I have been playing this free-to-play ARPG game since closed beta, March 2013, and have clocked in thousands of played hours. I enjoy creating YouTube video guides for this game. Click here for a list of videos I have made prior to patch 2.0.
I am starting a new era with this “biggest update ever”. And hence this new post. This list may look short now. But I promise, with your support and encouragement and your help in spreading the words, it will grow.
Ask me anything. Drop me a comment on my YouTube channel. I will try to answer. May Odin bless you!
Yours, Wilfrid (in-game ID is “Lace”) – a fellow Marvel Heroes fan.
Update: Jan 21, 2017. Adjustment after biggest update ever patch 2.0 is live.
What can I say? For Marvel Heroes fans (yes, you). By Marvel Heroes fan (that’s me). I hope you will find this quick reference guide useful. Feel free to print it out, hang it on to your wall, impress your girlfriends / boyfriends / parents / children that you are indeed playing a very complicated game. This game means business.
In this card, you can quickly find:
Hero archetype ordered by hero names.
Hero archetype ordered by archetype.
Attribute and Infinity Gem color mapper (yes, this game is getting complex).
Attribute popularity index (for you to price your priced artifacts perhaps).
You may pass to your friends but please do so in entirety (I need to ‘advertise’ my YouTube channel and feed my plants). This guide is free, on me. But I may sell you different skins of the same guide in future.
Kidding. Click the image below for your free download!
One of my all time passion is video gaming. I have a wonderful dad who back in the early eighties bought a personal computer for me, played video games with me, and wrote computer programs (more like copy and paste from magazines) with me.
One of the games I often play recently is Marvel Heroes. Here is my playlist. It is a fun game and I have started populating my YouTube channel with content from Marvel Heroes. Now, YouTube does not seem to be that great when it comes to organizing videos. Hence, what I wish to do is to list down my major videos by category. And I will update this page as and when I publish videos. Click a button below to begin.
During my blogging career, I have done reviews of various sorts. Like book review requests from the publishers for their online sites. Mobile phone review requests from the PR companies that work with the manufacturers. I have attended movie preview for a local media company that promotes movies and all kinds of products. Miscellaneous write-up on media events. I was used to participate actively on these media events. But nowadays, I am very much retired from that scene, quietly writing stuffs that I enjoy in my website and in Google+.
And then, once in a blue moon, the stars align. All you see is a once in a lifetime opportunity beaming at you from the heaven. It wasn’t something that was handed to me, for sure. It was through persistence with a healthy dose of initiative that got the job done. What am I talking about? Take a look at this.
There is this online game called Marvel Heroes 2015 that I enjoy playing. I would have written a review on my website (in fact I did about a year ago). One day, I was chatting with the editor of Stuff magazine on Whatsapp. He was wondering if I still play Diablo 3 because he has received a game code from Blizzard Asia for a review. That game was fun while it lasted. All of a sudden, an idea has formed.
I have always wanted to see Marvel Heroes featured on a magazine. For some reasons beyond me, I have yet to come across one. Not in Singapore. Not in Tasmania when my wife and I were holidaying there last year. Since my buddy was going to review Diablo 3, why not Marvel Heroes as well? One thing I have learned from my blogging career is that reviewers are best to approach directly to the source. Because I was confident that I could connect the developers with the magazine’s review team, I have suggested that we could do something special that might mutually benefit both parties. Insights make good stories. And the only way to gain insights is through the source.
To cut a long story short, I was asked to write the review instead, as a freelancer. I was delighted for the opportunity of course (stars and heaven, like I have mentioned). Although I have written online reviews for so many years, this is the first time my review goes on print. There was a lot of work behind the scene. A typical game review occupies one page. Because of the insights I have gained through the game developers, I have managed to make it a two-pager. Still, I wanted to give a little extra – for both parties, for me, and for the magazine readers. Why not interview the CEO of the game company Mr. David Brevik, the man behind Diablo 1 & 2 who has revolutionized the action role-playing game genre? And so we did.
That has pushed the entire article to a three-pager, well exceeds my expectation. The final layout and artwork is beautiful. I see my name on Stuff magazine (local edition). Kind of surreal.
The journey has been rewarding, not without hard work. Writing for myself is easy. Writing for others is hard. I have learned so much through this process. For the entire week, I have written and rewritten the entire piece based on editor’s feedback. The end result is a lot better than my first draft. Who knows? I may write another review for a magazine in the near future.
