My First MMORPG: Marvel Heroes

In my long history of playing games, I’ve never seriously played an MMORPG. Sure, I played Phantasy Star Online to death on my GameCube, and flirted with Blue Burst when it was in free open beta. Yeah, I played a tiny bit of SWTOR during a free weekend. And, of course, I (along with MANY people I know) had a brief bout of MapleStory obsession.

But that’s the extent of my MMO experience. I’ve never touched WoW. Never played EverQuest or Guild Wars. Nothing. But all of that will change soon with Marvel Heroes.

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(To make everything squeaky clean with the developer, Gazillion, this is the part where I make it clear that I’m just rehashing publicly available information and there’s no closed beta NDA breaking going on here)

I don’t remember when/where I first heard about Marvel Heroes, but I DO know that I first got a chance to play it at PAX last year and loved it from the start. It feels like the lovechild of one of the old Ultimate Alliance games and a loot-based RPG like Diablo or Torchlight. You play as an existing Marvel hero (instead of creating your own character) and utilize different item drops to make them your own. Initially, you choose from a set of starter heroes (Daredevil, Storm, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, or Thing) but you can find/buy other heroes in the game.

hulk_hawkeye_1920x1080The different characters are like different classes in other MMORPGS, each with a few different power trees and such. That ensures that even in a clan full of Wolverines, no two are exactly alike. Loot is literally EVERYWHERE, much like the games I mentioned above, and consists of things like ability boosting items, full costumes, and maybe even entire characters.

I can’t speak much to the actual gameplay, but Massively did a good write-up.

boss_venom_1920x1080While the game is totally free-to-play, they have to make money somehow. Currently they’re doing so via a Founders Program which allows you to purchase extra heroes and costumes ahead of release. I feel like the game is worth $60 (like most console titles on release), so I’ll be buying one of the premium packs before the game launches.

So, yeah, this is going to be a time suck for me going forward. I’m hoping that more people I know will jump in on the action and that this game can be something I play for quite a while. The game is supposed to launch sometime in “Spring 2013”, but I’m hoping to put together a good group to play with before the game actually launches. If it looks like this might be your cup of tea, let me know and we’ll plan to play!

Looking Back

I feel like “looking back” is what I write about most often on here. Maybe even more than sports or video games? I think that’s because the past is very important to me. Not necessarily what is in the past, but how we move from the past into the present.

Things and people that seemed really important as little as two or three years ago have literally no meaning in my life at this point. And on the flip side, things that meant nothing or didn’t exist are a huge part of it.

Two years ago I would have never imagined that some of my best friends would be found, essentially, through the internet. I never could have guessed that I’d be planning events for a platinum sponsor of Child’s Play. I definitely didn’t see myself working with Twisted Pixel at conventions. And I didn’t really see myself working at ICES and enjoying it as much as I do.

Life can go by pretty damn fast and it doesn’t make a lot of sense sometimes. But when you take the time to look back, sometimes you realize that the journey took you to a pretty awesome spot.

My Team(s)

Anyone reading this knows, I’m a big fan of the Texas Longhorns when it comes to college football. However, Thursday night made me realize something: I am not an “exclusive” fan.

You see, over the last few years, I’ve watched more and more and more college football. I’m at the point where I watch every single televised game. I’m no longer just a Texas fan, I’m a fan of college football. And as a fan of college football as a whole, I’m a fan of more than one team.

Over the course of the last few years, I’ve adopted a few different teams for various reasons. I either find a player or a coach that I like, and I pull for them from week to week. Usually I gravitate towards particulary exciting teams, players, coaches. Sometimes I just end up pulling for the underdog. Either way, this means that on nights like Thursday night (When Texas lost to TCU), I’m not heartbroken, because I know that another one of my teams can pull through later in the weekend. Here are just a few of the teams that I’ve pulled for the last few years.

Michigan, because I like Denard Robinson
Boise State, because I like Chris Petersen
Oregon, despite the fact that Chip Kelly is a dick
Florida, because of Coach BOOM
Washington State, because of the pirate
And plenty more

So today, instead of worrying about what’s happening at Texas, who’s going to replace Mack Brown when he inevitably retires at the end of the season, what will happen in 2013, etc, I’m going to pull for Ohio State and Urban Meyer, Florida and Coach BOOM, Oklahoma State and Mike Gundy, Texas A&M and Johnny HeisManziel, and Notre Dame and Brian Kelly.

As a fan of college football, I can’t lose!