The first half of Gazillion’s massive update to Marvel Heroes has finally hit Test Center and boy is it a doozy! The patch primarily focuses on an overhaul of Marvel Heroes’ powers and progression systems, including a full slate of Quality of Life improvements for every single hero on the roster, but also brings a revamped Omega System (now the Infinity System), updates to story chapters two and three, artifact changes, and some pretty significant changes to the game’s movement systems.
Keep in mind that this is the first iteration of the update on Test Center and we expect there to be significant changes before this goes live, so we’ll be focusing more on our thoughts about how the update feels overall.
I have to say that I’m impressed with the changes here so far. Having all powers function at maximum rank due to the removal of power points allows me the freedom to focus on whichever powers I like on a hero, even if it’s not necessarily the most optimal. I only have eight slots to place powers in now, but I was always a one bar player anyway, so this isn’t much of a change for me.
If I do want to create a build with more synergy between powers, I can use the new talent tree to select talents that go with build concepts I have in mind. Sure, I’m working with the sorts of options Gaz has laid out for me, but these options are broadly interesting and impactful. Some characters feel like their existing specializations were simply converted into talents with little more work done, but others are afforded some pretty interesting options.
For example, Juggernaut can use the talent system to remove the cooldown on his signature, with the caveat that it can only be used at maximum Momentum. This single talent completely changes how the character plays. Then there are Rogue players who don’t get talents at all, but instead get to store all of their stolen powers in a single power bank and use that bank to recall any of those stolen powers at any time. No more hunting down different enemies or allies whenever you want to try out a new Rogue build. Some talents replace existing powers outright, expanding the active ability options previously available. Johnny Storm, for example, can replace Scorching Wall with a new power called Flame Wave, simply by selecting the appropriate talent.
One aspect of the new power changes that I am not a fan of is the over reliance on charges. Many, many powers utilize charges now and frankly, I’ve never been a fan of charges since it forces me to focus on the UI instead of the action. This is another reason why I’m not a huge fan of Gazillion’s changes to movement powers, which are now all charge-based. I’ve been playing Marvel Heroes for years and it’s incredibly hard to go from feeling like I can move around whenever I want in combat (or for travel) to finding myself unable to dodge roll because I don’t have enough charges. Blech. I get where Gaz is coming from, but I’m just not a fan. Maybe I’ll get used to it. We’ll see.
I realize I’m likely in the minority here, but overhauling the Omega System into the new Infinity System was a much needed change. The new system’s flavor comes from Marvel’s Infinity Gems, but ultimately it represents a massive streamlining and simplification of the incredibly confusing and unwieldy Omega System. The Omega System offered tons and tons of nodes to invest your points into, but many of them were worthless, and this just led to a lot of confusion trying to understand the sorts of ‘choices’ you could make. To make matters worse, most builds slotted points into the same nodes anyway, so it ultimately ended up being a confusing illusion of choice. The Infinity System features six gems (categories) with five nodes per gem and all of these nodes are intuitive, even if they are ultimately less interesting.
My one criticism so far with the system is the way points are distributed once earned. Points are earned on a gem-by-gem basis, instead of allowing you to spend points in any gem you wish from your total pool. If you have a particular set of nodes you’re looking to dump points into, you may end up with some ‘wasted’ points until you get points that are dumped into the appropriate gem category. It just doesn’t feel satisfying to earn a point and realize it’s for a gem you’re not interested in spending points on. Basically, the Infinity System is Diablo III’s Paragon system, for better or worse.
Have you played around with the update on Test Center? What are your early impressions like? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!