Cryptic Studios has been publishing a series of detailed explainers on their upcoming Magic: Legends, the ARPG built on the lore and systems of Magic: the Gathering. The latest of these introduces the concept of Realms – places within Magic’s multiverse that the player has complete control over, and which in the game function as a nexus for character, class, and spell progression.
In the post, senior systems designer Robert Gutschera writes that Magic: Legends’ Realms were borne out of a need for the game to give players a sense of meaningful progression as they play the game. There’s a lot of this in Magic: Legends, as players amass spells to build decks with and artifacts to create character loadouts. But Gutschera’s team felt something was missing – they needed to create something that tied the rest of the game’s systems together, and settled on Realms as a way to accomplish this.
“Some players may be generalists who like to spread out and learn lots of spells or classes,” he says. “Others may enjoy min-maxing and just want to focus on specific areas of advancement to enhance their selected playstyle. Simultaneously, we wanted to capture the way planeswalkers grew into their power over time as they established deeper connections with the mana contained in the Multiverse.”
It’s not clear yet how Realms will look in game – Gutschera says the team is currently “exploring” the idea of making them fully-realised 3D spaces that function a bit like Destiny 2’s Tower, Diablo 3’s towns, or Warframe’s orbiters. However they wind up looking, Realms will each feature an Aetheric Core, which players will level up as they make progress through the game.
Realms will also have various workstations, which include the Arcane Library (presumably for leveling up spells), the Artificer’s Workshop (upgrades for artifacts), the Mana Vault, and Lands. Each of these can be improved alongside the Aetheric Core, and provide rewards that increase as you increase their level.
Magic: Legends is expected to launch for PC on Steam later this year, with console releases to come in 2021. You can sign up for the beta at the official site.