Alliance War Developer Diary – Better in 50
With each expansion to The Elder Scrolls: Legends comes also stories of trials and triumph that the team went through during its creation. In this Developer Diary series, we take a behind-the-scenes look at some of the learnings from our latest release, Alliance War, with commentary from card designer Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa.
As we designed The Alliance War and introduced the other five three-attribute combinations to the game, we were constantly on the lookout for ways to also make the 50 card decks more enticing in ways that didn’t disrupt what people were already doing.
We felt we could accomplish this organically by printing more synergy-based cards, (since these are naturally stronger with fewer cards in your deck) but we also liked the idea of having more cards like Galyn the Shelterer and Ungolim the Listener, which directly benefit smaller decks by themselves. So, the cycle of what we internally dubbed as “50 Cards Matters” came to be. The idea with these cards is that, much like Galyn and Ungolim, they can be played in 75 card decks but they are clearly stronger in 50.
With this cycle, our biggest challenge was finding something that would play in a similar space to these Uniques while not just being copies of them. We also didn’t want them to be Unique Legendary cards, so their power level had to be different. In the end, this is what we came up with:
The first three are pretty straightforward - they get better if you draw multiple of them (though there are certainly ways to artificially draw more copies of them). Salvage is similar, except it wants you to draw multiples of a different card rather than multiples of itself - in this case, an Item.
Baandari Opportunist is the most different of them all, but still plays on the “better in 50 card decks” angle in the same capacity that Ungolim and Galyn do, by adding powerful cards to your deck. I thought it might take some time for players to figure out that Baandari Opportunist was the Green card of the cycle, since it’s a little different than the others, but as soon as it was previewed people immediately connected it to the other cards; ironically enough, as I’m writing this, Salvage is the one that slipped people’s attentions - I guess they were expecting a creature!