What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 18th, 2017
Studio: Gazillion Entertainment
Launch Date: June 4, 2013
Genre: Superhero MMOARPG
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
What: Marvel Heroes
Now, however, the game does exist, and it’s got Venom all over it again. You can check the lethal protector out in the brief trailer down below (yes, that was also an actual thing), which is good news for anyone who wants to play Evil Spider-man But Not So Evil He Can’t Be A Good Guy. We later got an even evil-er Spider-man. Comic books.
That sounded pretty good until those last four words, which ended up casting a shadow of weird doubt over this whole exercise. Why only for a limited time? Is this a high-pressure tactic to drive up sales? Is Marvel Heroes going to start rotating its store roster? Word is that Venom will only be available for two weeks, then will take off to parts unknown until returning later this year.
One developer makes this sound like a preview of sorts: “Venom won’t be available for eternity splinters during this limited time sale, no. He will be later after his formal release, which currently is planned towards the end of the year.”
Names and titles fascinate me. While sometimes they have no deeper meaning than to sound pleasant and be memorable, a label can indicate purpose, history, and connection. MMORPG names are, of course, as varied as the stars in the sky, with many of them slapping “online” or “age of” somewhere in there to designate their category. But every so often, we witness a game that changes its name as part of its development and business evolution.
Today I wanted to run down 10 MMOs (well, nine MMOs and one expansion) that received notable name changes over the years. I’m not going to talk about games that created a weird rebrand for a business model shift but mostly stuck with the original title afterward (such as DDO Unlimited or WildStar Reloaded), but instead games that had vastly different names than what they ended up using.
One of the reasons I gravitated to and stick by the MMORPG genre in spite of its many ups and downs (oh, so many downs) over the last two decades is the fact that I can play more or less exactly the character I want to play, which is usually female characters. Other genres, even RPGs, have been relatively slow to catch up to what we’ve had here in MMO land right from the start. The idea of a serious MMORPG launching without female toons of some sort is almost unheard of.
I bring this up because of Quantic Foundry’s latest blog post, which delves its Gamer Motivation Profile for data on how gamers feel about being able to play female protagonists. Unsurprisingly, three-quarters of female gamers and a third of male gamers, irrespective of age, consider that option very or extremely important!
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our mixed-gender staff three questions: what they think about Quantic’s findings, whether they stick to the gender they personally identify as when rolling toons in MMOs, and whether the lack of gender options — or in MMOs’ case, things like gender-locked classes — drive them as nuts as they drive me.
Basically, Omega Prestige is a way to round out your character with visual flair and extra power once you hit the cap. Once you either buy or grind your way into its embrace, the system gives your character an optional glowing aura, two new traits, a faster cooldown for a hero’s ultimate power, better hero synergy bonuses, and a special legendary item.
The system will only initially debut for Spider-Man, although there are “many more” heroes slated for this upgrade in the future. PC players? Well, you’re at the back of the line for this. The PC version of Marvel Heroes won’t be getting this prestige system until after the Omega patch comes to the console game, whenever that may be.
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree shovel through the mountain of Gamescom reveals, including a trip to World of Warcraft’s Argus and Star Citizen’s elaborate Alpha 3.0 tease. The duo also mourn the premature demise of SkySaga, a promising-looking MMO that got a raw deal from its publisher.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
“The new event finds players facing off against members of The Hand for a variety of limited-time rewards. Today’s update also introduces Elektra as a new playable hero. […] To celebrate, Gazillion will also introduce the new Hell’s Kitchen Loot Box, featuring new console costumes for Elektra, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Punisher.”
Gazillion further says that the Omega prestige system is on the way consoles too, starting with Spidey. “Omega Prestige marks the culmination of a hero’s journey and extends the leveling process considerably,” the studio explains. “The first hero eligible for Omega Prestige will be Spider-Man with plans to make more heroes available for Omega Prestige in future updates. Achieving Omega Prestige with Spider-Man — and other characters down the road — unlocks some of the most powerful and visually stunning benefits currently available in Marvel Heroes Omega. Expect more details on the Omega Prestige system and how it works on our official website soon.”
We’re not going to argue that MMORPGs are the dominant form of media entertainment these days, but they do have endurance and a devoted following among gamers. And whenever a crowd of players have been paying into a game for a long time, it will attract the attention and interest of marketers who start wondering what else they could do to siphon off a few more bucks.
Enter “transmedia synergy,” a stupidly awesome term that represents links between two or more forms of media that are connected through the same IP. The thinking here is that fans of one of these forms of entertainment will cross over into the related media and vice-versa, growing an audience together.
Today we’re going to look at 10 experiments in transmedia synergy, for better or for worse, that have attempted to cross over from MMORPG to something else entirely. To make things more challenging, we’re not going to include novels, since we’ve already done that.
The highlight of that update isn’t eclipse glasses, although perhaps it should be: It’s actually the subclassing system that we’ve been stoked about for months. It’s probably going to remind you more of Marvel Heroes than of Guild Wars, as each of the existing classes, when taken as a subclass on a character, will provide a specific passive bonus — but it’s based on your power level in that other class. So since my mains are a Tomb Raiser and Candy Barb, I could take Candy Barb as the subclass on my Tomb Raiser for this bonus:
“Provides extra Stability and has a chance to drop candy when damaging an enemy. The candy increases attack and either movement speed or healing.”
Which I will do because candy. But the exciting bit is that it provides people a reason to play multiple classes and benefits those with a deep bench on their account. Check out the whole list of bonuses on the official site — spot any obvious synergies?
What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, August 7th, 2017
So this is undoubtedly the hope of Marvel Heroes, which is attempting to convince Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players to drop some cash on the store in exchange for “VIP account status.” Basically this means that once a player buys something, anything, he or she will unlock Nightcrawler as a hero and receive several permanent benefits such as 5% bonus XP, 5% bonus credits, 10 extra stash slots, a free lockbox, and five eternity splinters every day.
Get the full scoop after the jump!
It’s with a heavy heart that we must let you know that, yes, Carnage is now available as a character in Marvel Heroes’ roster. The alien symbiote joins the cast as the game’s 63rd superhero due to his supposed reformation.
“Inverted by the events of Axis, Carnage appears to be acting heroic…kind of,” the team said. “Still prone to his violent tendencies, Carnage now fights on the side of the heroes, hacking up any bad guys who cross his path.”
Take a peek at this playable “hero” after the break!