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Developer Q&A III
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Date of Release: March 15, 2013
Dev Q&A Link: Thread Link
Developer Q&A Forums


This is the third out of five Developer Questions and Answers Threads taken from the Official Playdom Forums.


Note: please do not ask your question intended for the Developer Q&A at the comments below. Marvel: Avengers Alliance Wikia is not owned by Playdom. Please leave your questions at the Developer Q&A Forums.


Developer Q&A III 15March2013

Helllo everyone,

We know that it has been a while, but we have never forgotten about this Dev Q&A section. We apologize that due to the busy contents release schedule, we couldn't have had the answers up earlier. But here it is. We hope you will enjoy it. And we hope to bring this back more regularly.

Thank you all for understanding and patience

Development process

Can you update us with the Marvel: Avengers Alliance development plan in the near future?

We are always working very hard on creating new, exciting content for our fans as well as brand new features like Lockboxes. I cannot go too far into specifics, but we are committed to continuing to make story content, new spec ops, and improving the PvP experience.


Do you do some kind of scheduled weekly maintenance? During what time of the day do you do the game updates usually?

We are always striving to get bug fixes, new features and content out to you guys as quickly as possible. While we do not have set days for our patches, you can bet that we will be delivering new additions to the game on a weekly basis (and sometimes up to 2-3 times in any given week). Generally brand new content will arrive once a week, but we will patch the game multiple times to make improvements.


Are there any plans to boost the story in future? Will we ever take the helicarrier to locations other than New York, like Genosha or Latveria? (I was intrigued by the idea of senators trying to take control of SHIELD, but nothing happens in the mission, just Iron Man talking. I was expecting a little more drama (as much as you can get with a character sprite and some text anyway), like maybe an actual senator character appearing and trying to justify their control of SHIELD and not just exposition from Stark.)

This is a great question. The game will most definitely be visiting other locations besides New York. Since this question was asked, we’ve already seen San Francisco added to the game (in Spec Ops 3 and 6). We also announced that Chapter 1 of Season 2 will spend a significant amount of time in London during our New York Comic Con panel. We actually have other exciting locations planned but nothing we can share at this time.

Also remember that both Marvel: Avengers Initiative (which takes place mainly in Colorado) and Marvel: XP both share the narrative universe of Marvel: Avengers Alliance. We call this the Marvel Gaming Universe. All of these stories are working together. For example - Loki’s story as the Epic Boss in the upcoming Spec Op 8, as well as his involvement in the Avengers Initiative Vault storyline.

We plan to continue to make the story a very important part of the MAA experience, and Season 2 (while we can’t say much about it) will show you just how committed to story we are. But keep your eye out for extra content on Marvel XP as well, such as the Constrictor One-Shot storyline, or all of the videos with Nick Fury, the Avengers, and Dell Rusk. All of which are important to the overall MGU narrative.


Marvel XP

When are you going to update Marvel XP with all these new characters?

The Marvel XP roster should be current with our a game. If you believe you are missing a dossier for a character you own or have encountered, please send a ticket to support@marvelxp.com and the Marvel XP team can investigate.


Will you integrate the Marvel XP rewards with the game? Say earn all achievements unlock "x" character? Because having an account for the system seems irrelevant if it doesn't actually reward you in the game.

During the time this question was fielded, we were working diligently to integrate Marvel XP into M:AA. As of December, we are glad to announce that Marvel XP is now properly hooked up to Marvel: Avengers Alliance. Players have been receiving rewards in M:AA for their achievements in Marvel XP.


Heroes and Villains

With the development of a new Venom movie (Marvel & Sony) in the works, will there be a hero-type Venom character or a movie costume with special perks like the Avengers costumes available in the near future?

Where is all the fun in telling you all our future plans? I bet you shake the presents under your Christmas tree, don’t you? All I can say is that we have exciting content planned for the near future that I am sure will keep the fans excited for months to come.


You mentioned in a previous question session that you were considering a Shield rehabilitation program to make villains playable. Is that already in the works? Can we expect it soon?

With the introduction of our lockbox and collection mechanics in Spec Op 6, we introduced our first playable villain “Magneto”. Given the responses by the community to the new mechanic and the ability to play some of the iconic villains from the Marvel universe, it is safe to say that you will likely see more of them in the future. Our next lockbox will debut with Spec Op 8. As previously indicated there will be a new way to obtain these lockboxes.


Are you only planning to release real Avengers members, or other Marvel characters could get in, such as Armor?

We have released quite a few characters from the Marvel universe that were not original Avenger team members including several X-Men. I would go out on a limb and say that there will likely be more fan favorite characters released.


Are there going to be any new hero classes ever released?

We do not currently have any immediate plans to add another hero class to the game.


The Agent and Items

Will you make some of the old LE items available again, such as the Avengers movie uniforms and Coulson's Revenge?

