2021 Second-half Preview
August 3, 2021

Greetings, Marvel Strike Force fans! There’s certainly been a lot happening with the game and in the Marvel Universe in the first half of 2021. We’ve also spent a lot of time reading feedback from you, the players, and using that to make the experience with MSF even better.

Today, we want to pull back the curtain a bit and talk about some of the content and features that we’re working on in the second half of 2021 and provide a bit of a preview into what we’re planning in early 2022. Please keep in mind that dates can shift and that everything mentioned here is generally subject to change.


The Player Journey

Behind the scenes, the dev team has been talking about how several updates will happen in succession over the coming months. We came to call this “the player journey” as we’re metaphorically setting players down a path that has checkpoints and goals. So as you read this section, keep in mind that these topics are best looked at as a narrative rather than individual beats.


T2 Iso-8 (Blue)

We recently released T2 Iso-8 into the game as rewards for the Doom Raids and some limited-time offers. While this is in itself not news, this is essentially the beginning of the journey and leads directly to the subsequent chapters.


Player Level 85

Get ready to earn XP and improve your Commander level up to 85! We made mention of this in a recent blog post and have plans to further infuse more Gold into the monthly economy to help ensure that your progression feels good. On top of the recent infusion into the Gold economy, leveling up should feel satisfying.


As it’s been about a year since the cap was raised to level 80, this improvement will assist in getting through some of those challenges that are particularly daunting. Unlike the level cap increase last year, the next iteration of Gear Tier will come at a later date.


Orange Gear Economy Update

We will be increasing the availability of Orange Gear pieces, paying particular attention to the unique pieces as they have been rather hard to come by. 


Gear Tier 16

The next level of power will be available to your roster with Gear Tier 16. Instead of it being another iteration of Orange Gear, we’re breaking with tradition and starting the next color of gear (Teal). By moving to the next color tier, we can increase accessibility to certain Orange Gear, and help players get to features like DD4 faster. The Teal Tier will also have a slightly simplified structure to make it easier to track which pieces you need in the future.


Doom Raid II

This will be one of the primary ways to earn Gear Tier 16 (Teal). The Iso-8 requirements for characters to enter will be T2 Iso-8 (Blue), and the trait requirements will mirror Doom Raid I exactly, so you can build on the same characters and teams. The rewards available here will grant progress towards T2 Iso-8, but the exact details are still being worked on. 


Dark Dimension V

The first four chapters of Dark Dimension have been leading up to this moment. The epic fifth chapter of Dark Dimension will have a requirement of Gear Tier 16 and certain character traits. There may be some additional requirements, which are still to be finalized, and we will share full details at a later date.

Should you succeed in this monumental quest, you will harness the incomparable power of the Cosmic Conqueror, Dormammu, to add to your roster. This is the concept art, and the final version of the character could change:

Dormammu 2

Improvements

Alliance War

While this feature continues to be many players' favorite game mode, we understand the desire to keep things fresh with periodic updates. We recently ran a playtest with nearly 100 players to get feedback on some proposed changes to streamline the experience. The feedback provided by those players gave us some clearer direction on how to improve the experience, and we’re implementing those changes in a second round of playtesting in the near future. With a second round of feedback, we should be able to make some meaningful updates to Alliance War live in the coming months. Be sure to read our weekly Friday posts for more updates in the near future.


Real-Time Arena

This is another feature where we’re looking to streamline the experience. Here’s a list of improvements we’re looking at making in the coming months:

  • Reducing the initial loading timer from 160 seconds to 75 seconds
  • Bans will include Role and Origin traits, in addition to individual characters
  • Making Objectives based on KOs and Wins, rather than on ability traits 
  • A bit later, we are planning an update that may include improvements to how progress is made towards the RTA Battle Pass and improved matchmaking.

We’re very interested to see how this changes your experience and would very much like to hear your feedback when the updates are live. We’ll continue to monitor the feature and there could be additional changes in the future.


Economy

We’ve made numerous improvements to the availability of resources across the board in the first half of 2021 and will continue this trend in the second half of the year. We want to ensure that your character roster progression feels steady and rewarding.


