Ben Brode, lead developer on Marvel Snap

Developer Update for the Week of June 22, 2023: Spider-Ham Edition (45+ Questions)!

In this week's edition of Developer Update, we get answers to questions from the team at Second Dinner about Marvel Snap over the past week.

Hello all! Welcome back to this week’s breakdown of what’s happening over on the Marvel Snap official Discord! This week, we get answers to what happened with weekend missions, is Spider-Ham’s pig supposed to get cost reduction from Zabu, will tokens be added to the Conquest shop, and more! If you want to stay up to date with what’s coming and what answers developers have for the community, make sure to check back here each week!

This week’s edition comes after the launch of the new Conquest update, as well as the release of the new card Spider-Ham! If you haven’t seen the news on what the update added, make sure to check that out! Also make sure to check out the new features of Conquest mode in our guide!

Answers and questions may be slightly rephrased for more clarity and ease of reading. This weeks topics will be divided into Card Specific Questions, Other Questions, Conquest Mode Questions and Weekend Mission Questions.

Remember, you can check out our new Marvel Snap Developer Tracker to see all questions and answers in real time! Topics can also be searched, filtered, and sorted.

Card Specific Questions

Q: Even though there is now another way to counter galactus, many decks still have 0% chance of winning and have no incentive to keep playing the match after the opponent plays electro and snaps. Rather than keep on changing galactus’ power and adding on counters, why not take him back to the drawing board and change him into a less polarizing card?
A: Glenn “Because there are people who love the card and we value finding the happiest, healthiest execution for every card very highly. It’s a high bar to merit a full redesign.

It’s very early, but our data shows the change to have been quite impactful. We’ll continue to monitor the situation, of course.”

Q: Does the existence of the Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly) variant mean there is no chance Scarlet Spider becomes a card?
A: Glenn “The existence of this variant might impact exactly how we would introduce Scarlet Spider, but it doesn’t mean we won’t.”

Q: Is it intended that Galactus won’t count his doubled power from Shuri's Lab?
A: Glenn “Yes, Shuri’s Lab (like all locations with similar triggers) resolves after the On Reveal of any card played there. This is why it will double cards like Carnage after the devour.”

Q: Scenario: I play Spider-Ham into Lockjaw, draw him again later, and play him again. If my opponent still has the pig in their hand from earlier, and it’s still the highest cost card in their hand, can Spider-Ham target the pig or will the pig be ignored and the next lowest card be transformed? Also, would the pig still be a potential target if there were other cards in my opponent’s hand with the same cost?
A: Glenn “He will hit the Pig in scenario 1, and might hit the Pig in scenario 2.”

Q: Is Shawdow King setting the real Mysterio’s power to zero a bug?
A: Glenn “Yes, this is a bug.”

Q: Nebula feels a bit overturned and sees play in a ton of decks. Will she see change in the future, or does the team balance season pass cards after they enter Series 5?
A: Glenn “Season Pass cards are not exempt from being rebalanced if their metrics merit it. Nebula’s currently don’t.”

Q: Scarlet Witch used to be a 1/2 but was nerfed after seeing too much play in the beta. Now that nobody really plays her, could we see that change reversed?
A: Glenn “During beta, her strength was measured in what was mostly the current Series 2/3 incomplete metagame. Since these metagames are so similar, she’s likely still too impactful to the new player experience at 1/2. I don’t expect to make that change unless it’s with other larger changes to Series 1/2, which aren’t currently on the horizon.”

Q: When does Silk decide to move? Is it the moment a card is laid down, or when it is revealed?
A: Glenn “Nothing happens “the moment” a face-down card is played. The new card’s text will resolve its effects upon being revealed. Silk won’t move until after the played card has been revealed and resolved. For example, you can’t play Galactus to Silk’s location to trigger him successfully.”

Q: If Spider-Ham targets an Evolved Hulk that has increased power, or a knull that has power from destroyed cards, why does the Pig retain the power from an ongoing effect?
A: Glenn “Hulk and Knull are built differently from other Ongoing cards, because their Power values would otherwise be very difficult to track. This does currently mean Ham will “lock in” that value, the same way he would lock in cards buffed by Nakia.

We’re planning a future advancement to how we display the Power of Ongoing cards that should remove this inconsistency.”

Q: What led to the decision to allow Spider-Ham to see the card it targets versus Iceman who doesn’t see its target?
A: Glenn “We’re trying it out. It can be dissatisfying to play a card like Iceman and never know if it mattered. However, we acknowledge it is a meaningful strength addition.”

