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YMMV: Marvel Avengers Alliance
  • Adaptation Displacement: All the characters have their most usual design in comic books, and alternate costumes for designs from other media (such as those from the Marvel Cinematic Universe) or alternate designs in comic that are also noteworthy (such as Grey Hulk, or Daredevil with yellow suit). Heimdall and Falcon's base designs are lifted straight from the MCU films Thor and Captain America: The Winter Soldier respectively, bypassing the comics outfits. The fact that both heroes were introduced in Spec Ops based on MCU movies probably has something to do with it.
    • The game also adapts Eric Savin's Elite Mook status in Iron Man 3 for a Spec Op tie-in. Whether or not the game will use his Coldblood persona as a Lockbox recruit remains to be seen.
    • Also with the playable Loki, even though the game came out after Thor and shortly before The Avengers the design for the boss Loki is that of the comics while the recruitable version is that of Thor: The Dark World. Even all the Warriors Three base designs were taken from the the same movie's likeness as well.
  • Archive Panic: Brand new players start off facing 12 lengthy chapters in Season 1 and 4 in Season 2, each with six missions apiece, and an ever-expanding roster of heroes at daunting price-points. And Season 2's chapters are still in production...
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Doc Ock as an Epic Boss (for Chapter 6.3) is notoriously easy, especially since his gimmick (ISO-8 Contagion) can be used against his own party.
    • Destroyer as the Epic Boss of SpecOps 5.1 as well, being the easiest boss of all the SpecOps.
  • Anvilicious: The Covert Task missions have a healthy dose of this, being made in collaboration with Underwriters Laboratories. The missions feature SHIELD and the Agent dropping everything to go after various forms of intellectual property theft, counterfeit products, and fake identification cards.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Playdom seems to be the master at this. Most anytime players have issues with the game, Playdom often seeks to remedy the problem, or at least mitigate it so that the experience is a lot more fun for all. Consider the following:
    • PvP had become a source of much complaining, especially with regards to the ranking system, which was changed in Season 9 to be much harder to get into the Adamantium League (not that it mattered, see Good Bad Bugs below). What did Playdom do? Combine both ranking systems into one, so now, even if you don't have the ranking level, you may still have a chance if you're in the top percentage!
    • The addition of having an 'away team' in addition to your attacking team in PvP is also a nice bonus.
      • The ability to give your Agent in each PvP "team" a different set of weapons from the gear used in regular missions is also an added perk.
    • A "Bonus Bar" was added to address complaints about the Duplicate Covers in the Lockbox segments. When you get duplicates, the Bonus Bar fills up. Once completely filled, the next comic book cover will be a new one, guaranteed!
    • The last chain of tasks prior to the Epic Boss in a SpecOps would usually be to beat the Mission 3 Boss, and then three-star all missions. The latter two tasks can actually be done in one sequence (with enough preparation), but three-starring Mission 3 would require ending the Mission. The problem here is that Epic Bosses would be the last in the chain in order to finish the SpecOps, meaning, the player has to go through Mission 3 again after the aforementioned sequence. Both time and ISO-consuming, but fortunately, Playdom seems to have taken notice, and has since put Epic Bosses on Mission 1 or 2 instead.
    • Playdom recently earned a lot of ire by extending the PVP Season 13 tournament by one week mere minutes before it was to be completed. Two days later, they gave away 100 Challenge Points as an apology to those players, some of whom were grateful that the points that were wasted defending their titles are now restored.
    • In June, Playdom offered the Synthetic Cube for sale, much to the delight of those requesting it....and the ire of those who can't afford the hefty 128 Gold pricetag. Later on, however, for a cheaper price, they began offering items with the "Obsolete Tech" debuff, which can give said players a fighting chance against the Cube. One such item? The popular Mystic (then a PvP exclusive reward prize!)
    • If you have saved up enough gold to purchase the upgrade, being able to train two heroes at the same time is very invaluable, given the time-consuming nature of training one hero at a time. This allows any new recruits to rack up on levels while a high-level hero is pending a level-up.
  • Badass Decay: Characters who might be reasonably expected to be overpowered, such as Wolverine, Deadpool, and Squirrel Girl, are judged to be fair to middling performers. However, with the right combination of weapons/characters/Iso-8 gems, they can more than hold their own. Deadpool in particular is a beast in PVP due to his troll-style abilities his empowered ISO-8s give him.
  • Breather Level: It has become a trend that odd-numbered SpecOps are easier starting with 5. The even numbered ones are harder due to the number of tasks you have to complete along with amassing lockboxes. The odd-even pattern reversed with the SpecOp/Group Boss/Lockbox events. For example, SpecOps 11 (Daimon Hellstrom) had the notoriously-difficult Blackheart Group Boss and the side-task of gathering Demonic Lockboxes. Spec Ops 12 (Ares) had neither of those and felt much easier by comparison, even though it included a new challenge to get a certain score against the mission bosses.
    • After several Group Bosses with considerable resistances, Kurse is significantly easy if you have effective team-up combinations beforehand. Since his Dark Elf mooks can change class randomly, they may even shift into the same class as Kurse; contrasting most flunky bosses whose sidekicks back-up class weaknesses. Kurse also has way less overall health than the earlier ones.
    • With the exception of the one with Deadpool and Bob, the batch of Heroic Battles for Season 2, Chapter 2 are a complete cakewalk compared to those in Chapter 1 and especially Chapter 3.
