Marvel Heroes Exclusive Interview
Marvel fans rejoice! We had the great opportunity to talk to Stephen Reid, Community Manager of Gazillion entertainment, the same company behind the newly released Marvel Heroes, about all aspects of the game as well as what the future holds for the first Marvel comics themed MMO:
First of all, how would you describe what Marvel Heroes is to those who might be unaware of the game?
Marvel Heroes is a free to play MMO action RPG. It blends the best aspects of traditional action RPGs like Diablo with massively multiplayer gameplay. You get to play as your favorite Marvel Heroes, and all for free.
You mentioned that he Game is Free to Play, so does that mean anyone can play the game from start to finish without paying a cent or even having a credit card?
Correct. You’ll start the game with your choice of one of five Starter Heroes – Daredevil, Thing, Storm, Hawkeye or Scarlet Witch – and can play all the way to the end of the game with them for free. Along the way you’ll loot heroes and costumes from throughout the game – some are rare, but you can find almost everything.
After doing some research online and looking through various forums, i can easily say that Marvel Heroes is bringing a lot of players to the MMO genre for the first time, how are you catering for these new players ?
The action RPG genre is pretty friendly to gamers generally – you just have to click to move and click to attack, after all – so we think that’ll help bring in new players. We have a tutorial level and a relatively easy learning curve for the game too which we think will make it easy to pick up and play. Also, we have a Hulk.
You have previously announced that the game will offer PVP, is this a mode that is available from the start and what can you tell us abt it?
PvP is available a little later in the game, but once you have access to it you can go ahead and play with any level of hero. It’s a very basic system right now that we will be expanding on over time: essentially it’s a large scale base defense scenario where you battle with two other player factions to take and hold their base to get cool loot.
What other gameplay modes are available in Marvel Heroes ?
The story (AKA ‘player vs environment/PvE) is the main ‘mode’, really, with endgame and PvP available too.
Every modern MMO offers an End-game mode, does Marvel heroes contain one? If so could you explain it to the Marvel fans who might be newcomers to the MMO genre
Yes. We’re a bit different from the average MMO because our endgame doesn’t start at the level cap (which is 60). Instead, you’ll probably finish the game story in your mid-20s, level-wise, and then you’ll have the option of moving onto endgame. We have Daily Missions, Group Challenges and Survival Challenges. Daily Missions are chances to re-fight bosses from throughout the game, made more challenging and with better rewards. Group Challenges are a similar experience but have you playing in a five-man group, fighting to close ‘Cosmic Rifts’ before the enemies overwhelm you. Finally our Survival Challenges allow 15 people at once to battle against waves of enemies, each increasing in difficulty, before the final boss – chosen at random from many iconic Marvel villains that are in the game.
The Marvel universe contains thousands and thousands of characters, how did you guys decide on who'is in and who is out of the roster?
It’s a hard cage match fight every time! There are many, many factors that go into deciding who will ultimately make it into the game, from their popularity (both in the Marvel Universe and with players) to how well they will ‘fit’ in the game, gameplay wise. There are no hard and fast rules. Right now we’re thinking carefully about who to add in the future. It’s a tough choice!
Will there be more characters coming in the future, if so, will the fans have a say in the choosing process of which character will be added?
Absolutely, and yes, we hope to involve fans in the decision. Fans have never, ever been shy about letting us know which heroes that they want to see going forward, and we’re going to continue to listen to them.
Having such a huge roster from the get go with characters who have been in comics for more than 50 years, what is the process you guys go through to select what special moves the said character will have?
We look for the most iconic and the best-known moves, first of all. If you’re playing Hulk you expect him to smash, if you’re playing Thor you want to use Mjolnir and call lightning, etc – so for many heroes it’s obvious what we need to do. For some others, it’s not so obvious; Spider-Man for example, between his agility, strength and webbing, can do lots of different things. We then look to see what kind of character we want to create, what sort of gameplay feels right for the character, and that guides what powers we create for them. But the overall goal is always to try and stay ‘true’ to the original Marvel character.
Few weeks before launch, you have announced a feature called the Ultimate Power, what can you tell us about this special move?
Ultimate Powers are powers that are unlocked at level 30, and are very powerful abilities that have a long cooldown on them (up to 20 minutes). Some of them are devastating attacks, some are very powerful buffs or debuffs. They’re a lot of fun and are usable both in the normal game, PvP and endgame too, but you need to be careful because of their cooldown.
Will there be extra chapters added to the game in the coming months, and will they also be free?
We can’t confirm how often we’ll be adding new content but when we do, we’re planning for new story content to be added for free.
Marvel Comics are known for some huge, iconic, events that span many comic issues (such as Secret Invasion, civil War, World War Hulk etc) do you guys have plans to incorporate some of these massive and popular events in your future story updates ?
It’s very possible! We’ve taken inspiration from a variety of classic Marvel storylines for the main game, so we may take inspiration from future storylines going forward. We’ve got a lot of great choices!
And finally, could you tell us who is your favorite character in the game so far and why ?
Everyone has their favorites and they often change – it’s really hard to choose. Everyone plays for different reasons, too – some like to smash with the Hulk, some like the agile nature of Spider-Man or the crowd-control abilities of Scarlet Witch. We’re trying to make them all great!