Updated: August 5, 2016
I’m hoping to begin a series of posts discussing various games that I play. This is my first, beginning with Marvel Avengers Alliance 2 [MAA2] where I’ll discuss my relationship to the game by comparing the original game to this newer one. My hope is to follow up this post with more posts on different aspects of MAA2 and share how I play this game without spending any money, yet achieving everything it has to offer thus far.
Screen Name: theLyght4
Ally Code: 549-589-104
What Came Before: Marvel Avengers Alliance 1
I was a huge fan of the first Marvel Avengers Alliance [MAA1] game. For those who aren’t familiar, I’m going to be going into this assuming people have a general knowledge of the original game. If some terminology is confusing, the game has been around for a while now and it’s easy to look up if you want to. Otherwise, I’ll try to explain some things, or answer questions in the comments section. Basically it’s a turn-based strategy game by the Disney owned game company Playdom for Facebook.
There were all these meta game components to it. Managing time, and resources to accomplish time-limited tasks, determining what stats, abilities or characters one should prioritize in leveling up, which Iso-8 crystals to slot, and when battling, determining which characters and abilities to use when and in what order under particular circumstances. And there was a lot more, I just can’t think of them all right now since I haven’t played it in so long. I loved the depth of strategy that it offered.
I loved the character classes which provided a ‘paper, rock, scissors’ system that effected each character and their abilities. It was so layered. There was so much to consider in this game. I loved earning the characters, leveling up, and getting cool weapons for my agent whom I could customize.
Agent Li’s load-out from the last time he played! Loved that weapon set!!
It was simply the best addictive game I had ever played. The way they built this game’s system of achievements, in addition to visuals and sounds to me was genius. I think I recall reading that they actually used research on addiction to develop their system. I haven’t seen anything like it since. Sure there have been similar games, but nothing quite as elaborate as MAA1. I joined a bunch of online communities for the game, and I lived and breathed the game every second of my life. I was a mess. I would spend hours creating charts and lists to determine what to do next or what character would be used in my team for PVP.
I was so addicted friends had to have an intervention cause I’d never sleep, I’d be late to everything, or completely just missed scheduled plans or appointments and avoided ever making any plans. I was a hermit and played the game day and night, often non-stop over-night without any sleep. When I wasn’t staying up all night, I’d set my alarm to wake up in the middle of the night multiple times to play. Since it was a Facebook Flash-based game I could only really play it at home at a computer. I tried every app like Puffin on my phone and iPad, which allows you to run Flash on your mobile device, so that I could play while I wasn’t at my computer. I eventually started participating in all of the in-game deals to get resources, subscribing to magazines, applying for credit cards, downloading other games, donating to charities, signing up for everything. Things got worse when I started spending real money. By the time I had spent about $300 dollars,.. I was finally burnt out and realized I had to just stop. I was out of control. I quit cold-turkey and tried to regain my life.
Marvel Avengers Alliance 2
In March of 2016, I discovered that Marvel Avengers Alliance 2 was being launched for mobile devices. Ofcourse I had to get it. It has been out for about 4 months now.
I must admit that I haven’t played MAA1 in a long time, so I can’t even remember everything to be able to compare the two, so it’ll just be with what I can remember. I’ll try touching upon everything very briefly, as I will go more in depth in future posts. I may also miss a few things which I may bring up again later.
What’s Similar To MAA1?
The style of play, structure, visuals and sounds of play are relatively the same. One signature of this game has always been the music and sound effects, which did not disappoint in MAA2.
You still collect and control characters which you can put into your team to battle in Chapter Missions or PVP.
In both games, if I can recall, the player begins the game with Hawkeye as a free character. There are also variations of the same characters which differ not only in costume, but in in their Class, stats and abilities.
Renewable Energy is still used to battle in Chapter Missions and expired Spec-Ops Missions.
MAA1 Chapter 1 Missions format. When I left the game, I had just completed Season 1 I think…
If you start any Chapter Mission while another is already in progress, the game will ask if you want to ‘abort’ the mission losing your progress to begin another.
Character Classes remain the same …
as do Class Advantage
Black Widow, shown in the above PVP battle, is an Infiltrator Class. She has or will receive a Class Advantage damage bonus when she attacks Tacticians. This advantage is indicated by the words “vulnerable” under the opponent. She also has a Class disadvantage to Iron Fist, a Scrapper Class, who is “resistant” and would receive less damage.
Chapter Missions consist of 3 to 5 waves of opponents indicated on the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
When you complete a Mission, you will collect the resources you found during battle.
If you fail a Mission, you will lose all resources that were gained during that Mission. You will have the option to use gold to continue where you left off, but with your entire team back at full strength.
