The Marvel Heroes team is gearing up for its June 4th launch.
What happens when you mix Diablo-style action RPG mechanics with Marvel's bevy of superheroes? Well, the public's about to find out with Gazillion Entertainment's impending launch of Marvel Heroes after a long beta period. Designed by the man who made Diablo at Blizzard, David Brevik, Marvel Heroes offers tons of playable characters you'd recognize from today's movies like Iron Man and Thor. The heroes in MH essentially act as classes, with different powers and abilities each player can kit out however they want. There's no limit to how many Iron Men can be playing on the server together, so customization is key. You start out with one or two heroes available - or the whole roster if you buy the Ultimate Pack - and collect more as you play. That's great for the kind of gamer you'd describe as an "alt-o-holic", but I wonder if there's enough content there to support a long investment.
"My dream is that you want to get all the heroes to the cap," Brevik said in a interview. "In traditional MMO play, I've been a person that likes to try a lot of different classes and a lot of different heroes but I know people that just refuse to play anything but just one. I think it's up to your individual style - Marvel Heroes supports both obviously."
You level up each hero individually, investing points into specific skill trees, and you earn loot you can equip just like you do with most action RPGs. You can also get a random drop of a Hero Token - say for Cable, the most recently added superhero to the Marvel Heroes roster - and that will unlock the hero for play. The token also lets you boost the ranks for the hero Ultimate Power, if you already have the hero unlocked.
"The only way to power up in ultimate power is to find additional tokens of the same hero that drop while you're playing," Brevik explained. "Once you get a token, if you don't have that hero it will unlock it for you, but if you do have that hero then it will instead power up your ultimate power, giving you another rank in your ultimate power. This give you a reason to collect tokens for the same heroes over and over again and become more and more powerful with your ultimate power."
After hearing from Brevik, the only thing that makes me pause is a large amount of end game content concentrates on running a small number of procedurally-generated activities. At launch, there will be "group challenge" available, a series of daily missions you unlock, and survival challenges. The group challenge involves a group of players shutting down 3 energy rifts, while the survival challenge pits you and up to 14 other players against wave after after of enemies. Depending on how you handle those challenges, a boss will spawn to drop some phat loots.
Marvel Heroes is a FREE-TO-PLAY action-packed massively multiplayer online game created by David Brevik, the visionary behind Diablo and Diablo 2. Set in the iconic Marvel Universe, Marvel Heroes combines the core game-play style of Action RPGs and MMOs with the expansive library of heroes from the Marvel Universe. In the game, players can collect and play as their favorite Marvel Superheroes (including Iron Man, Thor, Wolverine, Hulk, Spider Man, Captain America and many others). Team up with friends and try to stop Doctor Doom from devastating the world with the power of the Cosmic Cube in a story written by Marvel comic super-scribe Brian Michael Bendis.
Brevik expects these activities to be enough to level your character to the level cap of 60 after the initial story missions stop your leveling around level 30. "The endgame has a lot of randomness associated with it and we're very excited about this," Brevik said. "There are a variety of affixes that get applied to the mobs and bosses in the endgame that really change up the gameplay quite a bit. There's a series of these things get kind of unlocked over time so you defeat one to unlock the others and there's different difficulties, so it's quite a web of things that you can try out and play." The affixes Brevik mentions affect the mobs similar to Diablo such as "healing to armored to super strong, fast," etc.