Doomsaw Dev Blog: August 9th 2013

Hi folks,

It’s the end of the week, which means it's Dev update time.

Defense System

We have been grinding nonstop on the defense system updates to the game. It’s a ton of hard work, but will be very rewarding once it’s all complete.

Here is a snippet from my forum post yesterday:

This is a colossal undertaking as it involves adjusting several hundred powers across 23 heroes. The defense rating system is also tied into the crit rating, dodge rating and damage pen rating system. It also involves every enemy being adjusted, every item adjusted and other core components of the game (attributes, affixes, etc.) CONTINUE READING »

Game Modes

We’ve also been iterating on Midtown Manhattan to make the density and threat as fun as possible while still being challenging and difficult. We started about at about 11/10 difficulty, we adjusted
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to about 7/10 difficulty yesterday and should be back to around 10/10 difficulty tomorrow (which is the goal).

We also pumped up the rewards for killing Midtown bosses by about 600% and will keep iterating on those rewards to make sure they are worth the time.

Internally, we’ve been playtesting the “Kobayashi Maru ” unwinnable scenario mode – which is an unending attack on the X-Men mansion. It’s almost ready to hit the Test Center. This mode will scale in difficulty and rewards until can’t handle it. One of the important things about this mode is that it deeply rewards people with good gear who play their heroes perfectly. It’s very important to us to have a mode that focuses on the importance of “perfect” gear and learning your hero inside and out.


PVP is almost ready for testing, but may be pushed back a couple of weeks for further iteration. The PVP team has been playtesting and iterating daily on this mode. I’ve been using Cable in PVP since I think he’ll be good, but Hulk, Thing and Colossus have been surprisingly good at tanking lots of damage while your team pushes towards the goal.

As we’ve mentioned, we have tech to allow powers to act differently in PVP than they do in PVE. We are experimenting with tuning crowd control and movement powers in PVP to make it more fun. Things like cooldowns on teleports and the most brutal crowd control make the game a bit more strategic while having zero effect on PVE. I am so excited to work at a game company that has the capability to do things like this. PVP doesn’t ever have to affect PVE.

We have two other PVP modes planned, including a large “strategic” PVP map that involves killing a bunch of mini-bosses, capturing nodes, cutting off supply lines and ultimately destroying the enemy headquarters. This should be done by the Holidays.

We want PVP to be an optional mode for any level of player. You should have the option to play it 100% of the time and level up through PVP only or never play it at all. Your choice. We estimate it will be about 5% of the game in terms of internal resources.

New Items

Relics are now complete and dropping on our internal servers. These are very much end-game item hunt activities and chase items. Relics have a new dedicated slot and stack to 1000 in that slot. So you can find a +attack speed relic which start off at 1% attack speed for the first relic and stacks with diminishing returns until it’s +150% attack speed (as a guess) once you have 1000 stacked up. It could take up to a year to get a full stack of 1000.

Team Insignia items will also have a new item slot and should be ready for October. They are keyed to each heroes’ team affiliation. So Luke Cage may be able use an insignia from Heroes for Hire, Defenders, Fantastic Four, Marvel Knights or Avengers since he was a member of those for a period of time in Marvel History. (How long a hero was affiliated with each team to allow them to use an insignia is still under discussion).

StarkTech items are still under development for a tentative November release, possibly earlier. These are very much endgame items that have powers that evolve and level up as your hero gains experience (even if your hero is level 60).

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New Heroes

With Torch out the door, work continues on several heroes, including Emma Frost (for release soon), Squirrel Girl and Luke Cage.

  • Squirrel Girl has A LOT of Squirrels running around and is a great martial artist.
  • Luke Cage can throw and create cars. He also gets Iron Fist as a teammate from level 1. Boom - Heroes are hired.
  • Emma Frost has some very cool and unique mind control powers that are being added to the game just for her.

Bugs and Fixes

We fixed about 300 small and medium bugs in the last few weeks and have a team working on a few hundred more next week. Gradually, every bug is getting squashed and every performance issue is being addressed. As you’ve noticed, we add more performance improvements and performance options with every patch. We have a few engineers and VFX people that are always seeking small and large solutions to improve performance as a high priority. (Quick example: Adjusting VFX on Hand Ninjas makes Midtown performance slightly better).

Eternity Splinters

We are upping the Splinter drop rate slightly for the next week and adding a small chance for enemies to drop a mega pack of 10 Splinters. The Splinter mega pack have no timer to ensure they drop, so they are completely dependent on randomness and influenced by special item find (although they still drop without special item find). You should see these dropping very soon!

Rare Chase Costumes

The number two message I get (after “please fix Thor”) is to sell chase costumes in the store. I agree that it’s frustrating that any player had very little chance of a finding the specific chase costume they want. They have been in the game exclusively for two months, so we can offer them on a super limited basis in the store for die-hard fans. After Mr. Brevik did an interview this week, we spoke and I'm happy to share the following:

Very soon we are going to make Rare Chase costumes available for purchase in the In-Game Store for G and from Adam Warlock for Eternity Shards. This will be a limited time sale, so we are also going to increase the Splinter drop rate a little to give everyone a chance to get these costumes.

Difficulty Modes

On top of the incredible amount of work that the team is working on that I’ve detailed previously, is of course, difficulty modes. For Heroic and Superheroic difficulties we are adding:

  1. New insane ambushes
  2. New challenging affixes for enemies and bosses (Turret Master, Haunted, Wall of Pain, MSLE anyone?)
  3. New very hard encounters with big rewards – like Doop, but deadly
  4. Increased rarity boost in Heroic and Superheroic modes (better chance for relics, uniques, cosmics and eventually Legendary and Ultimate items)
  5. Death penalties! (just for these modes – they require you to kill X mobs to get rid of the death penalty)

These new difficulty modes will reward players who acquire the best gear and play with solid tactics.

Hero Reviews

We have a bunch of hero reviews to complete, but are going slowly since the defense rework eliminates a lot of problems for melee heroes.
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Having said that, we know Daredevil, Hawkeye, Punisher, Deadpool, Jean Grey and Scarlet Witch need love. Iron Man is undergoing a small rework (he will receive a large review soon). Jean Grey is getting a bunch of changes which are almost complete. Black Panther, Colossus and Thing will also have some analysis underway.

Have a great weekend,