Marvel Heroes interview on PC vs console, new characters, and whether PvP is dead

    
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A few weeks ago as pre-launch hype for Marvel Heroes Omega on console was reaching its zenith, we reached out to Gazillion with questions about the PC version of the game that so many of our writers and readers have played for the last few years. The PC community has seemed torn between wanting to support the game as it expands (figuring that a rising tide lifts all boats) and wanting more communication and content for the existing version of the game (because feeling like the red-headed stepchild is no fun). So we spoke to Creative Director Jesse “Orren” Decker to get those concerns and questions aired. Read on!

Massively OP: The PC rollout plans for 2017 made my heart sink because it seemed clear to me (and people on the forums, apparently) that PC is on the backburner for the rest of the year. Are we wrong in thinking that?

Jesse Decker, Marvel Heroes Creative Director: There are three new pieces of substantive gameplay content on the schedule and two characters that play quite differently from our current roster. On top of that, there’s the massive Omega update that will add another difficulty tier, new itemization, and some enemy improvements. We think that’s pretty ambitious for a six-month time period!

You have previously said that supporting three platforms [PC, Xbox One, and PS4] is “efficient,” but that’s supporting, after launch, not grinding up. Assuming that’s accurate, can we take that to mean PC development will come roaring back in 2018 when developer resources aren’t as tied up in the console launch? Will console profits be poured back into the original PC game?

The second half of 2017 will also feel a lot of this benefit. As soon as the Omega update comes to PC, development for the two games will be only a very small percentage slower than either one would be on its own with one notable exception: The games obviously have different user interfaces. So there’s some thinking to do on streamlining UI production before we’ll be where we want to be in terms of efficiency.

And yes, although it’s been a controversial period to be sure, we have always believed that the console project will also benefit the PC game.

Gaz recently told forumgoers that “there are no plans to work the existing PvP mode” because the design isn’t “salvageable.” Could you clarify — does that mean PvP isn’t being worked on or will never be worked on in a design that does better fit the game? Is PvP dead?

We’re not going to work on that version of PvP ever again, and aim to remove it completely sometime this year. Right now, competitive solo and group PvE modes are a higher priority for us for the foreseeable future. Looking ahead, we’d love to build a better PvP experience, but expanding and enhancing the PvE ladders and tournaments is something we think will better serve more players.

What’s the impact of the new Marvel Games studio on Gazillion and Marvel Heroes?

Marvel has been a solid partner throughout the relationship and has been exceptionally supportive over the last year and a half. Marvel Heroes 2016 and Marvel Heroes Omega on console wouldn’t have been possible without their continued support and encouragement. We couldn’t be happier working with them.

Only two new characters this year? We used to get so many we couldn’t keep up.

It was very important to us to keep the second half roadmap for 2017 realistic. Players have been asking for playable content for many months, and we wanted to include as much of that as possible. In the past, the priority often skewed more towards playable heroes. That said, two is very light and the long-term pace we want to set is closer to six to eight per year; obviously, that’s a mid-point between the peak character release velocity of the past and the plan for the next six months.

Also, since we did keep that schedule very realistic, there’s a chance that we’ll be able to sneak in a surprise release this year.

What would you tell PC players who feel as if they’re in limbo when it comes to gearing until Omega bits and bobs are patched back to them this summer?

Spider-Man content is coming! And so is Carnage!

What leftover BUE [biggest update ever] cleanup is Gaz still planning?

As part of the Omega update we’ll get Omega quality items and foes. That update also has enemy improvements although as I’ve stated elsewhere, improvements to existing enemies will be a steady effort for years to come.

Thanks for your time, Orren!

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Suikoden

Thanks for the interview Bree. I feel good about the future of the game on PC. I agree that a rising tide lifts all ships, and I don’t mind getting getting content a little slower as long as I get it. I’ll continue to support the PC side and I welcome all the new console players to the game. I wish those ports the best of luck.

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Estranged

Omega is really fun on my PS4. Feels natural. I recommend.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Basically they want to make all the editions the same version in time right? And then the updates will roll across all platforms? I mean we all could see that the horrible BUE was skewing the game to be more friendly towards fitting with console controls, so the merge will almost surely eventually happen in time.

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Armsbend

Are they keeping the name Marvel Heroes 2016? I guess they are happy with the reviews so they will keep the name forever. Funny company that Gazillion.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

steam reviews don’t work that way anymore so it doesn’t even matter. but good point.

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Kelechuckuw K.c.W

the name was changed to omega for pc’s and mac as well . it was in the earlier article’s on both massively and MMo RPG.com. when it was announed as omega.

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Greaterdivinity

I mean, it went about as well as Gazillion could have expected given the state of things.

Seems like they’re leaning heavily on “OMEGA UPDATE WILL FIX IT!” for everything right now, which isn’t terribly promising. At least not after the last major update to the game saw a, let’s say less than stellar reception from the PC playerbase.

