BATTLE TACTICS
Interviewing Legends: CHARM3R
Evan Berman
May 4, 2017

This week, we interview the subject of the latest Community Draft, CHARM3R!

Tell us about yourself!

I currently stream on Twitch as well as make YouTube content. I also have a website (charm3r.com) that I'm slowly adding content to. Though I started as a "variety" content creator, I now primarily focus on collectible card games. The Elder Scrolls: Legends is my favorite of the bunch, and thus is central to the channel. Occasionally, I make my wife "guest" stream horror games because I find her reactions entertaining.

In terms of content on the channel I feature deck spotlights, game news, tournament games, and PvE tutorials. I also have a series I call “The Forge” where I showcase custom cards, explain the design process, and go over why I think those mechanics would be a good fit for the game.

How long have you been playing The Elder Scrolls: Legends?

I’ve been playing The Elder Scrolls: Legends since July of 2016.

What is the story of your best match?

Wow, what a great question. I’m not sure if this counts as my “best,” but my fondest memory is from the Chaos Arena preview event. I kept getting paired against BradfordLee, another great content creator. We had some close games, but I kept coming out on top. I remember winning four or five in a row, mostly because of some lucky breaks. Someone in my Twitch chat notified me that Brad was trying to draft a deck specifically to take me down. The next time we paired against each other, we exchanged some emotes before I simply conceded. It was more fun to deny him in that moment than to try to win. I remember laughing pretty hard about it. We ended up playing some more games and he did beat me, but that exchange was so much fun. I ended up making a video with highlights from both of our broadcasts from the event.

Which is your favorite class or attribute and why?

I really enjoy Assassin as a class. From a flavor standpoint, I love the way Intelligence and Agility are represented by their cards. The “spells” in Intelligence appeal to me, as I typically play a caster class whenever I play RPGs. I also love drawing cards, and Intelligence is does this as a way to represent the search for knowledge. Agility is both about “tricks,” and in many ways it’s about being good at many things but not great at any one thing. For tricks, I love the lane switching mechanics. I also enjoy the flavor of “Finish Off” effects. As for being a jack-of-all trades, Agility gives you a little bit of Drain, a little bit of Charge, a little bit of card draw, and so forth. I like the versatility of Agility, and being able to be “agile” and flexible in my game plan.

What is your favorite card and why?

This is like asking me to pick a favorite child. I suppose if I had to pick only one, it would be Nord Firebrand. There is something satisfying about hearing “Time to fight” when he enters play. There is something even more satisfying when you hear it four, five, six times in a row. I’ve played several decks across many archetypes that use Nord Firebrand (or cards that create them), and it hearing that sound effect never gets old. Well, unless it’s being played against me.

How do you prefer to start building a new deck?

When I build decks for Legends, I do it the same way I’ve done it for every other card game I’ve played. I start with either a theme, a goal, a combo, or a “package” that represents what I want the deck to do. Once I have the core cards settled, I start adding in everything that I think could play. Usually my list ends up being much larger than the fifty cards I’m aiming for. This is when I start cutting cards from the list, slowly trimming the pieces that don’t fit or aren’t as important. I do this until I get down to the final fifty cards, and then I take the deck for a test drive. This is when I start the process of improvement based on the results. If something isn’t working, or if I run into situations where a card is routinely dead in my hand, I change the list to try and reduce waste. Some lists settle in quickly, and others I change almost daily.

What would you like to see added to the game?

Oh man, this is a rabbit hole. I could talk about this for hours, so I’ll try to keep it brief. For features, I’d like to see some kind of personalized in game statistical analysis. Historical match history, deck performance for every iteration, ability to add notes about opponents, and so forth. Digital card games can deliver personalized performance data in a way that physical card games can’t, but this hasn’t really been leveraged by the genre yet. If it isn’t supported through the game itself, I’d like to see public APIs made available for third parties to create similar services.

For gameplay features, I’d like to see more done with cover as a mechanic. One of the first videos I did for “The Forge” was on a mechanic I called Ambush. It would trigger effects whenever a creature left cover, which would reward players for dancing creatures in-and-out of the Shadow Lane. It would also make cards like Elixir of Light Feet relevant. I think there is a lot of design space there that is yet unexplored, and I think something like Ambush would be a perfect fit thematically.

Which other Elder Scrolls games do you play?

I have played Oblivion and Skyrim. The amount of hours I have logged on Skyrim is more than I’d like to admit. I played The Elder Scrolls: Online during the beta, and quite a bit at launch. I sadly gave it up because I felt like I couldn’t put enough time into it to be helpful to the guild. Streaming and content creation takes up most of my free time, on top of my two jobs and family. I just felt like I wasn’t contributing enough, and I’m not the kind of person that wants to be carried by others.

Anything else you’d like to share with the community?

It’s going to sound cliché, but I just wanted to express how awesome the Legends community has been so far. I’ve been an active member of other gaming communities, but they have never been this positive and accepting as a whole. I really appreciate all the people that have welcomed and encouraged me to keep making content. I’ve also been incredibly surprised by how active Bethesda and Dire Wolf Digital have been in the community. I really feel like they listen to us, and I’m not even being paid to say that.

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