Issue time02:16:00 pm, by Damon   5728 views
Categories: Games, Elder Scrolls, Analysis

“Three nations are vying for the Ruby Throne amidst the threat of Molag Ball's imminent invasion of Tamriel. The Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant, and the Ebonheart Pact. I think they're fools the lot of them, losing men and women to fighting against each other for an old chair when there are greater things at stake!

“The High King of Skyrim has sent word across all the lands that loyal Nords, Dunmer, and Argonians are to return to their homelands and take up arms in the war between these three alliances. Am I a loyal Dunmer for answering the calls to defend the homeland, or am I a disloyal Dunmer because my homeland is Daggerfall?

“No matter what the Nord king and the Dunmer say, my home is in Northpoint. I was born and raised there, and I've never once set foot in Morrowind. I've never once prayed to ALMSIVI.

“I am Mathyn Aris, a Dunmer sorcerer from Northpoint, and I've answered the call to arms from King Emeric and the Daggerfall Covenant. May the Divines watch over me in this turbulent time.”
--Mathyn Aris' journal

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Issue time02:47:00 am, by Alarra   4525 views
Categories: Games, Elder Scrolls, News, Fallout, Analysis

Just like last year, I watched the livestream of Bethesda’s E3 presentation, chatting with Damon and RobinHood70 in the wiki’s IRC channel as we reacted to everything (join us in the wiki and forum channels sometime, everyone’s pretty cool and most of us don’t bite.)  Here's the entire BE3 presentation if you're interested in watching the entire thing.

And here’s my own summaries and impressions of everything that was revealed.  We've got a little bit of news from all their current games, two newly-announced games, and more:

 

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Issue time03:00:00 pm, by Damon   3647 views
Categories: Games, News, Analysis

Guys and gals, welcome back to the UESP blog!

It's Damon again, and before I get into the meat of the post, I want to say that ESO is finally installed, it runs smoothly, but I can't play it, because I don't have a mouse and my touchpad on my laptop doesn't like attempting to simultaneously left and right click to get me out of the frozen "disrupt attack" tutorial. I'll have to find a mouse.

It's June and once again E3 is underway, and Bethesda Softworks has once again held an E3 conference to bring us up to date on their projects for 2016. Just like I did last year, I sat through the conference and watched the livestream of it, and after the break is a list of what's been announced, as well as my initial impressions of each particular item on the list.

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Issue time05:17:00 pm, by Damon   3271 views
Categories: Analysis

You know what? I want to propose that either officially or unofficially it becomes a rule to add a “Read More” link to the UESP blog posts after an introductory couple of paragraphs. The blog is so much more manageable to browse when the posts are condensed and the page isn't overrun with information and text, yes? Then why am I the only one who has started doing this?!?

Now, that little complaint aside, there's actually a real reason for this post… The Elder Scrolls Online, and the fact that I've never played it, which can be read after the “Read More” link that you're looking at if you're viewing this from the main page…

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Issue time01:18:00 pm, by Alarra   4676 views
Categories: Games, Elder Scrolls, News

At long last they’ve finally given us some solid info on ES:Legends!  Earlier this week, they updated their website, released a gameplay video, and launched the closed beta. They’re also at PAX East this weekend, and had a short segment on PAX’s stream discussing and showing the game.   So since I’m excited for it, I’ve decided to summarize what we know so far, and share my thoughts.

 In case you haven't seen it yet, here's the trailer:

 

Before I discuss the game, let’s address the two main things that seem to keep getting brought up in comments on Youtube/etc: 

  • No, it’s not slowing down ES6; this game is by a completely different studio, Dire Wolf Digital, not Bethesda Game Studios, so it has nothing to do with the development of the main series.  And ES6 isn’t really “late”, either, based on the pattern of their last few releases: 2.5 years between Oblivion and Fallout 3, 3 years between Fallout 3 and Skyrim, and 4 years between Skyrim and Fallout 4. (If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention New Vegas, that was by a different studio, like ESO, Dishonored, and this card game.)  My personal estimate for ES6, therefore, is 2019-2020.
  • Lots of accusations about only being made because of Hearthstone.  They didn’t decide to make this game just because of Hearthstone’s success; it’s been in the works since before Hearthstone went to beta.  I certainly imagine it might have influenced some of its aspects, but considering that Dire Wolf’s staff includes professional-level Magic: the Gathering players, it’s likely that there’s plenty of inspiration from Magic as well.


Gameplay

From what we’ve seen so far, the base gameplay is similar to other games in that you gain 1 “magicka” per turn that you can spend to play cards, and can attack either creatures or the other player.  It also has some gameplay mechanics of its own:

That’s what the battlefield looks like.  The field is divided into two halves, called “lanes”.  If you play a creature in one of the lanes, it can only attack other creatures within that lane, or the other player.   The lanes may have “conditions”: the standard setup is that the left lane has no conditions, while the right lane is a “shadow” lane, meaning that your card cannot be attacked by the other player’s creatures until after your next turn.   Every time you lose 5 health, you lose one of the blue “runes” around your avatar, and draw the top card on your deck. If it says “Prophecy” on it, you can play it immediately for free, during the other player’s turn, and shake things up a bit. 

Each card is based on one or two of five “attributes” (Strength, Intelligence, Willpower, Agility, or Endurance), and decks are built around classes that consist of two of these attributes.  As far as your avatar/race, rather than choosing a hero with a hero power, your avatar simply influences which types of cards you earn more quickly.

There’ll be a couple types of gameplay: story mode (which is sort of like a tutorial), single battles against the AI and other players, and “Arena” matches, in which you choose a class and are given cards to put together a deck on the fly to last you through a number of consecutive matches (also against either other players or the AI). 

The game will be free-to-play, and card packs and arena tickets will be available for purchase, although they also can be earned through normal gameplay as well.

That’s about all I can think of so far, except that there have been around 200 cards revealed so far between the gameplay video, official articles, and other promotional material.  Someone's put together an album with most of the ones we've seen so far, if you're interested in looking at them before we get card pages up and running on the wiki. And if you want a bit more detail on some of the game mechanics that hasn't been mentioned by an "official" source yet, but was reported by a fan who went to the PAX East booth, check out this thread on the subreddit.

If you'd like to discuss the game, feel free to do so in our Legends subforum!

My thoughts:

Now that we’ve actually seen what the game and gameplay look like, I think my “cautious optimism” after the announcement trailer was both justified and rewarded, and I’m really looking forward to it.   Scratch that, I’m extremely enthusiastic about it at the moment.  I enjoy Magic: the Gathering (admittedly I’m not great at it, but I have fun nonetheless), and I’ve played a bit of some digital card games as well (a bit of Hearthstone, a lot of Rage of Bahamut, and the closed beta of Shadowverse).  Strategy card game plus Elder Scrolls art/lore? Heck yes.   From what we’ve seen so far, this looks like it’ll have some interesting strategy, especially with the whole "lane" thing.   And of course the art, I’ll admit, is one of the things I’m most excited about.  The original teaser trailer didn’t even scratch the surface: it’s absolutely gorgeous, and I always love seeing the Elder Scrolls world brought to life in this way.

So, all in all, I’m pleased with what we’ve seen of it so far, and I can’t wait until it comes out!