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Venom Update Plan & Community Feedback Request

GazillionLocation San Mateo, CAPosts: 1,429 Staff
edited May 10

Hello Venom fans!

When we asked for your feedback after the Biggest Update Ever regarding the quality of heroes, it was clear that Venom was going to need more than a minor set of changes.

In making Venom, we set out to be inspired by a wide variety of his source material - comics spanning decades, video games, and TV/film appearances. This resulted in a Venom we believed to be a unique take, but it did not satisfy players who really wanted to focus in on only one of those aspects - particularly, the “Classic” Lethal Protector Venom.

We want to change that.

To do so, since this project is heavily influenced by community expectations and requests, I come to you much earlier in the process with the plan regarding Venom’s changes. This is a very rare occasion and a special exception in Venom’s case - we generally want to present a playable prototype in Test Center before judgments can be made, as it is much more difficult to judge words on paper compared to actual playtesting.

None of these changes are in progress yet and are all subject to change based on the community’s reception to this plan (among other things that may change the design even after this thread has been concluded). As such, there is no date or even quarter I can provide for when an update like this might come out. If the plan is sound, we’ll start on it, and provide updates when we can when we have a better idea of when all of the work is looking to be complete.

We want to make sure that the changes we make are going to make all Venom players feel that they can play an authentic character, regardless of which incarnation of Venom that is. If, after reading through the plan, if there are references to Venom’s attacks you think we could include that make sense and fill a gap in his available powers, post it so we can think about if we can or should include it.

If you are a player who wants a full Lethal Protector, read through this plan, and tell us your thoughts.

If you enjoyed a more modern take on Venom, with tendrils and transformations, we want to make sure you still have options to make a build that you enjoy that uses those types of powers.

And if your ideal Venom is a mix of both a Classic power set and some of the modern, you should be able to make that happen too.

Artistic Style & Theme

Within his normal (untalented) power set, Venom will be re-arted and given new powers to be reflective of the Lethal Protector. Brute strength and webbing will replace his tendril and body-morphing attacks, but those powers can be swapped back in through the Talent system.

Talents will also be made available to reinforce the default powers, so players can choose to go full-force into Lethal Protector (including camouflage), or transform him more into the monstrous, tendril-wielding Venom.

This places him, by default, into a more similar style to Spider-Man (which is thematically correct when targeting Lethal Protector as the style), but we will focus heavily on making sure that Venom is utilizing his strength, not agility, and will feel different than Spidey in as many ways as possible.

Primary Resource & Mechanics

In the update, Ichor will be replaced with Biomass. Biomass regenerates at all times, identical in regeneration behavior to Spider-Man. No powers spend health by default. Biomass will be much easier to manage, but will eventually deplete if you are heavily using high Biomass spenders.

When Venom unlocks talents, he will be offered a variety of powers that return his tendril/monstrous powers from his current power set, which will remain spending Health. These powers do not change his primary resource, they just spend health as an alternative resource in exchange for a damage boost.

For player who did enjoy managing both resources, a talent option will restore the Ichor bar as a Secondary Resource, which will build whenever Venom spends health. When full, Ichor will be consumed to boost the damage of Venom’s next health spending power.

Overall, we wanted to make Venom more approachable by removing his double-resource management at early levels, and making it an opt-in mechanic. This further reinforces the thematic change to Venom, making his default power set more reflective of the Lethal Protector in mechanics as well as visual theme.

Artistically Altered Powers

Hungering Strike - Will be reanimated in the Brawler animation style. The Claw version remains as a talent alternative, replacing the new power. Serves as the go-to single target melee power (acting as both basic and spender depending on talent choices)

Tendril Lunge - Will be reanimated in the Brawler animation style. The Claw version remains as a talent alternative, replacing the new powers

Come to Venom - Will be reanimated as a web-pull, but can change back to a Tendril pull with a talent choice.

Devouring Tendrils - Will be reanimated as conical rapid fire web projectile spray. A talent can swap back in the Tendril version which is focused on regenerating health. Will serve as Venom's go-to Ranged area clear power.

Deadly Maw - Will be reanimated as a powerful melee haymaker punch. The Maw version can swap back in as a talent replacement.

Hungry Maw - Will be reanimated as a web-line zip into the air, then diving onto the ground with a double -fist ground slam landing. The Maw version can swap back in as a talent replacement.

Remaining Powers

Predator’s Web - Spends Biomass, not health. Functionally remains as a slow/vulnerability applicator.

Symbiotic Spikes - The start of the power’s animation will be altered to use Webbing, but the damage component of the power is planned to remain as-is, being the one of the only uses of “tendrils” in Venom’s base (non-talented) power kit.

We Are Venom! - A version of the buff effect from this Ultimate will be migrated into Venom’s base power tree, as a new Ultimate takes its place.

Web Snapshot - Spends a small amount of Biomass, not health. Functionally serves as Venom’s go-to single target ranged attack.

