- DC Universe Online
- City of Heroes
- Champions Online
- Fusion Fall
- Hero Smash
You get the idea. Marvel's Super Hero Squad Online is different because it's all about Marvel's line of Super Heroes and specifically the Super Hero Squad Intellectual Property. To those ends, you never really play as a super hero of your own creation in this game.
To many, that's the clincher for NOT playing the game. People want to create their own superhero.
I remember my first table top super hero RPG back in the 80's, which was, in fact, titled Marvel Super Heroes. Wikipedia has a good way of putting the idea of Character Creation in that game:
"The game was intended to be played using existing Marvel characters as the heroes. The Basic and Advanced Sets both contained fairly simple systems for creating original superheroes, based on random ability rolls (a la Dungeons & Dragons). In addition, the Basic Set Campaign Book also allowed players to create original heroes by simply describing the desired kind of hero, and working together with the GM to assign the appropriate abilities, powers, and talents.
The Ultimate Powers Book, by David Edward Martin, expanded and organized the game's list of powers, making a fairly comprehensive survey of comic book-style super-powers. Players were given a wide variety of body types, secret origins, weaknesses, and powers. The UPB gave a much greater range to characters one could create . . ."
I didn't have the Ultimate Powers Book, but I remember my variation on Spider-Man from this game extremely well. The "Brown Tarantula" was awesome! I made my own comics about him when I was bored at church. :) Although it was my own creation, The Brown Tarantula was my avatar from a game meant to mostly be about Marvel's super heroes.
So, Super Hero Squad Online is also meant to be played using existing Marvel Characters as heroes. I don't think that should change. I think playing and buying these new characters and leveling your squad is the core idea of this game.
However, now approaching the twilight of my squad progression (I'm almost to Major), I'm pining for a bit of my own superhero creativity. Yes, I can go do that in any old super hero game, but now I'm invested in this game.
Here is what I propose: Once you become a "Major" you strive to obtain an even further level of progression . . . "General" perhaps. Once you obtain this level, then you open up a character of your own design who takes on the name of your squad. I want to build THEE "iridescent time hound" if you will.
I want to be able to choose my own "wide variety of body types, secret origins, weaknesses, and powers" and I want those choices to influence my eventual power emotes and combat moves.
It's asking a lot from this game, but if there ever was to be an expansion . . . I think the chance at creating your own character would not only bring the masses in, but would also make a lot of veterans in the game very happy. Being "unique" is important in these worlds and being "special" because you've invested a lot of time in an MMO world is also a key ingredient for the success of so many games out there. SHSO needs something "like" this . . . if not this.
I don't care if I have to grind heroes up to a 900 squad level as long as at the end of the rainbow there is a powerful character created that is all my own. THE IRIDESCENT TIME HOUND! Right?
I don't think it's a new idea, and I definitely don't think it's one that The Amazing Society or Gazillion hasn't heard before. They know their stuff. But you never know, this could be the reason for a six-month subscription to this game.
What do you think?