black and white factions, rather shades of grey.
You get a choice of Humans, Gremlins, Satyrs and Cyclops. Each race is familiar but refreshingly different, a twist on much-used stereotypes. Humans are the same as they are in any MMO, the stock race whose resilience astounds, but those of Mythos are diplomats even the greed of some led to the remains of the Cyclops race claiming vengeance. Race-wise Cyclopes are hardy creatures but not as brutish as one might expect, given their appearance.
Satyrs, on the other hand, might be named after the part-goat demigods of Ancient Greece but here they a race tied to nature’s mysticism. They might not be Elves but physically and archetypically, they fill that role. The Satyrs are a magical race whose culture is carefree, poetic and sensual, and whose pasttimes involve both meditation and drinking. How’s that for extremes?
The fourth race are the Gremlins, again while the race does not exist in Mythos, they are reminiscent more of World of Warcraft’s tinkering Gnomes, and certainly fit the archetype of small, rather cute creatures who are great with technology in a world predominately skewed towards magic and myth.
Similarly, players might be put off by the class limitations. There are only three classes: Bloodletters, Pyromancers and Gadgeteers. At first glance none seem to tick the boxes associated with such staples as the Warrior or the Mage. However, on closer inspection each class is a mix of the more traditional. Bloodletters, for example, are a mix of Warriors, Necromancers and Warlocks. They use blood magic to summon minions but are adept fighters with a brain full of strategy and a sharp sword to boot.
Pyromancers are the class closest to the traditional Mage, the squishy caster able to cause enormous long-range damage. They also summon minions and create fire from nothing, using it to create devastating attacks which can fell a foe before they even get close enough to strike with a sword.
The final class is the most unique to Mythos Online. The Gadgeteer seems more suited as a profession for Gremlins but is actually a rather unique class, able to fashion traps and bombs for their own kind of devastating attacks, more akin to those used by sneaky Rogues, a staple of most other MMOs.
While seemingly constructive, each class offers more choice via the use of talent trees, which are only now being revealed. These allow for more variety in both play-style and the characters created but not every tree for each of the three classes has been revealed. So far we know that Bloodletters will be able to choose to specialise as Crimsonates, Redhands and Martialists, and that Gadgeteers will be able to train as Marksman.
Uld is a vibrant world with its own beauties and dangers. The lands are both hostile and inviting but are not for the faint-hearted to wander unawares. The mythology, as its been revealed, might not be as strong as those in Aion or Rift or even WoW, but there’s promise there. It’s this promise which is the key to Mythos’ future.
Yes, MMOs are ten-a-penny but this congestion is forcing developers to think out of the box, to put a new spin on old archetypes, to create new races and worlds which are familiar but also have something new and notable which force them to stand a head taller than the rest of the crowd, fighting for a place in an already crowded market. Mythos is one of the first MMOs to actively realise this and try to create something a little different. Even the smallest twist can mean success or failure when birthing a new MMO, especially one hailing from Korea as the acceptance of Eastern MMOs here in the West is even more trickier. That said, Mythos is a shining light; a beacon among MMOs and well worth keeping an eye on.