Tendril Impale - Remains as-is, the only 'core' power that refers to Tendrils. Can be opted out of for those who want to go full Lethal Protector.

Writhing Tendrils - Moved into talent system as a replacement for his new power, Constrictive Web Ball (see New Powers)

Symbiote Surge - Moved into talent system as a replacement for Predator’s Web.

Infect - Moved into talent system as a replacement for his new power, Choking Webs (see New Powers)

New Powers

Choking Webs (Placeholder name) - Venom blasts a short-range cone of webbing that chokes and roots enemies.

Constrictive Web Shot (Placeholder name) - Venom fires a web shot at a group of enemies which expands out in choking webs upon impact, dealing damage over time and rooting any enemies that he hits. This and Choking Webs are somewhat mirrors of each other as CC cooldowns, but for different builds (melee/ranged).

Ground Pound (Placeholder name) - Venom uses his strength to pummel the ground, dealing AoE damage. Acts as a reliable Melee area clear power.

Launch Terrain (Placeholder name) - Venom uses webs to pick up a large chunk of terrain, holding it for a moment, then hurling it forward. A riff on Spider-Man’s version of the power, but Venom will use his own strength rather than the web’s tension to throw.

Web Terrain Slam (Placeholder name) - Venom quickly shoots a web to the ground nearby, and with a single hand rips up terrain, using the web to swing the terrain up and bringing it down in front of him like a mace, dealing a large amount of damage to enemies in melee range.

(Potential Power) Terrain Haymaker (Placeholder name) - Venom quickly uses a web to lift up a chunk of terrain, then with all of his strength, bashes the terrain into debris that flies at enemies in a medium-range cone.

We Are Unstoppable (Ultimate) (Placeholder name) - Venom unleashes havoc on all nearby enemies in a rapid lashing of tendrils in a large area around him (fully animated, not like his current Ultimate).

(Potential Power) Camouflage Beatdown (Placeholder name) - Venom disappears into a wispy cloud of shadows, and any enemies caught inside the area will find themselves being rapidly beat up by an unseen Protector.

Taunt - Venom insults his enemies, causing them to attack him at reduced damage. Venom takes half damage for a short duration after using the Taunt.

Removed Powers

Web Cannon - Removed, as he would no longer need two single target ranged spenders, and the resource mechanics don’t require a basic and spender to both exist - a Ranged build can do just fine without both.

Dark Tendrils - No mechanical place for this power in his new build with how his resources will now operate, and the animation has been frequently discussed as problematic and loud.

Parasitic Tendrils - Merged into a Talent choice which makes his new version of the We Are Venom effect apply the tendril drain effect to any nearby enemies automatically. Mechanically the talent version will not function much differently, but doesn’t require a hotkey to be held to use.

Webswing Kick - These types of slow, long-distance movement powers have never felt great and have been removed in most updates that include them, in favor of better timing and control on other types of movement such as Dashes or Leap attacks.

Talents

Most of the mechanics of Venom’s talents are described in the powers above, and are the most likely to change after they are in place and playtesting begins, so I won’t describe them in detail.

Talents serve as ways to swap in the monstrous/tendril powers from his original power set, diving further into health spending, and rewarding that in the form of low-health rewards or the Ichor bar.

At least one talent in every row only serves to reinforce his existing power set, keeping him fully within the Lethal Protector style, including talents that incorporate stealth and invisibility.

Melee and Ranged should both be an option, for both standard and tendril-based Venom builds.

MutatedPosts: 420 Amazing

First impression on reading all of this is excellent. Like, as a Venom stan, I'm legit excited for this. I'll probably take the full on Lethal Protector route but could always mix and match based on talent placement and the like.

Was The Madness taken into consideration as his ultimate in some way? I do like the stealthy beat'em up that you have outlined, but I figured I'd ask.

Any word on his VO? Or is that pretty much locked in as is due to production restraints?

I can't really thank you enough for taking the time to revisit him in such a way.

Location Time and space are not what you believe... which is to say, Seattle.Posts: 102 Incredible

What a nicely written design document! I'm not a big Venom player... haven't even tried him since the BUE (I blame Rogue), but this looks like a really good thing for the Venom community.

One thought I had is that if you are constrained on space in the talent set, you could always also add back some of the tendrilly goodness via Omega items when they come out.

Posts: 268 Amazing

This is awesome news!!! Please give some love to Nick Fury - his forum have great suggestions to make him feel more unique!

Posts: 1,317 Cosmic

So with actual feedback. I like the direction this is going. More optinons are always nice. I want to ask that when you take away the health spending/health gaining that you leave a bit of life gain on his base kit. It would be nice to have a solid healing character and venom seems like he could fit that nicely. I know youll have to bring his healing down in base kit but dont neuter it please :) Everything else looks great.

Location right behind youPosts: 12 Mighty

As much as I love Venom as he is now, these changes sound great!

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