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Gazillion's Super-heroic Plans

Michael Bitton Posted:
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This year’s PAX East was a significant event for Gazillion Entertainment and their upcoming free-to-play MMO action RPG, Marvel Heroes. Gazillion put together one of the largest booths at the show and that booth happened to also be just a couple of feet from the largest booth, which was set up for Riot Games. Intentional? Who’s to say? But if I were launching my game soon I’d probably want all the extra foot traffic!

As it would turn out, Gazillion did havemajor plans for the show, and this was something we had speculated on previously due to the aforementioned booth location and size. Marvel Heroes hasn’t enjoyed a massive marketing campaign up until this point and given what we learned at the show, we can understand why Gazillion pulled out all the stops at PAX East.

The Demo

Gazillion had many stations on the floor so that attendees could sample the game for themselves. The demo content featured Marvel Heroes’ Chapter 7, which crash-lands players into the Savage Land. For the uninitiated, the Savage Land is a tropical location deep in Antarctica that features prehistoric life, including dinosaurs, among other things.  Following the crash of the X-Men’s Blackbird jet, we met up with Beast and were tasked with seeking out Sauron in his lair, as he has apparently hypnotized the indigenous Cliffwalker tribe. Along the way, we ran around the Dinosaur Jungle public space, fighting tribes people and a variety of dinosaurs, including the massive tyrannosaurus rex.

The demo served as a fun way of introducing players to the game, because after all, who doesn’t like beating the crap out of dinosaurs with superpowers?


Release Date:  May 28, 2013 for Founder’s Pack owners; June 4 for everyone else.

PvP: Gazillion intends to launch Marvel Heroes with a fully functional PvP feature. Players select from one of three factions when they first log-in (factions are account-wide) and this faction selection will be tied into the PvP content. There will be some way to switch factions, though the specifics for this weren’t mentioned.  PvP will take place in separate zones (no ‘open world’ PvP) and players can also group up for PvP.  For those worried about balance, all powers will have separate tuning for PvP, and this should also alleviate the worries of strictly PvE players who don’t want their favorite powers nerfed just because they turn out to be abusive in some way in PvP.

Hero Tokens: Easily the most controversial announcement made at the show, Gazillion Entertainment will no longer allow players to purchase specific heroes post-launch. The previous system allowed for players to either purchase heroes they want from the in-game store or find them as loot drops in the game. The new token system retains the loot drop mechanic and adds to it, but only allows for the purchase of a random hero token in the in-game store. This means you can still find heroes as you would previously, but if you want to buy a specific hero, you’ll have to shell out for a mere chance at it (this is the controversial part). From what we understand, the backlash to this announcement was fairly significant and Gazillion Entertainment is looking into addressing fan feedback and possibly making some changes.

Hero tokens are also directly tied into a new feature announced at PAX East called ‘Ultimate Power’, and we’ll get into that below.

‘Ultimate Powers’: Each hero in the game will be able to learn an ‘Ultimate Power’.  There weren’t a whole lot of specifics mentioned for these powers other than that they will be sufficiently awesome and will be ‘instrumental’ in tackling some of the hardest endgame content.

Leveling up your Ultimate Power will be dependent on the aforementioned hero token system. If you don’t own a particular hero, looting or acquiring that hero’s token through the shop will add it to your roster. Once this happens, your odds of receiving a hero token for that character again are increased and each subsequent hero token consumed for a character you already own will increase the potency of that character’s Ultimate Power.

Endgame: Endgame content in the form of ‘boss runs’ (think Diablo II) and other team challenges (for smaller 5-ish man teams and larger zone-wide challenges) were announced at PAX East, as well. Again, Gazillion was fairly light on specifics, but the developer is promising significant challenges for small groups and large amounts of players at launch and the ‘Ultimate Power’ feature will be ‘instrumental’ in tackling the harder challenges.

That was about it for Marvel Heroes at PAX East. Outside of the major announcements outlined above, the panel and floor demo were really set up to serve as an introduction for those new to the game. If you’re unfamiliar with the basics, you’ll definitely want to check out some of our previous Marvel Heroes coverage.

Did you have a chance to check out Marvel Heroes at PAX East? What’s your take? And how do you feel about the announcements made? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


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