The producers of the upcoming MMOG Marvel Heroes, Gazillion Entertainment, were at C2E2 Comic Convention this past weekend and had a panel to discuss the game. Take a look below, they also mention what the final Incredible Hulk skin will be based on the poll results.
Delving further, Reid described the gameplay as the classic Diablo-style click-fest but instead of a handful of character classes there are over a dozen, as each gamer plays as a Marvel Hero, guaranteeing that that there will be no knock off characters running around because there is no character creator. As to the answer to what happens when a bunch of Wolverines appear on the screen at once, Gazillion is confident that the proper response would be ‘so what?’ you can go ahead and form a team (guild) that’s all the same character or diversify it a little and have them all wear different costumes.
Most of the action in the game will take place in massive, randomized zones where supervillain threats will occur that no one hero can take on alone, while the rest of the game will take place in smaller instances where prepared teams fight though enemies balanced to their number.
Matt Group added that Marvel is a story driven universe and so is Marvel Heroes. The game features an original story written by Brian Michael Bendis and Gazillion has been given the ‘inside track’ on the larger plans that Marvel has for it’s universe and characters, giving the example that they were in the loop about Rocket Raccoon’s “comeback” years before the Guardians of the Galaxy movie was announced and that they got access to the actual CG models of Iron Man’s armors that were used in the movies to create his in-game armors.
With that, Reid announced that not only will the ‘cover’ armor from the upcoming Iron Man 3 (the Mark 42) be in-game, so will some, if not all the armors so far only seen in the background of the films trailers starting with the Mark 39 Starboost armor.
Group continued and shared that the game’s story will be told via motion comics that were hand drawn by Marvel artists and played a video that showed the progress of one such comic (The Brood have taken over a S.H.I.E.L.D. outpost in The Savage Land and the heroes plan to take it back) from storyboard with placeholder voices to the finished product.
On the subject of voices, Reid ran down a quick list and showed a video describing that several veteran voices of heroes from past animated series are retuning to their roles for the game, like Steve Blum reprising Wolverine, and are being joined by Keith David as Nick Fury and Nolan North as Deadpool.
Reid then said, “what kind of Marvel product doesn’t have some cameos these days?” and Marvel Heroes is no exception. Both Stan Lee and Clark Gregg (aka Agent Phil Coulson) will be in the game.
Switching gears to talk about the how the “free-to-play or not” system will work. Free players can go though the entire game with one of the five starter characters Daredevil, Scarlet Witch, Storm, Hawkeye and Thing and hope to loot any of the other characters via gameplay. Or, players can purchase a Founders Pack that will unlock the hero/costume of their choice right away. Special emphasis was placed on the fact that outside of a very small amount of exclusives, everything in the Founders Packs will be lootable in game. Even those who buy the most expensive ‘unlock-everything’ pack will still be on the hunt for very rare chase variant costumes. Finally the result of the last Hulk costume fan poll was announced and the Hulk as War of the Four Horsemen version emerged victorious.
There will be PvP in Marvel Heroes on day one, Brevik said. Players will join one of three account based factions for combat on dedicated PvP servers. PvP will also be story-based and even though PvE leveling carries over, powers will be tweaked to fit the PvP experience. When players reach the Endgame, the experience will continue with the search for “Ultimate Power” a special attack/ability that is only leveled by looting copies of heroes you’ve already unlocked. These new powers are the key to completing the special team/open missions in the Endgame.
Before opening the floor to questions, Reid reiterated to the audience that Early Access to the game starts May 28, with launch being June 4. However, it was announced that a special Open Beta in honor of Iron Man 3 will run from May 3-5 and for that weekend only the free starter characters will instead be Black Widow, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk.
-A fan eager for May 3 asked if those special starter characters will re-lock for everyone after the weekend.
Reid admitted they will.
-The next fan asked for playable villains.
Brevik said he gets that question a lot and all he can say is that it “sounds like fun.”
-A backer of the Ragin’ Cajun asked if Gambit will be playable.
Reid said that for now, he’s just an NPC.
-Will in-game costumes keep up with changes in the comics?
Brevik was excited to reveal that they have already implemented some of the Marvel Now! costumes in-game, worked with Marvel to develop their 360 degree ‘look’ and that a Founders Pack of Marvel Now! costumes is on sale now.
-Never satisfied, the next fan asked how many character will there be in all?
Reid revealed that they have access to all 8,000+ characters in the Marvel Universe, so they will keep adding to the game.
-How many times the Ultimate Power can stack?
Unlimited for now.
-After accidentally referencing The Flash, a questioner from another universe asked if player character movement speed can be adjusted and if there is an in-game Auction House
Reid advised him to pump up that stat to get that effect, and Brevik pointedly stated that there will be no real-money auction house, though there might be one someday using in-game currency.
-Is there going to be new story added to the game someday?
Yes, just like other MMOs we can and will add more story content to the game.
-A Mac version?
Brevik, a proclaimed ‘Mac guy,’ promised that it is in development and coming soon.
-More special sales like the St. Patrick’s Day Hulk event?
-What about characters like Kaine, Beta Ray Bill or Rescue that share powers but are distinct people, will they be in-game?
With this question the panel was visibly distressed. Reid shared that this was a hotly debated subject in the office and for now it was decided that the game is really about the powers being different and outside of a special skin or dialog for the ‘original’ character they probably wouldn’t be in the game. The rule is that the costumes won’t have special powers so that every player won’t be dressed the same because they have to be to win.
-Will there be support for streaming software in the game?
The panel can’t confirm.
-Available via Steam?
Yes, it’s in discussion.
-Who are the next new characters?
The panel could only reveal that “they will be interesting”
-Age of Ultron for the endgame content, maybe?
That’s a good idea, but Ultron is not in the game for now.
-Support for gamepads?
Brevik shot this idea down, the game is just not playable that way, liking the situation to how challenging FPS games are on consoles without mouse aiming.
-How powerful do people’s PCs need to be to play the game?
Running on a modified Unreal 2 engine, Marvel Heroes should play fine on a five-year-old machine.
-Lastly, the loneliest gamer on Earth asked if he could play though the game by himself.
Reid said he could if he wanted, this was a new kind of MMO. No fetch/collection quests no impossible to beat solo bosses.
Reid and Olebe thanked people for coming out and invited them to take one or all of the tryptic of posters drawn by J Scott Campbell to celebrate the launch of the game.