For two months I have participated in Marvel Heroes Online’s closed beta. Most weekends when the server was up, I would try to log on. Recently, the beta server is switched on 24 x 7 so I get to be more active. This game will be officially launched in a week’s time. If you wish to know more about this upcoming free-to-play massively multiplayer online game, you have come to the right place!
What is Marvel Heroes Online?
It is a casual action role playing game. You don’t need to spend a cent to start playing and it is pretty easy to get the hang of it. Like the Diablo franchise, you hack-and-slash your way through waves and waves of enemies. The number of buttons you get to interact with is minimal. Left and right mouse buttons are for your main attack and then another five keyboard buttons to spice things up. One key is bound to med kit for self-healing. That is all you need to master. You are free to assign available powers into these seven keys and buttons. But we will get to the power tree later.
The entire story at launch has eight chapters. For the first four chapters your base would be in Avenger’s Tower. For the last four chapters, it would be Xavier’s School (disclaimer: I have only played up to chapter 7 so two bases is my best guess). The bases are where you perform your routine chores like managing your S.T.A.S.H., selling or donating items, crafting, stocking up on med kit, and etc. Unlike Diablo 3, there is no auction house but instead, Marvel Heroes Online has a store for you to buy heroes, costumes, and miscellaneous items using real world money. Also unlike Diablo 3, the open-world portion is a true MMO whereby you would get to see other players going around with their business. There are tough outdoor bosses and nearby players can join force to bring these bosses down. There are two types of instanced ‘dungeons’ for up to 5 players to go in as a group. One that is for treasure hunt and another is for the story development. Auto-grouping happens for story mode and not for treasure hunt. If you are someone who prefers to solo, you can turn off auto-grouping too.
Items and experience globes dropped in open-world as well as inside an instanced ‘dungeon’ appear to be for you and you alone. Health and spirit globes that boost up your vital resource are shared among the players in the area. Interestingly, these globes shrink in size over time. This forces you to go out of the way in order to grab these globes before they diminish in value. To me, this mechanic keeps the fight fun as you may need to abandon what you are currently doing, even to take risk in order to gain more experience or to refill your health and spirit bars.
‘Dungeon’ difficulty doesn’t seem to scale up as the group size grows. While ‘dungeons’ – even most of the bosses – can be soloed, that makes auto-grouping a great feature to have. Anyone who enters the same ‘dungeon’ within a similar timing would be automatically grouped up. This works perfectly when the server is vibrant with many active players. When I log in during US late hours, most of the time I am on my own.
All the boss fights require you to observe patterns and try your best to avoid huge damage. Be ready to burn those stacks of med kits in order to stay alive because most of the fights, there is no way to replenish your health in mid fight. Should you fail, you can always teleport back to your base, grab more med kits if need to, and try again. Boss’s health does not go back up immediately once you are defeated so you could keep trying till you win. There were times though when my character was not strong enough to face certain bosses, or it cost too many med kits. I either replay some of the previous content to gain more power and better gears and / or group with a stronger team. In one particular boss fight, it was really hard. A few days later, it was nerfed by the developers. So in short, this is a casual game and you should be OK to sail through the chapters.
Marvel Heroes Online does not seem to offer different difficulty levels like Diablo 3. I have found an area possible for end game dailies. With that many heros to choose from, I suppose there is always something to do.
The Story – The Good and the Ugly
Provided that you can get the narration in the right order, the overarching story is pretty good. Cut scenes are more or less presented in a comic strip style. Your hero choice does not have a bearing on the cut scene rendering. You may be playing Ms. Marvel but you may not see her being featured (in fact, I have not seen her in any cut scenes). You just have to imagine that she is there, together with the heroes in the cut scenes.
Or maybe, you are not the hero. You are just a replica like many others online players fighting with the real heroes.
The story is divided into 8 chapters and I am now on chapter 7. It does not seem to take long to complete (perhaps like going through Diablo 3’s normal mode). Each chapter has several missions that may have multiple objectives. Main missions are mixed with side missions and are arranged in a linear fashion. Because the appearance of the quest givers does not follow your story progression or simply because in an open world, you are free into venture into any area that may cause you to unknowingly skip the story, it is possible for you to miss the last few missions of the current chapter and dive into the next chapter. Even more mind-boggling is the fact that you may not enter the next chapter on the first mission. If the first mission happens to be a side mission, you may enter into the second mission instead. One time, I got the last mission opened for a chapter I have yet to enter. I wish to say that because the game is still in beta so the story mechanic appears as wonky. But early access program is due to start in less than a week. So I guess that must be how the story is implemented or the game is still buggy.