Q: Is Angel on your buff watchlist?
A: Glenn “He is. A constraint is that updating Angel require VFX work, and we’ve temporarily focused those resources on Conquest and PC.”

Q: Why did you choose to have Spider-Ham turn cards into a pig instead of just removing abilities?
A: Glenn “We liked the cartoonish element quite a bit, and thought the functional differences were interesting.”

Q: Is spider pig supposed to lock Death at her reduced price? Just played a match where I played Spider-Ham, it hit Death, and my opponent got a 4/12 pig.
A: Glenn “Yes, this is the intended function of the design. It locks in currently applied Energy/Power modifiers before the transformation.”

Q: I had a game where my Evolved Hulk got turned into a pig. When I played him on Washington DC he didnt receive +3 power buff even though Pig is advertised as a card with no abilities.
A: Glenn “If you see this interaction, please report it as a bug. I’ll look into it.”

Q: Can you explain these weird Spider-Ham Pig interactions? Zabu and Quinjet reduces its cost, Shadow King sets the power to zero, Thanos isn’t buffed by power stone, and Thor isn’t buffed by Mjolnir.
A: Glenn “The Pig specifically isn’t meant to have interactions with being read as a base 4-Cost card after copying something. The rest–Shadow King, Quinjet, not working with Thanos/Thor–are intentional.”

Q: Spider-Ham’s Pig is a base 4-Cost, so regardless of the cost of the card it targets, it gets effected by Zabu’s and Magneto’s abilities. Is this intended?
A: Glenn “We’ll be adjusting the Pig, it shouldn’t behave that way.”

Q: If Spider-Ham’s pig gets cost reduction by Quinjet, shouldn’t collector get a trigger too?
A: Glenn “Spider-Ham shouldn’t trigger the Collector.”

Q: How has Punisher been performing? Is he on the buff list?
A: Glenn “He’s on the (rather lengthy) list.”

Other Questions

Q: What happened to the “daily offer reward system” mentioned in the Developers update video?
A: Tucker “Hi there! Weekend missions are starting Very Soon™️, while the daily offer reward system needs a little more time in oven before it’s ready to go.”

Q: For upcoming beta bundles, will the price be discounted at all if I already own some of the content?
A: Tucker “Not right now, sadly. In the long run we’re aiming to have a smart discounting system for scenarios like this (similar to how Steam discounts bundles if you already own some of the games inside), but for now it’s only smart enough to not give you dupes of the items you already own.”

Q: What was the reason the team decided not to add Fogwells Gym as a permanent location in rotation?
A: Glenn “It will certainly return. However, like Ruins, its gameplay impact is essentially nil, and we aim to avoid “dud” locations during games.”

Q: Where exactly is the card aquisition improvements? All I see is “Flexible Series Drops” that keep good cards at higher series indefinitely.
A: Tucker “Hi! We’re kicking off card acquisition improvements this season by releasing 2 out of 3 of our new cards this season straight into Series 4: Spider-Ham & Spider-Man 2099.

Both of those cards have kicked my butt a ton in internal playtests, and we’re excited to see if releasing them as S4 lets them get into a lot more player’s hands a lot faster.

We also wanted to try out a little bonus for early adopters of a new card, so we’re also experimenting with our new weekend missions. One of the three missions each weekend will give you tokens if you win games with the newest card. The original idea was to just make it a token discount for the new card during its release week, but having a dedicated mission celebrating its release felt a lot more exciting.

We’ve got a few more things we’re working on on this front; will have more details Soon™️ as we work out the details.”

Q: Why does Limbo add a turn to the game, but removes that turn if the location is removed? Why don’t other locations retroactively reverse its effect (like Sokovia) if the location is removed?
A: Glenn “Limbo doesn’t add a turn to the game; if it did, it would say that (and making multiple Limbos would be impactful). It updates the UI visually to avoid players missing its impact or becoming confused. Like The Nexus, it needs to be in play for its effect to occur.”

Q: I’d there a minimum number of cards that will drop series each season?
A: Glenn “There isn’t a minimum, no.”

Q: Does the team have preferences or a ratio on creating new art for variants versus using comic book art that already exists?
A: Nicki Broderick “All of our covers or comic pieces that were previously published by Marvel have to be reviewed/approved by Marvel for us in our game. So unfortunately not every piece is approved – but we do what we can! We love to feature the back catalog art as often as we can as we feel like it’s a great way to celebrate the amazing comic book art that already exists.”

