Recently, during the second in a series of live streams planned for the run up to Marvel's Midnight Suns' December 2 launch, members of the Firaxis development team revealed the four Marvel heroes that will be joining the game as Season Pass DLC next year. Creative Director Jake Solomon, Lead Designer Joe Weinhoffer, and Senior Producer Rachel Sima also played through two Tactical Missions while offering insights into the game's turn-based card combat. You can watch an archive of the entire live stream below. Note that some characters and skins featured require unlocking via gameplay.
The stream afforded us an action-packed look at how some of the Midnight Suns heroes fight alongside each other, as well as at how you can improve and modify their abilities as you progress through the main story. For the first mission, damage-dealers Ghost Rider and Spider-Man teamed up with Nico Minoru, who can heal her allies while generating a lot of Heroism.
In case you're unfamiliar with Marvel's Midnight Suns' Heroism system, here's a quick explanation courtesy of Senior Franchise Producer Garth De Angelis:
"Heroism is the resource that your heroes use to unleash their signature and most powerful moves. You earn Heroism by playing less powerful abilities, thus building the capital to unload a pivotal, turn-the-tide onslaught. The best heroes know how to manipulate the battlefield to their advantage, so in addition to using Heroic abilities, you can use Heroism to perform bonus Environmental Attacks that don't spend any of your remaining Card Plays. Your heroes can vault off giant boulders to pound Hydra Mystics into the ground, kick dumpsters at Shadowhounds to send them flying, pull streetlamps down on top of Hydra Commandos - the battlefield is your playground!"
Knowing how and when to use Heroism is key, and is just one of the decisions you'll need to make each turn along with which ability cards to play and whether to reposition any of your heroes. That's after you've decided which heroes to bring into your next Tactical Mission, of course. Which Midnight Suns members' abilities are best-suited to the mission objective? Do any of your heroes' skill sets synergize particularly well? Should you play with favorites you've already leveled up or invest in different heroes who could prove useful in later missions?
The team selected for the second on-stream mission again included Ghost Rider, who this time fought alongside Blade, who employs Bleeding and Lifesteal status effects to deal additional damage and self-heal; and Captain America, who protects allies by taunting enemies into attacking him instead.
The heroes were leveled up before attempting this challenging mission, so not only were their Health and Offense stats higher, but they also had access to upgraded ability cards. Heroes can be upgraded by playing through the campaign. Here's Lead Designer Joe Weinhoffer to share more info on hero progression and ability upgrades:
"Every hero has multiple ways they can progress and improve their abilities over the course of the campaign. First, every hero has a character level that determines their Health and Offense in combat. Playing ability cards in combat for a hero will grant them XP, and eventually they will level up and improve their stats. The Offense stat affects the damage dealt by all of that hero’s ability cards, so more Offense is always better for more damage!
"The next step is to Upgrade an ability, which gives it a pre-determined boost in power. Every hero ability has an Upgrade, with bonuses including increased damage, reduced Heroism cost, additional status effects, bonus resource generation, and more. The Upgrades have all been designed to complement the hero’s overall ability kit and primary gameplay role. For example, Blade inherently applies a lot of Bleeding to enemies, so some of his Upgrades grant additional bonuses when targeting Bleeding enemies. It’s always a good idea to Upgrade hero ability cards to reach their full potential.
"Finally, once an ability has been upgraded, it can then gain a Mod as a final boost. Mods are similar gameplay bonuses to Upgrades, but aren’t specific to a given ability or hero – the Mod which appears on a given card is random. You may find a card with a minor Mod to give a slight damage boost or an incredibly powerful one which adds Knockback or makes a card Free!
"Mods provide that extra edge in combat, and since they are random, there is a ton of flexibility on how your version of Blade may differ from another player’s. Modded cards start appearing in Gamma Coils later in the game, or Mods can be directly added and rerolled in the Yard once the Crucible upgrade is constructed. You can reroll the Mods on each of a hero’s abilities until you have the perfect synergistic build."
In addition to answering questions from the community, the Firaxis trio confirmed that the four heroes joining the Midnight Suns roster in Season Pass DLC next year are Deadpool, Venom, Morbius, and Storm. The Season Pass is available as part of the Legendary Edition and is also available for individual purchase. We'll have more information to share on their respective in-game abilities next year. In the meantime, look out for the next Marvel's Midnight Suns Live Stream with Firaxis where members of the development team will be diving into a bunch of the fun things you'll be doing with your team of heroes when you're not in combat.