Interview: Elder Scrolls Online’s Creative Director Talks About What’s Next

This coming winter, the current Season of the Dragon taking place in The Elder Scrolls Online will come to its conclusion with the Dragonhold expansion. Recently, Bethesda offered us a chance to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes of its current Elsweyr chapter, and a hint of things to come with the concluding expansion.

Elsweyr introduces a whole new zone for players to explore, along with a questline jam-packed with main and side missions and a number of new challenges. Additional mechanics will also be introduced. On top of that, players will also get to experience a new update to the general game before Dragonhold arrives, filled with fixes and Twitch Drops for consoles.

To get a better idea of what’s happening with the new Elsweyr add-on, and a bit of Dragonhold, we got a chance to sit down with the game’s creative director, Rich Lambert, during a recent stop at Bethesda’s presentation at PAX West.

First off, he had some sage advice for those that are hopping into this world, since there’s a lot to explore here. “With Elsweyr specifically, we have a brand new zone. It is northern Elsweyr, which is focused on Khajiit and their culture. There’s a brand new class in the Necromancer, and then, dragons – that’s the big one. Fight and kill dragons.”

He then talked about the effort that the team puts into adding additional content into an already overflowing game like Elder Scrolls, between Elsweyr and Dragonhold. “One of the first things that (game director) Matt and I do, we sit down and we talk about, you know, where haven’t we been, where we would like to go, what types of stories we want to tell. We settle in on kind of one word to help reinforce to the team what it is we’re looking for. 

“So, with Elsweyr in particular, the word we chose was ‘revenge.’ So this whole year of story content that we’re telling is all around ‘revenge.’ It starts with the big bad dragon getting his revenge for being locked up in the Halls of Colossus.”

Lambert then touched upon the latest class to be introduced into the world of Elder Scrolls Online. “The Necromancer is centered around the manipulation of mortal souls,” he explained. “So that’s their thing, raising the undead, you know, using kind of blood magic, that kind of stuff. And they’re different than our other classes, because they’re focused on kind of being a battlefield commander. 

“They get powered up by using corpses, so their style of gameplay is not just you and your target; it’s you, your target and the environment around there, and how you can position your target next to a corpse to get more power.”

Then we got into the Dragonhold expansion, which we were able to catch a quick glimpse of with some gameplay. We didn’t get a chance to kill a dragon during that time, but Lambert told us not to feel bad about it – apparently there’s a lot of work that goes into taking one down. This isn’t Skyrim.

Lambert said, “That’s one of the biggest things we tried to do in terms of differentiating us from Skyrim. So in Skyrim, you were the Dovahkiin. You had this tool set to be able to go one-on-one against a dragon. In our timeline, in Elder Scrolls Online, there is no Dovahkiin. We don’t have that toolset; and so, you have to rely on your friends to help you take these things down.”

He recommends making sure such friends are in place, as this won’t be a conquerable fight by yourself. “It’s very difficult to solo,” Lambert said with a laugh.

Then he talked about a “big” feature that will be coming later in the year to Elder Scrolls Online. “With Dragonhold, that is the southern portion of Elsweyr. The storyline is focused on the Dragonguard, and kind of putting the band back together. The Dragonguard are the precursor to the Blades, so they are an elite force of dragon hunters.

“The storyline is focused on a dragon cult and this prophecy that they’re trying to fulfill,” Lambert continued. “And, if you complete that content, and you complete the Elsweyr content and unlock a series of quests that allow you to kind of put a cap on the entire year and the story that we’ve been telling.” In other words, the more of the game you complete, the closer you get to the endgame that the team is going for.

It sounds like fans of Elder Scrolls are in for a treat this year, and Lambert took a moment to thank them. “That’s the goal, our community is a huge part of what we do,” he said. “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t get to do what we do, so events like this is our way of bringing them in, getting them down, getting to spend some one-on-one time with them, and saying, ‘Hey, we’re here, we love you all.”

Elsweyr officially launched back in June, and players can explore its world now. As for the Dragonhold update, it’ll arrive sometime later this year, though a date hasn’t been given yet.