  • Broken Base: The introduction of Venom as a boss in Daimon Hellstrom's Spec Op. While many are simply happy to see him appear, others are unhappy for various reasons. 1) The Venom in-game is Mac Gargan, who is arguably the least popular version. 2) Some players would rather see Mac Gargan in his original role as the Scorpion instead. 3) Venom arguably appears as a supporting nemesis in a story arc he has little historical relation to, whereas some argue that the character is popular and has a strong-enough legacy that he should have been introduced in his own standalone Spec Op. (Though naturally, the developers are pressured to concentrated their efforts on characters Marvel still has the adaptation rights to, meaning much less Fantastic Four and Spider-man content overall.) 4) His introduction as a villain (rather than a hero) means that he will only be recruitable via Lockboxes in the future, a contentious game mechanic. (Eventually, the Flash Thompson version of the character would be made the first to be made available, as a PVP bonus, then recruitable.)
    • Fridge Brilliance kicked in when Eddie Brock became playable...as Anti-Venom. His bio still credits him as the original host of the Venom symbiote. What's more, it took place during a Spec Op that was all about Spidey and his Symbiotes.
  • Character Tiers: Some heroes are definitely stronger than others, especially in PvP. The topmost tier (heroes who show up frequently if the player has them) is usually Captain America, Rescue, Psylocke, Thane, Emma Frost, Human Torch, Mockingbird, Brown-Suit Wolverine, Dr. Doom, Blue-Suit Quicksilver, Age of Apocalype Beast and Rogue, various combinations of the Warriors Three and the empowered-up Deadpool. Bottommost tier (heroes you almost never see used) is usually Spider-Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing and Luke Cage. The spaces in-between, though, are a bit more open to debate, especially since the metagame changes at different character levels and Playdom sometimes comes along and buffs weaker characters up to higher tiers.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • PvP is highly problematic in general. With each revamp/release, there's a selected group of heroes which are always selected.
    • The Spec Ops tasks that are based on battle score will cause agents to tend towards teams with the highest team up bonuses: Mockingbird + Hawkeye, Black Widow + Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch + Quicksilver, Starlord + Iron Man, and so forth.
    • The Agent will almost always bring one of these weapons/gadgets: Quantum Jumper, Limited Edition gear, Premium Mission or Excelsior gear, SpecOps and PVP weapons.
    • For Command Point grinding, mission 12.2 features eight minibosses and a single boss that can be fought all at once, plus an Epic Boss after that. All it costs is 20 energy altogether, then deploying Kitty Pryde to unlock the Epic Boss.
    • If the player hasn't reached Chapter 12, there's also Mission 4.4. Outside 12.2, it's the most cost-efficient mission, regarding energy. A full mission run including the Epic Boss requires Storm, a Scrapper, and 70 energy.
    • Those who have Modern Armor Sif WILL spam Leaping Slash for the first three rounds. It has Deadly Crits, and the consecutive blows will do even more damage.
  • Critical Backlash: Playdom caused a LOT of uproar among the players by extending PVP Season 13. Why? Because they did it less than an hour before the tournament was supposed to end, in order to "fix a bug affecting gameplay balance". No less than 500 players leapt on Playdom's case mere minutes after the announcement was made on their Facebook page.
    • This announcement of Playdom shutting down the Playdom.com version of the game. Though in reality a sensible decision, they also decided to announce at the same time that no refunds would be offered, which has quite a few fans that spent time and money grinding away very, very ticked off.
  • Demonic Spiders: Hacked Servoguards. They can Malfunction to enter an aptly named "Infinite Loop" which is like a Quantum Jumper, giving extra turns to ALL the Servoguards present. Servoguards also don't experience Exhaustion, so they have a high chance of getting more turns if another malfunction comes up. Add that to the defense-reducing Exposed and Burning debuffs of their attacks, a mere trio of Hacked Servoguards will annihilate an unprepared party. Fortunately, the advent of Magneto and Vision as playable heroes greatly reduce these robots' destructive capabilities.
    • Mystics/Elders/Mentalists (they're the same mook with different stats) from Spec Ops 21. They're essentially improved versions of Emma Frost, but what made them so horrible is the fact that they can preemptively apply Mental Anguish to an attacking hero, meaning that said hero will lose about 50% of his/her HP after attacking. If you're facing more than one in a fight, you will lose at least one of your heroes in a couple turns. Luckily, stealthy and psychic attacks can easily bypass their pre-counters. Magneto and Juggernaut are also effective since their passives prevent them from getting hit by these enemies' psychic attacks.
  • Designated Villain: Incursion invaders are labelled in-game as villains. For all we know, they're defending their universe from us.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Mission 7.2, when Nick Fury talks about the "mutant problem". It led to a reply from Kitty Pryde (in-universe, a Jew, granddaughter of a victim of the Holocaust), and Fury's attempts to be a Deadpan Snarker with the topic only make things worse.
    • Magneto and Professor Xavier have this reaction to Tony joking about letting Bastion and the Sentinels attack the Brotherhood.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Ever since his appearance in the teaser for Season 2 (and possibly because of his unique status), there has been quite a lot of interest in Armless Tiger Man. His appearance in the game was even asked about in October 2014's Q&A panel.