Quality of Life Improvements

Saved Squads

Yeah, we mentioned this in the first preview blog for 2021, but it was slightly delayed. We’re happy to announce that it’s nearly here and we can share more details about it now:

  • In addition to the 40 squads players currently have, we’ll be adding four tabs linked to game modes that have 40 saved squads in each tab (160 in total)
  • For newer players: you’ll need to reach certain player levels to fully unlock all the slots
  • Level 40 => 15 slots
  • Level 71 => +5 / 20 slots
  • Level 72 => +10 / 30 slots
  • Level 75 => +5 / 35 slots
  • Level 80 => +5 / 40 slots
  • The four modes with tabs associated with them are Blitz, Raids, Arena, and Alliance War. It’s worth noting that this feature could scale with new game modes in the future, should the need arise.
  • If you open the Saved Squads menu while selecting a team in one of these modes, you will default to viewing the tab for that game mode. All tabs are available for use from any game mode.
  • Cycling through Saved Squads in Blitz will cycle through the squads saved in your Blitz Tab.


Auto-Basic Combat

This has been highly requested and we’re definitely excited to deliver it. Turning on this Advanced Option will give you a second option in Auto Combat to instruct your characters to only use Basic attacks. This will especially be helpful in modes like Raids, where you likely want to save Special and Ultimate abilities for later nodes that are more difficult.


Sort by Character Level

This one is fairly straightforward: In the character roster, you will be able to sort by character level, both ascending and descending.


Expanding API Features

We have been absolutely floored by the amount of interest we got regarding access to the game’s API. We were expecting a few dozen inquiries but ended up getting over 400 emails! We’re currently working with a limited number of partners, but we want to expand access over time. One big thing (possibly the biggest thing) players want from the API is the ability to import their player roster into a platform where it can be easily viewed/shared by themselves and other players (especially their alliance). With this request in mind, we have made working on additional functionality of the API a priority. This is one of our many long-term commitments to supporting our awesome community of players.


More Costumes

This feature was introduced a few months ago and we’ve read over a metric ton of requests from players for costumes for their favorite Marvel heroes and villains. We plan to release more costumes with each major version update and we’re excited to give you a preview of some more stellar outfits that you’ll be able to add to your virtual closet in the near future.

Costumes 2

In Early 2022...

We usually keep the scope of these previews limited to ~6 months ahead as the content and features mentioned are reasonably reliable targets. But there’s something in particular a bit outside of that scope that we just can’t wait to announce…


New Game Mode

We’re thrilled to announce that a brand new game mode has started production and internally we’re calling the project: “Grand Tournament!” We want to create an experience that gives players the opportunity to flex the power of your top teams and use many of the best characters in your roster in new and exciting ways. This mode will test your skills in offense, strategies on defense, and ability to adapt to a shifting battlefield.

We will share some of the details in how we are designing the feature, but do keep in mind that these are subject to change and the final product might look different.


Tournament Structure:

  • Players get matched into a large group and will take turns fighting each other over the course of a week
  • Players will battle opponents based on a Swiss-system tournament (non-elimination) with multiple rounds
  • Victory Points will be earned and accumulated over multiple rounds and tallied at the end to determine ranks


Combat:

  • In the Setup phase, players assign several teams on defense into “rooms” - these teams cannot be used to attack
  • In the Attack phase, players attack the opponent’s defending teams, scoring more points for a better performance
  • To keep things fresh, Tournaments will have rotating different rules for the rooms that will affect the offensive and defensive teams, so you’ll want to mix up your strategies


Seasons:

  • Tournaments will be part of a Season lasting several months, and all the Victory Points earned in that time will place players into Divisions
  • The better your Division, the better rewards you will receive at the end of a Tournament
  • Divisions will contribute to your rank on the Global Leaderboards


We’re still in the early stages of development, but we intend to work with our players to get early feedback and conduct playtests to ensure that we deliver an experience that will be challenging and rewarding for all the contestants. We’re also keeping in mind how the time spent in this mode fits in with daily play, and how we might streamline other features to compensate for it.


Summary

That about wraps it up for this preview. We’re working on even more updates and improvements, and we will continue to keep you updated on the status of these topics in our weekly updates that we publish every Friday at 2:00PM PDT (Pacific Time) here on our website. Those posts really are the best way to stay on top of the latest news and previews.

We greatly appreciate all the support that the players have given us. We’re committed to providing the best gaming experience possible and we look forward to playing along with you in 2021, 2022, and beyond!



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