Marvel Heroes as of 8/6/2013 and today's Bombcast

#1 Posted by DarknessMyOldFriend (252 posts) -

Well, as someone playing a ton of Marvel Heroes I wanted to touch on Jeff's check in with the game and some of the points he was making.

First just a couple comments. This game has had some really rough issues so far, but I find it a ton of fun and it has a huge amount of room to improve still. The Gazillion staff has been really transparent, communicative, and responsive. It certainly sounds like things occurred a bit beyond their control that caused them to launch earlier than they had hoped, and it sounds like most of the driving forces behind the game were putting all their attention in the game being playable that some things got past them. One of these was the pricing and rmt components. They have admitted that they regret how it went and have been steadily improving systems, dropping prices on characters and opening up an in game currency system that has taken the RNG out of obtaining a new hero. Granted, some of this has upset people who already bought heroes but unfortunately that's the price of making the game appealing to a wider swath of players. Basically this period in the game has to be looked at as an Open Beta, where things are still being ironed out but like most f2p games they are still taking money if the player wants to spend it, so, you know, caveat emptor.

The big recent patch (1.11) that brought Human Torch with it fixed a lot of problems, and brought with it a new endless patrol map where 10 players at a time can run around killing endlessly spawning random bosses and mobs to their hearts content. It's actually a ton of fun, and really nice for xp/drops. In the upcoming patch they are releasing something that was codenamed the Kobayashi Maru, which is essentially a Marvel Heroes horde mode, as the players have to face down waves of increasingly difficult enemies attacking the Xavier Mansion, with corresponding increases to experience and drops. It sounds really exciting, at least as a fan of the game.

Anyway, on to a couple of Jeff's comments:

1) "We want defense to be more defensive!"

This seems to be a reference to the upcoming defense changes. Now, Jeff is dead on in that what he played was not a difficult game. The first story playthrough is basically a breeze on any hero, with some irritations for heroes that have little to no low level aoe (Rocket Raccoon, Cable) or heroes that are just mind numbingly slow moving (Scarlet Witch). These changes will do VERY little to change that experience, and basically anything until about 30 is a total cakewalk, and still easy until 40ish. The problem was at higher levels, where damage spikes started becoming so punative that the only way to survive was to totally avoid damage at all and basically rendered any melee character impotent if they didn't have an ability to mitigate huge percentages of damage. Jeff happened to play as Captain America who has a 100% damage mitigation ability (Quick Block) that people can pump up to having a 2 second or less cooldown and is essentially unkillable, something which is being addressed. Tankier heroes such as Hulk and melee heroes such as Wolverine were basically being one shot constantly in any of the more challenging content.

2) "We want powers to be more powerful!"

So another huge issue with the game was with DOT scaling. So just like in Diablo 3 the way they balance content when multiple characters are playing together is to essentially make it nerf player damage. Now they do it in a way to make it look like the enemies are stronger, but essentially the heroes start hitting with an inverse strength to how many players are nearby. The problem was that this scaling was not applying to damage over time abilities. This caused MASSIVE power imbalances, and players were essentially forced into DOT heavy builds if they wanted to contribute any damage in a group at all, and heroes without a DOT focus were essentially completely undesirable. The effect of this cannot be overstated. In beta when combat text was available (it is now back, but shows the pre-scaling numbers) you could see that when enough players joined in fighting an open world event boss that your attacks would eventually scale down to 1 damage. Your non-DOT attacks, that is. DOTs were untouched. The strongest single target ability in the game could be doing one damage, while a bleed would tick for 108 damage a second. This was beyond broken, was finally fixed, and now heroes can finally be properly balanced. The developers have been really open and responsive about their plan with the heroes, and they have proven to be open to make some fairly sweeping changes to get everyone to a place where they feel powerful. I really can't overstate how heartening it is to see that they care as much as they do and are as available as they are, it's the most impressive thing I've seen in any online game I've played and that number is not insignificant.

I'm sure I have more to say but I'm even more sure that I've typed more than enough. If anyone is still interested in the game and has any comments or questions that I could help them with let me know. I may not know the answer but I can probably point you to the thing that does.

TLDR: I'm still really enjoying this game.

#2 Posted by DarknessMyOldFriend (252 posts) -

OH YEAH, the patch snafu. I'm pretty sure it was a 5 gig download, then a 5 gig download, then a 10 gig download to undo the prior patches. Total shit show.

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