Tip: Sometimes it’s worth it, especially earlier on when your characters aren’t fully leveled up, and you’re struggling to get past the last Mission boss and don’t have enough energy to try again.
When you complete all of a Chapter’s Missions, you will get a random resource, which includes Chapter specific Abilities for Characters.
There is still a little bit of the social media aspect, with having to have “allies” or friends, which can provide you with currency.
Spec Ops are essentially the same. You are given a number of tasks to accomplish in a limited time period to earn a character. Though, with a newer update, the tasks are now achievable out of order, making it much easier. While active, they still require a special resource to play.
Leveling Up Player
As a player you can level up to 30 so far. You gain Commander XP from playing in general and getting rewards. More on Commander below.
Leveling Up Characters and Scouting
It’s been a long time since I played MAA1, so I can’t recall what MAA1 required for a player to level up the characters.
So far, you can level each character to Level 30. Characters gain XP from being in Chapter Mission battles, Scouting and Spec Ops. Even in Reserves. Leveling up boosts a characters stats.
You can also manually level up a character by Empowering them with Unstable Iso-8 you can get from rewards, or purchase in the store.
BUT, each character will reach a max XP benchmark Level just before Levels 10, 20, and 30, that will require specific resources in order to Level Up. All resources for leveling up are either obtained through regular Chapter or Scouting Missions.
This may be similar or different from MAA1 to MAA2. Scouting Missions help you to gain the specific number of resources needed to level up your characters.
Scouting Missions also require a specific resource called Survey Markers which are renewable with a timer.
There is a basic Scouting mission to level up any character regardless of Class to level 10.
There are Scouting missions for each class and within each class, there are two missions to gain leveling up resources for Levels 20 and 30.
Once you have the required resources you have to do Research for Levels 10, 20 and 30.
This is pretty much the same. You can Equip Iso-8 crystals to boost specific stats. Go to the link below for a post about slotting Iso-8.
EQUIP: Iso-8, Slotting Priority and PVP (coming soon)
PVP seasons are pretty much the same with accumulative rewards for ranks achieved. Player teams are still a team of 3.
As in MAA1, there is an option for Practice!
What’s Different In MAA2?
The graphics are much better, but the 2D graphics of MAA1 still hold a place in my heart. There’s something really nostalgic about MAA1.
There are a lot of changes, or more accurately, a lot had been simplified from the MAA1 system to MAA2. MAA2, seems almost like a beginners game whereas MAA1, by comparison would be an advanced player’s game. There isn’t as much depth in MAA2 as MAA1.
In MAA1, the player is playing as an Agent represented by a character that they can customize. In MAA2, the player is now a Commander not represented by any playable character. The player now only plays as the established Marvel characters with more customizable abilities.
The player may select any combination of 3 abilities from a set of 8 for each character. The player, characters and individual abilities can be leveled up. Characters can also boost their stats with various iso-8 crystals of varying stat boosts, sizes (strength), and stars which indicate additional stat boosts, and conditional stat bonuses, and types that can provide a passive ability if conditions are met. So you can see, there is still a lot of meta gaming to be had here even though it’s all been simplified from the previous game. MAA2 kept one of my favorite aspects of MAA1, which was the turn-based battling, with character classes and ‘paper, rock, scissors’ system.
This version adds an auto-play feature, which is good for grinding and occasionally regular missions and even PVP if your characters are strong enough, but definitely not when you’re trying to accomplish specific tasks that require very specific conditions.
Also, the selection of characters seems to be limited to those from Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe [MCU]. I don’t expect to see the X-Men or Fantastic Four here like in MAA1. Those characters are awesome and will be missed, but if you’re familiar with Marvel politics, they’re kind staying away from certain properties that as of now, cannot be included in the MCU.
Collecting characters are different in this game. You no longer can choose which characters to obtain with points. Characters are now given to you at random when opening a Superior Cell.
25 Gold is needed to purchase a Superior Cell to get a random character or a higher ranking 2+ Star Abilities for your characters.
Tip: Gold is best saved for either the Superior Cell or for Scouting missions so you can get new characters, 2+ Star Abilities or level up your characters faster in buy purchasing Survey Markers (the currency for Scouting missions).
Getting duplicates of characters or abilities will give you Ability points instead.
Also, it no longer effects the player if they do not have a lot of the characters. In MAA1, for every character you owned, each would add a bonus to your stats. So, if someone spent a whole lot of time or money on the game, they could have all the characters and be significantly more powerful than someone who just started the game or who hasn’t spent the money to get all the characters. In MAA2, it doesn’t matter how many characters you have. Right now, everyone can level up equally, barring luck in collecting Iso-8 crystals to slot into characters.
Chapter Mission Battles
In MAA1, you can only have 3 team members. No reserves.
