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Marvel Strike Force Devs Charting a Better Path

Michael Bitton Posted:
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As we’ve mentioned a few times now, it’s been a bumpy summer for Marvel Strike Force and the community has been on a razor’s edge for weeks now. But it looks like FoxNext is attempting to chart a better course for the game and right the ship, starting with some new efforts to communicate with players and offer some quick responses to community concerns.

Many of the decisions the developer has made over the past few months felt completely tone deaf and have been beyond frustrating for players, but FoxNext has taken small steps over the past few weeks to make quality-of-life improvements to the game . Things like iterating on the campaign event system to live up to its promise as a more fun and predictable way of unlocking new timed event based characters, for example. The point is that the shift has appeared to go from a time where changes came out of nowhere and confounded players to one where it’s clear the team is reading feedback and making decisions based on that feedback. Shocking, I know.

Just yesterday, FoxNext released a developer blog addressing (among other things) nerfs the team were discussing for meta characters such as Black Widow and Quake. Speed Up (and Down) buffs/debuffs are fairly oppressive in MSF and FoxNext announced a plan to chop the potency of their effects by a reasonable margin from 50% to 30%. As someone who uses both characters because they are effective and because I really like them, the nerf seemed perfectly fine to me. Knocking the values down to 30% wouldn’t have changed my composition any. But, I suppose FoxNext wanted to avoid tossing more fuel onto the fire right now and so has backed off this change.

It’s debatable whether or not this is actually a good thing for the health of the game, but it’s also clear that at least the team is giving a lot of weight to how the community feels about it.  That’s a huge change from what we were dealing with before. The bet is that the introduction of new characters will lead to new counter compositions, though this sort of thing can lead to power creep, so I do hope FoxNext will tread lightly.

Personally, I’ve been frustrated by the upcoming Nick Fury event, as I really want to unlock him and field a full SHIELD minion team. Unfortunately, you need to not only farm up Kree minions, who are a pain to farm, but you’re going to have to upgrade and gear them pretty significantly to unlock Nick Fury through this event. Compared to the Iron Man event, where I was easily able to cruise through and unlock a 5* Iron Man with only three well-geared characters, the Nick Fury unlock is entirely out of reach for me given the timetable. I’ve been farming the Kree minions nonetheless, but I know it’s not going to work out. Thankfully, the dev blog addressed this as well, and FoxNext has stated its commitment to bring the event back soon and the plan is to bring these sorts of events with greater frequency in the future.

The team made a commitment to improving characters players have been frustrated with, as well. Characters such as Star-Lord and Groot were underwhelming, so it’s good to hear that they’ll be receiving a much needed boost. FoxNext even called out Ronan, the ‘so bad he’s become a meme’ character, for buffs.

Finally, and the most significant of all, are FoxNext’s plans to allow you to save squad compositions to use in different modes. I’ve been asking for this for months (and so has everyone else) so I’m glad to hear the team is actually working on it. I simply refuse to rotate teams out in Blitz and just use a single team because it’s so painful to remove and reslot each character in.

All in all, between the recent moves to improve the game based on player feedback and the genuine efforts to communicate, I feel Marvel Strike Force is on a better path. Can FoxNext keep it up? That remains to be seen, but I’m more hopeful for the game’s future than I was just a month ago.


Michael Bitton

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB