In October, 2019, we conducted a playtest of a feature being developed called, Iso-8. This playtest included ~100 players, many of which are high-level players, content creators or community leaders. We received a lot of great feedback from this, so much so that the team made changes to several of the core elements of the feature.
Now, here in June 2020, we’re happy to announce that a second playtest is about to take place with another ~100 players invited to test the feature further and provide more feedback. Once again we will be listening closely to what those players have to say, to help ensure that we deliver a feature that is unique, fun and rewarding.
This feature is still a work in progress and many elements are subject to change, but we would like to present you with a preview of the feature and why it’s the next evolution of Marvel Strike Force.
Iso-8 is a new progression system, somewhat similar to Gear, but for the first time will allow for you to customize the characters in your roster. Using Scientist Supreme’s latest invention, the Matrix, players equip Iso-8 Crystals to power up the machine. Each of these Crystals will increase the power of one of five core attributes: Health, Damage, Armor, Resist and Focus. Crystals will also be unique to certain traits, such as Protectors or Blasters.
Each type of Iso-8 Crystal has a specific slot to equip to one of five slots in the Matrix.
If you have enough Iso-8 Crystals of a lower level, you can fuse them to create a higher level Iso-8 Crystal.
Once you have a Crystal in each slot in the Matrix, you can select a Class for that character. Classes are the part of the feature that allows for the experimentation and “theorycrafting” of Iso-8.
There are five Classes contained in prisms that can be equipped to the Matrix. These Classes currently are:
Classes can be upgraded, similar to Abilities. Classes require all Iso-8 to be at the next Level in order to unlock the ability to upgrade the Class.
Marked (a purple icon) is a new mechanic coming with Iso-8, which increases incoming damage by 10%. Marked brings out the full power of some other Iso-8 classes, including the Striker which gains an additional attack against Marked enemies (doesn’t expire), but will consume it.
A Skirmisher can flip positive effects against marked targets and Healers can clear Marked from allies.
Additional new mechanics are also planned to release with this feature.
One of the primary methods of acquiring Iso-8 Crystals will be through a new Iso-8 Campaign. This campaign uses a new Iso-8 Energy to play Mission Nodes, and does not require regular Campaign Energy.
So that’s an overview of the new Iso-8 system as it stands today. As far as a release date is concerned, we’re estimating a window of late-September through early-October. But again this is subject to change.
We know that you likely have many questions about Iso-8 and we’ll try to answer them, but as much of this is subject to change, some of the answers might not yet be solidified.
We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of Iso-8.
Q: Will the stats bonuses that Iso-8 provide be randomly generated?
A: No, similar to Gear, the stats are pre-determined. You also get to choose the Class assigned to a character and how much you level-up.
Q: Will there be bonus Speed stats available?
A: There are currently no plans to include Speed stats.
Q: Will upgrades in Iso-8 require Gold?
A: No, currently the plan is to use a new resource called Ions to upgrade Classes and fuse Crystals.
Q: Can characters change their Class?
A: Yes, you can change Classes freely, but upgrading them will cost resources.
Q: Can Iso-8 pieces be moved around to different characters?
A: The current plan is that Iso-8 are locked to characters (similar to Gear), so there’s no need to spend time swapping them between characters.
Q: Will this system add significant time to daily play?
A: Upon getting familiar with the feature and completing the Iso-8 Campaign nodes, this system should not be requiring a significant daily time investment. It’s intended to compliment your experience with the game, not overshadow other components.
Q: Is this why the Health Bars were updated?
A: This is one of the reasons, yes. The previous pip indicators had essentially reached their maximum limit and not changing them would make Iso-8 bonuses very difficult to visualize.
EDIT @ 6/16 3:15pm PDT
Q: Are these Iso-8 upgrades going to be added to the AI in PvE environments?
A: There are no current plans for characters in existing PvE environments to retroactively have Iso-8 added to them. Conversely, PvE content released after Iso-8 being introduced is more likely