Elder Scrolls Online is available now for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Big thanks to Bethesda for having us down at the event!

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Moons of Elsweyr Exclusive Reveal

It definitely seems like Sparkypants Studios really kicked The Elder Scrolls: Legends into high gear. It wasn’t too long ago that the Alliance War expansion was released and Moons of Elsweyr is right around the corner. Once again, we’ve partnered with the studio to bring you an exclusive card release: Reanimate!

The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Moons of ElsweyrWhile it might seem a bit expensive for its effect, Reanimate could definitely swing a game in favor of control heavy decks. Not only does it unconditionally bring a creature back to life but ‘Summon’ effects will also trigger. This could mean a second Miraak or Kaalgrontiid. Scarier yet, with the right strategy these could even be played a few turns early.

Here’s some additional commentary from Community Manager Christian Van Hoose:

Reanimate is a simple card with a big effect. While nine magicka is an incredibly high cost for an Action, this card’s effect can be worth a lot more – you can have your choice of any creature in your discard pile and summon it to the board immediately. Endurance cards have been able to summon creatures from the discard pile before, but rarely with no restrictions like Reanimate. Players will even be able to “cheat” huge creatures to the board by discarding them from their hand or deck earlier in the game. If you have an Alduin (whose cost starts at 20) in your discard pile by the time you can play Reanimate, it’s not going to matter that you don’t have 20 magicka – you’ll be able to play it right then and there!

The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Moons of Elsweyr

Moons of Elsweyr will bring more than 75 new cards to The Elder Scrolls: Legends on June 27!

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Elder Scrolls Online Elsweyr Now Available

Those of you who have been waiting to explore the latest world in The Elder Scrolls Online…well, you don’t have to wait any longer. Bethesda has announced today that the gates to Elsweyr have officially opened. The new expansion has now become available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Mac.

 

Here’s what you can find within this bold new world. And you might want to set some time aside…

An All New Class – Necromancer

With the Necromancer, death itself is a weapon. This dark, mysterious new Class – the game’s newest class since 2017’s Morrowind Chapter – allows players to command the dead and cast powerful spells to overcome their foes and bolster defenses. The Black Arts at your fingertips, manipulate the flesh of involuntary souls to take on those that stand in your way.

Dragons Wreak Havoc upon Elsweyr in the Season of the Dragon

Dragons have returned to Tamriel in the Season of the Dragon, a year-long interconnected adventure. Unleashed upon the world by the unwitting Abnur Tharn, the great Kaalgrontiid and his followers stalk from the skies and threaten to burn down the ancestral home of the Khajiit.

Adventure in the Diverse Environments of Elsweyr

In Elsweyr, players will travel across savanna grasslands, scorching deserts, and palatial cities tangling with invading Imperial forces and menacing dragons. The homeland of the Khajiit is rich in life, history, culture, and mythology hours of quests and challenges for new and old players alike.

If you’re looking to pick up this expansion, you can get a Digital Upgrade now for just $39.99. However, you can also get a Standard Edition of the game, which includes the standard ESO game along with Morrowind, Summerset and the Eslweyr add-on for $59.99. Quite a well-rounded package if you ask us!

Check out the debut trailer for the Elsweyr expansion below. We’ll see you in this brave new world! Will you be checking it out?

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The Elder Scrolls Online Elsweyr: Here’s What Players Can Expect

A little while back, Bethesda made its presence felt during PAX East weekend in Boston. Granted, it wasn’t actually at the show, but it did host the Bethesda Game Days event. There, it gave fans the opportunity to go hands on with Rage 2, as well as check out the new Elder Scrolls Online content for Elsweyr. While the company’s first-person shooter had its fair share of popularity, fans flocked to see what the new expansion of ESO would offer, and it’s quite a bit.

Already available on the company’s PTS (and set for release this June), this new chapter has an abundant amount of content for fans to check out. Right off the bat, you’ll get to see the land of Elsweyr, a massive new zone that offers dangerous foes to take on, and new goodies to discover.

