The 2015 Advance Pack

Marvel Heroes is a free to play game but nothing in life is free. I wrote a post some time back talking about how I personally felt I got more out of the game, by spending a little. So it’s no secret that I’ve spent money on this ‘free’ game. I think I may also have said in that post, and if I didn’t then I’ll say it here, that I much prefer this free to play, spend what you want business model.

What you pay and when is entirely down to you. The choice is yours, if you choose not to pay anything then all the content is still available. You can play the game from here until it shuts down (which is hopefully a long time from now) without spending a dime, or anything more beyond your initial investment if you choose to pay something. Contrast this with Warcraft where you have to pay for the game, then keep paying to access the game. If you don’t keep paying then you are shut out, unable to access what you have already paid for.

Anyway, recently Marvel Heroes announced their second Deluxe Advance Pack for the upcoming year. I bought the one for this year and I’ve been really pleased with it, so getting this next one was an easy decision. In fact bizarrely for a ‘free to play’ game, my biggest regret with Marvel Heroes is that I didn’t discover the fact that it existed until launch. As I definitely would have been interested in the Ultimate Pack, that was one hell of a deal.

That’s beside the point so back to it. There’s this thread on the Marvel Heroes forums where a poster basically says that they don’t like the 12 heroes chosen for the pack. It could have been a good thread where people posted their ideal pack, but given the aggressive and negative tone he took, it was more of an attack than a fun “what would you have liked?” thread. So I didn’t respond to it but it made me wonder. I like the pack as it is, but if I’d been a Gaz dev having to choose the lineup, what would I have picked?

The real advance pack
There’s two options, the regular and then the deluxe version. The base pack gives you the 12 heroes, their stash tabs, 12 retcon devices and 12 iridium triple boosts. Gaz estimates the value of the pack at $192 and charges $99 for it. For just $30 more you get the deluxe pack estimated worth at $380 which gives you in addition 12 more retcons, 12 more boosts, an exclusive pet, an additional costume per hero, 2 additional costumes on early access one of which is enhanced. Plus if you buy the pack within the first month you get another hero, their stash, 2 retcons, 2 boosts and 3 additional costumes for them. It’s a no brainer as to which is the better value.

There is however a difference between this advance pack and the first advance pack from last year. Last year the bonus hero was a 600 splinter, this one is 200 splinter, to make up for that they’ve given 2 more additional costumes for the hero so the value is the same. I missed this bonus as I didn’t get the pack in time, something else I regret as the price of the pack didn’t change, meaning I just missed out on free stuff.

The other difference between the packs is in the extras. Last years deluxe advanced gave 72 fortune cards, 24 each of Mark 4-6. Instead this year we get the 24 boosts and the pet. I don’t remember what the regular pack amount was. Personally I feel the cards offered a lot more value than the boosts. Indeed Gaz valued the pack higher at $425 which is $45 more than this year, but the cost to buy is the same. With the cards the minimum you got was boosts, there was a chance at costumes, pets, ultimate tokens etc. However, Gaz said that a lot of people didn’t like them, which is why they went with the boosts, plus they aren’t sure what the future of fortune cards is in the game. Doesn’t change my opinion on it, but I guess it kinda explains why they changed it.

The heroes in this years advance pack are:
– Black Cat
– Blade
– Doctor Doom
– Iceman
– Iron Fist
– Kitty Pryde with Lockheed
– She-Hulk
– Vision
– War Machine
– Winter Solider

I want Iceman, I’m interested in War Machine and the Winter Soldier. I may have been more interested in Kitty if it wasn’t for the permanent Lockheed, as I don’t know who that is. I just want to phase through stuff. I’m kinda interested in Blade, I don’t know much about him but he looks cool. I think Doctor Doom has potential. Vision is in the upcoming movie and I love the movies. Which basically just leaves Black Cat, Iron Fist and She-Hulk as ones I’m a bit meh about, plus the two unknown spots. It’s a good pack, no denying that.

Plus I have to remember the first pack. I didn’t know anything about Moon Knight, I’d never heard of him prior to this game, and he was my second hero to 60 as he was so much fun to play. Psylocke again not a hero I really knew anything about, and she might be my favourite in the whole game right now. Without getting the pack I wouldn’t have prioritized trying those heroes and I wouldn’t have known what fun they were.