    • The Sandman, the one villain that fans have long been anticipating ever since the introduction of Lockbox recruitment.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: The Circle of 8 members. Combining '80s Hair with Tron Lines with a dash of Hell-Bent for Leather sounds cool on paper, but it sometimes results in costumes like this.
  • Game Breaker:
    • Captain America. A highly powerful and versatile character who can block attacks to any ally at any moment, and with his "Shield Guard" ability, he can even retaliate such attacks. His WWII costume (which is actually from Captain America: The First Avenger) starts with "Shield Guard" activated.
    • Mockingbird. Decent and balanced base stats, can change classes and thus gain multiple class-advantage buffs, has a good chance to gain turns when changing classes, inflict multiple debuffs, guarantee crit and hit, deadly crits, and by far the best exploit attack in the game (Mocking Blow). She gets even more deadly when buffed by a P5!Emma Frost.
    • The Human Torch is also a bane in PVP. Fun to use, frustrating to fight against. He is immune to ground attacks, is healed by fire attacks, counters melee moves with 'Burning' status, has a very high evasion especially against ranged attacks, and massive damage potential with his Fireball. The Annihilus costume can can also summon the Annihilation Wave as an additional attack anytime during battle.
    • Scarlet Witch and her Confusion Fu-based skillset can utterly screw with opposition putting up shields that heal and reverse debuffs when attacked, cause enemy attacks to backfire for potent damage and afflict random buffs for your team while also randomly debuffing enemies. On the offence, she has a killer Hex & Arcane Blast combo which does massive damage and causes random afflictions on the target. Pairing her up behind a human wall type hero, e.g. Captain America, to ensure maximum survival is a sure way to cause a lot of chaos in the enemy ranks.
    • Dr. Strange and his ability to take multiple turns, deal devastating attacks, heal and shield. His "Modern" alternate outfit also adds the Bane debuff which adds more damage to his already-devastating attacks.
    • Modern Thor enters combat with his hammer fully charged, high damage and an unprotectable area attack. If a Blaster alt in PVP gets the first turn, he can quickly wipe out Bruisers.
    • While in the normal game, Captain Britain is a fairly standard Flying Brick Bruiser with a little more 'mobility' in the sense that he has a chance to get extra turns once per round when he attacks an enemy with any of the four stat-reducing debuffs, in PvP, when controlled by the AI that gets higher proc rates for all their specials, he becomes a rather overpowered monster in that he's pretty much guaranteed to get an extra turn every round.
    • Ghost Rider applies the Sin debuff, which reduces Defense, on each attacking enemy, and has several moves taking advantage of it, such as Penance Stare (hugely devastating with a lot of Sins), and Burn Out, a Quick Action ability which gives GR a stack of Vengeance for each Sin, amplifying his Attack. Simple as it sounds, and double as effective.
    • Phoenix, after the revamp, became a pain in the ass. She starts with her "Phoenix Fire" L9 ability locked, but her "Death and Rebirth" passive revives her teammates after being defeated and enables her to use the aforementioned locked ability. Her "White Crown" costume also reapplies the "Death and Rebirth" passive on her after she uses "Phoenix Fire". To make matters worse, the AI engages in "Phoenix Fire" in the turn right after "Death and Rebirth" is consumed.
    • PVP Armory bonuses, to the point of turning PVP since Season 6 from "whoever has the best team wins" into "whoever has the biggest Attack/Defense bonuses wins".
    • War Machine's Iron Patriot armor, once buffed with Charged Capacitors, can stack up 21-Gun Salute that fires three times, inflicting Radiation Exposure each time. This debuff increases damage taken from energy attacks aside from damage over time. When coupled with Repulsor Beam, War Machine can wipe out tank characters within moments.
    • Union Jack. His passive allows him to join in an ally's follow-up or counter attack, three of his moves grant him preemptive counters if the opposing team do anything (ranged, melee, buffs, respectively), and his final move allows his allies to strike that target twice. Without psychics to override UJ's passive, he can weaken an entire party due to counters alone.
    • Rescue's four abilities allow her to 1) prevent counter-attacks and follow-up attacks from her target, as well as granting her an extra turn, 2) protect the team from any attacks that aren't subtle, and reduce the damage her attacker does at the same time, 3) heal everyone on her team for three rounds, and 4) both remove debuffs from herself, and remove all positive buffs from the entire opposing team. On top of that, her passive ability gives a random chance to remove any debuffs from her team on their turn. She's a nightmare to face in PVP.
    • After his revamp, Cyclops became a formidable offense/support PVP opponent. He opens the fight by boosting his team's evasion and adding a counterattack passive. Any damage done to his teammates triggers him to boost that target's stats, making hard-hitting squishies like Phoenix and tanks like Wolverine even more terrifying. His Exploit Weakness/Optic Blast combo is also very effective against Blasters and Bruisers alike, while his Mega Optic Blast also has a chance to stun the entire enemy team. To top all of that, his Phoenix 5's passive may turn Cyclops' or his party's attacks as critical hits AND ignore defense.
    • The Cosmic Cube is one of the most game-breaking items in PvP to date. Aside from imparting the "Reality Hacking" buff on everyone when the match begins (which means that any attack, even counters, have a 20% chance of whiffing), it can also allow the Agent to use two more attacks: "The Light Fantastic" (which heals the entire party and debuffs in the process) and "Blackest Void" (which can cause your ENTIRE team to attack each other instead of the enemy). Combine this with the Mystic weapon (which prevents ANY Debuffs whatsoever from affecting the team for the first turn), and you've got a truly aggravating experience from start to finish. Sure hope you've completed the sidequest for the item!
