[UPDATE 1/7/2014: I've edited a few points below, and just wanted to say that the 12/20/2013 patch (patch 2.1) was overall very successful at bringing up the performance of some lesser performing heroes and greatly increasing parity of TTK (time to kill) and TTL (time to live). Ghost Rider is out and quite popular, Nightcrawler is coming late January, and it's been confirmed that Moon Knight is coming after him in late February. Anyone who is curious about the hero roster can check out this very useful thread: https://forums.marvelheroes.com/discussion/40649/hero-information-guide-release-dates-pricing-design-reviews-etc/p1 ]
Hey guys, with the recent mentions of Marvel Heroes on the bombcast I figured I'd throw up a thread here for people who are looking for information. I've been playing it since beta, and have spent more time on the boards than is good for me.
I'd be more than happy to try and help with any questions, either in-game or meta-game.
A patch is coming on 12/20/2013 that includes Ghost Rider and a large scale rebalancing of hero DPS. This is intended to bring the less powerful characters up to the level of the best ones, and as such things are sort of in flux at the moment. This following information should still be useful however [EDIT 1/7/2014:This was pretty successful. According to Gazillion all heroes now can have TTKs and TTLs within 20% of each other. The community seems to more or less agree, and while some heroes are still better or worse the gap isn't anywhere near as severe as before. It's far more likely that you will enjoy playing your favorite hero]:
A Quick and dirty guide for a newcomer (and older players who want to reroll):
Starting Marvel Heroes you will be able to chose one free hero. Heroes after that can be purchased with real money or earned through an in-game currency called Eternity Splinters. Heroes no longer drop randomly as hero tokens.
Here's a list of the starter heroes:
200 Eternity Splinter / 450G ($4.50) Heroes:
400 Eternity Splinter / 900G ($9.00) Heroes:
You will choose one of those heroes to start with for free. If you choose one of the three 200ES heroes you will receive 100 eternity splinters for completing the game prologue and 100 splinters for completing the 8th chapter. If you choose a 400 ES hero you will not receive these bonus splinters.[EDIT 1/7/2013:There are a lot of reports from people that they have received bonus splinters from one or both of the missions where a 200 ES hero would have gotten their rewards. This is not working as intended, but if you are very close in your mind between a certain 400 ES hero and the bonus splinters you might want to roll the dice, go with the 400 and hope you get lucky with some illicit bonuses.]
The easiest way to chose a starter is to simply look and see if there's any characters you really like. If there's one you like best, chose it. It's simple.
If there's a hero your really like in the game but they aren't a free hero, then taking a 200 ES hero to get a head start on saving splinters for your specific desired hero isn't a bad choice. Of the 200 ES heroes Storm is a very strong ranged aoe caster option, and what I personally think is the most newbie friendly [EDIT 1/7/2014: Storm also the best kill times of any hero currently. Just a monster. I wouldn't count on that lasting forever, but she still is a fantastic choice of a starter]. Black Widow and Hawkeye are both in sub optimal places right now, but Hawkeye is getting his major rework in January (along with a Kate Bishop costume if that is something that interests you) which basically mean's he'll be getting pulled to the top level, and the recent DPS changes will help both he and BW when they go live.
If you are interested in starting with the 400 ES heroes I would caution against Black Panther and Captain America. Captain America is in a sorry state currently, although his review is coming in January along with the new Winter Soldier movie and he'll be getting large upgrades. Black Panther is a very interesting and capable hero, but he's fairly atypical and might not be the easiest to start with. He is capable of being incredibly powerful however.
Punisher and Torch sound like they will be two of the highest damage ranged characters after the 12/20 patch. Punisher is a bit slower and more defensive, Torch is faster and spits out aoe fire all over the place. Colossus and Luke Cage are both tanky melee damage dealers who have recently had their reviews and are very powerful. Cage has "pets" (technically they are the Heroes For Hire, but c'mon they are pets) that he uses to help support him in combat, and Colossus is highly durable and can deal a ton of damage. They are also two of the most powerful characters in PvP at the moment if that sort of thing interests you.
Splinters tend to drop between once every 6 and once every 8 minutes, depending on some factors. In general if you are focused on getting splinter drops you should be able to manage 10 an hour. You can then purchase heroes at a price level of 200 ES, 400 ES, or 600 ES (1350G, $13.50).
A strong option for new players however is to purchase a random hero box for 175 splinters. This box has an exactly even chance of containing ANY hero in the game, regardless of if you own them or their price tier. You are as likely to get a Storm token as an Iron Man token. If you get the token of a hero you already have you can use it to upgrade your character's Ultimate ability, a long cooldown incredibly powerful power.
What this means is the less heroes you own the more advantageous using the random box is. If there is a specific hero you have to have and you don't want to spend money, save the splinters. If there are heroes you hate so much you'd be furious if you get them, don't buy random. Otherwise it's a good way to beef up your roster early on.
As I said, any questions feel free to ask. The game has improved leaps and bounds, and the developers are incredibly accessible and involved with the community. Gazillion has sometimes rushed content too quickly and that's lead to some bugs/balance issues, but if they are guilty of something it's wanting to over deliver, which erring on the side of the playerbase's interest usually.
Message me or respond to this thread if I can help out in any way!