Thursday, August 21, 2014

I'm Back and Here's Why

Well, for the first time in a while, I got back into the game. There were new heroes and some big improvements. There are still some gripes I have with it, but for the most part I approve of everything they changed.

The prize wheels have disappeared! Awesome!
Yes, wasting time on the prize wheel was never "gameplay" or particularly fun. Thanks a million for getting rid of it. Despite the chance element being taken from getting currency, it still remains in the mystery boxes, which I remain annoyed about. But at least now there are lots of accessible heroes in the new shop, which has been reorganized but is still sadly lacking COMPLETE organization. For instance, scrolling through heroes is STILL a pain, but at least you can search for them now.

Here I am next to Winter Soldier, one of the Mystery Box heroes.
 The new currency, fractals, may be the best decision. No more useless silver, now it's purely fractals, which you can find in the game, or gold, which you can purchase outside of the game.

I may have to write a guide to how to get as many fractals as possible soon, seeing as my old How to Get Gold post is moot thanks to the prize wheels finally getting evicted.

Speaking of fractals, I've managed to get two new heroes just by doing various missions and achievements, Moon Knight and Taskmaster. As you can probably tell, I'm into hoods.

I also purchased a badge for Ghost Rider, who I want to level up more since he's such a great hero.

Alright, a bit more complaining and then I'm done with the complaining. What is up with THIS? :

I don't have Spider-Man! And he's not on sale! Why is there an achievement like this? It could've been "Switch to a Wall-Crawling Hero"! Was there a tutorial where they give out Spider-Man to new players or something? Because I missed that!

Sigh, well anyway, I'm still playing on Night Commander Guard, so if you see me around during the next few months, let's go on a mission together!

Also, I have a few of my old files for that Megatron Mission from my Transformers What-If that I never published. I'm going to try to publish them soon. There's not much there, but I've kept anyone who was looking forward to that hanging for about two years.

The Guardians look pretty cool. Where's Drax, though? Let's hope he pops up soon.

Good to be back.

-- SHSOFan.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Berserk Box and Crafting!

It's a new month and new content!

Sabretooth was released in a "Beserker Box" this week. It's basically like all the other boxes that have come out so far. Don't worry, though. At some point they'll probably just put the villains in the store like everyone else. At least I hope so.

It was my first time in the game for a few months. I'm glad the SHSO team has fixed the bug with the downloader. Everything is running relatively smoothly now.

I logged into the game to try out "crafting", something that's often found in other MMO games. Honestly this was the last thing In expected them to do in Super Hero Squad Online, so I checked it out to see how it was.

So basically you collect these crafting parts and use them to craft one of the things in the list on the right. Of course, you can either run around the zones like crazy for hours, using all your heroes to collect various items, or just pay them money to buy parts with gold.

It's a fun diversion that'll make searching for fractals more fun, for sure. However, I don't advise spending any gold on these since they seem to be things you can buy in the store already, except for much cheaper. I'm glad they added this though, because now you have a bit of a bonus while combing the zones.

It also seems like there's a leaderboard set up for the new mission. I wonder what the prize is?


Anyway, so yeah, once again I'm sorry for not getting news to you on time or on a regular basis. Even the best games get a little tiring after all, and while I love this one, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get to know Marvel's wonderful universe more, I'm just too busy to properly report on it anymore. I'm not quitting this blog altogether, basically I'm just pointing out what's already happening, which is that I'm going to be posting very sparingly. I'll keep the blog up so new readers can discover cool posts like the What-Ifs, my how to get gold guide, and my top ten lists. And I'm definitely going to post the Transformers What-If Bonus at some point. But for the most part, the blog is winding down. :(

I'll keep responding to comments though, so leave yours below!
-- SHSOFan.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Yup, It's Archangel!

Well, sometimes over-analyzing pays off, and I'm pleased to say my number one prediction for who the teased hero was was indeed correct. So, awesome! Kind of sad that it wasn't Darkwing, but hey, it's not that bad. I wonder how he plays. Does he have the same healing factor as regular Angel? Does he have that awesome flight double jump? Guess I'll have to look it up online, since once again my SHSO account had to file for bankruptcy. Guess I'll just try to gather as much gold as I can, but first, is he worth the effort? If you have Archangel, tell me in the comments how he is! Is he fun to play as, or should I pass and wait for another X-Men release in this month of X-Men?
Also, whoa they released Rescue and Avengers Iron Man as Sidekicks! I wonder when they're going to release actual sidekick characters as sidekicks. Rescue's on the right path but Iron Man is by no means a sidekick. How about Bucky Barnes or Iron Patriot or War Machine? Even Wasp would be more appropriate! Anyway, sorry for the little rant there. What do you think? Post in the comments!

-- SHSOFan.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Who Could It Be?

SHSO released a teaser on their Facebook page today that had many fans guessing the character with little to no luck. Who is this? I'll go over the top guesses and see which is the most likely.

3. Darkhawk

Out of all the guesses, this is the one I'd most like it to be. However, the wings are slightly segmented, and I would expect that'd show in the teaser image. But you never know! The release date would be pretty odd though, as it wouldn't coincide with anything else they've said.

2. Falcon

Not a bad guess, but personally I don't think this is likely. They are much more likely to give us a movie tie-in when the movie comes out, and it's much too early to do that.

Let's look at that photo again.

The figure is quite obviously holding it's wings in front of itself, (probably to fit the figure in the image for the teaser).

