Gazillion's Director of Community Stephen Reid answers some of the Shacknews community's questions on Marvel Heroes.
The Marvel Universe is a dangerous place, with supervillains absconding with limitless tesseracts of immeasurable power, hate groups with genocidal intentions, and ninjas--lots of ninjas. The Shacknews community has eagerly jumped into Marvel Heroes, the first major MMO based on the long-time line of comic books.
I reached out to several members of the Shacknews community who were among the most active in the Marvel Heroes threads. After picking their brains for questions, I sent them off to Gazillion and Director of Community Stephen Reid came back with answers.
focalbox Rauol Duke, Degenerate, sigpro: Are there currently plans for super teams? If so, would they be able to get bases, team bonuses, team uniforms, etc.?
We've built the very first version of our supergroup system, and it's going in the game very soon now. It's basic and we'll build on it. The funny thing about supergroups for us is that we've already used some of the Marvel Universe's most iconic locations for our social hubs – Avengers Tower, Xavier's School, the SHIELD Helicarrier, etc. So bases would be interesting. Perhaps an instanced copy of one of those locations? Or something else entirely? Team bonuses could be a possibility, but team uniforms will probably just rely on your own choice of costumes. We're trying to make as many as we can from as many eras as possible.
Rauol Duke, Degenerate: What's on the docket, in terms of future storylines? Will future storylines correspond with upcoming Marvel universe-wide events, like Infinity and Age of Ultron? Along these lines, will players encounter Galactus at some point in a future update?
We're hoping to tie-in with some Marvel events in some way, although we're not sure which ones… just yet. We are talking with Marvel about their future movie plans, which tend to be announced a lot further in advance than the comics, giving us more time to make content! As for Galactus, well, if you like the idea of fighting a giant foot….
pancake humper: How did you decide on enemy density? That is to ask, how did you determine how many enemies could appear on-screen at one time?
There were lots of factors–-partially performance reasons, partially gameplay. We want you to feel you're taking on serious odds, so we wanted to include a lot of bad guys. We also like the action RPG feeling of laying waste to plenty of 'popcorn' mobs, too. At the same time, with all of the hero powers and effects, we didn't want to overcrowd the scene too much, too often. This doesn't even touch on the density of spawns in a massively multiplayer zone.
Wolfanoz: Will it be possible at some point to play as one of the Marvel villains, whether as part of a future storyline or a future expansion?
We've always said this would be fun! The real question is, what would you do as a villain? With a few rare exceptions, Marvel Comics has generally been about heroes. Villains tend to be antagonists, coming up with schemes that heroes then thwart. It might not be fun to rob a bank and have the heroes come and defeat you. We can certainly see some obvious places villains could go. PvP, for example.
tashtego, AltZero, Rauol Duke: What's in the future, in terms of costumes? Will future updates include more new costumes, heroes, or stories inspired by the recent Marvel NOW stories, like Age of Ultron or Avengers vs. X-Men?
All of the above! We actually just met recently to talk about our next wave of costumes, and we have some fun ideas from the past and present of the Marvel Universe. We want every hero to have a diverse range of looks to choose from, so we're searching far and wide for the most iconic and most interesting looks we can find. And of course, more heroes and storylines are planned too!
The new supergroup system is coming soon
Rauol Duke: Is there a possibility of a console port, similar to what PlanetSide 2 and DC Universe Online are planning for the PS4?
Never say never, but right now our only plans are for a Mac version after the dust has settled on our PC launch.
Rauol Duke: Is there anything particularly unexpected or surprising that you observed from players during the beta?
Maybe their commitment. We were always surprised and happy to see how much they were playing and how much they were continuing to replay the game. That was very helpful when it came to getting feedback!
Nerdsbeware: What went into the character selection process? How did you decide on the initial slate of playable heroes? Were there any personal favorites of the dev team or any characters that the team wanted in, but didn't make the cut for one reason or another?
There are always favorites and many hard-fought cage matches occurred to get the final list! We started with an initial list of over 100 characters that we wanted to get into the game, but over time that list shrank as we expanded the gameplay possibilities of every character. There's a huge number of factors that goes into choosing a character, including their popularity, community demand, their powers, potential alternate looks for them and so on. There are no hard and fast rules for who should go in – even if a character is really wanted by the community, that doesn't mean for sure they'll go in if we think they won't contribute much to the game, gameplay wise. At least, that's how we're thinking now. Ask us again in a year!
Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what is video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?
so uh when is it coming back online?
ooh cool. I'm loving this game so far.
I wish there were more heroes and costumes.. I wouldn't mind paying so long as it was a character I want to play in a de...