In short, going through Marvel Heroes Online story is like watching a movie on cable. You get to watch a fragment of the movie as and when you switch your TV on and off. Over time, through watching the same movie a couple of times, you may get the whole story.
It is possible to reset the entire story (perhaps you wish to play with your friend who is new to the game?). Simply wipe off your progress by talking to one of the non-player characters. Another point to note is that switching heroes erase your current story progress. I have no idea why that has to be so.
Crafting – Administrative but an Absolute Must
There is something really good and really bad about crafting. As you collect loots during your game play, there are three things you can do besides throwing them on the floor for others to pick up. First, you can sell them for credits, which I do not recommend unless you are short in credits. Second, you can donate them to a particular vendor and increase your rank with that vendor. If say that vendor is a glove seller, the higher the ranking you are with him, the better glove level you can buy from him. That is also not recommended. Because each vendor only sells one type of armor, you would have a quite a few vendors to level the rank with. On top of that, I have yet to see any blue (rare) or purple (epic) items sold by these vendors during my beta testing. So why bother unless you really hate crafting?
The more sensible thing to do is to level your rank with the forge vendor through item donation. Here is a list of benefits that should make you go wow.
You can craft your med kit for 10 credits each versus 75 credits when bought from a vendor.
You can craft your set of potions to temporarily increase your stats for 20 minutes, which is just about the time to return to your base after a hack-and-slash session in order to clear your inventory.
You can upgrade any rare items into epic quality!
You can transform any epic items that are not meant for your hero into one that is!
You can unbound any items and pass it to other characters. This comes in handy for artifact and medal items that are not hero specific.
You can add offense and defense affixes even decorative attribute to your costume (but the cost can be high).
Because the crafting materials drop so often, you can afford to waste them on med kits and potions. That is great.
Now, the down side – besides the occasional bugs – is that crafting materials do not stack. They can be combined into a higher tier but they do not stack. They eat up inventory and stash space like no tomorrow. The user interface for crafting is poorly designed making the whole exercise feels really tedious and administrative. Perhaps that is the intention, to get you spending more time with the game.
Select Your Power!
As you level your hero, you collect power points. You can spend your points across three talent trees like good old RPG. This is a casual MMO. I dare say nothing you can do would grim your hero. You can either spread your points across to all available skills in order to have a more varied play style or you can – like me – focus all your power points into the 7 abilities you are comfortable with. I enjoy efficiency and I like to min-max everything I can. You may prefer a different approach. I like it fast. And I like it furious.
In general, when it comes to selecting your power, here are some points for consideration.
For most of the 14 heroes I have experienced with, one tree is usually for utility like escape abilities and etc. For hybrid build – which is my preference (read more here) – I level up both melee and range DPS trees simultaneously.
Your gears may add points to your trees. This makes min-max optimization a little bit tricky.
Some abilities synergize others. This was implemented very recently. I have yet to see how it works. My best guess is that you may be encouraged to build some combos into your rotation. Bottom line is that the power trees are still very fluid and may change in near future.
Some abilities may only be unlocked after you have invested at least one point in the previous tiers. To me, it is like an ability upgrade. Thankfully, your investment on the previous tier ability does all not go into waste. Because previous tier points contributes a damage bonus to your current tier.
I prefer to invest on passive powers.
To reset your power selection, you need to consume a specific item. I have seen that dropped very occasionally. Or you can buy from the store using real money.
Like I have mentioned in my previous post (Marvel Heroes Online: Picking Your Heroes), the power trees are designed such a way that you would want to reset your power as you level. I suppose that is a small price to pay for a free-to-play online game.
On a side note, as you gain levels, some of your hero’s base attributes such as durability will be increased making you feel more powerful.
Marvel Heroes Online being a free-to-play online game is worth checking out. It is certainly built with casual players in mind. Do not expect much from the story presentation and graphic perspective. That aside, you can still expect to have fun slashing and hacking your way through hordes and hordes of enemies solo or group with others. Crafting is rewarding despite being administratively tedious. As of today, the game still feels very much in beta. There are rough edges to be polished and I shall expect more improvements to be made in the initial months.
