Myth of Empires, the new large-scale multiplayer sandbox game that allows players to command armies and participate in ancient era warfare, has officially entered Early Access and is offering players a chance to try out the game as development is finished. In celebration of that milestone, we sat down with Angela Game’s Leon Meng and Lionel Li to discuss what makes this game so special.
Meng is a producer on Myth of Empires and Li is the lead game designer and they both walked us through everything the game has to offer, where the initial idea came from, how it differs from other sandbox games, and much more.
As with most things, Myth of Empires started off as an idea. Originally, the team set out to make a game that “reflected warfare in Ancient China.” However, they also wanted to create something that stood tall against the competition.
“When we first discussed the project, the original idea was to make a game that reflected warfare in Ancient China,” Meng said. “However, we didn't want to do the same thing that other projects with similar themes were doing. We wanted to do it with a different type of gameplay and bring players a more immersive experience with a higher degree of freedom.
“I'm personally a fan of ancient war games, and I play a lot of games with this kind of theme. Some of the games currently on the market are purely competitive games with an emphasis on combat; some are strategy games that emphasize strategy and tactics.
“Our idea is to make a game that allows players to participate in the entire ancient warfare process, from gathering materials and building camps to fighting on the battlefield.”
From that idea, Myth of Empires was born - a survival sandbox game that features a 64 square kilometer map with a variety of different environments, animals, and six major human NPC factions that both can “compete and interact with players.”
“The game gives players the opportunity to participate in every part of the warfare process, from collecting resources, to transportation, to crafting war materials, to building fortresses that can help them protect these materials,” Meng said. “In the later stages of the game, players will be able to implement and enact strategic and political policies, as well.”
Angela Game wanted Myth of Empires to be as accurate to its real-life inspiration as possible, so the team heavily researched a ton of historical documents from the era that will make it an authentic and rewarding experience for fans familiar with Ancient China or not.
It also features a PVE and PVP cross-server mechanic that looks to “reduce the frustration of traditional sandbox games, allowing players with different tastes to choose how they want to play the game.” A guild system will also be in play alongside “a world map with strategic elements, which establishes some long-term sandbox gameplay.”
In Myth of Empire, players will have to fight for survival by withstanding attacks by animals and bandits, all while gathering enough resources to start building their base and empire. You can also recruit or capture NPCs to have them help you in that mission alongside taming, raising, and breeding horses; farming livestock and crops; and more.
Speaking of NPCs, all belong to their own factions. If you attack certain factions repeatedly, they will end up being much more hostile towards you and may even retaliate. If you don’t feel like being a blood-thirsty warlord, you can also cooperate with the other factions and profit by transporting goods between them.
There is a lot to do in Myth of Empires, and Li shared some tips for players looking to get started in its world.
“My suggestion is that novice players gradually familiarize themselves with the game mechanics on the PVE servers and not immediately jump into PVP,” Li explained. “Novices can also complete quests to learn about the game mechanics. If you run into stuff that you don't understand, you can refer to our wiki, which is in progress.
“Finally, we recommend that players find a few friends to play with, which will make the game easier and more fun. Of course, if you want to play by yourself casually, you can get your own private server and adjust game parameters and permissions to reduce the difficulty of the game and strike a balance that suits you personally.”
Once players become familiar with Myth of Empires, they can begin experimenting with the 25 different skill trees and over 100 perks. This will let you specialize your playstyle and expand your gameplay options. Your skills can also be improved by actions in game. For example, if you get attacked, your HP and armor skills will improve. If you fire arrows, your bow skill will improve. Myth of Empires looks to reward players for what they wish to do, and that facet is seen constantly throughout the game.
While upgrading your armies, you will also be exploring the massive world in Myth of Empires. The game world is composed of a ton of counties that each have 16 cities in them. Even though everything is connected, all players will start on the PVE server. Once players reach a certain level, they can transfer to PVP servers, which “offer higher collection efficiency and greater probability of obtaining rare resources.” Players can also switch back and forth between servers if they want a different play style.
To expand your empire, you will need to engage in large-scale warfare. There are many options when it comes to combat, but Meng has a few tips to get you started.
“Battles are similar to what they were like in ancient times,” Meng said. “Before two sides clash, catapults and ballistas play a major role at long distances. In the open plains, cavalry are powerful, but on complex terrain and within city walls, infantry and archers play the largest role. To win a battle, there must be a clear division of responsibilities and a unified and effective guild command.”
Warfare is much more than simply winning through combat on the battlefield, as alliances are just important to gaining power. This is no different in Myth of Empires, and alliances and guilds play a big role in determining the difference between victory and defeat. They also shed a bit of light on the game’s backstory, which Meng explains below.
“The game takes place in a special historical period,” Meng said. “The emperor has lost his authority, and he’s largely a figurehead. The people under his command operate largely on their own, but still need his authorization for major actions. In order to restore the political background of the time, there is a more feudal relationship between different alliances.
“A guild can only form an alliance with another guild through subordination. In this respect, it's similar to a medieval European system. The duke joins the kingdom and the kingdom joins the empire, but this kind of alliance is fragile.”
Alliances are so important as “the county head of each server controls tax revenue within the server.” Additionally, the 16 county heads will also need to determine the leader of the prefecture, who “will determine who will protect passes to maintain control of the entire region.”
This makes alliances all the more valuable, as the more friends you have, the better your chances for victory are. However, not everyone can be trusted.
“More allies means that you can fight more wars at the same time and you can control a larger territory, but if these allies defect, then the empire falls apart. It takes a lot to manage an entire empire, and there is a lot of diplomacy involved,” Meng said.
Myth of Empires’ Early Access period contains roughly 70% of what will be contained in the full game. As the Early Access period continues, Angela Game will add such new features as “tree-based structures, NPC appearance customization, modding tools, new ways to use animals on the battlefield, musical instruments, new architecture and furniture, new armors and weapon skins, and more.”