In The Elder Scrolls: Legends, combat works intuitively - you tell your creatures what to attack, and they do so, whether it’s another creature or your opponent. It’s fast-paced and fun, and thanks to mechanics like Prophecy, there’s a ton of interaction.
Prophecy is a simple mechanic – when you take enough damage, one of your runes will break and you’ll draw a card. If that card is a Prophecy card, you have the option to play it for free, immediately.
Take Burning Light, for example. For five magicka, it can destroy any creature - a fine deal. However, if you draw it off a rune break, all of the sudden you have a powerful piece of removal that you can play at no cost. You don’t have to, but free things are tempting, and you’ll be hard-pressed to turn it down.
What Does the Prophecy Foretell?
There are a ton of impactful Prophecies you could hit, allowing you to turn the tide in your favor. This makes comebacks possible in all but the most lopsided games, adding a ton of fun variance and reducing the number of games that seem like foregone conclusions.
Balancing the Scales
There were some definite challenges when it came to designing and balancing cards with Prophecy. We really liked what the mechanic did for the game, but figuring out exactly where they should land was tricky. Here are some of the questions we had to answer while creating Prophecy cards:
What happens if a Prophecy card is drawn on turn two or three?
There are plenty of cards with big impacts, but we tried to stay away from huge creatures. Your opponent hitting a 2/6 Lurking Mummy is beatable, but them hitting a 5/5 of some kind would be less so. Take a look at some of the creatures that have Prophecy.
These cards are good ones to hit, but they don’t have the kind of stats that will just end the game early. Also note that Graystone Ravager doesn’t have Guard, which segues nicely into the next question.
Do all Prophecies need to save you from dying?
We concluded that not every Prophecy had to impact the board immediately. The majority certainly should, as the expectation of Prophecy cards is that they help keep you alive, but we didn’t treat it as a mandate. There are too many sweet things to do with Prophecy to limit it to just defensive cards.
Moonlight Werebat won’t stop you from dying if you hit it on the last turn, but it delivers a beating if you live to attack with it. Drain means that every time it attacks, you heal equal to the damage dealt, and the stats and cost are quite aggressive.
Do all Prophecies need to be expensive?
Though a big advantage of drawing a Prophecy card is that you avoid spending the magicka, there’s more to it than that. Getting to play a card during your opponent’s turn adds a new dimension, and swings a game just as well as an expensive card. Plus, by making cheap cards with Prophecy, we helped mitigate the issue of adding 30 Prophecy cards to your deck and ending up with a ton of cards that were hard to play without hitting them off Prophecy.
Visions of the Future
How will Prophecies pan out? What effects will they have on how players build decks and play games? The future is all but set, and what happens next is up to the players. We are excited to see what happens!