The two unknown spots are unknown obviously. However, the forum have put together all the dev posts to make a list of possibilities.
– Ant-Man (90% chance, tech dependent but then they said that for Rogue)
– Dazzler
– Falcon
– Havok
– Jubilee
– Mystique
– Nick Fury
– Spider Woman
– Super Skrull
– Wasp
From this list I think Ant-Man is pretty much a given, especially due to the upcoming movie. For the second spot I’m tempted to say that Nick Fury is most likely, as before the announcement he was on the “dev collected posts list” as guaranteed in the pack. However, they could surprise us with someone not on this list or pick one of the others, nobody knows.

So what would my pack be?
From the real pack I’d keep:
– Iceman
– War Machine
– Winter Soldier (part villain, at least in the past)
– Kitty with optional Lockheed (which makes it different I guess)
Then I’d add:
– Jubilee
– Havok
– Nick Fury (with summonable Howling Commandos according to the dev tease)
– Magik
– Pyro (part villain)
– Electro (to be honest I thought he was 100% villain but he can’t be as they’ve said he could be playable one day)
With the X-23 bonus bundle Gaz has shown some willingness to make up value with costumes. They don’t include any 200 splinter heroes in the pack as they want to make them good value. That being said I believe an Agent Coulson hero would be a 200 splinter, however I think it could be in the pack if it came with an Enhanced Maria Hill costume, a combination the devs teased once. If that were possible then I’d definitely add him to the pack.
Tech dependent the last two heroes would obviously be:
– Ant-Man
– Quicksilver
If technology didn’t allow then, given that Beast is stated to be a 200 splinter hero, two more names could be:
– Angel
– Doctor Doom

To make that list neat and understandable. I’ll just write the optimum box list:
– Agent Coulson (with Maria Hill Enhanced costume)
– Ant-Man
– Electro
– Havok
– Iceman
– Jubilee
– Kitty Pryde
– Nick Fury
– Pyro
– Quicksilver
– War Machine
– Winter Soldier
That means there are three ‘villains’ in the pack which Gaz did with the first one. The only issue might be that it’s X-Men heavy but then there are a lot of X-Men and they did work with other organisations. For example Quicksilver might be a mutant but he is going to be in the upcoming Avengers movie, as an Avenger obviously.

So what costumes would I like to see on this list? I probably should have written up a costume wishlist for the real pack, I’ll come back to that. Ok so by hero:
– Agent Coulson as himself in a suit, kinda obvious and Maria Hill in her jumpsuit from the first Avengers film.
– Ant-Man, movie costume obviously and as for the second, I don’t know this hero so I’m not really bothered. I would choose the movie above all else.
– Electro, movie costume from the Amazing Spiderman and his classic comic look for other people.
– Havok, movie costume (there’s a theme here) and his classic X-Factor for the second.
– Iceman movie costume (with effects) and X-Men Gold for the second.
– Jubilee Nation X and Classic.
– Kitty Pryde movie costume and modern.
– Nick Fury movie costume and classic ultimate.
– Pyro movie costume and Planet X.
– Quicksilver movie costume and classic blue.
– War Machine movie from Iron Man 2 and movie Iron Patriot from Iron Man 3.
– Winter Solider movie and from the comics.

Then of course we can’t forget the bonuses to the pack. X-23 can stay as it is, as I’m fine with that being the early bird bonus. As for the rest of the bonuses, in my ideal pack the same deal on fortune cards would be offered, 72 cards, 24 each of Mark 4-6. No need for an exclusive pet, though obviously I wouldn’t say no. Retcons, stash etc. would stay the same.

As for the two bonus costumes if it didn’t have to be unreleased then I would suggest Rocket Raccoon Movie costume as I’d really like that one. To be honest I would be ok with not having an enhanced costume. I don’t actually think either of the costumes in the first pack were enhanced so it would probably be ok. I like the look of the Magneto Black Marvel Now. However, rather than Spider Girl I’d pick:
– Jean Grey Movie as even though I don’t have this hero, I think all of her costumes are ugly. She needs a decent looking one. If it can’t be movie then New X-Men.

Costumes for the real pack
I can’t be bothered to run through all of them as so long as they aren’t ugly looking I don’t have a preference on most of them. I also won’t repeat the ones I already said.
– Doctor Doom movie which is basically classic and future foundation.
– She-Hulk Jeans and lawyer.
– Vision movie costume which I can’t find pics of and that’s all I want.

So that’s my list. Hopefully all the heroes I’ve listed here will one day be in the game. Until then I’ll continue my quest to get all heroes to level 60 and then start prestiging my favourites.