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Marvel Heroes

A Mild-Mannered Reporter: Superhero games across November

Super-hero, Patches, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Champions Online, A Mild-Mannered Reporter, Promotions, Infinite Crisis

You impress me, you get a masthead.
After a couple of very active months, November was a bit calmer for superheroic games as a whole. It makes sense, of course, since pretty much every game is calmer during November and December aside from sales and holiday events. But there were few big Kickstarter campaigns, a lot of updates that everyone knew were coming, and of course a very poignant anniversary for pretty much everyone reading this column today.

That having been said, the entire month was not a slow funeral dirge for the loss of City of Heroes. In fact, one game apparently decided that the otherwise quiet month was a great time to make some big changes right off the bat, so that's pretty cool. Venture on past the cut with me and we'll take a look at the superhero news from November in review... and possibly bow our heads briefly in respect for the departed.

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Gambit comes to Marvel Heroes

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Classes, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

Gambit in Marvel Heroes
Gambit is one of those superhero concepts I wish I'd come up with. He's got it all, from the Cajun accent to the kick-ass name to the card-shark skills and kinetic badassery that's made him an X-Men favorite since his first appearance in 1990.

Gazillion no doubt sees his appeal, too, and the company has finally added him to its Marvel Heroes title. The firm has also released a Gambit-focused trailer, which you can view after the cut.

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Marvel Heroes now has PvP

Super-hero, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, MOBA, MMORPG

Marvel Heroes
Gazillion Entertainment has announced that Marvel Heroes' PvP mode, titled Fire and Ice, is now live for all players. Fire and Ice pits two teams of five (where have we heard this one before) in a battle that requires the guarding/attacking of giants as well as the assaulting of the enemy team's base.

Defeating giants and other players rewards runestones that can then be traded for buffs and other utilities. If you're curious about Fire and Ice, check out last week's dev-hosted livestream of the new game mode on the official Marvel Heroes Twitch channel.

Marvel Heroes brings Asgard in with update 2.0

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

This isn't really part of the original myths, but it's keeping in the same spirit.
One constant to the Marvel universe is that no matter how big your last enemy might be, there's always someone waiting in the wings to make things even worse. Sure, the players of Marvel Heroes have defeated Victor Von Doom and shut down his nefarious plans... but someone was waiting to take all of his power just offscreen, someone with just as much of a chip on his shoulder. Now it's Loki's time to shine.

Yes, the next major installment for Marvel Heroes is here now, and it's focusing on all of the Norse goodies you would imagine. That means new items, new enemies, new areas, and the Trickster himself as a playable character. You can log in right now to start adventuring across the Bifrost Bridge into Asgard proper, but if you're at work or something similar, you can ease the wait by taking a look at the new trailer past the break.

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Diving back into Marvel Heroes

Super-hero, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Previews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Comics, Marvel Heroes, Hands-On, Casual, Humor, First Impressions

Marvel Heroes screenshot
When I first heard that Marvel Heroes, by Gazillion Entertainment, was not going to allow players to make unique, customizable heroes to fight alongside classic Marvel characters, I felt the same as many of our readers did. I was shocked, hurt, and then angry. What on Earth would inspire a developer to skip not only one of the most important aspects of an MMO -- character customization -- but skip it in an IP that is begging for character customization? Instead of checking the game out, I walked away and played other titles.

But I've given it a chance over the last few weeks and had a discussion with Jeff Donais from Gazillion, and now I realize that the developers were never attempting to make an open-world sandbox with infinitely customizable characters. Instead they have made a linear story-based romp with tons of loot, plenty of explosions, and more classic Marvel characters than you can shake an adamantium claw at. Getting over preconceptions and imagining a dungeon-crawler that is set in the Marvel universe will bring you closer to understanding Marvel Heroes.

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Marvel Heroes 2.0 update adds Loki and Asgard

Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Patches, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

Marvel Heroes 20 update adds Loki and Asgard
Thor: The Dark World is out in theaters today, and in a stunning coincidence, Marvel Heroes is delivering an Asgard-themed update at the very same time.

Game Update 2.0, Gazillion's "biggest content update ever," has two big features. First up is the Asgard hub, where players will meet to go on a series of new missions through the otherworldly zones. And since Thor is already in the game, 2.0 introduces the next best thing, Loki, the god of mischief. Loki is a sorcerer who has two outfits available, the film edition and the not-tacky-at-all comic book version.

