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!