D3Publisher Producer Joe Fletcher stopped by to talk about the merciless mass of metal, the Age of Ultron event, and the Scarlet Witch!
Marvel.com: Ultron appears and the “Puzzle Quest” universe trembles. What kind of mark is he going to leave on players?
Joe Fletcher: Ultron will be coming to “Marvel Puzzle Quest” in full force when he arrives. This isn’t an origin story; [Hank] Pym’s creation is arriving with a vengeance. And he’ll be bringing his Sentries with him. The Avengers are going to have their hands full with this incursion of Pymtech robotics. To compensate, this time around Fury is pulling out all the stops and asking multiple Agents to help out with whatever Super-team members they can muster to the cause.
Marvel.com: Can you break down the different modes you’ll be introducing for the event?
Joe Fletcher: This event is not only a new piece as a story—obviously—but also a new set of mechanics altogether. Players will be tasked with working with the rest of their Alliance members to take down Hank Pym’s most dangerous creation. Upon entering the mission, they’ll face off against Ultron and attempt to take him down. Dealing damage to him will take down his overall health, which all Alliance members will be helping to do as well. But, after a battle, he’ll go off and repair for round two—or three, or four. There’ll be a timer that will decrease on its own representing when the player can fight Ultron again. At this point, it’s time for a rush of Sentries to attack, represented by multiple nodes that each use different Avengers as essential characters. Defeating these waves of Sentries will reduce the timer on the Ultron battle and get him back into the fight quicker.
Once Ultron has been defeated through the efforts of the players and their Alliance, the real battle begins against Ultron Prime. Ultron has upgraded his systems and become a much more dangerous foe. These battles will test the mettle of any player, with the very powerful Ultron Prime flanked by more powerful Sentries. However, the prizes for these battles are great, with special Prize Pack tokens that give a chance at large amounts of Iso-8 and Hero Points to power up the team, along with an increased chance at earning the mistress of chaos magic herself, Scarlet Witch.
Marvel.com: And Scarlet Witch makes her inaugural appearance. That seems like a perfect pick seeing as now she can team-up with her brother!
Joe Fletcher: Well, where Pietro goes, his sister isn’t usually far behind. So it was really only a matter of time for Wanda to make her appearance in “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” Her reality warping and Hex Bolts couldn’t come at a better time either, as they’ll come in very handy to take down Ultron and his Sentries. She does also, as you said, team up with her brother through having complementary skill sets. Scarlet Witch will be dealing strong enemy team damage, stunning enemies, and strategically taking out enemy special tiles while Quicksilver will be swapping tiles for better matches and setting up for his powerful Supersonic attack.
Marvel.com: Can we expect some awesome reality warping abilities?
Joe Fletcher: Indeed you can. Wanda runs Purple/Green/Blue with each of her abilities taking on a different aspect of her chaos magic. Her Purple, Reality Crush, is her heavy hitter that deals damage and stuns opponents facing off against it. This attack deals heavy damage to the entire enemy team then stuns one enemy for a couple of turns. At max level her attack hits harder and stuns longer than MPQ fan favorite Storm (Classic)’s Wind Storm. And since it uses Purple AP to do it, it provides a damage outlet on a color that generally doesn’t have one.
The Queen of Chaos’ Green ability is Hex Bolt, which is a somewhat chaotic—of course—utility spell. Her Bolts are relatively cheap at 8 AP and destroy a single basic tile. At that point, it then destroys a number of surrounding tiles that will pop any Attack, Protect, or Strike tiles that it happens to hit. In the process, it will also give the AP from the destroyed tiles, so it can be used not only to get rid of enemy special tiles but also as a tactical AP generator. At max level, it even gains the ability for the surrounding tiles destroyed to include Countdown or other more unique special tiles, letting Scarlet Witch deal with just about anything the enemy can throw at the board.
Lastly, Wanda’s Blue ability is a boon to both her Reality Crush ability and anyone else that uses Purple AP for their own abilities. Arcane Incantation, a passive ability, creates a random Purple Countdown tile each turn if Wanda doesn’t already have one out. After a few turns, it explodes, creating Purple tiles in surrounding squares. The resulting tiles will create easy to make matches—if they don’t match themselves—causing cascades and more AP generation. The end result is a somewhat slow and chaotic escalation of Purple AP generation for the team, which can then result in the explosion of a Reality Crush down the line.
Marvel.com: Who benefits most from Wanda’s chaos magic?
Joe Fletcher: With the ways her abilities interact and that she can hold her own with them, she’s a pretty good match for just about any team. The team damage and stun provides blasting capability for taking down groups while her Hex Bolts provide a good way of getting rid of enemy special tiles with a color that isn’t otherwise known for its board control. Wanda’s Arcane Incantation can either feed her own Purple or help to power some other of the more sneaky powers like Loki’s Illusions, Doctor Doom’s Diabolical Plot, or Mystique’s Shapeshift. I suppose it also helps power the very unsubtle Whales! Whales! Whales! for Deadpool, but Deadpool and unsubtle are kind of synonymous.
Marvel.com: How long will the event last and when can players take a crack at the evil android?
Joe Fletcher: We’ll be running two sets of this event back-to-back with each going for about four and a half days apiece and starting on April 24. The first run will be rewarding Wanda herself, while the second run will allow her to get in on the Avengers fun as a featured character with the reward being the crowd pleasing Iron Man: Hulkbuster which we will have more info on at our D3 forums in the coming days.