Q: Would you add more card effects like High Evolutionary that could give more playability to series 1/2 cards that you don’t want to change the base card for?
A: Glenn “I wouldn’t expect too much more of that, but if something as cool as HE occurs to us we will endeavor to execute on it.”

Q: Will any July cards release directly into series 4?
A: Glenn “Yes.”

Q: Way back during early beta, devs mentioned you probably would shift the reset time from Mondays at 8 PM US Pacific to a time where it’d be easier for the team to be in the office. Clearly this hasn’t happened yet, but is this still something being considered?
A: Glenn “Yes, this is still planned.”

Q: Are direct to series 4 releases not added to the CL track? Reports are people aren’t pulling Spider-Ham from reserves.
A: Glenn “It is absolutely our intent that newly released cards are available via the Collection Track upon release. We’re investigating issues that may have occurred with regard to Spider-Ham.”

Q: Will there be titles awarded for hitting infinite anymore?
A: Glenn “We’ll still continue to make titles and find new ways to award them, but general sentiment around that particular achievement was that a title didn’t feel awesome enough for it.”

Q: Any update on the missing 500 credits being sent out for the Itsy Bitsy Spider bundle?
A: Tucker “It’s almost ready to send out, thanks for your patience on this!”

Conquest Mode Questions

Q: Why aren’t collector tokens avaliable in the Conquest shop?
A: Tucker “I’d like to one day! We need to implement a fallback behavior first for players who haven’t unlocked tokens yet (so it turns into the equivalent amount of credits or gold for those newbies, something like that).

After we get that into the game, we’ll likely try sneaking tokens into quite a few places where they currently can’t go, like conquest shop or season passes.”

Q: Will you guys consider Conquest data in balancing cards?
A: Glenn “Sure. How heavily may vary, we’ll have to see what the data says.”

Q: Is there any way to combat toxic players who Snap on turn 1 every round no matter what?
A: Glenn “We don’t consider any snapping to be toxic on any turn. Learning how to snap on earlier turns based on less information is a skill, and developing it is one way to improve your cube gain rate.”

Q: When a new location is added, I know featured locations don’t appear more in Conquest mode. Do new locations still get added immediately into the pool of locations though for Conquest?
A: Glenn “They should appear in Conquest, they’re part of the pool.”

Q: On the 5th round of Conquest, the starting cubes at stake start at 2. Did you consider having this increase start at an earlier or later round?
A: Glenn “We did, but round 5 just worked out. The reason we raise the stakes at all was to reduce battle length for players who were reluctant to Snap, so if players are snapping earlier then that’s close to the pace we’d like.”

Q: Is there a way you can decrease the chance of a mirror match in Conquest?
A: Glenn “We don’t factor the contents of players’ decks into their matchmaking and don’t plan to start.”

Q: What happens if you win an Infinity Conquest, but already have an infinite border avatar equipped?
A: Tucker “It picks another random avatar in your collection to make infinite, so definitely choose your preferred portrait before going into the last match. There’s a helpful “Are You Sure?” screen that gives you an opportunity to swap out the avatar right before going in as well.”

Weekend Mission Questions

Q: What other information can you share on weekend missions?
A: Tucker “Hi there! The weekend missions kick off tonight and the token mission will be 1000 tokens for winning 8 games with Silk. There’s also a credits mission for winning games in general & a gold mission for winning games with Ghost-Spider.

We’re trying a bunch of different lengths & rewards this month, 1000 tokens is definitely on the higher end. You can expect the other token missions in June & July to be a bit shorter with a bit smaller token reward. (3 wins for 100, 4 wins for 300, or 5 wins for 500 depending on the week).

Q: Can we expect Series 5 cards to have higher rewards for weekend missions than Series 4 releases?
A: Glenn “Yes, Series 5 cards will have higher rewards than Series 4 cards on Weekend Missions.”

Q: Does the weekend missions count if you draw the card from cable, the hub, morph, ect?
A: Glenn “The mission rewards you for winning games in which [the card] starts in your deck, so you do need to own the card.”

Q: What will the weekend missions be for unlocking tokens each week?
A: Glenn “For now, they’re just going to ask you to win games with the card starting in your deck.”

Q: Will weekend missions only show up if you bought silk? I don’t see the missions.
A: Tucker “Intended behavior is that all these missions spawn for all players (they’ll show up near the Season Missions).

