The brains behind Diablo II talks big changes to Marvel Heroes
A hotter IP on the planet fails to spring to mind in comparison to Marvel's cadre of superheroes.
This year alone, we will see Wolverine, Thor and Iron Man returning to cinemas across the world off the back of the megasmash that was The Avengers.
This means Gazillion, producers of Marvel Heroes have a huge weapon to wield when it comes to attracting an audience, will the game deliver on feverish expectation? Having David Brevik of Diablo II fame at the helm is certainly a big step in that direction. I spoke to David Brevik among other at a Marvel Heroes Q&A designed to show the plethora of changes to hit the F2P MMO ARPG (ASAP?) in beta.
The UI has received a graphical overhaul, with color coding and streamlining the look of the interface to make it both more appealing and easy to understand for the player.
The in-game mini-map has a completely different look, with it now reflecting the same angle and surface structure that the game is being played in; which looks very cool and also makes navigation more immediate due to not having to translate the information from the map to your view of the 3D layout as you go.
Sense in Statistics
The numbers that matter for each character have undergone a overhaul to make them more in sync with the classic presentation of superhero powers. When I was a young lad, oh so many years ago, I would play Top Trumps' Marvel Heroes card game where you always wanted to have The Hulk card in your hand and call Strength -- "Oh you have Daredevil? Muhahaha."
Every hero now will have different characteristics with stats that will have an easily understandable stat range to avoid having massive numbers as the characters progressed ot highe rlevels.
As Brevik said, there is a balance to strike in allowing statistical progression with heroes as there isn't that much growth in the history of the same characters in their comics (Spider Man can still bench the same now as he did in the 60s, SPOILER even if he has an insane criminal genius occupying his body). Yet, video game players will want to see some progression for their character, so Brevik promises that stat growth will not be regular, but will make a tangible difference when it occurs.
Spins a Web Any Size
Four new characters have been added to the roster, perhaps the most beloved being Spider Man himself, though Thor is rising in popularity since his own film and The Avengers (plus the stellar comic now being written by Jason Aaron with art by Esad Ribic, trust me, it's great). For the X-Men devotees, including me, Cyclops and Colossus are also freshly available to make sure the Children of the Atom are well represented.
Remember the days when Iron Man was essentially a B-list hero? Well those days are consigned to the history books as he's now a fully fledged superstar thanks to Robert Downey Jr. et al. Brevik mentioned that the producers of the upcoming Iron Man 3 movie had given Gazillion access to the assets used in the film. Here's a brief video to show just what he meant:
The favorite getaway for many a story of disaster and intrigue, the Savage Land will be making its debut in the game. I asked Brevik if that meant we could expect Ka-Zar and Shanna the She-Devil in our adventures. He didn't want to give any spoilers, but let's just say it's something any Marvel fan would expect.
For me, the most important news to come from the Q&A was that the crafting system in the game is completely rethought. Brevik mentioned an item in regards to crafting that will make Diablo II fans thrill: the Horadric Cube (would that make the Marvel Heroes version the Cosmic Horadric Cube?)
The ability to make costumes is being brought into the new crafting system and includes the ability to level up NPCs in order to create higher level gear by donating materials.
I wasn't overblown with enthusiasm about the original crafting system in Marvel Heroes and the changes look like a very positive retool.
If the new changes have added to your desire to play Marvel Heroes, you can sign up for the closed beta right here.