      • It is worth noting, however, that there are ways around it. Mental attacks cannot be Reality Hacked away. Despair prevent The Light Fantastic from working properly, and the Depower debuff will prevent both Blackest Void and Improbability Field from affecting you. It is still difficult to deal with, but not completely impossible.
    • Dr. Doom has a "Ring Imperial" passive that is applied each round. Instead of Incapacitation, it places "Cower", which like Incapacitation, has a 20% chance to cause the opponent to miss their turn. However, unlike Incapacitation, it doesn't give you a stun-free turn to recover, so you can lose a long string of turns thanks to the higher proc rates on PVP. And if he manages to fire the Doom Cannon, the opposing team is already dead.
    • Deadpool is much more likely to activate his Nerf Bat in PVP, none of his statuses that upgrade his later moves can be removed, and his empowered ISO-8s make him a countering/protecting machine, as much of a troll as you'd expect.
    • Havok is the only character in the game who can do an easy one-hit kill. By combining his L9 charging move with his L2 Plasma Wave, it is easy to target the most dangerous member of the opposing team in PVP and eliminate them in round one. When combined with the Phased Frequencies Empowered Iso-8, his attacks ignore avoidance effects. His L2 attack does cause a lost turn, but the fact that he can eliminate the enemy Agent or a powerful bruiser like Hulk or Hercules in round one makes him the most dangerous offensive player in the game. In addition, his L6 move causes Exhausted, which essentially neutralizes Rescue.
    • Beast's Pestilence costume can cause an extreme mess in a PvP fight. Aside from the barrage of debuffs he can inflict from his moves alone, the entire battle can be summed up into a game of tag, passing out Iso-Contagions until all hell breaks loose on a victim. Since Pestilence forbids the removal of debuffs in his presence, being caught unprepared will be such a grueling battle. He can effortlessly shut down medics like Rescue/Angel and stack-buffers like Havok/Quicksilver.
    • A meta example: Since the game is pay-to-win, anyone with access to a large amount of money or a credit card.
  • Goddamned Bats: TA-Deltas. One by itself is manageable, but when they come out in droves (especially if they happen to be the mooks of that mission's Boss Battle), they can be a pain. Not because they're difficult to dispatch, mind you, but because of their "Deep Thought" passive, which drains a good bit of stamina away from whatever player attacks them. By the time you're ready to move on to the next wave of the battle, your characters are going to be pretty low on energy.
  • Good Bad Bug: PVP Season 9 ended with a large population of the non-Adamantium (including the lowest Silver and Gold) players getting all five rewards, including the prize hero Angel. As to be expected, those in Adamantium vented out in the forums.
    • Despite Playdom claiming that the initial 10,000 Silver selling price for the Synthesized Antidote (an item found in Spec Ops 10) was intentional, many players believed that this was the case for the aforementioned item. Cue players buying the Antidote en masse and then selling them back for a massive return in Silver. (The resale price has since been changed, lending more credence to the idea).
    • When a player accesses his/her profile screen, the Hero roster would often show the characters unmodified, in stats (even if the player had equipped ISO-8) or alternate costumes (showing that hero in default instead). While this doesn't affect gameplay, this can get pretty annoying.
    • In an attempt to balance out PvP, Playdom introduced a Level Cap system in September 2014's Beta Tournament, which put everyone at a certain level. Unfortunately, while this was supposed to apply to the weapons as well, those that were 'Custom' were unaffected, doing the exact same damage they were before, resulting in a lot of hilarious one-hit-kills by Agents. However, this does have the side effect of making PvP progress for some players a lot easier and less frustrating to go through, while others......aren't as amused.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: it's been pointed out that, for a long time, Thane has been the only exception among the Lockbox characters, since he never started out a villain. But then came the end of Infinity, in which Thane ends up pulling a Face-Heel Turn, making him an inverse.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: the Loading Screen has been there from the beginning, and there doesn't seem to be signs of changing it. Keep in mind that all the villains featured are now currently aligned with the player.
    • Punisher's Premium Mission in Season 2 features bantering amongst Tony Stark, Punisher, Nick Fury and Kingpin. Keep in mind that the latter three starred in The Punisher arcade game, and now Fury is holding back Castle's take-no-prisoners attitude due to SHIELD's temporary truce with Kingpin.
  • HSQ: In-universe, you recruiting the Big Bad Dr. Doom causes this with several of the heroes.
  • Ho Yay: Iron Man's Valentine's Card reads, "My Arc Reactor glows for you. And you. And that cute blonde over there." Thor's wonders, "Was Tony talking about me?"
    • Tony flirting with Thor has become something of a Running Gag by now. SpecOps 3 had Tony referring to Thor as "you gorgeous thing." It wasn't until the Valentine's Day cards came around that Thor showed any signs of reciprocation.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Iceman as the Death horsemen. Kitty tried the "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight, and he remembered how Kitty broke his heart in the past. And, as a result, he will kill her.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Rescue's Protector Protocol/Magnetic Attraction can be this, as it serves as a reminder that she's going to be the Stone Wall of the match unless you do something about it.