This game offers one free hero (from a choice of five) for you to get started. However, to fully enjoy the game from day one, you are better off buying a premium hero of your choice from the store. Tier 3 and 4 heroes cost US$15 and US$20 respectively (with some gold left over). Tier 2 and 1 hero cost US$10. I would strongly recommend you to pick at least a tier 3 hero (more on that in my previous post) while buying a tier 4 hero does not always mean that it is better.
Marvel Heroes Online will be launched on Jun 4. You may register today.
In about two weeks from now – June 4 to be exact – Marvel Heroes Online will go live. From what I have observed, the mere mentioning of Marvel Heroes has already got the fans excited. How not to be? You’ll get to play out your favorite heroes joining others to battle the iconic villains. Besides, to start playing this massively multiplayer online game, you don’t need to spend a single cent. The game is free-to-play. But is it really so? How would your gaming experience be affected by going free all the way?
Well, you have come to the right place. I have been playing the closed beta for months. Thanks to an account reset, I have tried out 14 heroes out of 21 using in-game currency provided during beta and have progressed pass the midway point. Here are a few thoughts to share with regards to free-versus-paid gaming experience. As a disclaimer, the game is still in beta and Gazillion may still change it as we speak.
To start playing Marvel Heroes, you get to pick one of the characters offered free-of-charge: Daredevil, Storm, Thing, Scarlet Witch, and Hawkeye. I have tried all but Hawkeye. My conclusion is that this basic tier feels underpowered compares to the premium heroes. They are noticeable weaker and they lack some of the practical as well as fancy powers other premium heroes have.
While I did not have fun with these basic heroes, I really enjoy playing the game with some of the premium heroes. You can keep on playing the game and hope to obtain one of these heroes for free – which could take some time (in fact, I haven’t seen one dropped yet). Or you could spend real money and buy a hero that you would love to play. I would highly recommend so since time is more valuable then money. The rest of this article helps you to make that decision.
You are likely to stick to one hero until you have completed all the eight chapters because switching heroes reset game progress. Also, since all heroes share the same inventory and stash, you would run out of space much faster by leveling multiply heroes at the same time.
The free edition provides you with an inventory space of 40 and a stash space of 48 shared by all your heroes. This may seem a lot but it’s barely enough to get by. Medical kits only stacks up to 10 per slot. Crafting materials – the space eater – do not stack. Also, if you plan to pass items to your other heroes, that 88 slots are going to fill up very quickly. You can however spend real money to buy space. Two more general stash of 48 slots each, three more for potions, and one stash for each of the 21 heroes. I have no idea how much that would cost you. From early levels, I have already been struggling with space. It seems to me that I would need to buy one or two extra stash once this game is live.
Want to look different from the rest of the heroes? Costumes are available for purchase with real money too. Each costume may cost as much as the hero himself. At minimum each hero has three different costumes for sales. Iron Man has eleven costumes at beta!
While some consumables like XP and rare item boost purchasable using real money seem optional, the ability to reset chosen skills to me is mandatory. Why? The skill trees are designed so much so that you have to go for a reset once new skills open up as you level pass a certain point. Because only 7 skills can be active at any time, I would highly recommend to put all the points to these 7 skills (as well as the passive ones) instead of spreading them across to all skill options. Rarely you need to swap skills for different fights. Fortunately, I have seen this power reset potion (or device) dropped freely from time to time. If you are desperate for a skill reset, the online store is your best friend.
There are some companions for purchase too. In the past I used to buy them for other MMO games. Again, totally optional like costumes but they are there if you feel lonely in a villain infested world.
In summary, my suggestion is to start the game with one of the freely offered heroes and go through Chapter 1. Once you get to the point whereby you feel you may like the game, purchase a premium hero and be prepared to buy other stuffs like extra stash. If you need some advice on picking your second hero, read on! I have some insights to share. What if you want to stick with the freely offered heroes? Thing starts off good due to high durability and strength. But due to a lack of mobility and speed, some of the boss fights would be pretty hard. Storm is kind of weak and looking at the stats of Hawkeye, I am not impressed either. Scarlet Witch is OK as a caster type of hero if kiting play style is your cup of tea. Daredevil is a melee hero with range attack making it also a viable choice among the five heroes.
When it comes to picking or rather buying your heroes, I have some insights for sharing. Now, I understand that this can be a personal choice because you may have a liking towards certain Marvel Heroes. So, my insights are purely from a game play perspective. My aim is to equip you with the right information so that you can make an informed decision.
