I've been thinking about how I want SHQ to be built. Most players are centering on skills and powers for the upcoming super hero MMO. I've been more worried about how the game can have comic book depth and interest.
I don't read comics much anymore. But I used to collect every issue of every comic put out by Marvel. Blade, Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the X-Men where my favorites. There are reasons why I liked these specific comics and I hope AE can get those in the game.
First, the back story and the origin. Super heroes need an interesting past and a way they got their powers. Spider-Man was bitten by a radioactive spider. Wolverine was a mutant who was enhanced through mysterious circumstances. Blade was born to a vampire mother.
How can we get these elements into the game? I'm not interested in writing my own origin and having it on my character profile page. No one reads those things anyways. I want to play out my origin. I want to start as a geeky, unpopular teenager or a mutant on the run.
Playing an origin would mean that AE would have to make five or six starting quests. They could do it.
Then we need drama, compelling drama. Lots and lots of over the top, super-drama. This will come from NPCs, groups, rivals, and secret identities.
Peter Parker was constantly saving MJ and Aunt May. Mostly MJ, who had a knack for getting kidnapped. And Aunt May needed help with little things because she lived alone. SHQ could have dependent and love interest NPCs that need to be rescued. Even the bad guys have this (think Green Goblin from the Spider-Man movies).
None of my favorite comics had sidekicks. But most had supporting characters that would help the hero from time to time. It would be fun to have a sidekick. And a wise super hero mentor. That wouldn't be to hard for AE to build into the game. For villains, minions are a must!
And lets talk about super hero groups. Even Spider-Man joined the Avengers and the Fantastic Four from time to time. How fun would it be to make your own super hero team? Freakin' awesome fun! It should not be like a guild, though. Super hero teams don't have big memberships, four to twelve people. Multiple memberships would be fun.
Spider-Man and the Green Goblin. Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom. The X-Men and Magneto. We simply have to have arch-rivals in SuperHero Quest. What good is a super hero or super villain without his or her nemesis?
Then there's the "normal life" part of a super hero's existence. I'm talking about jobs, going to school, keeping the secret identity a secret, romantic love interests, science experiments in underground labs/ lairs. Let's see that in SHQ. Please.
Players will certainly create their own drama and groups will supply the platform from which it will develop. AE can supply the rest with the daily life of the hero.
I'll probably play SHQ for a little while even if it's just a super hero game built around the AQW game engine with no drama and tons of clicky-clicky grinding. It all depends on how it develops.