    • The sound of Squirrel Girl missing with her "Nuts to This!" buff can be this, especially if you're trying to regain your health in a pinch. It seems that Playdom has caught on to this, though, and is offering an Augmented Iso-8 that specifically removes the chance of this happening.
    • Gunshots are higher-pitched than most of the other sounds in the game, and are fairly realistic sounding as well, which can make for a potent annoyance during combat.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The "THWACK!" sound a heavy blow makes, especially if you're the one making it.
  • Neutral Evil: Kingpin supports SHIELD in the conflict against a mafia rival to his own one.
    Punisher: Fisk, you may think you're opting out of this war, but if I see you out there, I'll bring you down just like any other scum.
    Kingpin: Duly noted.
  • Never Live It Down: In comics, a thing that Henry Pym can never live down is the creation of Ultron, a Killer Robot that rebels against him and tries to destroy the human race. SpecOps 7 features Pym...and yes, he's creating Ultron, and Ultron rebels against him. Good thing the other thing he didn't live down (hitting Janet/Wasp in rage) is not mentioned.
    • Likewise with Stark being rescued by Squirrel Girl after she single-handedly defeated Doctor Doom. Fury uses this fact to keep Tony's cockiness at bay.
    Iron Man: Let me get this straight. You want us to drop what we’re doing and help you rescue squirrels? You are completely -
    Nick Fury: Remember Dr. Doom.
    Iron Man: ...right. You are completely right, we should help.
  • Padding:
    • With a roster of over 100+ heroes, maxing out each one will be a chore, since the upper levels award boosts for PVP stats and extra Empowered or Augmented Iso slots.
    • Completing the Campaign Mode doesn't end there. You are inclined to grind each of the Season 2 chapters and attempt to win each hero-unique Empowered Iso-8 from Heroic Battles AND move-unique Augmented Iso-8 from boss battles. Like comic book covers, you can also get duplicates. 100% Completion will be a full-time job.
    • While beginners may have a hard time with SHIELD points, having a significant number of active allies allows you to amass a wealth of SHIELD points without relying from 50 Daily Gifts.
    • Command points are even harder to get, and tons of them are required just to get the cooler heroes.
    • Items that require gold are even harder to get, since you only get 1 free gold per level-up. Your Agent Level maxes out at 300, meaning your gradual free supply of gold also stops.
    • Unstable Iso-8 points are very limited. Due to the gift limit of 50 gifts a day, you can only accept up to 50 of them without getting more allies.
    • SpecOps 16's Mission 2 is divided into two parts (for the two Strike Teams) and Mission 3 further divides the teams, totaling four. The only way to edit a Strike Team is to repeat Mission 1. Tasks 19-22 involves fighting the Four Horsemen, thus necessitating going through Mission 3 four times.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: What Playdom tries to do when they give older, outdated heroes revamps along with updated suits.
  • The Scrappy: An in-universe example - Dr. Doom is this to your heroes. Absolutely noone will team up with him on your team (not even the villains), and the reactions to him when you first unlock him range from disbelief to downright violent. Not that he cares, though.
    • Deadpool falls into this for a couple of reasons: Two Heroic Battles involving him where he's the biggest hindrance to your progress (the Cable/Deadpool Battle being the most infamous, since there was a chance that he could make you instantly lose,) and the whole PVP Season 13 debacle (for those not in the know, Playdom had extended the tournament to fix a character that was causing a huge imbalance in the PVP tournament, much to the ire of the players.) Said character? Deadpool. The fact that in one instance he makes fun of the player for losing because of a mess that he caused does not help.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The above-mentioned broken advantages on PvP bonuses.
    • Many a player would want to tear their hair out over the game's prize roulette, especially with the daily reward turned into another roulette game. In other words, get used to getting a lot of meager prizes like one measly Command Point or various field supplies that you probably don't neednote . Even if there are 3 main prizes, the cursor likes to stop just beside a top prize just to tease you.
      • The rewards for Incursion fighs, while not involving a roulette, are just as infuriating, especially with the high chance of getting an outmoded and useless PvP armory item or PvP challenge tokens over a very small chance to get the desired weapon instead.note 
    • Lockbox collections. The idea of recruiting an exclusive hero is nothing short of a gambling mechanic, relying on pure luck to obtain the hero with the least amount of boxes opened. Forums are even rife with debate about statistical and probability equations on how many boxes are required to get the desired chance of completing the set. Buying more boxes with gold makes the hero even more costly than the regular heroes which require less using the current gold/command point exchange rate. Then there is also a chance that you can wind up getting a duplicate comic book covernote , making it a Scrappy Mechanic in a Scrappy Mechanic.
      • Season 8 of PVP introduces a type of lockbox that can only be gained by winning five daily matches in PVP, the PVP daily roulette (which requires winning those five matches), or paying for them in gold. Given the aforementioned frustration caused by armory bonuses and prize roulettes, this manages to combine all three of these Scrappy Mechanics into one!
      • SpecOps 14 introduced the "Bonus Bar", Playdom's attempt to ease the players' beef with the mechanic: getting duplicate comic book covers note  will fill up the bar, which will ensure that the next cover will NOT be a duplicate.
    • PVP Season 9 introduces the PVP tasks, which requires players to collect PVP roulette rewards in order to attain an overpowered item blueprint. Said PVP rewards can be bought for a hefty sum of gold and the blueprint can't be achieved outside PVP. Also, the revamped PVP rating reward system may or may not be in your favor.