On top of that, there’s also a new main story quest within the game, along with the introduction of a whole new class – Necromancer. Whatever character you decide to use, however, you’ll find lots to do. There’s a new Trial, Sunspire; a series of new Dragon Hunt events; some new world bosses to tackle; public dungeons to explore; item sets to unlock for your character; and, of course, side quests to add to your adventure overall.

The big thing here, based on my gameplay time with the new expansion, is dragons. Granted, you’ve probably seen enough of these beasts in Skyrim, however, in Elsweyr, they have an imminent amount of presence, and players are going to like what they find with these creatures.

Elsweyr actually kicks off a whole year of content being planned for ESO, as part of a “Season of the Dragon” by the publisher. But this is obviously one hell of a start for it, based upon what we experienced from within the game.

While there’s a lot happening with the dragons, we dare not ignore what the Necromancer brings to the picture here. This class relies heavily on calling upon the undead to do bidding, including minions that run around on fire and skeletons that carry bows and arrows, serving as a secondary arsenal to take on enemies. That said, it’s not entirely about being an action-based class. In fact, if you think tactfully and set them up for victory from a defensive advantage, you could very well score some bonus points for your character.

Thus far, the spells that your Necromancer can cast are highly impressive. The team at Bethesda put a ton of work into the animations so that the dead really come to life like nothing you’ve seen in a game like this. The way they execute battles is also impressive and keep in mind this is coming from a person who doesn’t usually engage in such a role-playing adventure of this magnitude. This could be just the type of character to bring you in and keep you there.

Now, let’s get back to those dragons. We didn’t actually experience these within our game demo, but during a recent live-stream for the game, the team discussed how you can see them on the map and go after them. That said, you’ll need to continue your pursuit, and if you die, you’ll need to be back on the hunt. That said, they are pretty impressive to see, and it’ll be interesting to see what they have in store when the expansion comes around.

Oh, and one other great feature is being able to form your guild around improved rules. While Elder Scrolls Online is certainly not challenging when it comes to putting together your own group, there are limits in terms of how you can connect. However, once Elsweyr launches, players will be able to search in a directory and see who’s playing. You can actually change certain search terms for your character, such as what kind of guild you’re looking to be part of; teammates you might be on the hunt for; and more. It’s an interesting new tool that should make it easier to put a group together, and we know that’s something a lot of fans have been asking for. Alas, we didn’t see it in action during the demo, but it sounds very promising, to say the least.

While hunting down dragons and playing with the undead sounds all well and good, Elsweyr actually offers something deeper with its exploration. Within this new world, you can discover a stunning new culture, with its own abundant history to dig into. This includes visiting the city of Rimmen, though you may want to watch out for Imperial forces that will stop at nothing to keep you from taking over.

For that matter, you can also check out the forests within the Tenmar Borderlands, as well as the Two Moons Temple. Sure, you may be tempted to hunt down a dragon or two, but it never hurts to see what you can find in-between taking on the zone events.

Oh, and when you do get into a skirmish with a dragon, be prepared for the fight of your life. As I mentioned before, they can take a licking and finish you quickly, forcing you to begin your fight again. They’re more devastating than most enemies in the game – even the Abyssal Geysers, and anyone will tell you what a handful they are. Your best bet is to work with that guild feature and take them on with friends. Going on your own is not advised; you’ve been warned.

As for those side quests, they lend a hand when it comes to the story coming together. As you venture through the land, you’ll come across the Khajiit people, who will ask you favors and provide you some details on their history – some of which can be quite useful as you make your way on to your next adventure.

Those dungeons can be fun as well. You won’t just deal with the usual round of cretins. Instead, you’ll have to put up with all sorts of beings as you journey through the Tomb of the Serpents or the Delves. Just be careful – those Akaviri spirits mean serious business.

There’s a lot of ground to cover here, so your best bet is to just explore and check out the world of Elsweyr for yourself. It’s firmly stacked, and looks to be one of the most important expansions for ESO to date. And the good news is you won’t have to wait too long for it. As I mentioned, it’s already available on PTS if you’re playing on PC. Otherwise, it’ll release on June 4 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. We know you’re dying to check out the guild stuff, and honestly, we can’t blame you.