Oh well, I’ve sidelined this game more or less permanently so it’s not skin off my back, but hopefully they’ll deliver for their PC audience that’s stuck with them for so many years and through some rough spots.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

miracle patch syndrome

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NeoWolf

All good news..but

Playable Carnage still makes ZERO sense not just because unlike the other villains in the game so far they have had periods as good and redeemed characters where as good ol’ Cletus has always been a sociopathic serial killed in the Main MCU timeline with zero exceptions and thus makes zero sense ina HEROES game and storyline.

And that isn’t even wieghing in on just how many ACTUAL heroes people are still clamoring for who have yet to see light of day in the game who ARE entirely relevant.

If we are having out and out villains they need their own perspective storyline otherwise the story content is meaningless.

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Greaterdivinity

Yeah, Carnage seems…like an odd choice for players, to say the least. I get that he’s going to be in the upcoming Venom movie and all, which is too good of a cross-promotional marketing opportunity to pass up, but it just makes no bloody sense from a character perspective or within the context of the game.

This is why I try not to pay attention to story/lore in online games, it’s usually such contradictory trash as a result of the needs of actual game development and business.

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NeoWolf

Sadly, I agree the cross promotional opportunity is almost certainly the only reason he’s being added, which is sad as it means they really don’t care whether a character is relevant to their content or not :(

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

MH is one of the few games where the lore far more interesting than the gameplay itself.

i don’t really see people playuing this game without caring about xmen or the avenegers orw/e

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

cletus actually had a compelling run as a good guy in AXIS but ya, never really a good guy

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NeoWolf

Unlike Doom, Magneto, Venom and even Loki who have “chosen” to redeem and be good at times and thus can be applied to a hero storyline within that context others like Ultron and Carnage cannot neither have “chosen” to be good or seek redemption the only “good” instances of them are due to gimmicks or alternate timeline stories, literal one offs.

The AXIS story for example Carnage was under a reversion effect, which made him the literal opposite of what he normally was, it was a story mcguffin. Once the effect was gone same old normal sociopathic serial killer Cletus.

Somehow I don’t think they’ll be introducing playable Carnage as “Enhanced Reversion Effect Carnage” lol But for the record if they did I would be okay with it heh

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

ye good point. carnage is one of the very few straight up evil characters in marvel.

Justin Olivetti
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Justin Olivetti

Asked about Marvel Games Studio.

Avoids answering anything remotely near Marvel Games Studio.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

at some point i’m going to redownload and just delete all the bullshit items in my inventory and try again.

maybe. >>

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Melissa McDonald

I feel a rush of hope, a smile on my face, and a nod of approval that we’re even asking “is PvP dead”. It’s been forced on players for far too long.

Bring back consensual dueling. Nobody has a problem with that!

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i think you might be confused what kind of pvp this game offers at all with a statement like this.

there was nothing but consensual pvp being offered in the first place.

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NeoWolf

I don’t know I kind of agree with Melissa. Far too often PVP is little more than a tag on for a predominatly PVE game and experience that caters for a tiny amount of interest and yet is invariably responsible for sweeping changes to the game at large.

It IS refreshing to see a company say “look our PVP isn’t working so rather than sticking a bandaid on a gaping hole were just removing it. Maybe we’ll make something relevant later, maybe we won’t”. A lot of predominantly PVE games would benefit from that line of thought.

If a game is to have PVP it needs to be relevant, pointful and wanted. If it isn’t one or more of those things then it probably shouldn’t be there.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

the sme could be same for raid balance tho which often even tinier than pvp player population.

idd it’s good to see a company say our game isn’t this so we won’t try it anymore instead of banging there heads on it/ but i don’t feel that as much a pvp thing.

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NeoWolf

I would apply my exact statement to Raid content too. If it isn’ relevant, if it isn’t pointful, if it isn’t wanted..get rid. Why waste developmental time and money on something that is barely utilised by a niche group of people if at all. Fortunately Marvel has a pretty active Raid community unlike most MMOs these days.

I’m all for choice but the content needs to work if it isn’t working then it is a huge leap of faith to keep tweaking it in the hopes of fixing it without even considering the damage broken content does to community trust and hoping the fix will turn it all around, which time and again we see fail.

For Marvel Heroes Online if anything I think they are in a great position should they choose to re-address a PVP content for their game now because now they know absolutely what people don’t want or like and can ask them directly what they do.

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Dug From The Earth

My son is a huge console gamer. I often have to fight him to just play a game on PC. He was really looking forward to Omega on his PS4.

This weekend he sent me a message saying,

“Tried the Marvel Heroes Omega beta finally on PS4…. really blah.”
followed by

“I mean… really really blah”

He is usually pretty open minded about games that are only sub par too. I have a feeling that Gaz is really after just a quick buck here, and are kinda turning their back on existing customers to get that quick buck.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

that would seem odd to me given these guys’ treatment of players thusfar. if anything they tend to be overly generous to customers with giving away cash shop stuff to the point you reminded me to tip bree with my oddball tdg question about is it a bad thing to be too generous