    • When you combine characters with huge wings (like Angel and Phoenix Five Phoenix) with front line placement and the fact that they rise and fall in place, you get an annoyance that can end up blocking you from selecting your intended target if you're not careful.
      • Targeting can be done by clicking on the portraits at the top edge or names at the bottom of the screen, though it doesn't change how annoying things look.
    • New features like Incursions (with the randomness of what opponents you'll face) and Heroic Battles (Trick Boss and Luck-Based Mission battles, sometimes a combination of both) are nothing compared to the true padding in getting 100% Completion for Season 2: recruiting heroes. SpecOps and PVP heroes, the most expensive of them allnote , are involved, with in-game roles both big and small. It's not like anyone (even the players who'd been there since the game's conception) would have these heroes at the start, especially the PVP heroes. Completing Season 1 seems trivial in comparison.
    • CovertOps heroes, which looked like mini-SpecOps events but turned out to be Double Unlock. Finishing these quests unlocks each of these heroes for purchase, instead of simply being unlocked, period.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: SpecOps 8 introduced the Group Boss mechanic. Group Bosses are extremely powerful bosses who can't be defeated in a single fight and must be defeated within a certain amount of time (usually 72 hours). These bosses drop Silver (1 Silver for every HP of damage you do) and Lockboxes, so it's easy to be distracted by those fights and ignore the rest of the Spec Ops tasks.
  • Tear Jerker: This exchange between Nightcrawler and Mystique in Heroic Battle Season 2 Chapter 1 Mission 3:
    Nightcrawler: I have seen enough hate, Mother. I will not become hate. Müssen wir immer gegeneinander streiten?note 
    Mystique: Ja, mein Sohn. Wir müssen.note 
    • Later once you won:
    Nightcrawler: Each time I confront my mother, I emerge...ein bisschen müde.note 
    Professor X: You are forced into a realization, Kurt. It is always better to fight the difficult battle and suffer its aftermath once. The alternative, of course, is to surrender and live with that surrender every day of one's life. That is precisely what your mother has done.
    Nightcrawler: Ja, aber...diese Kämpfe, die sind schwer.note  She points down a path I will not follow.
    • If you lost, on the other hand, Nightcrawler will use his teleportation power to escape and completely absent from conversation. Mystique desperately calls for him.
    Mystique: Come back, my son. Come back. We don't have to fight any more.
    [in another place]
    Nick Fury: Where is he?
    Professor X: He's teleporting around faster than you can track him.
    Nick Fury: Slow him down, Professor. This is his fight in the end, and we have to make sure we help him win it.
    Professor X: Kurt. You cannot run. We need you to stand and fight.
  • That One Attack:
    • Hacked Servoguards and their "Malfunction" ability, as detailed above.
    • Meanwhile, Doom in 10.5 and 12.6 has his "Ring Imperial" area attack that inflicts a status effect that saps the party's HP and has a chance of preventing a character from acting their turn. He maintains this ability when he's Promoted to Playable.
    • The Mindless Ones' "Abyssal Stare" move, which inflicts Stare of the Abyss on you or your ally. Said debuff drastically damages your character when their turn comes up, and can even stack multiple times for major damage.
    • PVP-wise, Stun and Incapacitation are the AI's trump card. If an AI party member places this AOE debuff on your team, it's a high chance your entire team will happily skip their next turn and get themselves clobbered.
    • Woe betide players when facing Grey Gargoyle (particularly since he's a Mini-Boss in one of the best CP-farming missions), and his Creeping Petrification debuff. Try Everything (Depowernote , high evasion to make him miss, etc.), and he will still inflict that debuff on a poor target.
  • That One Boss:
    • Prior to the whole nerfing of SpecOps 1, Thunderball. He deals humongous damage, has 2 attacks per turn, and because of the fact that Iron Man was a required team-up of that fight, with his default class being Blaster (weak against Thunderball's Tactician class and gives Thunderball an extra attack), if you didn't buy a Tactician Iron Man outfit or have Tony protected, boy were you in for a good time.
    • The Hood's Epic Boss from mission 8.5 in Challenge mode...you fight him three times in a row and he comes in the company of another 6 villains, they can be extremely tough and cover all the tactical weakness, and every one of them inflicts some kind of status effect.
    • The tandem Vapor-Fixer in 4.4 is a pain, especially for players who are running the mission repeatedly for Command Points.
    • The 12.6 miniboss and boss fights feature Dr. Doom and five Doombots that you have to fight. Going after all six in one fight is a hefty task, made all the worse with the debuffs his attacks can inflict upon you like "Ring Imperial", "Steal Essence" and "Trifurcator".
    • Blackheart, the Group Boss for Spec Ops 11, is notoriously hard, unless you get to experiment with powerhouse heroes and debuffs to mow down his minions as well.
    • Spiderwoman's Heroic Battle in Season 2 Mission 1-4 is incredibly difficult. It's technically a Puzzle Boss, but even after you figure out the trick it's still a matter of pure luck that the wrong attack doesn't come at the wrong time to mess up what you have to do without being able to recover before dying, and MODOK can heal himself which can make an already long and tedious battle stretch out even longer.