(Thanks to Bethesda for having us down to play the game!)

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A Look at The Elder Scrolls: Legends Alliance War

With the official release of The Elder Scrolls: Legends Alliance War, Sparkypants Studios has released its first full-fledged expansions since taking over the digital CCG from Dire Wolf Digital. Earlier this year, Sparkypants also released the Isle of Madness story chapter, which featured an interactive story (similar to how Hearthstone used to do Adventures) and a specific amount of cards at a set price. This was a great addition to the game, as it added a bit of flavor while granting players access to a set of 55 cards for a fair price that managed to supplement the previous card sets while adding the new ‘double card’ mechanic.

However, Alliance War is an entire expansion that introduces more than 100 cards (104 to be exact), four new game mechanics, and five new triple-attribute factions representing the Aldmeri Dominion, Daggerfall Covenant, Ebonheart Pact, Empire of Cyrodiil, and Guildsword. Surely this will shake up the meta!

The Elder Scrolls Legends Alliance War

 

The Perfect Combination

With the introduction of the 5 new factions, it’s now possible for players to make every 3-color attribute combination currently in the game. This leads to a lot of new creative combinations and lets players easily build decks around the strengths and weakness present in each attribute. However, the downside, similar to the Houses of Morrowind, is that 3-color decks require a minimum of 75 cards instead of the standard 50. When it comes to pulling out complex combos, or top decking the winning card, more is not better.

In order to compensate for an increased deck size, new triple attribute cards have been introduced and many of which are incredibly powerful or offer excellent value. For Example, Jorunn the Skald-King is a 5-cost Ebonheart Pact Legendary who is a 5/5, immune to silence, reduces friendly creature costs by 1, and makes enemy non-creatures cost 1 more. That’s an incredible value, especially if he can stick around for more than 1 turn. However, even the lowly 2-cost Guildsworn Apprentice is a great 1/2 that has Prophecy, Guard, and draws a card.

All in all, each of the new factions comes with a set of complementary triple attribute cards that either carry excellent value or have powerful mechanics. Some of the cards do require proper setup, such as Ayrenn’s Chosen, but many will likely become deck staples.

The Elder Scrolls Legends Alliance War

 

A Plethora of Abilities

Usually, new card keywords are introduced one or two at a time, but in Alliance War there are a total of four new mechanics to play with: Veteran, Empower, Expertise, and Mobilize. Veteran grants creatures a new ability after their first attack, Empower boosts a card in your hand when an opponent is damaged, Expertise buffs a card on the battlefield after playing an item, support or action, and Mobilize allows you to play an item to an empty lane attached to a 1/1 recruit.

While it’s nice to have new toys to play with, a few of these mechanics are quite clunky while others require high rolling to be effective. We’ll start by looking at Mobilize. In theory, it’s nice to have an option to play an item without requiring a creature. However, this keyword limits an item’s power in favor of flexibility because if it was too strong then mobilize items would be auto include in every deck. Most of the Mobilize items wouldn’t be great played on the curve, either on a creature or attached to a recruit.

However, there are a couple that stand out, such as the Ebonthread Cloak that can be useful at all stages in the game by providing action immunity to important creatures. Cruel Axe could also see uses against aggressive decks either to trade early or pump up a guard creature. Unfortunately, the rest of the items just seem too costly to use, especially the shiny Covenant Masterpiece that does just about everything but isn’t good enough in one area.

The Elder Scrolls Legends Alliance War

Veteran seems to be in a slightly better place than mobilize but is still a little awkward to play with. It gives creatures a bonus if they survive their initial attack, which means they’re typically weak if played on the curve. There are some interesting options, however, such as the Pact Shieldbearer that increases the opponent’s action costs by 4 the next turn. It doesn’t have charge so your opponent has one turn to play around it by either killing it, or dumping actions that round, so its effectiveness can be marginalized by a good player. Then there’s Invoker of the Hist, which completely restores your magicka after its first attack; definitely a high-roller’s dream.