Price Tag: Each hero comes with a price tag: 600, 900, 1200, and 2000 in-game currency. Heroes with the lowest price tag are usually basic. Their general stats are usually low or they are crippled with some aspects such as mobility. At 900 and 1200, heroes often come with extra resources to manage. Like Jean Grey being able to turn into a phoenix, Ms. Marvel fights better as she takes on punishment, or Thor gets more powerful as he is overwhelmed by enemies. At 2000 price tag, some heroes can be real fun to play. Like Spider-man’s ability to swing across enemies with his web and look striking too. While a high price tag does not necessarily mean that the hero is for you, it is a good indication on where you should start looking. I would start from 1200 up.
Hero Stats: Each hero comes with 6 stats. They are durability, strength, fighting, speed, energy, and intelligence. A detail explanation can be found at the bottom of this entry. In a nutshell, the higher overall stats your hero has, the better the game play. Higher durability and fighting increases survivability and damage output. Speed affects both move and attack speed. There should be a balance between strength (physical damage) and energy + intelligence (energy damage and mental a.k.a. DoT damage). My preference is physical damage output because there is a certain edge to be at the front of the battle, collecting health and spirit globes before others do. Or simply, progress ahead of the group.
Hybrid Build: Normally, in other online games, you may choose to pick a tank class or range damage class or melee damage class and be merry with whatever game play that suits you. However, in Marvel Heroes, I enjoy hybrid builds much better. Because tank classes such as Thing or Hulk aren’t that tough. There isn’t a dedicated healer class therefore making a tank class less attractive. Range damage classes such as Jean Grey may be powerful from a distance, she would need to do a fair bit of kiting against melee enemies. Some melee classes like Black Panther is pretty fun to play being able to leap onto the back of the enemies and deliver melee damage. But against bosses that require space may be a challenge. Hence, from my experience, those heroes who are excel in both melee and range and with a decent amount of durability are the most enjoyable ones to play. Such as Ms. Marvel, Thor, and Captain America. All of them are able to deliver respectable damage up close and decent damage at range. They are pretty high in durability too.
Escape Skills: While stats and builds may give a good indicator on how enticing a hero is, you have got to spend some time reading up on the shortlisted heroes utility abilities as well. Take Ms. Marvel as an example, she is able to lunge forward knocking off enemies along the way and get behind them (Spider-Man has similar ability too). She also gets to fly over enemies and obstacles (like Jean Grey in phoenix form). That versus Storm’s leaping backward and still facing the enemies, I would much prefer lunging forward instead. You would need sufficient escape skills to get you out of sticky situations, especially so during boss fights.
The Fun Factor: Sometimes, we play a character because it is fun. Being able to fly around, turn into a phoenix, or swing around like Spider-Man does can be fun. Having a high intelligence level hero like Iron Man and hence speeds up the leveling experience can also be fun.
Now that you know how to pick your hero, where shall you start? First, visit the official Marvel Heroes website and check out the heroes’ stats as well as some story write-up. Then, visit the official wiki website and look through the skills available for your shortlisted heroes. Pay attention to hybrid build and the escape skills and pick one that suits you.
What about me? My favorite hero has got to be Ms. Marvel. She has a set of well rounded stats. As a hybrid build, Ms. Marvel is able to neutralize enemies up close, from afar, and in a group at ease. She also has the right sort of escape skills to get out of sticky situations. Thor and Captain America both rank high on my list too due to their well rounded hybrid builds. Looking at the fun factor, Spider-Man and Jean Grey score high. Iron Man is another viable option though the game play seems a bit less exciting compares to say Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man. But being able to gain experience points faster, that alone is quite a plus point. Oh yes, did I mention that fun looking Mark I or Mark II costume for Iron Man?
Here is a little bit extra for those who want to know what the attributes mean.
Reduces incoming damage
Improves health regeneration
Reduces stun duraction on you
Increases your physical damage
Allows you to throw objects of increasing size
May add stun to your melee powers
Increases damage with fighting powers
Reduces incoming damage from fighting powers
Reduces spirit cost for fighting powers
Increases attack speed with fighting powers
Increases move speed
Increases fly speed
Increases attack speed
Reduces slow durations on you
Increases energy damage
Increases mental damage (a.k.a. DoT)
Improves spirit regeneration
Reduces spirit cost for energy powers and mental powers