UPDATE: Pattern matching
Now that the hero deploy list for Spec Ops 6 is known to us, how did our observations do? This section is the Epilogue to this article, where we figure out which patterns held, which patterns broke, lessons learned, and so on.
- Tigra, Deadpool, Beast for Epic Boss (Mission 3), needed to finish the Epic Boss task requirement to recruit Havok
- Nightcrawler and Phoenix for Epic Boss (Mission 2), needed to finish one of the tasks in the sidequests to recruit Magneto
Note - Technically, Kurt and Jean aren't necessary for you to acquire Magneto - they just increase the chances of you doing so.
So, Tigra and Deadpool fit the "recently released hero" pattern that's been present in Spec Ops 2 onwards. Beast is a mild surprise, because we've seen Playdom do repeats previously, and on consecutive missions (Gambit). Their CP total is 315, which is roughly par for the course.
I'm unsure how to treat Nightcrawler and Phoenix, since this is a new development. If we treat them the same as Tigra, DP, and Beast, I would speculate that Kurt's being pushed because he's unpopular in-game (Gee, I wonder). Jean's situation is kinda like Storm's - an old character with a fancy revamp of their moveset in time for the latest Spec Ops. Dr Strange bucks that trend, tho; he hasn't been a requirement yet (unless this applies to 48CP heros and up only).
Repeated heroes, then, seem to be a not-uncommon practice for Spec Ops Epic Boss requirements. Playdom's criteria of who to choose seem to be based on user purchases in game, which I don't have any data, and as such cannot comment on.
What to Watch Out For Next
It seems we can still reliably expect to see the new hero to be the next requirement for the next Spec Ops... maybe Cable, and/or Psylocke (I hope not both at the same time, because that's 270 CP right off the bat). Or if Playdom releases a new guy (There's still X-23, Red Hulk, Moon Knight, Damon Hellstrom, etc). If we also see a new revamped hero he/she has a good chance as well. 23 and 33 CP heros are still a rarity.
Since Magneto's lockboxes are being touted as a "New Feature" by Playdom, and with the UI change to accommodate them, I think they'll be sticking around. Dunno who's next, since Magneto's the only one story-wise to have a reason to change sides. You guys may say Elektra's next, but I'm not seeing anything from her in-game that would suggest she's going good.
STILL, we have to remember to not jump the gun and buy them before the Spec Ops actually arrives, because a) there isn't any incentive to buying them before we know who to buy, and b) none of us can 100% predict what Playdom's next move is.
ALSO, and I don't really need to say this because you guys know this, but the Spec Ops is largely a thing Playdom does to get people to give them more money. (The Magneto bit is kinda brilliant, when you think about it.) That's the foremost reason why the pattern "newly recruitable heroes" held so far, IMHO.
----------------(end new analysis)----------------
The biggest question for the next Spec Ops is "Who's up for grabs?".
What I'll try to answer instead is "Who could be the needed deploy heroes in the inevitable Epic Boss encounter?" This would spell the difference between a mad scramble for CP or resignation to skip the task using Gold. Keep in mind that I'm only speculating for the Epic Boss encounter, which is (starting from SO2) always one of the 25 tasks to complete the Spec Ops.
Patterns and such
The usual pattern that emerged, starting from Spec Ops 2 (the one that started the task-based process instead of the 15-star process), is:
- One or more recently released Heroes;
- Several underused older heroes, and;
- Marvel history has nothing to do with the Spec Ops Rewards hero and the deploy requirements
For the second category, I'm purely guessing (but I still feel this is a safe bet), by basis of Playdom being a company and all, that they have nothing to gain by choosing the more popular heroes in-game (Cap, Thor, Hulk) as requirements, because a lot of people already have them, and that won't boost sales as much as choosing the less popular ones. Still, this is merely speculation.
So far, except for one case (Gambit), no hero requirement got repeated:
- Mockingbird - Black Widow and Spider-Woman
- Emma Frost - Colossus, Scarlet Witch, and Jean Grey
- Magik - Gambit, Nightcrawler, Rogue, and Black Panther
- Ghost Rider - Quicksilver, Hercules, Gambit, Daredevil
- Valkyrie - Beast, Kitty Pryde, Storm, Wolverine
Why they decided to use Gambit twice, I have no idea. Maybe Gambit didn't sell enough despite his popularity?
So, we can probably exempt the following from the pool:
- Previous Spec Ops Heroes: Mockingbird, Emma, Magik, GR, and Val.
- Our starting heroes: Black Widow, Hawkeye, Iron Man. And if they were a requirement, hey freebie!
- Popular heroes (especially PVP): This list may vary. The only one I can probably confirm in here is Cap. Mayyybe Strange. I haven't seen Adamantium levels, but I don't think it'd vary too much from the hero selection I encounter in the top 1%.
- Previous Hero Requirements
So, who are left in the list?
- 15 CPs: Iron Fist, She Hulk, Invisible Woman, Cyclops, Ms. Marvel
- 23 CPs: Luke Cage, Sif, Black Cat
- 33 CPs: Mr Fantastic, Human Torch, Thing
- 48 CPs: War Machine
- 90+ CPs: Tigra, Spider-man, Thor, Hulk, Deadpool, Cable?
Safest bet here is Tigra. Deadpool is a toss-up, as we have no precedent. Personally, I feel he (and the succeeding PVP reward heroes) now falls into the same category as Tigra. IF Deadpool becomes a requirement, Cable may also be one, depending on whether he gets released before the Spec Ops or not. The freebies (Iron Fist, She Hulk, IW, Cyclops, Ms. Marvel) haven't been any Epic Deploy requirement for Spec Ops stuff, because they're cheap/easy to get, so it's possible that Playdom won't make them requirements as well.
So far, I'd rank them like so:
- 90% - Tigra
- Good chance - Deadpool
- Fair toss up - Luke Cage, Black Cat, Mr. Fantastic, Thing, War Machine, Sif, Spider-Woman (Spec Ops 1 req, so she can be discounted from the Prev. Requirements thing)
- Medium to Low chance - Thor, Hulk, Human Torch. Basis - enjoying relative success in PVP, so Playdom has no need to push them for player purchase. Spider-man, not as popular in PVP, but he's SPIDER-MAN, and he has cool PvE stuff, so lots of players may already have him.
- Low chance - 15 CPs - freebie, so lots of people have them already, therefore low sales.
IF they're repeating requirements, I'd put Rogue and Black Panther on the Fair toss up, the rest on the Medium to Low chance.
IF they'll start with the storyline-linked heroes with the next Spec Ops, and IF Vision/Ultron is involved, I'm betting on Tigra, Luke Cage, War Machine, and Spider-man. (271 CPs) If they're pushing Deadpool, he can trade places with Spidey.
EDIT: As AWc noted in the comments section, because of Spider-man's Epic Boss and Premium Mission, I decided to move him down a notch to "Medium to Low chance". I still don't think Luke Cage is quite on the same boat, though; while he and Spidey enjoy PvE distinction, Spidey's the only one between them who can make a dent in the PVP meta (and he's not even in the A-List of PVP chars, at that).
ADDENDUMS, CAVEATS, et cetera
As Potkettleblack reminded me in the comments section, KEEP IN MIND that these are at best educated guesses and at worst pointless ramblings of a fellow MAA player; Playdom can very much buck the trend. For all we know, Tigra might not be needed in the Spec Ops! So hold that thought of buying her just yet until the Spec Ops (and the Hero Requirements) arrive.
KEEP CALM AND FARM CP.