Then there’s Expertise, which seems to be a little more conservative with its value swings. Most of the cards with Expertise are already decent on the curve and the bonuses are typically smaller such as +1/+1 or 2 damage to your opponent. There are some good value options including the 3-cost 4/3 Vanus’s Scribe that reduces the cost of an action in your hand. Of course, there’s also Vanus Galerion himself at 11-magicka that deals 3 damage, heals you for 3, and lets you draw 3 cards. It might be difficult to pull off, but if you do the game’s probably over at that point.

Finally, we come to Empower. I found this keyword to be the best out of the bunch because it’s attached to some very powerful cards and has even created a new deck archetype. Empower boosts cards in different ways based on how many times an opponent has been damaged. Spoils of War, for example, is a 5-cost action that lets you draw 2 cards. Normally, this would be terrible but its cost is decreased by 1 each time the opponent is damaged; in certain decks it’s not difficult to cast this for free. Entire decks are being constructed around the new Soul Shred card, which mills the opponent’s deck based on how many attributes they’re playing and how much damage they’ve taken in a turn. With the right setup, it’s possible to make your opponent discard their entire deck, and then all that’s left is the cleanup.

The Elder Scrolls Legends Alliance War

 

Challenges

Overall, Alliance War has introduced some powerful new cards, play options, and interesting mechanics, but the game itself still has a lot of room to grow. Furthermore, this set has fallen into the same trap as previous Elder Scrolls: Legends sets and has ignored most of the previous archetypes that were setup in past expansions.

This typically wouldn’t be a problem, but each past set felt like it spread itself too thin and didn’t give a lot of deckbuilding options for unique card types. Alliance War didn’t include multi-attribute cards for any of the past combinations, nor was there a single dragon, factotum, double card, or card with exalt, plot, rally or betray keyword. It just feels like a waste to create all of these different card ideas and then only use them for a single set.

Thankfully, Sparkypants is picking up the pace this year and already have 3 more expansions planned out through 2019. Hopefully they’ll start to minimize the amount of new keywords and card types and shift to fleshing out the vast amount that are already available in the game.

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends Alliance War Exclusive Card Reveal

We’re just a few days away from the release of The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Alliance War, the upcoming expansion to the successful Elder Scrolls card game based on the endless war of the alliances as seen in Elder Scrolls Online. Bethesda has reached out to us with an exclusive opportunity to reveal a card from the Alliance War expansion pack. Alliance War is going to have more than 100 new cards when it releases on April 15th. It is available on PC, iOS, and Android.

So, without any further delay here is a short message from Community Manager for The Elder Scrolls: Legends Christian Van Hoose to explain the Daedric Titan card.

Daedric Titan is a powerful five-cost creature that can hold its own against both Aggro decks and Control decks. Usually, a four-health creature for five magicka would be a bit problematic, as commonly-played removal actions like Lightning Bolt would be able to easily dispatch of it – not the case with Daedric Titan! As long as you have another creature in each lane, the Titan can’t be targeted by your opponent’s actions, so your opponent is going to have to deal with it the hard way: with their creatures. If you can keep it protected, they’ll have to clear out your other creatures before being able to target it. Additionally, the Drain keyword will allow you to gain valuable health against aggressive decks, so even your Aggro opponents will have to find a way to deal with the Titan.

 

We would like to thank Christian Van Hoose and everyone working on The Elder Scrolls: Legends for giving us the opportunity to reveal this badass looking card. If you haven’t played The Elder Scrolls: Legends yet what are you waiting for? The base game is entirely free to play. If you preorder Alliance War ($49.99) you will receive 50 card packs, an Alliance War Legendary card, plus the exclusive Warmonger title and premium card back which will be available once the expansion goes live.

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QuakeCon Set To Celebrate the “Year of Doom” This July

Like clockwork, Bethesda’s QuakeCon event will once again return to Texas. This year, it’ll be all about celebrating the legacy of the Doom franchise.

The company revealed today that tickets are set to go on sale for this year’s Quakecon starting on April 11 at 10:00 AM EDT, over on the official QuakeCon page. Furthermore, it’ll serve as the home of the hit first-person demon-crushing series, just in time to celebrate its newest arrival, Doom Eternal.

