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Chatting All Things The Elder Scrolls Legends with Pete Hines

Interviews By Michael Bitton on January 18, 2017

Chatting All Things The Elder Scrolls Legends with Pete Hines

We sat down Bethesda's Pete Hines to find out what's been going on with The Elder Scrolls Legends since the game entered open beta last summer and to learn what players can expect for the game in 2017. Elder Scrolls Legends entered open beta last summer. Can you bring our readers up to speed on what's gone on with the game since then?


Pete Hines: Sure. I mean we've made a ton of improvements to the game and continue to sort of evolve it and add features or friends list stuff and in game chat and continue to work on things for the other platforms. We're trying to be really aggressive with changing cards and addressing the current meta, so we've made another run of changes a week or two ago. We'll probably make some more here to continue to make sure the game is fun and that we're encouraging a lot of different types of decks and that kind of thing.

Last month, we introduced a new mode that's available for a limited time each month called Chaos Arena. Which is a new way to play limited, where you draft cards and play with the cards you selected. We just announced that it's coming back again this upcoming weekend. So kind of a fun way to play the game where you get lots of lane conditions.

We've been working on a lot of stuff we haven't talked about yet, but we have lots of things planned for this year, and new features and functionality, and new sets and cards, and that kind of thing. So I'm excited to be able to talk about those hopefully before too long. So, Chaos Arena is coming back every month?

Pete Hines: Yeah, so every month. For now, it will be the same as it was last month, which is that there are a bunch of different scenarios that you can get, which are these broader, overreaching things that affect the game, or you can get a bunch of different lane conditions, and it's different for every game that you play. It's the first time that things like random lane conditions or scenarios have been a part of playing against other players. Usually, you can only get it playing against the A.I., either in solo arena, or some of the PvE, like in the story. We have some ideas going forward about pushing that further and bringing lane conditions to players other ways as well. Have you guys considered doing a separate ladder where every month it's a different lane condition? Or something like that?

Pete Hines: We've thought about like, "Hey. I wanna play Michael in a match where each of us can pick one lane condition." Or, you and I can play like a best of three, where we get the standard lane conditions, but then there's a game where each of us gets to pick our own left and right lane conditions. There's a lot of different variations of it that have potential. A ladder thing like you mentioned, or maybe it's a set lane condition, or maybe it's a group of 'em. I think it tends to be more interesting and fun when you get a little bit more variety.

When you pick a single lane condition, for a ladder thing, you might get a more narrow set of decks because of what that lane condition is. But if you had a ladder where you had a variety of different ones, that like, if you're playing an action deck, then this lane condition might be really good for you or this lane condition might be really bad for you, therefore you never really know whether or not, you gotta hedge your bets a little bit. Whereas if it's something, a lane condition that's really good for actions, well, then every deck would play as many actions as possible, because that's the one that abuses that lane conditions.

The short version is, yeah, we have a lot of different thoughts, and we're currently working on new ways to play up the lanes, to bring more variety to folks that want that. Do you have plans to continually add more to the story over time? Add more PvE missions?

Pete Hines: Those are two different things, but I think the question you're really asking is more, "Can we expect more PvE single player stuff?" The answer is yes. Whether or not it continues that specific story or is done in other ways, but the general idea of that people like that solo content and like the different challenges and so forth, yeah, I think that's definitely a thing that's part of what we want to be doing this year. You've added a small set of new cards to the game recently, but can players expect to see a whole new card set this year?

Pete Hines: Definitely. For sure, in a general sense, we have lots of plans for multiple new sets of cards to do this year. Games like this need to constantly refresh and give players new stuff to engage with. Absolutely. The thing that we did recently was the Mad House Collection, which was 10 new cards that added some new mechanics and sort of unlocked new decks. I saw somebody build a new, interesting, gardener deck. There's a new card called Gardener of Swords, and what it does is anytime you put an item on another creature you control, put a copy of that item on this card. It added this really interesting mechanic with a couple of different cards, like playing an items deck. So, I've been playing this Gardener deck that just wasn't something that was really viable.

All of these cards, I've seen a variety of people playing, the camel, the one that lets you look at the top three cards and pick one and put the others in your discard pile. It added some nice new directions for people to try. I think you may see us do little things like that along the way, as well as the card of the month, which was always kind of designed to both be a reward for players as well as unlock some new deck archetypes or push ones that were a little underserved, like we did with the ally card for colorless that made Dwemer decks a little more possible. But we also, yes, want to do big, thematic sets of cards, certainly more than 10 at a time or a couple at a time.

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