MMORPG.com: With the many villains-sometimes-heroes in the Marvel universe, what was it about the Magneto that made him a perfect fit for playable in Marvel Heroes?
Ryan Collins: His being on the X-Men for the last few years definitely makes it an easier sell! But really – with all of the crazy visual effects and destruction in our game, how can we not have the Master of Magnetism?
MMORPG.com: What were your design goals in bringing Magneto to life in the game? Did you run into any noteworthy challenges?
Ryan Collins: Absolutely - his design actually changed a LOT up until it hit Test Center. We went back on forth on how to best represent his magnetism and presence – should he use the metal spheres as a mechanic? Should the scraps of debris always be present? Should he be able to summon the Brotherhood? I think we ended up with a very over the top rendition of Magneto that really shows much of what he is capable of. I’ll talk more about it in a second but his ULTIMATE! That was one power that we had a LOT of internal iteration on to make it feel ‘epic’ enough for him. I think we succeeded.
MMORPG.com: Can you give us some examples of the fun builds you’ve found so far for Magneto?
Ryan Collins: My favorite build involves managing my ‘debris’ resource to use the toggle power ‘Waste Not’ as much as possible. The way ‘Waste Not’ works is that when you are above a % threshold of debris, Magneto automatically fires shrapnel from his magnetic aura at the nearest target. I really enjoy creating a rotation with Blunt Instrument (in which you throw a car out of nowhere and generate a ton of debris) and keeping that debris counter alive. I feel like I’m still feeling out builds with him and I’d have to get back to you for what I use when we hit live. I don’t know about you, but I don’t end up settling on a build until 1-2 weeks of hardcore playtime for a hero (I’m still changing my Juggernaut rotation around!)
MMORPG.com: Who is the voice actor for the Magneto? Do you have any favorite lines?
Ryan Collins: The excellent James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi from Clone Wars, Tidus from Final Fantasy X, so much more) is our Magneto! I had to pleasure of watching James record Magneto recently for our upcoming Axis motion comic and the way he slips into the character is amazing – he went from playing the fun and almost juvenile Iceman to the commanding, levitating badass that is Magneto.
As for favorite line, I’m a huge fan of the stuff in the upcoming motion comic but I can’t talk about that yet, but for the playable is probably his more humorous ones. Much of Magneto’s lines are appropriately grandstanding or grave, but his line towards Squirrel Girl is just so cute: “All mutants are under my protection, Squirrel Girl. Even adorable ones.”
Plus there’s that Konami X-Men reference. . .
MMORPG.com: From what we understand, Magneto features a significant suite of AoE abilities. What does the Master of Magnetism have at his disposal for dealing with single targets, such as cosmic terminal or raid bosses?
Ryan Collins: For single targets, he has multiple damage over time effects such as ‘Meat Grinder’ (an AOE hot spot ability), a rapid fire shrapnel ability, and a version of his boss power – Wrecking Ball, in which he fires a large, homing blast of electromagnetism at an enemy. That’s not to say his AoE powers aren’t effective for bosses though!
MMORPG.com: What is Magneto's ultimate ability?
Ryan Collins: Magneto’s Ultimate ability is maybe my new favorite, but I guess we keep one upping ourselves as much as possible… When you use ‘The Fall of Man’, three Sentinels are pulled from their flight paths and come crashing down on your enemies, causing three large packets of damage up front. From there, Magneto uses his powers to rip them to pieces and create a whirlwind of Sentinel parts – arms, legs, heads, chests, everything. When that’s all over, they also leave behind individual pieces of the Sentinel for you and your allies to throw (and they deal pretty big damage).
MMORPG.com: Secondary resources have often been problematic for characters in Marvel Heroes and Magneto features his own in 'Debris'. Why do you feel a secondary resource was appropriate for Magneto and how do you feel it enhances the fun of playing him?
Ryan Collins: Hopefully you enjoy our latest take on Psylocke, you had great feedback on her secondary resource! For Magneto, our #1 focus was making debris feel interactive but not punishing. In order to obtain debris, actual shards of metal will fall off of enemies and destructibles and absorb to Magneto, and in general, just moving around doing nothing gains you some over time as Erik uses his electromagnetic field to pick up whatever metal he can pull to him. From there, many powers cost debris or are enhanced by it, but the loop is incredibly smooth due to how many ways there are to manage it.
If you’re having trouble managing debris or have feedback on how we can make it smoother, we definitely want to hear about it! He’s not a super simple character, but I personally feel that his gameplay pattern rewards you with good damage numbers and a pretty slick rotation.
MMORPG.com: Which costumes will Magneto launch with? Can you discuss some costumes you’re looking to add for him down the line? Is Xorn a possibility?
Ryan Collins: He launches with his Marvel NOW! White costume from Bendis’ Uncanny X-Men and the red/purple Classic costume. In addition, he’s launching with a timed exclusive (for Deluxe Advance Pack 2 purchasers) black version of his Marvel NOW! Costume from Magneto Vol. 3 (by Cullen Bunn – if you’re a Magneto fan, you need to be reading this).
The next costume we’re going to do might throw people for a loop but it’s very cool – it’s a future Magneto from Uncanny Avengers based on Daniel Acuna’s designs. From there, we definitely want to do Age of Apocalypse and I could see us doing Xorn sometime after it – it has the benefit of being very different and that helmet would look great in our game.