Player teams during Chapter mission battles now consist of 3 Frontline and 3 Reserves who can switch out throughout the battle. One member of your team in the Frontline on the far right is a Team-Up. On the far left is your team leader who other players will potentially see as a potential Team-Up. Characters who are team leaders will get the Leader bonus for their team when in battle. Each character has a different Leader bonus.
The leader of the team will always be at the bottom position where Black Widow is, whereas in MAA1, you can change the position of your Agent character.
In battles, gone is the ability to call in an Ally for support, but as I’ve mentioned, you now have Team-Up AND you have Reserves! MAA1 also had items for health regen or other abilities during battle which are not available in MAA2.
Allies, Team-Ups and Currency
There is no longer jets where you can send characters away on missions to gain resources over time.
Silver is used for Leveling Up, some items in the store and in some cases tasks.
The social media aspect of having Allies or friends has been simplified. A play now must chose an Ally for a Team-Up when going into mission battles.
Having a Ally Team-Up during a mission provides the player with currency each time, versus in MAA1, where you went to each Ally‘s game or your own Chapter mission to find pop-ups from Allies to collect currency or resources.
This is the screen that shows you other players who have used your leader as an Ally, which will give you currency.
Tip: Use a high powered, popular RARE character as your leader to entice people to pick you as an Ally.
In your inbox you will get Ally Friend requests and Team-Up rewards from other players who used your leading team member as a Team-Up.
Scouting and Spec Ops
Also, Allies for Team Ups do not join you on Scouting missions and Spec Ops missions.
In Scouting and Spec Ops missions you have only 5 members in your team. 3 Frontline and 2 Reserves.
I’ve briefly seen how much MAA1 has evolved since I last played it. I noticed there were tiers offered in each character’s abilities or something. That is not yet offered in MAA2. There is just SO MUCH more in MAA1. The abilities in MAA2, though they resemble those of MAA1, are also simplified, really really stripped down. They aren’t quite as elaborate. Though I’ve recently took a look at MAA1 again,.. it looks a little rough. Not sure if it’s my computer, but it doesn’t seem to look as good as I remembered.
A character roughly has about 8 different level of abilities in which to choose from to customize. Of the 8, you can only slot 3. When you start the game, you have to unlock the 3rd slot.
Customization of abilities in MAA2 require the player to obtain and spend purple Ability points to acquire abilities that aren’t won from mission rewards or Superior Cells. Resources or tasks are required in order to level up characters, or abilities.
Ability Points. You can get these from rewards or duplicates of abilities or characters from a Superior Cell.
Also, look under profile to see any passive abilities your character may have. It’ll help you to determine what synergies your character has. In addition to the 3 equipped abilities, each character also has Tactical and Innate ability. The Tactical ability is a set ability that cannot be changed and acts as the 4rth ability a player can use during a battle. The Innate ability is a passive ability that unlocks when your character reaches level 20.
Leveling Up Character and Abilities with Trials
Trials are tasks that can be completed to Level Up character Abilities and character stats in general.
You can Level Up a character and each ability to 4 Stars.
In PVP, you no longer have to make up for losses while you were away and your team fought defensively to maintain your rank. The player can only gain or lose rank when winning or losing offensively as an active player. It makes it a whole lot easier to achieve the top rank to gain all of the accumulative rewards of the PVP Tournament. Once you reach the last rank, “S” rank, you cannot fall below it.
What Do I Think Of MAA2?
I love this game, but I’m not addicted to it quite as much as I was to MAA1. This I suppose is a good thing. I can play MAA2 a bit more casually, especially after I completed all of the current content and was only playing to keep up with daily tasks and leveling up more characters until the next Chapter, event Spec Op or PVP Tournament is released.
I’m not really sure if this game is doing well or not. I don’t think it’s as popular as MAA1 was, and I’ve seen recent statistics about the popularity among all of the Marvel mobile games, and MAA2 is among the bottom 3.
In forums and such, I read people expressing that the game is too difficult. Having played MAA1, and now MAA2, I don’t find it too difficult at all. I find it pretty simple to be able to achieve everything in this game without spending money, which I will go into more in future posts, BUT I understand that mobile gamers may have a different set of expectations which is probably why MAA2 is a super stripped down version of MAA1 in the first place. Also, maybe I’m not as casual a player as some others. Perhaps MAA2 is still too elaborate? I’m really looking forward to the DC Comics Legends mobile game that is forthcoming, and I’m scared that it will be too simple by comparison. Maybe there can be a happy medium. Either way, there are always going to be people who love or complain about any game. If they don’t make it just a bit too difficult, how can they get people to spend money on the game?
Anyhow, I look forward to sharing with you what I’ve learned from other sites, and what I’ve learned on my own in future posts.