While nothing is currently planned, it is not outside the realm of possibilities for us to re-release some of our older LE PvP items. During our 12 days of Christmas sale, we re-released a whole battery of former LE items. And LE costumes have been re-released for other events such as the game’s anniversary and The Avengers DVD/Blu-Ray release.


Once your agent reached level 200+, the ISO shards contribute less and less to the stat bonuses, since their numbers will reflect as minimal addition to non existent. If we really want to make this game a very nice strategic game with the use of ISO, shouldn’t it be by percentage so that we can build heroes/agent according to their skill and weapons?

Fortunately, with our latest patch we introduced a new tier of ISO named “Reactive ISO”. These ISOs are customized and accurately scale to your level at purchase. They are available to agents that are level 125 and higher.


All About the Devs

How many people are in the development team? What are your names? (Any full, first, nicknames, etc, would be okay!)

Without getting too specific on numbers, our studio consists of 50-100 employees. Unfortunately I am unable to give you any personal information about our team members :(


If you were to pick a Marvel: Avengers Alliance mascot, who would it be? (You can't choose Captain, Agent, Maria, or Fury, that's not fair! xD)

Clearly it is the Agent. Silly question (and a totally fair answer!)


Who are some of the heroes that you are most pleased with creating in the end and why?

While I do not personally create the characters, I am particularly excited for heroes that feature awesome abilities that are radically different than others. For example: Mockingbird, Punisher, and Hank Pym.


What are some of your personal goals for the game, aside from making it fun for everybody?

We have a lot of goals as a team. We obviously want to make it fun, but we also want to make it something that stays fresh. We want to introduce new features and new content that make people want to come back and play again and again for a long time. We love this game and we want to take the story and the universe a long way. That means keeping the gameplay fresh with updates as much as possible.


Game Mechanics

In battle, sometimes we get a message on the Agent or Heroes with the Name of the ISO slotted into their suit and a Stat described underneath the name. Can you tell us how it exactly it works?

The Iso-8 announcements that sometimes pop up let people know that one of the Iso-8 they have equipped made a difference in the outcome of the battle. The easiest example is Accuracy Iso-8. If this pops up, it usually means one of your attacks that was going to be a miss became a hit because of the difference in Accuracy provided by that Iso-8. Attack and Defense Iso-8 are a little trickier, but generally mean you survived what would have been a fatal blow, or you took out someone who otherwise would have survived.

These bonus notifications don’t have any effect on the outcome of battle. They aren’t giving you any extra bonus to the stat named; they’re just letting you know that the bonus they already provide made a difference.


How is the Damage calculated from Exploit based Abilities or Items, Weapons or Gadgets usable the Agent? When one of these has an Exploit "_____", but has either multiple stacks of it applied, or is a Paragon Exploiter, how does the damage scaling work? What are the formulas behind this?

Exploits generally grant a +50% to damage done. Some are lower, such as Paragon Exploiter, which grants +25% damage for each debuff. Multiple damage multipliers stack with each other multiplicatively. So if you use Mocking Blow against a target that has Burning, Dizzy, and Slowed, your damage bonus would be:

1.25 * 1.25 * 1.25 = approx 1.95

Or 95% more damage than before. You can see how these are powerful abilities if you set them up correctly, as the benefits compound each other.


In PVP It seems like the AI gets a better chance for random effects to proc than the player. How much of a boost does the AI get for proc rates? Does this scale based on the rating of the opponent?

This is a myth that often gets repeated, to the point that it’s accepted as truth. AI-controlled opponents in PVP actually get exactly the same chance for every effect to trigger that players get. Both the client and server share the same data that controls what the chances are, and both use the same method for determining whether an effect procs or not.


Miscellaneous

Are there any plans for new battle music to be implemented?

Stay tuned!


Do you guys plan to change the Background for PvP? Can it be something new and cool we've never seen before?

When this question was originally asked, PVP fight always had the same background. Since then we introduced code to show a wide variety of random backgrounds for PVP fights.


Would it be possible to get decisions for the player to make that branch out each mission? For example, the player is defending a prison who is under attack by Green Goblin: when he leaves, do you chase after him or continue to guard the prison and its supervillain in-mates?

The amount of effort needed to alter our system in this fashion is huge. So great, that we would have to refactor all of our previous content and it would substantially slow down future development and content releases. That being said we are planning to introduce future features and improvements to the story gameplay that will keep it fresh and exciting. Stay tuned!


Could you possibly increase the recommended starting level for future chapters? Will there be an option to choose missions that are currently below your level to scale up to your current level, without necessity of 5-starring them first?

The recommended level is just that, “recommended”. If you are up for a greater challenge, try the “Challenge Mode” for chapters 4-11! And speaking of Challenge Mode, we are working on adding Challenge Mode to Chapters 1-3 as well. That way the entire game will have more challenging and rewarding content for all players. Not only does the mission get considerably harder, the loot and XP are scaled to be more inline with the effort to complete the missions.

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