Monday, September 19, 2011

Marvel Ultimate Alliance - Choosing Heroes, Spending Skill Points, Forming a Team

Choosing Heroes, Spending Skill Points, and Forming a Team in Marvel Ultimate Alliance (for PC)

This is one of our Marvel Ultimate Alliance walkthrough / cheats / mods posts. For an index of all Marvel Ultimate Alliance posts, click here.

Choosing Heroes
  • Two useful lists of character powers and outfits are available from GameFAQs and the Marvel Ultimate Alliance wiki. We also discuss powers and show their Skill Level 10 statistics: 
  • You can download an Excel spreadsheet with Marvel Ultimate Alliance teams which helps you quickly find which heroes will give you a certain type of bonus.
    • Since you can get XP and SHIELD Credits any time you want by playing the Comic Book / Simulator missions, you can safely ignore those bonuses.
    • The campaign maps typically feature non-respawning enemies, so heroes with Healing Factor, or having a global Health Regeneration can be very useful since you can just wait for your health to recover after fights, or retreat and wait to refresh your team.
    • In the early game, the Fantastic Four is a great team to play with because the +20 Health per KO helps to keeps your health at maximum so that additional health and energy orbs give you XP. Also, you don't get any healers until Doctor Strange in late Act I and Spider-Woman once she reaches level 14. Later in the game, 5% Damage to Health easily outstrips the flat +20 per KO.
    • Probably the best team is Super Natural -- Thor, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Blade. On top of continual healing, Blade can stun all targets on the screen so that Doctor Strange's Xtreme has a chance of turning them into Xtreme pips. Each pip can fully recharge one character's momentum meter, so if you are actually still in trouble after one Xtreme sequence, have Doctor Strange pick up an orb, have Blade stun everyone again, then do Doctor Strange's Xtreme power again.
  • Some heroes are tougher to play than others, and you may want to wait until they are of a higher level and you can get the powers you want. But try to decide by the Atlantis mission since at that time you will need to form your team and start accumulating Reputation.
    Spending Skill Points
    • You have very few skill points until around level 25-30 when you will have settled on the attacks and powers you want to maximize and use frequently. You should turn off Autospend as soon as possible to take charge of your skill points.
    • At least one attack you focus on should be about maximized damage or maximum damage per unit time, since bosses can't be affected by most statuses like popup or stun.
    • Save your game before you spend skill points, and try out the power to determine if you will actually use it frequently. Remember that when the AI controls your characters, it rarely uses any powers.
    • Some powers have a flat effect over a duration that increases when you spend skill points. Before putting more skill points into it, consider if you could simply reactivate the power when it expires, instead of putting more skill points in. E.g., Dr. Strange's Eye of Agamotto.
    • Powers available at a low level are often quite good in the late game once you have gained more skill ranks. Power available at a higher level often start strong but end up weaker at the highest levels than a low level power maximized. Since Skill Points are a non-renewable resource, you should check our notes on each character to see what their powers are like at maximum skill levels and which ones you want to aim for.
    • Rapid Tap powers like Iceman's Ice Shards and Spider-Man's Web Bullets often interrupt the target. If you can keep it up, you can effectively neutralize the target -- even some bosses. Because if this, you may want to keep the energy cost low if the Damage:Energy ratio starts to go down as you increase your skill with the power.
    • Some powers from Outfits or characters (e.g., Thor's Asgard's Blessings) temporarily increase skills. You still cannot use a skill unless you have ranks in it. You cannot also boost a skill past the maximum that you can normally buy, so in the long term, these become useless. By around Act IV, you will have maxed out what you use often, so don't bother with these.
    Forming a Team
    Once you reach Act I Part 3 (Atlantis), you will be allowed to form your own Team of 1+ characters and slowly gain powers as you complete objectives and increase your team level. Only team members get the benefit of those powers.
    You CAN make a "Team" of ONE (1) character and collect Reputation points. You still have four starting slots in total but you can fill those at no cost later.
    Some things you may want to consider:
    • You can delay non-essential quests like returning the Cybernetic Helmet to Dr. Pym to pick up Reputation Points for doing it once you have the ability to form a team.
    • If you want characters on your team that have to be unlocked (e.g. Doctor Strange, Ghost-Rider), you can form a team of just 1 person and start collecting Reputation Points and add members as they become available. In this way, you do not need to spend reputation points to change your team roster, or spend team skill points to increase the team roster.
    • Don't put points into XP since you can farm XP in many different ways (e.g., the simulator). You may also not want to put points in gaining Momentum since you will generally not be swarmed so often that you need your Xtreme powers.
    • The AI controlling heroes is stupid and passive. If you have Iceman, for example, you cannot rely on the AI to consistently turn on his Frost Bite power to enhance melee attacks of the party with his powers.
      • Therefore, although you can choose several heroes with useful or synergistic powers, you need to be prepared to cycle through your characters each minute, turning on various powers, in order to activate all your buffs.
      • You may want to choose one character you will mainly control because you want to have one of their powers on frequently.
      • Watch for powers and outfits that are good in melee for the support characters on your team, since the AI will generally try to do hand-to-hand or get themselves mobbed by minions.
    • If you choose a Special Team that already has a bonus, they retain that bonus in the team. You can download an Excel spreadsheet with Marvel Ultimate Alliance teams which helps you quickly find which heroes will give you a certain type of bonus.
    • Since XP (and SHIELD Credits) are easy to come by through repetitively doing the Simulator missions, you should consider spending your team skill points and SHIELD Credits on other things.
    • The one power you can count on all your heroes to predictably turn on is their Xtreme power, which you can get at Level 10. When you use an Xtreme power, all other heroes who are able to use their Xtreme power will execute theirs. The action freezes until all heroes have executed their Xtreme powers.
    • Bosses are typically immune to most incapacitating status effects such as stun, so if you are building a boss-killing team, you may want to focus on raw physical damage or unusual types of damage, such as radiation (Blade) or life drain (Ghost-Rider). Some characters can get as much as 300 points of damage from their powers.

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