Playtest Notes from the French Translation Team

We’ve been lucky enough to hear from several people involved with the game in the US over the course of this year.  However, Myth will be a worldwide hit, with translations into several languages right from the start.  We were lucky enough to have one of the French translators for the game post a review in our forums with some thoughts on the game through some playesting.

“Hello first you should know i am involved with the mercs team i am biaised but this translation is not a paid job so i hope you will believe me if i am saying i will try to be as honest as i can.

You should know i am french and i don’t speak english enough, i will make english errors, please forgive me.

After a lot of work on the translation some part of the translation team met in Paris to test the game, we played 12-15 hours over the Week End, we tested some “free questing” at the beginning with 3 players, it was an epic fail, we lost to Yardu the Undead Giant who appeared after the wrong darkness event. He can be brutal.

The day after we played the first and last act of the 2nd Story. We fought Terror at the end. We tried almost all traps (one quest added 3 traps on the next tile).

My first impression is the game is really smooth, you never wait long since everybody more or less play at the same time. Most of the time monster activation is easy to determine, the game have some simplification that make game faster, for example monsters who are already in a fight does not move and stay were they are. We tested all monsters but the Sycline, they are REALLY different from each other, i was playing the archer against a Rath mob, my very low Threat at the time was not an advantage. All characters feels really different from each other, that si what sold me the game at the beginning. IT seems very hard to play without the Acolyte.

This game will feel very strange at first for a lot of player i think. The first thing is the number of choices the player must make about the game difficulty. For example some tiles have wandering monsters (a band of monster not tied to a lair they won’t receive reinforcement), some tile force you to have one, some offers you the possibility to have one, but even if you have to add one it’s size can be from 3 to 8 monsters, YOU will have to choose that, adding more monster make the game more difficult, and offer you the possibility to gain more treasure but the difficulty is growing faster i think. It is the same with the choice of wich monster using to populate the Tile, some are really stronger than the others, i wanted to try as many as we could but i often listened this kind of comments : “oh no we are not in great shape if you add them we will loose”. It is not a bad thing but it is something kinda new in the strict boardgame world. I bet we will see very soon after the realease some random table to choose the number of wandering monster, monster’s type, number of lair and all the other choices you have to make.
The other thing that felt a little strange was the unique structure of the game turn, at the beginning i was frustrated with my hand, i thought “i don’t have the cards i need i won’t do a thing this turn, i will lost my turn”. That was really wrong, you have to understand if you don’t play you don’t activate the darkness, it is not a standard we play then monsters play structure. All the game finesse is in the management of these 25 cards, you know you will have the cards you want you don’t know when but you can try to optimise your chances to get them. IT is best if you don’t play the 2 point card in a suboptimal situation (just to kill one minion for example). You have to let the other players shine while you wait for your time. The threat system support that, if one player is at 10 you trigger a very very bad event, if your threat goes to high you should calm down to let it diminish. I really appreciated this innovative mechanic,  i am a big fan of Descent V1, but often it is best to give everything to the leading character it is stragically more efficient. But it is not at all the case here. A lot of other small rules are very nice, i have a very good feeling about the game.

Now the downside of this “review”, Brian said 1 or 2 hours per Act, even if it was our fist play we knew the game pretty well, and with no slow players. It took us more than 6 hours to make 2 acts. So even if we optimize this it will be 2 or 3 hours per act, no less. It is not a big problem for me but it is a point you have to be aware of. You can do “free questing” outside a story, but to be honest it does not feel as interesting.
The other little bad side of the game is there is a lot of questions during the game, not really about the base mecanic (some points will have to be clarified in a FAQ when the game will go public but i know as a fact Mercs will be supporting the game very very well for example they will make available a document explaining how to use EACH hero card) but they wanted to make a very very immersive game with cool stories. That is not a bad thing but there is question in a lot of quests since they are all changing the game. I imagin Brian writing  a fictive story (not in the game):
“And now it would be cool if a giant dragon come into the tile and ravaging everything”. He wrote it, the quest is extra nice, but when you do it you have no idea what to do when the dragon arrive if you are under him, are you pushed, does he damage you if you are under etc. This is a dumb example but i hope you will understand what i am trying to explain. This problem is less important in a cooperative game than in competitive games like Descent, but sometimes you tell yourself “i hope we are playing it the way it was designed”. I think this game will have one of the biggest FAQ ever, but it is maybe the price to pay to have such a rich and immersive game. Once again the bases of the game are well designed, it works well, it is more a problem with the little details at the end.

I hope i did not make you eyes bleed too much with my poor english. And i hope this reflect well my feelings about the game (my french review was way easier to write).”