However, there was an interesting note with registration. “This year, the registration process will be slightly different from years past- BYOC players will not choose a seat when they register.” Seat selection is set to take place at a later date, “which will be announced soon.” Hopefully we’ll see an option where clans can still sit together if they see fit.

There’s no word to what capacity that Doom Eternal will be at the event. However, considering its massive reveal from last year’s event, there’s no question it’ll be there somehow. Maybe we’ll even get a release date at that point, if not a month before during Bethesda’s E3 presentation. Fingers crossed.

The event will also be home to the returning BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) room, along with exclusive panels, hands-on with forthcoming Bethesda games (including Wolfenstein: Youngblood) and the return of the comedians at Master Pancake Theater. (Last year, they tore apart Mortal Kombat– so we can’t wait to see what they do next!) Expect lots of esports competition and parties as well.

The event will take place from July 25-28 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Dallas, TX, and will be free for general attendees and open to the public. However, you do have to register to get a BYOC seat, so keep that in mind.

More details about the event can be found here. We’ll see you there!

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Fallout 76 Fans are Upset at a Bag

…and with pretty good reason, all things considered. An item included with the Fallout 76 Collector’s Edition has drawn the ire of those who purchased the bundle over the construction of a bag, which appeared to be made of a higher quality material than what was actually received.

fallout 76 collector's edition

Pictured above is one buyer’s snapshot of the bag in question, which was described in the promotional material as being a canvas bag but ended up being made of “cheap nylon.” The bag was part of several items in the CE, which came to a total of $199 in cost.

Making matters worse, Bethesda announced on Twitter that it has begun issuing compensation in the form of 500 Atoms, the game’s store currency. That’s approximately $5, which is reportedly enough to get you an in-game door and have 200 Atoms left burning in your pocket. The store does sell a character skin that’s toting an actual canvas bag, but that costs 700 Atoms.

Why the bait-and-switch? According to Fallout’s Twitter, it’s a matter of material supply. “Unfortunately, due to unavailability of materials, we had to switch to a nylon carrying case in the Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition,” reads a tweeted response.

This response is from one player’s account of their experience with customer support, which explained that the canvas bag was a “prototype” and that “we aren’t planning to do anything about it.” Bethesda apologized to the customer in question, stating that the support member is a contract employee and not directly employed by Bethesda. “The support response was incorrect and not in accordance with our conduct policy,” agreed the company.

Our Thoughts

Who knew that one company would screw up so royally with a bag. A bag! That most rudimentary of suitcase pieces! We would expect more out of a AAA studio, both in terms of construction, communication and response to the matter.

Sources: VG247, Eurogamer

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Bethesda Under Investigation for Deceptive Trade Practices Regarding Fallout 76

How has your Fallout 76 experience been? If it’s been buggy enough to make you want a refund, you’ve perhaps run into some roadblocks on that front. That’s were a Fallout 76 legal investigation comes into play, as a law firm has formally announced their intent to look into what they’re calling “deceptive trade practices.”

fallout 76 legal investigation

Migliaccio & Rathod LLP, a law firm based out of Washington, D.C., is looking to see if Bethesda is playing dirty pool for releasing a “heavily glitched game” and refusing to issue refunds as a result of consumer frustrations with said glitches.

“While minor bugs and glitches are expected with the release of most new games, Fallout 76 launched with a 56GB patch that has proven to be but a starting point for the game’s problems,” reads the law firm’s statement. “Gamers who have tried to receive a refund because of the game’s myriad glitches have been unable to do so since they downloaded the game, leaving them to deal with an unplayable experience until patches bring it back to a playable state.”

The law firm is asking for those who have attempted to get a refund from Bethesda to contact them via email or phone number in what sounds like the beginnings of a class action lawsuit. That said, Eurogamer astutely points out that the firm has penned a number of such announcements before without any additional follow-up.

Our Thoughts

Bluster, or a shove against corporate greed? It certainly can be read both ways and just allowing refunds would be the easiest solution for Bethesda in either case. Still, the fact that this particular law firm has ineffectively beaten the drum against corporations like this before does put a bit of doubt on the seriousness of these moves.