Even if Asgard doesn't delight you, there's a reason for the entire playerbase to rejoice: Gazillion is expanding the starting roster of free heroes from five choices to nine. You can read up on these additions as well as the new legendary and ring item slots in the official patch notes.

Free for All: MMOs for players with a penchant for The Wolf Among Us

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Screenshots, Culture, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Guild Wars 2, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Free Realms, Champions Online, Free for All, EverQuest Next, WildStar, Firefall

The Wolf Among Us screenshot
Ah, graphics. It's hard to describe why we like the graphical styles we do. I like the stylings of many games, but some are just so perfect that the graphics reach beyond a visual style and become a sort of textural memory in my gamer's heart. Each year, scores of games come out, and though I enjoy many of them, most do not affect me the way the look of games like The Chronicles of Spellborn or even Free Realms does.

There are a lot of single-player titles that just blow me away as well. Recently I was absolutely transfixed by Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. I stayed up late one night to finish it, and the graphics just kept getting better the entire time. Then there's The Wolf Among Us, a new title by Telltale Games, the same studio that made The Walking Dead series. It's made me remember just how amazing graphics can be without requiring a massive gaming rig.

Did you like the look of The Wolf Among Us as well? Here are some MMOs that feel similar.

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Marvel Heroes announces Asgardian content, playable Loki

Screenshots, Events (In-Game), Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Crafting

Marvel Heroes screenshot
Marvel Heroes is a game known for its ability to suck players in to the universe of Marvel superheroes. Its linear play is also augmented by the much more open area of downtown Manhattan, and there is no other MMO that allows you to control heroes from all of Marvel's timelines and universes, from the movie franchises to the classic comics. And now we've learned the game is gearing up for a very nice update in November.

So what's in store for this patch? Well, it just so happens that Marvel's latest movie, Thor: The Dark World, is coming out in a week or so. Gazillion Entertainment couldn't very well sit back and let the moment get away, could it? So it created an entire suite of content based around Asgard, Thor, and the new movie.

We asked Jeff Donais, Creative Director, some questions to find out all of the details. Warning: There might be spoilers below!

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Gazillion brings Squirrel Girl to Marvel Heroes

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

Gazillion brings Squirrel Girl to Marvel Heroes
Squirrel Girl is now available in Marvel Heroes, according to a new post on the Gazillion website. Founders get Squirrel Girl and her modern and aviator costumes for free, while other players can unlock her by buying a hero pack, buying her directly from the in-game store, or earning her via eternity splinters.

Gazillion has released a Squirrel Girl teaser trailer which you can see after the cut.

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A Mild-Mannered Reporter: A marvelous, titanic super-hero September

Super-hero, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, A Mild-Mannered Reporter

There was a time when the word 'titanic' didn't bring a disaster to mind, but I wasn't alive for that.
I'm breaking up my usual format a bit for this month. Part of that is just out of necessity; DC Universe Online launched a big DLC pack that I talked about in the last column, which obviously was the focus for most of the past month. Champions Online just had an invasion event going that I didn't actually take part in; I've had enough invasion-style events to last the remainder of my natural life, even if the rewards for this one do look pretty awesome. Call me cynical.

No, this month I'm focusing on two games, only one of which is actually out at the moment. One of these games has been firing on all cylinders and might force cynical old me to eat a bit of crow, which I'll happily do if it means that the game is better for everyone enjoying it. And the other... isn't. You can probably guess what I'm talking about, but you can also go ahead and jump past the cut to eliminate any possible doubt. I encourage it!

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Luke Cage joins Marvel Heroes in update 1.3

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

Luke Cage joins Marvel Heroes in update 13
As of last month, update 1.2 was Marvel Heroes' biggest to date. But that was then, and this is now: Today's update 1.3 surpasses its predecessor with even more content. Along with more unique items and an Iron Man rework, Gazillion Entertainment revealed a new hero (Luke Cage), new systems and modes, team insignias, and legendary quests. Additionally, the Lady Deadpool costume is now available.

