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Magic: Legends gear system aims to avoid 'overbearing loot drops and inventory management'

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Magic: Legends is an upcoming online action RPG set in the world of Magic: The Gathering. It was announced in 2017 and properly unveiled with a cinematic trailer at The Game Awards in 2019. There wasn't much information about the game at the time (that 2019 video was strictly a mood-setter) but an open beta is coming in March, and today developer Cryptic Studios shared more about its equipment system and customization options.

The original concept for Magic: Legends was to use spells and artifacts instead of a conventional loot system, but alpha testing determined that "these features couldn't fully replace a gear system in an action RPG," design lead Adam Hetenyi explained. "So we took another pass at our itemization to develop a gear system that makes defeating enemies and completing missions that much more rewarding, while avoiding overbearing loot drops and inventory management."

Magic: Legends equipment will have four levels of rarity—common, uncommon, rare, and mythic rare, the same categories that are used in Magic: The Gathering on tabletops around the world—and stat bonuses that confer effects like increased damage potency, mana color-specific damage reduction, and "soul-stealing" to consume the life force of fallen enemies. 

Every piece of gear also has a single, fixed Core Mod, and one or more interchangeable Adaptive Mods, which enable further effects. And instead of lugging around duplicate pieces of equipment to sell to the local merchant the next time you're in town, dupes can be used to unlock new Adaptive Mods, or to earn item-specific upgrade material that can boost the stats of a Mod.

Because looking good is also a vital part of any RPG experience, Magic: Legends also has the Tailor, a hub area NPC who will enable you to view unlocked appearances of your collected gear and edit your wardrobe as you see fit. You'll also be able to adjust your character's body, face, hair style, skin color, and other physical characteristics, and then save those appearances to swappable loadouts.

The Magic: Legends open beta is set to kick off on March 23. You can find out more at playmagiclegends.com.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.