On 24-January, Gazillion brought down the Marvel Heroes game in order to apply content update 2.14. The downtime for the patch was extended for several hours, during which time Doomsaw, Ryolnir, and a number of Gazillion developers participated in a marathon “Ask Gazillion Anything” session. Several hours, eighty-plus pages of posts, and hundreds of questions later, we learned a lot of interesting things regarding the present and near future for Marvel Heroes.
1. New Heroes on the horizon
This isn’t terribly surprising, Gazillion has added a number of heroes to the game since launch (Emma Frost, Like Cage, Gambit, Ghost Rider, and Squirrel Girl for example) and they currently have Nightcrawler up on the Test Center ready for launch in the imminent future. On deck is Moon Knight and Doctor Strange, each likely to come out this spring. From there, we can expect Silver Surfer and Starlord, with Blade and Ice-Man referenced as a late 2014 or early 2015 addition.
2. Playable Villains on the horizon
The addition of Loki as a playable character with Chapter 9, opened the door for a host of other playable villains. Venom, Juggernaut, and Magneto were each referenced in the question and answer section. Magneto, in particular, will come following a storyline addition to the game clarifying why he’s available to assist S.H.I.E.L.D. The developers also mentioned that villain Magneto would have a specific line of dialog that would come up when he comes into battle with player-character Magneto.
3. More Enhanced Costumes
Enhanced costumes for a hero provide a new look and a completely different dialog bank. Recently, Gazillion has begun using these enhanced costumes to broaden out the hero choices by adding in other Marvel denizens who have temporarily acted as that hero. For example, the Beta Ray Bill enhanced Thor costume allows you to turn Thor into Beta Ray Bill. Hawkeye will be getting a Hope Bishop costume very soon, allowing fans of the Young Avenger to play her instead of Clint Barton. Similar work is afoot to bring in Shuri, the Black Panther’s sister and American Dream, a female take on Captain America. These gender swap costumes have been pretty popular, I know the Kate Bishop one is going to be an immediate for us, both my wife and daughter were happy to see that addition.
4. The Raid Zone
A number of references were made regarding the raid zone in development, although details here are far more sketchy at this time. There seems to be a lot of excitement around the first two bosses of the raid zone, but we don’t yet know who they will be. There were some reveals regarding loot in the raid. It appears that a new form of token or currency will be added which enables players to raise the item-level of gear in the game. Unique gear and artifacts should be part of the reward system. Achievements were also referenced.
5. New Gear Slots
The teaser for Nightcrawler a few weeks back made it clear that Uru-forged gear is coming soon. We learned a bit more about that today. This will be a new gear slot and has the potential to add blessings to several existing gear slots. Additional discussion touched on forthcoming StarkTech gear, possibly adding another slot of gear to your hero’s inventory.
6. In-Game Population is Growing
Specifically, since the game population has grown steadily since the Thor 2 movie. Doomsaw noted that, with the game now incorporating many of the play-features they have in mind (eternity shards, Midtown Manhattan, X-Defense, Legendary Quests, Asgard, etc.), Gazillion is beginning to promote the title more actively.
There was a lot of additional discussion. Quality of life features like auto-stacking relics, an overhaul of the supergroup (guild) system, and a number of other important topics were addressed (apparently Frito’s is highly recommended on pizza?). Overall it was a very informative day and there are lots of things to be excited about if you are a fan of the Marvel Universe!
Ryahl / Ryahl is a columnist for MMORPG.Com. He is also the host and primary author for Eorzea Reborn and TSWGuides. He has been playing MMO’s since 1999 but periodically dabbles in ARPG’s. You can follow him on Twitter @EorzeaReborn or just argue with him in comments anywhere he posts.