(TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ!)
Hey people. I going to assume you're people, and not click-bots.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Marvel: Avengers Alliance! You're unique game experience will involve far more things than we could possibly include in one article, but some highlights are:
- A broken, bottle-necked chat feed that generally feels like hanging out at the bus station. This will be your primary means of interacting with other real humans, should you dare to. The forums are a hot mess of petty people akin to a Youtube comments section: avoid them if you value your sanity.
- You wanted to play heroes? That's nice, dear. You will also be required to constantly play some derpy SHIELD agent... basically an attackable Ash Ketchum, in almost every single battle .... and you'll be spending lots of effort and maintenance trying to doll them up, just so they can be good enough to hang out with Gods and Hulks. Why?...just because! Stop asking questions!
- Do you like doing the same simplistic tasks hundreds and hundreds of times to reap minimal rewards? You're in the right place! This act is also called 'farming', in this case, for 'command points'. This has five types of currency to keep track of, and CP is a particularly funny one because it's necessary for recruiting (most) heroes, and players totally never have nearly enough up until the point that they don't need it anymore, wherein they suddenly have boatloads of it.
Oh, I should probably start my guide now, right? Yeah. Here goes. Lemme just say this: I personally have no gives-afuck towards any of the 'types' below. However, let me warn you that some of these terms are inflammatory amongst some of our less stable game populace.
Types of MAA Players
- Troll - Let's get this one out of the way. Most of us have dealt with trolls on the internet, defined as people who intentionally incite feels in strangers, especially anger. Some trolls are rebellious mavericks who believe themselves the next Andy Kaufman, while others are bored brats that get some semi-disturbing thrill out of actively annoying people. I think the only difference between our trolls and other trolls is that ours feel a hair more remote/anonymous and quick-and-disposable because of the minimal nature of the chat interface. Or it could just be the target audience. Whatever the reason, something about MAA definitely brings these in droves. In MAA, there is no way to both immediately and permanently block (ignore) an offensive user... the "report" button lasts for the current browser session and then resets. You can also file a support ticket complaining about a particular vile user, however that is not unlike putting a letter into a bottle and chucking that bottle into a black hole.
- Parker - Parkers simply make an effort to minimize xp on their agent while maximizing every other aspect of play, almost exclusively focused on PVP, under the delusion that doing this grants some sort of 'boost' for wins... and, while statistically speaking this is probably true, parkers still deal with tons of *other* parkers in some hilarious race to some mix-max extreme. It should also be noted that being a so-called parker neither promises a win, nor does one need to be a parker to actually win at PVP. This type of player is sometimes viewed with distain, but I've found that the anger directed towards this type of player is typically petty and misguided.
- Wallet Warrior ("WW") - A designation for towards players who spend money on the game and then proceed to win at PVP because of it. While this can be easily dismissed as class rage, the argument is generally that a Wallet Warrior is compensating for a lack of skill with cash.
- Budgeted and Proud - This is the player that's puritanical about being a free player, and takes pride in not spending money on the game and being successful. I personally love these players, because they can be used to remind cynics that strategy and effort can defeat people that pay money. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, many of this type of player will harbor gripes towards the so-called 'Wallet Warrior', allowing the economics to define their experience.
- Disgruntled Escapist - More commonly referenced as 'complainer' or 'whiner', this is not someone who merely has objective observations of the (many) bugs, glitches, and weaknesses in the game, but the type of player that drones on at length about the negative aspects of the game. All users of Marvel: Avengers Alliance know it's not a utopian fantasy, but we don't dwell on it all day. Thankfully, compulsively negative people are usually easily identified through their relentlessness.
- Inebriated Escapist - This is a user that treats M:AA as their "happy place"--like some cheap (and twisted) therapy. They want a pleasant, nice, clean, Disneyland experience. Some of these players eventually become more articulated, as a direct response to their Bizarro cousins, the Disgruntled Escapist, and set out upon the futile quest of defending all criticism of the game. Also, some of these players are just straight-up drunk or high.
- The Darling - This is a character-worshiper player, that has one (or a handful) of characters that they're all about, in most cases coming from a love of the superhero icon predating their experiences in MAA. They will not only build teams around this character, and socially defend them at all costs, but play the character in more than 85% of their matches.
- Teamsters - These players, in a totally reasonable human act of community-seeking, have sworn some allegiance to the arbitrary, static, and crude 'Teams' mechanism within MAA. I personally like the fine folks at Theta, but ultimately such declarations are elusive and unrewarding... although they do provide some form of familiarity with other players in the game, something MAA is weak at establishing otherwise. Teamsters will always defend their team's 'name'.
- Jumper - This is a player that doesn't have any particular 'team' allegiance, and moves from team to team following the hourly tournament prizes that Playdom offers. Teamsters sometimes act as if jumpers were a kind of second class citizen--like an immigrant who hasn't gotten their proper shots, while conveniently ignoring how these folks help get them their precious tournament victories. I will, however, say that a sudden, epic flock of jumpers will frequently totally take over a team's chat feed, and this random assemblage of voices can make things kind of uncomfortable.
- BroVo - The BroVo player is ultra-competitive and hard frickin' core: they've totally devoted themselves to Marvel: Avengers Alliance, and aggressively try to get into 'Adamantium rank' in PVP. Maybe they're over-achievers, or totally psychotic. A BroVo may have a variety of motivating factors, but ultimately they're willing to do whatever they need to do to win, be it playing MAA in work/school, spending cash, detailing their battles in spreadsheets, or setting their enemies computers on fire. A true BroVo would happily give other players misinformation in the hope that misleading the competition will give them some kind of edge. (My newphew made up this word as a shortened way to say "Brother Voodoo".)
- Wiz Kids - Not a reference to urination, these users embody the 'Mechanics' player type (from Bartle's MMO Player Types). these players put aside time to discover, collect, and share specific nuances and mechanics of the game that aren't immediately apparent. Here in MAA, these players are our equivalent of oracles, and deserve heaps of adoration and love, for they take some of the math~y, data-driven workload off our gamer hands as a gift to others.
A final note: many players are multiple types simultaneously. Some day I'll write an expansion of this list to address the hybrids.