Marvel Heroes got its own form of the Diablo hireling/follower when Gazillion introduced Team-Ups to the game in 2014. Team-Ups differ from the Diablo versions in that players can utilize them in three different modes: passive, a temporary burst damage mode, and the more traditional active mode.
Unfortunately, while Team-Ups were quite flavorful in terms of their variety, they weren’t incredibly useful for anything but their passive bonuses. Team-Up bonuses in passive mode can have a fairly strong impact on your character’s damage potential while their active modes just didn’t offer the same impact due to high cooldowns and their tendency to die in combat.
All of that is set to change and more in a newly announced overhaul for Team-Ups that is currently slated for release sometime in Q1 of this year. Creative Designer Ryan ‘Ryolnir’ Collins recently took to the forums to announce the changes in a three-part series of dev blog posts.
I have to say I was a bit surprised at how far Gazillion is planning to take the overhaul of Team-Ups. Sure, Team-Ups have flaws that needed to be addressed, but from the looks of it, Gazillion is planning to expand on Team-Ups such that they’re almost full-blown characters on their own. For one, Team-Ups will now level up all the way to 60 (with their own synergies at level 25 and 50 to boot!), though their stats will scale to your current character’s level. And yes, you will only need to level each Team-Up once. Team-Ups will also have their own power trees with powers (including a signature ability) that unlock as they level up. The points you spend here will allow you to enhance and customize the way your Team-Up hero performs regardless of what mode you have them set to. Personally, I tend to keep my Team-Ups in away mode, even if they do end up being much more awesome, so it’s nice to see that I’ll be able to up their effectiveness no matter how I decide to use them.
But what if you are one of those people that want to have a Team-Up hero out at all times? Well, it sounds like Gaz may finally have you covered. From Ryolnir’s second blog post, we learn that the team is working on a full survivability pass for Team-Ups and this appears to include a 50% reduction in damage taken from Area of Effect (AoE) attacks. It will also be possible to give Team-Ups move orders, which should allow you to ensure that they move away from telegraphed high damage attacks.
Ryolnir does add the caveat that you still shouldn’t expect to run your Team-Ups in active mode in a huge raid with tons of players and boss mechanics, but it sounds like active Team-Ups will be significantly tougher for other content. Godspeed to those of you who have the patience to dodge Doom circles both for yourself and for your Team-Ups. I don’t think I’ll ever make the attempt myself. Victor’s annoying enough as it is. Still, I plan to run Archangel active with Psylocke (hopefully this is competitive with Wasp’s amazing away passive) and Magik with Colossus.
What we haven’t heard as much on so far is Team-Up gear. It’s a real pain in the ass to try to gear your Team-Ups at the moment. Team-Up gear doesn’t drop frequently enough and when it does, it’s a real crapshoot on whether or not it will be at all useful. Ryolnir’s third blog update does mention that the team is working on a review of all Team-Up gear and this will include the introduction of Team-Up unique items. I’m definitely looking forward to that.
Finally, Gazillion just announced Team-Up Advance Pack 2, which nets you eight Team-Ups that are planned to be released this year as well as the bonus Archangel (X-Force) team-up and a Spider-Gwen enhanced costume for Spider-Man at a fairly significant discount. I instantly added the thing to my cart as soon as I saw Archangel in there (big surprise, I know!). I fully expect Rescue to be an incredibly popular Team-Up both in active and away mode whenever she shows up. I’m probably going to end up just as tired of seeing her in Marvel Heroes as I was in Marvel Avengers Alliance. Shields and heals everywhere! Hopefully Rescue doesn’t end up being as ubiquitous as I think she’ll be and that there are still compelling enough reasons to want to run more damage oriented Team-Ups after her release.
What’s your take on the Team-Up overhaul? Which Team-Ups are you looking forward to most this year?