Just today, we got the first full look at Black Panthers’ costume leaked online for Marvel’s Avengers. It was a little something to tide us over until the next update arrives. Players are still anxiously waiting for the first release of the AIM Cloning Lab, which is being teased by Crystal Dynamics. The good thing is that the developers have been very active in their communication. You’ll find them reacting to tweets, Discord chats, and Reddit throughout the day to find the best to solve people’s issues. The developers are very passionate about the game, and it shows. Today, we got a live-stream of the developers that highlight this fact. It included their Community Manager @StrumSlinger and one of the developers from behind-the-scenes Phil, who many might recognize from his many Reddit posts. We didn’t get any reveals as it was a community stream. Yet, they did answer a lot of questions that included some teases for the future.
Before we get into any game-related topics, I have to highlight the biggest reveal from this stream. Crystal Dynamics, like many other companies, was hit hard by the pandemic. They confirmed that motion-capture work is happening, but they have to abide by the two-week quarantine rule putting them back weeks. Not just that, they also had to face the California wildfires, which don’t even count issues that they face in their own homes, such as power outage or Internet loss. All this can set you back days or even weeks of work. With the mo-cap reveal, an afternoon of recording turns into multiple weeks of work. The honesty was a great touch, and it must’ve been hard. They also confirmed that all these delays were because of these circumstances. We would’ve seen most of this content much earlier. It doesn’t make it easier for anyone, but I do believe that it is essential to note what kind of circumstances these developers are facing. Even with all of this happening, they still manage to get out patch after patch, which I believe is impressive.
Now, let us recap the reveals and major talking points from the stream:
- There was a brief mention that caught my attention. It seems a small little addition will be available with an upcoming patch that focuses on a highly demanded Inhuman. CD highlighted it is a small addition. So, this could be a character showing up in an outpost, or maybe even a short cutscene. My theory right now is that it is Inferno, also known as Dante Pertuz. He had a brief cameo in the campaign, so we hopefully get more of him.
- A frequent question during the stream focused on if they will add Marvel Cinematic Universe skins. It seems they are actively looking into it and that new skins for every character are already in development.
- One major reveal is that they are actively working on multiple new villains. Currently, the game only includes four Villain sectors, excluding MODOK and Monica from the campaign. So, it is a welcome and needed change to give an incentive for the daily challenges. The way they phrased it gives me some hope that we could see their addition outside of character expansions. So far, it got confirmed that every new character received a unique villain, but that would restrict them quite a bit. I think smaller villain updates could add some flair to the faction missions that tend to repeat very frequently.
- Our hosts also mentioned that they are adding some complexity to bosses, so that is an exciting prospect. There was mention of the AIM Cloning Lab as the first step towards that direction. It’ll be interesting to see how this game evolves once its content updates start rolling out.
- They teased the AIM Labs quite heavily. So, there is a chance we might see it sooner rather than later. There was mention that they are doing some final testing over the weekend, so if everything goes well, we could see it next week potentially. They teased a larger patch update, so there might be a connection here. Do not expect Kate before the Labs update.
- They are actively looking at revamping their loot system. CD has some short-term and long-term plans for its development, which is promising. I shared my idea of a weapon slot that could add some incentive with visual changes and even gameplay adaptations. If you’re interested, you can check it out here. They also confirmed they are looking into loadouts as well, which will help people with their builds.
- Currently, they are not planning on anything relating to PvP, so that probably should not be expected anytime soon. I do believe there is potential here with inspirations from Secret Wars or Avengers Arena. Heroes fighting each other is a tradition of its own at this point.
- Events are coming, but as a result of the current issues, it will take some time. We can potentially expect seasonal additions once things calm down, so here’s looking forward to it.
- There was a brief mention of them working on better ways to communicate with the community. As I mentioned above, they’ve been much more active. However, they are trying to find new ways to effectively tease content changes and additions, which might be their way of solving the “soon” issue. We got another tease of the road map, which seems to be taking shape. We could see it during the upcoming November War Table video.
- There were rumors on Reddit that Thor got nerfed, as his Heroic rating is very high. Luckily, those rumors were untrue through an official confirmation during the stream.
- CD also mentioned some other minor updates. They are working on changing up existing content, highlighted the issue with Captain America’s slow running speed, and that the trophy bugs might get fixed with the next update.
Overall, this was a fun stream to watch. Yes, we didn’t get any timings, but that wasn’t the point of the stream. They took their time to be as transparent as they can while spending time with the community. A personal highlight was the reveal that Phil created a Mjolnir prop, which got used during the motion capture. There were some fun moments, and sadly I didn’t have the opportunity to join them in a game. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance in a future stream, as they are planning on making this a weekly event. I believe we are slowly nearing the end of the dry spell with Avengers, but I know as little as everyone else. The delays have made it difficult for many, which is understandable, so hopefully, the November War Table video isn’t too far away, and we finally get to see the game grow.