I’ve been writing news stories for MU Legend for a pretty fair length of time, so I’ve been indirectly following this MMOARPG’s arrival to the West, which also managed to fuel my curiosity about the game. With this MU Legend open beta preview, I can now share my impressions through about 30 levels’ worth of slicing my way through copious numbers of on-screen critters.
Gaining Lost Memories Through Slaughter
As with many ARPGs, the storyline of MU Legend feels pretty throwaway, or at least certainly simple to ignore. You start off life as some ultra-powerful character who is thrust back in time to stop the calamity which will threaten your world. In so doing, however, your character has lost all recollection of just who they are and must fight to regain their memories. But while you’re at it, you may as well help the local population with their monster and demon troubles.
Honestly, I stopped reading the quest text after a while. MU Legend isn’t a game that appealed to me because the storyline was interesting. I enjoy ARPGs for two things: smacking waves of monsters and hoping for explosions of loot. On that front, MU Legend definitely felt successful to me.
Classes in this game appear pretty standard for most fantasy MMOs, but what makes it unique was the fact that you could follow two different specs. For example, I went with the mage-style character but was then told after character creation that I could follow a path that combined swordplay with magic. This was an immediate breath of fresh air to what I was anticipating to be a bog-standard ranged caster role and it definitely made fighting in MU Legend a good time as I got skills that blended magical hurting with sword striking.
I Grow Stronger
As I went from hub to hub, earning skills and gaining both character and Soul levels, I started to get that intoxicating sense of slowly growing in strength through the combination of gear drops and different character advancement. Character levels raise your base stats on their own and open new tiers of equipment, while the Soul Level lets you spend points to increase crit rate, defense, evasion, and even XP or Gold drops. Think Paragon Levels from Diablo 3, essentially.
In addition to these advancement paths, you have a total of three Skill Mastery levels for every ability you put into your hotbar. The more you use a skill, the higher its level raises, which opens up a Crest slot for each ability that lets you equip Crests to boost an ability’s damage or crit rate.
Finally, there are the Elite skills that unlock at three major level milestones. These skills generally have some pretty potent effects and even come with an inherent buff to your character on top of the three Skill Mastery levels and Crests that can be equipped to them.
All in all, there are several avenues for you to modify your character into the killer you’re looking for and each one is enticing enough for me to happily chase the carrot at the end of each stick. While the gains from each form of advancement can feel a bit incremental, these systems do feel good enough to make me want to fill up each relevant bar.
The MMO Part
MU Legend’s multiplayer is a combination of the best and worst parts of MMO gaming. On the one hand, there are timed quests that require you to kill a certain number of specific mobs and more often than not there are others around you doing the same thing, leading to the old dance of racing around an area to tag enemies before someone else does. On the other hands, automatic partying for dungeon runs is seamless and swift, while the dungeons themselves are straightforward enough where everyone knows what to do. Best of all, the loot that drops appears to be instanced to your character, meaning no need/greed dice fights.
On the subject of those dungeon runs, the dungeons themselves can feel pretty run-of-the-mill; you enter the instance portal, move along the path clearing out swaths of foes until you get to the boss, then head back out after you gather your loot. This didn’t particularly bother me coming from someone who played endless missions that were much the same from City of Heroes/Villains, but it is something to note. The boss fights provide a bit more variety, but ultimately everyone sort of gets into a zen state of exploding spells and dying monsters, which can be fun in its own way.
Coming from a game like Diablo 3 where I play mostly by myself, seeing the populated fields of MU Legend was definitely a positive thing for me. Combined with the ease of getting into dungeon parties and running through instanced content, the multiplayer of MU Legend hit all of the right boxes for me as someone who can be generally pretty shy when it comes to doing group content blind. Overall, I’m quite content with the MMO portion of this MMOARPG.
How About the Cash Shop?
Perhaps it’s too early to tell since this is still a soft-launched/beta product, but at least during my time in-game I never really felt that the store was vital to my playtime or my character advancement.
The worst criticism I can leverage against the game’s store is that it does the whole temporary cosmetic item thing where you can have an outfit or a mount for a set number of days. I’m not a particular fan of items like these and I do hope that the game will consider offering permanent cosmetics instead.
Freebies seem to be handed out at a regular enough pace. There’s the usual free item for every day you log in and you’re granted a free permanent mount by simply advancing the story. As far as the real meat-and-potatoes items that are needed for your character to advance are concerned – the weapons, armor, Crests, and so on – those are all granted through normal play and without being forced to the game’s store.
I Become Legend (Eventually)
MU Legend is one of those MMOARPGs that has enough going for it to make me want to peek in now and again for a fun monster-slaying romp. It’s not what I call a compelling world but it is a very enjoyable MMO gaming experience. Sometimes you just want to get in and blow up a bunch of monsters and MU Legend certainly delivers on that without throwing its cash shop in the way.
I’m personally looking forward to seeing where my time in the game goes as I near whatever is considered end game for MU Legend. Until then, I’m having fun with the ride and can certainly recommend it to anyone who’s in the market for a fun and free ARPG game. It won’t blow your mind, but it will be entertaining and sometimes that’s more than enough.Related: MMO, MMOARPG, MU Legend, Preview