Mages of Mystralia balances skills through hex trees


More power, fewer uses

The first time I tried to use a fireball spell in Mages of Mystralia, I had no idea why the ball of flame I created stayed where I created it. Archers were firing at me from across a chasm, and I could not fire back at them. I pulled up a menu, and realised that fireball movement was an optional attribute I needed to opt into applying to my spell.

This is the crux of Mystralia. It's a top-down, procedurally generated action game where you have to balance each of your abilities over time. 

Players have one energy bar, which is shared by shields, melee, projectiles and other abilities. Each ability can be modded to be larger, curve, bounce, move, repeat, scattershot, explode or a whole host of other abilities. The more mods you add, the more powerful your abilities become, but the more quickly it will drain your energy. Getting the balance just right, and tweaking to suit differing situations, took a fairly simple and often used formula and certainly added an interesting spin to it. The build at PAX was certainly a little unpolished and buggy, but I can see the potential behind the idea.

Needing to balance the pros of additional spread against the reduced number of shots per minute, the pros of chaining attacks in quick bursts at the expense of longer recharge times or the tactical advantages of increased melee range versus higher damage per hit made an otherwise bland action formula pretty consistently engaging.

While the levels on show at PAX were fairly simplistic and geared towards a more tutorial-centric approach, there's an interesting game to be found. It's worth keeping an eye on.

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Laura Kate Dale
Laura Kate DaleFormer Queen of England   gamer profile

Laura's gaming journey began in the 90′s when she was given a SNES by her older brother with Mario paint. From that day video games were all she thought about day or night, be it playing them, ... more + disclosures



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    Filed under... #action #indie #PAX #PC



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