Living card game Marvel Champions: The Card Game has two new difficulty modes - rookie and heroic - that players can start applying to their games right away.
Marvel Champions is a cooperative card game in which players become iconic characters from the Marvel comic series, such as: Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Iron Man and She-Hulk, as they attempt to thwart the machinations of a classic supervillain. From Ultron to the Rhino, players will have to respond to the threat these evil-doers pose and reduce their health-pool down in order to save the world.
Each with their own crafted deck of hero cards - including some cards that are entirely unique to their chosen character - players will have to coordinate their attacks, find and equip useful items, buff their abilities and support their team-mates. Every hero in Marvel Champions plays differently, with some focusing more on pure attack - such as Captain Marvel - whilst offers provide a more supportive role, like She-Hulk.
The combinations of heroes chosen will likely determine what kind of game players have, as well as which villain they decide to confront - as each enemy in Marvel Champions provides a different set of challenges and level of difficulty.
Originally, the only alternate difficulty mode available in the game was expert mode, which had players adding in a selection of expert cards to the encounter deck of the particular villain they were playing against - thereby providing harder cards for heroes to deal with during the villain phase.
However, in an announcement made by co-designer Michael Boggs, players will be getting more difficulty options for Marvel Champions with the introduction of rookie and heroic modes. In response to player feedback requesting a wider range of difficulty - for both casual and more advanced players - Boggs revealed how players could apply these new modes to their game of Marvel Champions.
Rookie mode is designed for newer players or people who want a more relaxed experience, with the simple change of having the first stage of the villain be the only one - meaning that once players have reduced the villain’s health-pool once, then they automatically win.
Heroic mode is intended for advanced players looking for a more challenging experience than even expert mode can provide. In explaining the design process behind heroic mode, Boggs revealed that Jeremy Zwirn - developer on trading card game Star Wars Destiny - suggested that players simply deal themselves more encounter cards during the villain phase. Usually, each player will receive just one card during a villain phase - unless there is a currently active effect increasing or decreasing this number - but heroic mode will enable players to deal as many encounter cards as they think they can handle.
Each level of heroic mode will then be determined by how many encounter cards players deal themselves, so a level two heroic mode will have players dealing at least three cards each: one as standard, and two on top of that.
This announcement comes after the reveal of the next hero pack for Marvel Champions, The Incredible Hulk. Following on from Doctor Strange and Black Widow, The Incredible Hulk boasts an extremely large health-pool of 18, as well as the ability to deal out three attack as standard. However, any player who chooses Hulk can only hold four cards in their hand at any given time, and will be forced to discard their entire hand if they end their turn as the Hulk rather than Bruce Banner.
The Incredible Hulk hero pack is set to be released sometime in Q2 2020.