    • Wolverine's Heroic Battle against Deadpool and Bob is very frustrating in Challenge Mode, where Bob continues protecting Deadpool while the latter continuously revives Bob and buffing him up with more abilities. Bob can stack several damage-over-time debuffs on Wolverine which bypasses his normal healing rate. After several revives, Bob morphs into a HYDRA battletank and starts taking several turns in one go. It should be noted that Deadpool cannot be eliminated from the fight until Bob has transformed unless you use Savage Rend to remove Bob's protection so you can attack Deadpool first.
    • Season 2 Chapter 3's Heroic Battles are extremely annoying, esp. the fights with Mr. Fantastic/Dr. Doom and Phoenix/Black Queen. These are Damage-Sponge Boss Luck-Based Mission battles, where the main boss weakens your solo character while a lone mook wears you down. You can't also use items nor Distress Calls, and once Doom and Selene use health-draining attacks (ie Stare of the Abyss), you're as good as gone. To put it simply, unless you have the Blaster Heroic Age Hawkeye outfit, you stand no chance against Bowman.
    • All of this pales in comparison to what might quite possibly be the most difficult boss fight ever in the game so far. Pestilence!Beast from SpecOps 16, we're looking at you. For starters, all of his attacks come with rather debilitating effects, from infecting your entire team with ISO-8 Contagion (which can hit you nearly every single debuff you can think of) to complete mind control, which means that if you're trying to hit Pestilence with anything, you'd pretty much have to expect that your own heroes are going to take the blow instead. And the coup-de-grace while your already suffering team is bogged down by a ton of debuffs and slapping each other silly like a bad comedy routine? His passive, "Paradise Lost", prevents you from removing them AT ALL. By the way, you're going to have a rematch with him in Mission 4 of the SpecOps, and if you try going straight to Apocalypse with Pestilence still alive, kiss your ass goodbye.
    • Season 2 Chapter 4 has quite a lot of these as Heroic Battles:
      • Mission 3: Sif vs. Enchantress - while Sif has a class advantage over Enchantress, Enchantress' first attack causes Winded, which negates that. Adding to this, every single one of Enchantress' attacks causes Weakened Resolve, which greatly decreases Sif's stats and lasts for nine rounds, and the Enchantress is immune to bleeding and gets two attacks per turn. This quickly results in Sif's stats dropping to the point where her attacks will only take off less than one percent of Enchantress' health. Coupled with the large number of damage over time effects that Enchantress puts on Sif, and this battle is virtually impossible to win in its current state. Enchantress is pretty much impossible to beat without Recovering Iso-8, so don't bother trying.
      • Steel Yourself is there for a reason: prevent all Neutralized or Weakened Resolve stacks for a slight reduction of your damage output. Ignore Amora's taunts when the debuffs get too high, then go back to Rage. Modern Sif's Leaping Slash with a damage-up A-ISO-8 can end the match in 2 rounds.
      • Mission 4: Cyclops, Storm, and Colossus vs. Dragoness, Avalanche, and Toad - each of the villains gets two to three attacks per turn. Toad can use Adhesive Spit, which turns into Hardened Spit if it's applied twice to the same person, and this results in the character in question being stunned for three rounds straight and rendered defenseless. Coupled with Dragoness hitting hard and causing Melt Armor, which turns the heroes into glass cannons, and Avalanche giving his entire team (himself included) extra turns at random, and this battle is just plain frustrating.
      • S-Colossus, B-Cyclops and B-Storm removes the bosses' class advantages and set up Storm's Protective Shroud and Tornado ASAP. Focus fire on Toad while Colossus guards. If you won Storm's Wind Shear ISO-8 from this, repeating this battle will be significantly easier.
  • That One Level: defeating Hood in 2.5.3 is not That One Boss material, but beating him with 85,000 points is a whole other story: it will be the final roadblock a player will face in mastering Chapter 5. A forum thread in trying to develop a strategy for this quickly exploded into several pages, yet few were still able to achieve the score even with the strategies provided. Somehow, a similar task with Man-Ape pales in comparison, even though his score target is higher (100,000). Playdom seems to have finally realized how daunting of a task it was, that they nerfed the score to 70,000 nearly three weeks later.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • In regards to recruiting the SpecOps heroes: originally, they were to be Lost Forever if you did not recruit them during the SpecOps period. Now they sporadically have them on sale...for an exorbitant price of 200 CP!
    • Mockingbird has gotten the brunt of this. People who had Mockingbird were none too pleased when it was announced that she was on sale. People were also none too pleased that she cost 200. Later, she can be gotten for free...If you buy the Avengers Initiative game for iOS/Android, connect your Marvel XP account, and beat Taskmaster in three consecutive runs without retreating. People who bought Mockingbird were especially pissed.
    • PvP Tournament heroes are offered for sale about a month after the tournament ends. The first hero, Deadpool, was offered to users at 90, 112, and 135 CP, randomly — to the understandable anger of those who were given the highest price. The second hero, Cable, was offered to everyone at 135. The price point is currently set a 135 CP for all Tournament heroes.
    • In a case of "they changed a bad thing but now it sucks because it's WORSE!", the Combat Validation Error. Previously, a player could lose his energy points and/or Unstable IS Os if the fight was interrupted because of a game update or a cookie error (opening another instance of the game in the same IP, for example). After an update to correct this, the player could still get the energy/UISO saved if the battle didn't begin, but it got worse when the interruption came in the middle of a combat...or at its end, and still lose the energy/UISO. Cue the roar at Playdom's forums and Facebook pages.