Players who want to earn special bragging rights can go back and start at level one again after they reach level 60 thanks to the new Prestige Mode. The Hero Synergy System offers more character customization as it unlocks account-wide synergy bonuses whenever a hero hits levels 25 and 50; these bonuses can then be equipped on any hero. The completion of legendary quests will give player rewards as well as the ability to craft Legendary Blessings for their artifacts and more. And finally, team insignias allow players to show off membership on previous teams.

For complete details on these new systems and other fixes, check out the official patch notes. And get a look at Lady Deadpool in the trailer after the break

[Source: Gazillion Entertainment press release]

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Marvel Heroes update 1.2 gets Frosty

Super-hero, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

Marvel Heroes
Gazillion Entertainment has deployed the biggest content update yet to Marvel Heroes, bringing a collection of enhancements and tweaks to several core aspects of the game. The defense system has been completely overhauled, survivability has been re-tuned, and a new hero has joined the fray.

Update 1.2 adds the Heroic and Super Heroic difficulty modes for all heroes. Players who defeat Dr. Doom or reach level 30 can access Heroic mode; Dr. Doom must be defeated in Heroic (or players must reach level 45) before Super Heroic is made available. Both modes offer new loot and enemies to match the increased difficulty.

Also new to the game are relics, which offer special stat boosts to heroes as well unique items that are as powerful as they are rare. Finally, Emma Frost is now a playable character, providing new powers like mind control and Diamond Form tanking. She can be purchased individually or through a special hero pack.

A Mild-Mannered Reporter: All the superheroic news that was fit to print in August

Super-hero, Culture, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Champions Online, DC Universe Online, A Mild-Mannered Reporter

Anyone who brings up Man of Steel in the comments to refute my point has not paid attention.
Some months surprise you. When I went back through July's news a month ago, I was surprised to see that there had been a lot of superhero stories that I had collected but not really thought about; what I thought was a quiet month turned out to be quite active. August, on the other hand, was a pretty light month with only one major update that arguably could be pushed to next month depending on perspective.

Incidentally, this was the first summer in a while that didn't have a good superhero film come out. Coincidence? Almost certainly.

Our current month promises to have some shakeups. There's a Kickstarter in the wings for The Phoenix Project, and the other major titles all have patches just over the horizon. But today we're looking at the calm before the storm, known to most people as "August." Even if there weren't many world-shattering revelations, there are still some elements worth discussing.

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Marvel Heroes game update 1.15 buffs XP, adds new costumes

Super-hero, Patches, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

Marvel Heroes game update 115 buffs XP, adds new costumes
Game Update 1.2 is just around the corner for Marvel Heroes players, but Gazillion isn't waiting until then to roll out a few much-needed tweaks and changes right now. The 1.15 update is out today and should provide a welcome boost to mid-tier levelers.

The team has increased XP gain for levelers in Manhattan, although bigger adjustments are on the way next week. There will also be more cash from downed bosses to the tune of three times the number of credits than dropped previously.

Other small changes include removing a few recovery animations to make powers faster and a buff to the Black Widow. Gazillion has also added a few new costumes as both drops and store purchases: the Black Panther Vibranium Armor, the Human Torch 2099 costume, and the Punisher Marvel NOW! costume.

Marvel Heroes dev blog talks PvP, defense, and new heroes

Super-hero, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Dev Diaries, MOBA

Marvel Heroes
It's time again for Gazillion Entertainment's weekly Marvel Heroes dev blog, and this latest entry hops, skips, and jumps its way across a vast number of topics. First on deck are changes to the game's defense system and difficulty ratings; the dev team is working to reduce the odds of one-shotting and improve the experience for melee heroes.

Also in the works: tweaks to Midtown Manhattan, the release of rare costumes to the in-game store, a boost to the drop rate for eternity splinters, and further iterations to the game's upcoming optional PvP system. Of particular interest is the team's confirmation that it can change hero behaviors between PvE and PvP environments, meaning basic hero components like crowd control and cooldowns can be tweaked separately for both styles of play.

Finally, work continues on Emma Frost, Squirrel Girl, and Luke Cage, all due for release in the somewhat near future. Luke Cage can create (and throw) cars, Emma Frost brings new mind control abilities, and Squirrel Girl has... squirrels.

Most changes featured in the dev blog should be going live on test servers soon, if they're not there already.

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