Marvel Heroes 2016’s “biggest update ever” is a breath of fresh air to a fantastic free game

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Marvel Heroes 2016 (4)

When Marvel Heroes launched three years ago, it was…alright. A freemium game with heavy Diablo influences thanks to its pedigree of talent onboard, Marvel Heroes hit the streets as a platform that had room for improvement. And sweet Christmas, it certainly has upped its game lately. Tweaks and fine-tuning are par for the course with any game, but Marvel Heroes kicked off the year with one hell of an update that retooled the game entirely, scaling back some of its more esoteric elements in favour of new systems that provide a faster and more fluid experience.

Here’s a breakdown of what has gone down so far this year from the Gazillion blog:

Talents

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One of the most successful features in Heroes is Specializations, which you may recall are modifiers to Powers that can radically change the way a Power functions, both mechanically and visually. In this update, we’re taking that notion a step further by introducing Talents. Instead of one or two Specializations, every Hero will have 5 sets of Talents. The combination of Talents you choose from each set will result in all new customization possibilities for each Hero.

So with the update, Talents have effectively replaced Specializations, ensuring all Heroes have an enticing number of progression and customization options available, though the details of what their Talents do will vary wildly from Hero to Hero.

Talents will unlock as you level your Hero, offering choices over time as you learn the nuances of your abilities. They can range from passive bonuses, to mechanic changes, to completely removing a Power from your Power tree and replacing it with a new one. These Talents occupy the Hero’s third Power tree, with all Active skills being migrated to the first two trees.

Items

Marvel Heroes 2016 (1)

When this update launches, all current Items that grant Power Points will be adjusted in some way. The affixes that granted Power Points (e.g., “+1 Power Rank to Shield Throw,” “+1 Rank to Furious Lunge,” etc.) will be removed, and we’ll be performing a balance pass on Unique items to ensure their continued viability. One of the main ways we will be adjusting Items is through the addition of more Attributes such as, Strength, Energy, Fighting, etc. With the new Traits system, these will become far more desirable for all Heroes.

This also means that Items in the first five slots (hereafter “slots one through five”) of common through cosmic rarities will be losing Power Point bonuses and Power Point grants in favor of Attributes and other bonuses that will be more advantageous. Here are some examples of Uniques in their current state in the game now compared to their new versions after the system update.

Infinity System

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The new Infinity System offers added value to your Heroes in a clean, streamlined, and intuitive interface. In it, you will be presented six Infinity Gems, themed accordingly from the Marvel Universe: Mind, Power, Reality, Soul, Space, and Time. Within each of the six Infinity Gems, you will be presented with five options, and you will allot your points based on what you want to emphasize in your play style. You will be able to understand the whole system at a glance, and easily allocate points in a succinct way.

Level 60 status for any Hero fully unlocks the Infinity System, and it is never locked again–even your level 1 Heroes will be able to spend your accrued Infinity points. (If you are already level 60 with any Hero, the Infinity System will be available to you upon launch.)

This new Infinity System will offer a more direct value for your Heroes in both the short and long run. It will be easier to try out new Heroes you’ve never played before. And the new system will address the endcaps on nodes, making the game more engaging for longer for heavily-invested veteran players. Each of the six pages that correspond to a Gem will have an infinite option. You will never reach a state where they are no longer earning experience.

Difficulty slider

Marvel Heroes 2016 (5)

To satisfy the different preferences of different players, and to address the wide range of power and play-styles among players in the endgame, we are introducing a personal difficulty slider that empowers players to shape their own in-game experience. To choose a difficulty level, when you’re warping to a location you choose your difficulty level on your slider bar. (There will also be a global setting available.)

As you increment your slider to the higher settings, the enemies in the game will hit harder, take more punishment, and use new abilities. All these combine to make for a more challenging play experience.

And that’s just a taste of the changes implemented so far. Right now Marvel Heroes 2016 runs like a dream. It’s still lengthy enough to enjoy properly for quite a few hours, the servers are populated with plenty of people who are happy to join a super-team that is comprised of level 60 Squirrel Girls and it’s still free in the sense that you can try out any of the characters up to level 10 before you decide to spend some actual cash on acquiring them.

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Hell, just getting to level 10 is usually a decent half-hour session of dedicated play that’ll take you from the initial assault on the Raft superjail up to the showdown against the Shocker in downtown Manhattan. Multiplied by fifty, give or take. I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks starting from scratch myself, and I’m currently nearing the finishing line with my Hulk build, who happens to be a green bulldozer on gamma radiation steroids.

And I’m planning to keep on playing! Especially now that Black Bolt is on the way. Although the biggest selling point right now might be that fact that Deadpool got a hefty retooling and revamp

Last Updated: February 22, 2017

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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