1. Archangel

Archangel just makes sense. Recently, an X-Men month was teased, and his wings do sort of fit the wings in the picture. However, I'm hesitant to just write this one off, because Archangel's wings, at least in this picture, are much longer, and SHSO tends to be extremely faithful in refitting designs.

So, if it isn't Archangel, who is it?

Uh, ever heard of Condor?

Well, that wraps up this theory post! Who do YOU think it is?
I'm pretty sure it isn't Dark Phoenix, since her wings are made out of flames and therefore would be hard to hold.

See you in the game!
-- SHSOFan.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

X-Men Month Teased!

In a recent email, SHSO teased an upcoming "X-Men Extravaganza", and they're kicking it off with an X-Men sale! Magneto, Astonishing Cyclopes, Psylocke, Emma Frost and Nightcrawler are all included in the sale. I currently own Astonishing Cyclopes, Nightcrawler and Psylocke, and if you don't own any, I recommend Nightcrawler. His exploration style is unique, and he fights quickly. Since I believe Emma was taken away from the store a while back, now might also be a good time to get her. :)

So, which X-Men do you think will show up in the coming X-Men month? My bets are on Jubilee for sure, though I'm also secretly hoping for more obscure characters like Surge, Dust or Forge.

-- SHSOFan.

Friday, August 9, 2013

You Can Keep Your Agents-Only Heroes!

Finally a release worth talking about! After about a month of gimmicky Mystery Boxes and Caption Contests we get to finally play as characters that we spent our hard-earned gold on.
About time, I say! Can't wait to blast off as Iron Man MKI again!

In other recent news, yes, Thanos was released, and yes, it's another Mystery Box, this time cleverly referred to as an "Infinity Box". No news so far if there'll be a mission, but it sure would be fun to play as movie Loki and battle Thanos, (hint hint).

They also give a 10% increase to XP if you purchase gold. Well, I guess I'm eligible so seems like I'll be getting more XP when I log in again. The reason I haven't been in the game is because my computer is really, really, old. Also, all the friends I used to play with don't play anymore, so it's hard to find motivation. However, I'll still be here to finish up my What-If series properly with those two bonuses I've been teasing, as well as to give my opinions on newly released content of interest.

-- SHSOFan.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Transformers What-If: Behind the Scenes

Hmm, where to begin with this one? First of all I'd always wanted to see what the Transformers would look like SHSO-fied, especially movie Optimus because he's so complicated.
I've been a Transformers fan for a really long time, so I'm familiar with the characters and I felt I could create an alternate game pretty easily. In the end, this project took a few weeks to finish, which is an awful lot of work.

So, first I'll talk about the character models.

Movie Optimus
Movie Optimus took me a whole day to model and I created every texture from scratch just for him. I got a few reference photos of the real movie Optimus and scaled it to SHSO sizing, copying almost every part of him, and simplifying it. He even has a tiny Autobot logo on his chest!

I needed more then one hero to play as, so I also modeled G1 Optimus! I used fan art from around the internet as reference, and faithfully duplicated him to a tee. I cheated a bit though by reusing the same texture for the pipes as I did for movie Optimus, and reusing his hands.

Shockwave's model was based on the War of Cybertron videogames. I copied Shockwave's chest texture almost exactly. I reused Optimus's hands again, even though Shockwave usually has claw-like hands, because I was originally not going to show a mission picture and so I only needed to show him from the waist-up.

For the car forms I tried to reuse as many parts from the robot models as possible to sell the idea that they turned into the cars. G1 Optimus actually comes closest to transforming, but I had to remodel a lot to get movie Optimus to fit into his truck form. The end result was worth it though, since he really does look like a mini movie Optimus truck!

In order to create each screen, I carefully copied from SHSO screenshots and relied on gradients and overlaid textures to complete the final image. Shanix is the main currency that the Transformers use, and Galactic Credits are like the equivalent of silver. I didn't know what either looked like, so I made shanix look like sticks of gold and silver and credits like silver coins but with the Decepticon Cybertronian letter for "E" on them. Notice how the hand you use as a mouse pointer in the game is Optimus's.

To make the "Courage" booster pack, I took an image of Optimus and used Corel Painter X's Sketch filter. Then I made another image of Optimus where all the colors were flat, and combined that with a toon-shaded version of him, and that's how I got that final result!

The mission image is one of my favorite images in the What-If. I modeled Transformers versions of the pick-up barrels and a giant eye-like spotlight to stick behind Shockwave.

The wheel hubs are an interesting story because, despite how small they are, I spent more time working on them then any other element of the user interface graphics.

It was fun to think up different icons for the hub and each part of the hub represents a different part of the game. The gear represents the settings, the axe represents the store, the fist is for missions and the Autobot icon is for the heroes in the game.

In the actual SHSO game, they just flipped the hub icon they created horizontally instead of making a new one. A bit lazy, to be sure, but it made it easier on me because I only needed to model one. When it was all said and done, the hubs were 15% the size that they used to be. Oh well.


Well, that's it for my Behind-the-Scenes of the Transformers What-If!
I have two What-If Bonuses to complete before I go on a What-If break for a while.

I saw that White Phoenix was made available for a week but I didn't report on it, sorry if you were expecting a post. Anyway, if she truly has more powerful attacks then I'd pick her over normal Phoenix any day, since I like her costume more.

I hope you had a happy 4th of July!

-- SHSOFan.