Marvel Heroes 2015 Q&A with David Brevik
Today marks the one year anniversary for Marvel Heroes, and Gazillion is pulling out all the stops to celebrate. The game has improved by leaps and bounds throughout the past year, and we've recently been given a rundown of what we can expect in the future with Marvel Heroes 2015.
Amidst all the fanfare, CEO of Gazillion and action RPG wizard supreme David Brevik was awesome enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions on what the future holds for Marvel Heroes fans.
First, we just wanted to say congrats on a successful first year of Marvel Heroes. We know you have some big plans for the next year – could you give our readers some examples of what you have in store with Marvel Heroes 2015?
Thank you so much! It’s been an incredible year. I suppose it started with tribulation, quickly moved into trials, and has now segued rather nicely into triumph... I can’t complain!
We do have big plans for Marvel Heroes 2015, yes. Imminently, we have raids that culminate with our epic boss battle against Surtur, the thousand-foot ruler of fire demons. We also have the Omega System (alternate advancement up to and beyond the level cap), Mac, Daily Shared Quests, and many other features today. Also this month, we will have playable Silver Surfer, Mr. Fantastic, achievements, and other fun activities. Further into the future we have just as much incredible and fun content and additions as we have had in the past year.
I think this is a good and fair way of looking at it: We made some dramatic improvements between Marvel Heroes and Marvel Heroes 2015. Expect an even bigger leap between 2015 and 2016. That’s our commitment and part of why we’re putting forth the Marvel Heroes 2015 launch.
This team did more in 365 days than most yearly releases on earth. And we’re going to do it again.
Team-Ups have been a pretty popular addition to the game so far (one of my recent favorites, in fact). Are there any plans to expand that roster or system that you can share with us?
Glad you like them! I’m happy with Team-Ups, too.
Absolutely, we’ll be adding more Team-Ups (some GotG favorites, for example) and we’ll be improving that system and also adding higher tiers of loot for Team-Up heroes.
Short-term, we’re working on Beta Ray Bill, Rocket, Drax, Gamora, and… those were probably all spoilers, weren’t they?
We’re also discussing and planning system improvements and expansion. Think about how Team-Ups progress, how we can improve their item game, etc.
I don’t believe in “ship it and quit it.” We put a feature out there after working with our community on it and we’ll continue to iterate until it’s top-notch.
I’m also a massive fan of alternate advancement systems. How will an AA system factor into the Marvel Heroes experience? Will it kick in at max level, or will it stay true to the “alternate” moniker and allow players to refine their heroes in different ways from an earlier point along that path?
The Omega System is always active, but is designed to further enhance our heroes at level 60 and greatly improve our end-game and diversity of builds (especially when taken alongside raids and our item game).
Right now, players accumulate Omega-XP no matter which hero they are playing or what level they are. As you gain Omega-XP, you will complete Omega-Points, which are account-wide and become spendable when a hero hits level 30. That’s when players can alternately advance their character and continue that advancement even when their hero hits 60.
A quick example of spending: If I have accumulated 1,000 Omega Points across my account (remember that regardless of whom you play, the Omega system is accumulating), I can spend those 1,000 points on my Rocket Raccoon. I then can spend those 1,000 in a different way with my Iron Man or Spider-man. Any and every other hero I have over 30.
In this way, you can play as many or as few heroes as you like and what you do with one is applicable to all. We like doing things like this -- similar to our Synergy system.
The in-game reception of new heroes as they come into play is always interesting to experience, as with the recent addition on Psylocke. Have you had any favorite Marvel characters come into play this past year, or that you’re really looking forward to adding to the game moving forward?
You know, it might be that I’m just as susceptible to Marvel’s awesome trailers and marketing as everyone else, but I truly enjoy playing Rocket. I have personally prestiged the character several times and I have all his uniques, blessings, legendary item and runeword item.
I’m most looking forward to Star-Lord. I love GotG, as you can tell. I’m also looking forward to Venom. He’s a fan favorite and an easy answer. There are so many fun possibilities with the character and we have a few great surprises in store.
In a perfect MMO world, we’d see new classes added to titles with a much higher frequency than the traditional one-per-expansion-if-you’re-lucky model. With Marvel Heroes you’ve clearly embraced that concept. Do you anticipate that the MMO industry will continue to shift in that direction?
It reads like bravado when I look at it, but I’m not sure there are many other teams that can output what we are. If there were, we’d already be seeing it, right? So, I don’t think our philosophy to expansion will be embraced by the rest of MMO publishers, no. I’m not sure many others are capable of it. It’s incredibly difficult, requires a super tight pipeline, die hard developers, and always-on community interaction.
Just looking at the numbers. We started with something like 20 heroes and we now have 34 and each is the equivalent of a class and comes with an item game and full skill tree. We have also reviewed and redesigned 11 of those starting 21 heroes and updated them with new powers (the other remaining ten are in-progress). We also added about a hundred new costumes, Team-Ups, four modes, PVP, raids, six new key gameplay systems (Synergy, Omega, etc.), eight new types of loot, prestige, Runes and Runewords, and even new story with Asgard and Wakanda.
Lots of iteration and refinement has gone into Marvel Heroes throughout the past year. Are there any areas of the game you’ve felt have most benefitted from that constant drive to improve the experience for players?
I feel the biggest benefit has been to the heroes themselves. They play better, are more fun, have more depth, have new fun activities to participate in and more ways to personalize the hero to your own style.
Now with the release of the new Omega system, players will have even more options when building and customizing their heroes. There are many new powers and abilities that each hero can take, allowing you to create your ideal version of your favorite heroes.
Then looking ahead, what are you most excited about heading into the second year for Marvel Heroes?
There are so many things we plan on doing this next year, it makes my head spin. I won’t give too much away, but I’m looking forward to a new zone not dissimilar from Midtown, login rewards, the Bronx Zoo, Guardians of the Galaxy tie-ins and then some Secret Invasion stuff we’ve only just started teasing at C2E2. Of course, later this year, there’s also playable Magneto, Juggernaut, Venom, and even more characters.
You know, I don’t think that actually scratches the surface of what we have planned. It’s going to be a great year!