In any case, here’s hoping that those who feel ripped off do get recompense…and don’t wreck a store over the matter.

Sources: Migliaccio & Rathod website via MMORPG.com, Eurogamer

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends Interview – Sparkypants

Recently, the development of Bethesda’s CCG, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, changed hands from Dire Wolf Digital to Sparkypants Studios, which is mostly known for its real-time strategy game Dropzone. According to Bethesda, this shift was to better support the players and provide more regular updates to the game. In order to help clear up some confusion regarding the change, we spoke with Sparkypants’ QA manager Gavin Niebel.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends Sparkypants

 

Hello and thank you for taking the time to speak with MMOGames. Could you please introduce yourself and role with the company?

Hey there, thanks for taking the time to reach out to us. My name is Gavin Niebel and I am the QA Manager here at Sparkypants, but you can also find my hands in production, community management, and some bug fixing.

 

How long ago did Sparkypants know that it was going to take over development of The Elder Scrolls: Legends and what kind of preparations did you make?

I believe final paperwork was signed in the last week of December 2017, so preparation was a large combination of getting an engine design spun up as well as playing massive amounts of matches using the version of the game that was already live. A lot of us are not only fans of Elder Scrolls lore, but very much into card games and board games, so you could say that everything leading up to this collaboration with Bethesda was unknowingly a form of preparation.

 

What are some of the key changes that you plan to make to the game?

What you have already seen with our UI and art direction is obviously one of the biggest changes we planned to make. Beyond that, we definitely want to improve upon the frequency of updates for our players; new cards, new stories, new puzzles, as well as more customization options like new playmats, more cardbacks, and customizable avatars.

 

I heard that you’re working on a new Tournament game mode. What are some of its features and what can players expect from it?

We definitely have some plans in this regard but, as you’ll see in the last question, our first goal is to get the game in great shape and with a platform we can reliably build upon. So, unfortunately, I can’t reveal anything on this just yet.

 

Previously, players were rewarded with a new card at the end of every season based on their ranking. Will this feature be coming back?

Yes, absolutely. October’s card may be delayed a few days but after that you can expect a normal cadence for the monthlies!

 

Will there be any new ways in which players can earn in-game currency or unlock cards?

We’ll explore all aspects of the game once we are on a stable footing but there’s not much I say on this right now.

 

Do you plan to continue to produce story chapters, similar to The Fall of The Dark Brotherhood?

Yes, without a doubt. We have one in the works right now, which Pete mentioned during QuakeCon called, Isle of Madness. And while I have no official announcement about 2019 plans, I can say for sure our intention is to continue to produce more story chapters. We look forward to the response from our players.

 

We’ve heard that the next expansion will be Isle of Madness. Is there anything that you can tell us about it, such as new cards, archetypes or abilities?

Unfortunately there isn’t anything I can really say at this point, other than what has already been announced. There will be about 40+ new cards and the story will be broken up into three parts. You’ll just have to wait for Bethesda’s own CVH to release more information in the coming weeks.

 

What does the future look like for The Elder Scrolls: Legends?

Very, very busy! Not only are we working on pushing out more updates to add layers of polish, we have the FrostSpark Collection coming very soon, adding 11 new cards to the game to hopefully shake up the existing meta. Beyond that, we’re working on the next story expansion, Isle of Madness, and more to come in 2019.

 

Is there anything else that you would our readers to know about the game?

By far our top priority is to continue polishing the game. Legends is a broad game. We completely re-created an excellent game that had been in development for years: client, game servers, backend services, operations, player migration, all of it. Realistically, it will take a few updates to shake out all the systems, to get into some real polish, and to start getting in some much-requested features. Hopefully players are starting to see that with the first couple of updates.

Simply put, all of us at Sparky are here for the players. That’s all we care about. We’re dedicated to making TESL shine brighter than ever before. We read all your comments on reddit and other social media, and really, it’s all about prioritizing. We’re working hard as hell to get as many fixes out the door, as fast as possible, so bear with us if some bugs take longer to fix than others. We’ll get there. Promise.

 

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