I am sure everyone around the world with access to the internet has knowledge about the Marvel brand, if not its iconic characters such as Spiderman, Iron Man and Hulk just to name a few. They are all over the media channels, from movies to TV cartoons and even S.H.I.E.L.D recently got its own drama series.
In the gaming world, however, the Marvel brand hasn’t actually been stellar in terms of hit titles. This was until Marvel Heroes arrived, headed by David Brevik, visionary of the original Diablo. In this interview, we are going to look at the latest Asgard patch (version 2.0) and talk about some other burning questions I have.
Q: Hello there, this is Robert here from MMOGames.com. Please introduce yourself and your company to our readers.
A: Hi there! I’m Ryan Collins and I’m the Community Manager for Marvel Heroes.
Q: Marvel Heroes launched in June, just a few months ago. How have things been in general since then?
A: Things have been crazy – insanely busy. As you’ve probably seen we move incredibly fast at Gazillion and since June we’ve launched five heroes, new story content, PvP, various new types of items, and a ton of new systems/improvements.
Q: Version 2.0, with the new Asgard content, launched just days ago. Why is there a need to name it “2.0”? Will this numerical system appear for future updates as well?
A: We decided to name this update 2.0 because it’s the start of a new story, with new systems (PvP, etc.) and new content. The game has changed so much since launch that we felt the only thing that made sense was calling it 2.0.
Future patches will continue being 2.1, 2.2 and so on, and maybe next time we do a major content release we’ll move on to 3.0.
Q: Is there a particular storyline which leads players to discover this new area? Can you briefly describe the scenario to us?
A: The new content begins in Norway, where a S.H.I.E.L.D. outpost run by Dum Dum Dugan is under attack by the Frost Giants of Jotunheim as well as the Dark Elves of Svartlheim, both of which are coming through mysterious portals. Our heroes are sent to investigate these attacks and help Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four) discover who or what is sending these enemies through.
Q: How many new maps were added in this patch? Are there any specific differences in terms of landscape and monsters between them?
A: This release is just the start of our Asgard content and contains the snowy cliffs of Norway and the city of Asgard. Both of these locations feature brand new art, new enemies (Frost Giants & Dark Elves), and in the case of Asgard, a new boss.
Q: Is this patch a one-time thing? Or will there be more content related to Asgard being added over the next few months?
A: We have plans to roll out much more Asgard content over the next few months, this is just the beginning of that story.
Q: Just from reading the names, I think I can get a good sense of what the raid and PvP zones are about (feel free to correct me). But what is this “Siege challenge”?
A: We haven’t quite revealed the nature of the upcoming Siege, but we’ll be sharing details on that very soon.
Q: Loki is the latest character to come with the Asgard patch. How is he different from the other heroes thus far?
A: Loki brings a lot of new mechanics to the table. Loki uses his sorcery to summon illusions of himself that can be used to fool enemies into attacking them in both PvE and PVP alike. In addition to his illusions, Loki also features powerful ice spells (stemming from his Frost Giant heritage) and other awesome sorcery powers. In addition to his sorcery, Loki also taps into his Frost Giant heritage a bit with his Ultimate Power, which allows him to transform into a full-sized Frost Giant to wreak havoc on his enemies.
Q: Is Loki difficult to master for new players? Any “developer-exclusive” tips you can give to the readers?
A: He’s one of the most complicated heroes released so far, definitely. My main tip to any player trying out Loki for the first time is not to be afraid to experiment. The powers in his trees seem exclusive to the tree at first, but there’s a LOT of fun to be had with hybrid Loki builds. His debuffs in the sorcery tree and slows from the frost tree offer a lot of options, especially when combined with his powerful illusions.
Q: Is Odin in the Asgard patch as well? If yes, what role does he play? If not, will we get to see him as a future playable character?
A: Odin will come into play during the storyline, but he will not be playable. Not saying never.
Q: Thor: The Dark World, is currently airing around the world, I will really like to ask if Malekith will be making an appearance. Or perhaps any mention of him, his homeland or even the Aether.
A: Yes he will! As for the rest… you’ll have to wait and see.
Q: What are some of the other major changes added to this patch?
A: In addition to playable Loki and Asgard content, we also released a new item type, Legendary Items which can be purchased with Odin Marks (themselves earned by completing Legendary Quests) and a brand new game mode, Fire & Ice PvP. Fire & Ice PvP is currently in open beta, but allows two teams of five heroes to do battle and assault an enemy base with their own person army of fire or ice golems.
We also expanded the list of heroes a new player can choose from to nine (up from five).
Q: Since the game has launched for a few months now, are new players at a severe disadvantage if they were to join at this point of time?
A: Players who have been around for a while have the benefit of likely having multiple high level heroes (which gives bonuses via our Hero Synergy System) or lots of credits, but we’re also focusing on making the new player experience incredibly strong. I just saw someone on the forums who started last week and already has three heroes, with one of them already making it to level 60.
A: Yes, Marvel movies put characters and stories we’d like to use at the front of people’s minds, so by putting at content at relatively the same time, it helps us to ride the wave of excitement around the films.
Q: With several Marvel movies slated to launch next year, will Gazillion be launching new content within the same launch timeframes as well?
A: You bet we will.
Q: Just curious, how does the working relationship with Marvel works in terms of communications? For example, are there weekly web meetings? Will Stan Lee be needed to vet some of the content?
A: We do have weekly calls with them of course, but most of our communication is on a piece by piece basis. When we finish a model, a design, or a costume, we send it to the relevant people at Marvel for review or revision notes. Marvel has a team of people whose job is to work with licensees like us on creating content and ensuring it fits in with the Marvel Universe. No Stan Lee, but they have a wonderful team over there.
Q: How about perks working in tandem with Marvel? Are there visits to movie sets, meeting with the actors or even early movie screenings?
A: We get lots of spoilers, mostly. That can actually be a tough situation – do you want to go to the meeting where they’ll spoil your most anticipated film? The answer is of course yes – very yes.
Q: From what I have been reading, gamers are still lamenting the fact they are not able to create their own custom hero. Anything you will like to say and get them to try out Marvel Heroes?
A: I would say that while it’s understandable to be able to want to create your hero, there’s a lot of exciting fun to be had playing as and customizing the abilities of the Marvel hero of your choice. With 20-25 powers per hero and tons of item affixes and types, there’s still a lot of customization to ensure your Punisher may not play anything like my Punisher. If you’re a fan of Marvel or action RPGs at all, there’s no reason to not try Marvel Heroes – it’s free to play, has tons of great heroes and loot, and will keep you busy for a long, long time.
Q: This is the end of our interview. Many thanks for the time!
A: Thanks so much! It was a blast! Visit www.marvelheroes.com to sign up and try out the game for free!Related: Article, Interview, Marvel, MMO