    • The change in rewards for getting at least 10% damage on a Group Boss from one Lockbox to one S.H.I.E.L.D. Point hasn't been met with a positive response from players. Even moreso with the change to one Lockbox from the previous four Lockbox rewards for each Group Boss killed by an ally.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Pick any outdated character without any passives in their normal outfit and/or with no alternate outfits at all. While the hero can fend for itself in PvE, there's a heavy chance he is a scrappy in PvP where status effects and passives are critical to survive.
    • On the top tier list for PvP, we have Emma Frost. Her "Psychic Tap" Level 1 ability does low damage at first, but causes massive damage if the opponent attacks, it also bypasses counters and protect. Her "War Diamond" Level 2 ability stuns the opponent. Her Level 6 ability "Unlock Potential" is a buff which removes debuffs and give the selected character a boost in stats. And finally, her "Mental Trauma" Level 9 ability, is a pretty powerful AoE which weakens the opponents and can also bypass counters and protects. Her Phoenix Five uniform pretty much keeps her on the top tier in PvP by way of her unique "Phoenix Potential: Cosmic Power" passive, which has a chance of applying "Cosmic Power", a non-Stamina consuming version of "Unlock Potential".
    • Without a good hero/gear setup, it will take forever just to take down Rescue. God help you if she's with Omega Sentinel, where they become literal shock absorbers.
    • Pestilence!Beast. The sole reason? His passive, "Paradise Lost", which prevents debuffs. Pair him up with a weapon (such as Ex Oblivione) or character that causes a huge number of them, and battles will quickly turn from fun to completely irritating.
  • Ugly Cute: There's something oddly endearing about the Thing's dialogue picture. His expression's smile comes off as more friendly than threatening despite his pose, making him look a little like a teddy bear made out of rock.
    • Nightcrawler, as per the usual, is frickin' adorable. The bandana and sword he gets in his Swashbuckler alternate uniform makes him more so.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The Infiltrator class is the only female-dominant one in-game, which is problematic because 1) they tend to focus on evasion and distraction rather than damage output, and cannot take a hit, which 2) makes them unviable in PvP due to a focus on quick and heavy unavoidable damage as well as stealthy attacks (which Infiltrators cannot counter, thus making their class advantage significantly less useful), hence 3) making them unpopular amongst certain fans, especially of the sexist variety. This is in contrast with the Tactician class, which is generally seen as the best class. However, it only has 3 females compared to 10 males, many who are also limited edition and hence not readily purchasable for new players. This possibly reinforces stereotypes of The Chick relying on 'sneakiness' and unable to endure much damage, while men are more suited to be The Leader.
    • Subverted because the first (and for a long time, only) female Tactician, Emma Frost, is seen as top tier in both the Tactician class and the game as a whole. The double subversion is she is portrayed as a Lovable Alpha Bitch, drawing the unfortunate conclusion that she only keeps up with the males by being a dry-witted Rich Bitch. Of course, with class-mates like Cyclops, Magneto, Red Hulk, Hank Pym, and more, it may just be that Tacticians tend to be jerks in general.
    • The game also does pretty well at averting Guys Smash, Girls Shoot. Most of the women have at least one melee attack, those who are purely ranged have useful support moves, and impressive Bruiser powerhouses include She-Hulk, X-23, and Valkyrie, while impressive Scrappers include Magik and Sif. On the other side, several men are entirely ranged, but that number includes dangerous powerhouses like Hawkeye, Magneto, and Doctor Strange.
    • SpecOps 9 features Rescue, the second recruitable female Tactician, also time-limited, like Emma. Basically, she's a Combat Medic, playing a supportive role while the other members of her team do most of the dirty work. Most of her abilities are healing and shielding maneuvers. Her only attack can remove nasty counterattack abilities in the enemy, but aside from this, it does minimal damage. Rest assured, she's pretty damn badass despite all of that, but the only thing holding back the niggling Stay in the Kitchen vibe is that she makes it clear that this particular moveset is Pepper Potts' own preference.
    • Nico Minoru needs to be afflicted with Bleeding to use her magic. Blood Magic, yes, but she's a teen goth. Of course, this is an intentional reference to the very intentional implications of the comic.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: You could be forgiven for thinking Angel was a woman.
  • Villain Sue: Arcade of SpecOps 15, who holds the Agent's entire roster — some of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe — captive, and none of them can escape or do anything about it.
  • The Woobie: There are quite few examples within the game:
    • Nightcrawler, who like all other mutants, has been discriminated against and hated by non-mutants his entire life. It's been especially hard for him due to his appearance. Despite this, he chooses to side with the X-men and then S.H.I.E.L.D. and fight for the humans who feared and hated him. Because of this, he has had to fight his own mother Mystique a few times. Not that she cares.
    • Karima Shapandar AKA Omega Sentinel, who was brainwashed and programmed into a mutant-killing cyborg. In her Comic-book Collection story, she goes into detail on how her insides were replaced with weaponry and sensors. Only after being deprogrammed does she realize who she was and that she can never be the same again.
    • Thane, whose life and death powers manifested as soon as Thanos came to Earth, accidentally causing the death of his people that he helped heal. Then he's pursued by the Death-obsessed titan for his power, who is actually his father.
  • What The Hell, Costuming Department?: For some reason, Cyclops' Uncanny costume makes him look like he's wearing a toupee.

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