That said, looks like a bug prevented the missions from going live this weekend for the vast majority of players. We know a lot of players bought Silk knowing they were going to get that mission, so we’re going to make it right; anyone who bought/buys Silk while she’s in the spotlight is going to get the 1000 tokens they were promised.”

Q: Are season pass owners being compensated for missing weekend missions too?
A: Tucker “We’ll be compensating for those too! 200 Credits to everyone, 150g for everyone who owns Ghost-Spider. Thanks for your patience y’all!”

Questions From You!

Each week, I ask readers of the weekly dev update to leave their questions down in the comment section. That way we can ask those questions on your behalf, or let you know the answers if those questions have been asked before! I read each comment you leave, so I will be adding this section at the end of each week’s edition to highlight your questions that you asked last week!

Last Week’s Questions:

Q: Is there a limit to the number of Big Bads there will be?
A: Glenn “No”

Q: With the recent changes to Ranked, is the team happy with the number of players hitting infinite now?
A: Glenn “This season’s data is too skewed by the reset bug, but we’re most excited about seeing how things shake out once global matchmaking is available.”

Q: With a growing Series 3 collection, will the series ever be broken up into smaller sets?
A: Glenn “It’s possible, but too soon to consider that kind of thing.”

Q: With the rise of “afflict negative power” on the back of High Evolutionary’s release, have you played around with the concept of abilities that “flipping” negatively afflicted power around, or benefit from it in other ways?
A: This was referred to their suggestions

Q: Any plans for merch?
A: Stephen “I want some merch too 😂.  We don’t have any yet but would be cool to do!”

Q: Where is my question I asked last week?
A: Not all answers are guaranteed an answer from the devs. If I see the devs have answered one of your question later, I will be sure to feature it in the next edition.

Keep Your Questions and Feedback Coming!

That’s all for this week’s update! Be sure to check back here at Marvel Snap Zone for next week’s update! If you enjoyed the amount of content in this edition, make sure to keep asking your questions to the developers by submitting it in their official Discord in the “#ask-the-team” channel. If you have questions and don’t use Discord, leave your questions for the developers in the comment section here, and I will make sure your question has been answered by the devs!

If you have feedback or changes you would like to see with these weekly updates, also let us know in the comment section!

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  1. Will there be new emotes this year (through conquest for example) ? I really NEED new emotes. Especially for all thos who snap and then directly rope the round or the whole game.

    • And second question: Are there plans to introduce a card which negates the abilities of a card? For Ongoing there is Enchantress and Rogue or Echo. For On Reveal there is Cosmo.
      But there is no card which negates Wolverine, Lockjaw, Dracula…

      • Lady Deathstrike looks to be the Dracula / Lockjaw killer you are looking for. Albiet I think she is a 5 cost.

      • Thx Hemen. You are right.

        Still im looking for a card that just neutralizes their ability. But killing does this job maybe better. But its “on reveal” and cards like Armour will protect Dracula and others. And as you said… Deathstrike is 5 Energy.

  2. I’ll drop a question about conquest, similar to someone else who mentioned toxicity:

    I had a game in Conquest where we both snapped on round 1, and I won the 8 cubes fairly. From then on out, my opponent kept trying their hardest, but made the clock go until the very last second every turn, while constantly emoting. What should have been a less than 10 minute conquest game became over 40 minutes as he won three 2 cube rounds until I won the 5th round. Theoretically, anyone losing could attempt to hold their opponent hostage and hope for them to concede to save time. Is this something that can’t really be addressed in the game’s design?

    • But how would you ever be able to go about addressing this via game design? It seems only possible through reporting and then Second Dinner taking decisive stances on such behavior.

  3. Do yall have any plans to buff certain 6 cost cards? An example being spectrum who is almost never seen anymore even in decks that run ongoing. Is it by design that 5 costs seem to be more impactful in games than 6 costs are?

  4. ““Because there are people who love the card and we value finding the happiest,”

    Yes, and those people are called sociopaths. You will have to decide, cater to people that love ruining other people’s experience or not, both is impossible.

    • It’d be rather strange to still complain about Galactus post-nerf when decks like Lockdown are now far higher on the “sociopathic scale” of ruining other people’s experience – that is, going by the logic on display here.

  5. Another week, another series of questions that surprised me.
    Also a good batch of these are about Spider-Ham/Pig, and seem a little repetitive lol

  6. The behavior of Spider-Ham pig tokens seems wildly inconsistent even in how they say they intend it to work (differences like Quinjet vs. Collector). I feel like there’s never been a card in this game that has so many special cases and seems to work so differently almost every time I run into it.

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