Yeah, lots of good stuff here, thanks for writing it up. I played the old Might and Magics (2-5, World of Xeen was my favorite) and Wizardy 8, and there's a lot of meat there, and then I also think there are a lot of other games mixed into the DNA of Wildermyth besides those... FTL, Dwarf Fortress, D&D, and XCOM of course.
What we're trying to do, at the highest level, is to make a tool that lets players create their own mythologies, by which I mean, a pantheon of iconic heroes that you totally own because you made them that way. In order to accomplish that, we use procedural generation to make the heroes unique, and then we throw a bunch of different stories at you and see how it shakes out. It's a bit like FTL in that sense, but with the focus on the cast of heroes, not the ship.
If we have a single story, that's not going to be fertile grounds for a mythology. So, at first we were trying to just handwave that, and say, eh, let's all fight, because monsters. But we think there's a lot of space for a cast of villains that give the heroes something to really fight against. We want to be able to eventually produce enough villains that the game becomes about experiencing all those different stories, and as you go, your cast of legendary heroes grows organically. That's the thought at least!
You're definitely right that the word epic is overused, and we're certainly guilty of that. If it means anything in the context of Wildermyth, I think it means that the story takes place over 40-100 years, and many heroes will come and go in the telling of it. Also it's trying to say that some heroes will reach somewhat absurd heights, visually, and in the gameplay. A hero with demon arms and crow wings, that sort of thing. I don't have a word for that kind of hero.
Thanks for your thoughts!