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 Post subject: Representation of TES races, cultures, and factions in TESL
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:35 pm 
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Besides being more complex, more sober, fresher, and just plain more fun than Hearthstone at the moment, another interesting facet of TESL is the way it represents TES conventions about the various races, cultures and factions in the game mechanics and attribute/class/set themes themselves.

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Red decks often feature Nords and play up their bloodthirsty barbarian nature with lots of Charge creatures (can attack immediately), strong weapon cards, and creatures that favor power over health. All out aggression. Redguards, the weapon masters of Tamriel, have strong synergy with items and can easily snowball out of control if left unchecked. Orcs appear as a flavor of tribal deck rooted in the red and black sets, becoming stronger as they coalesce around war chiefs and battle standards, reflecting Orcish communities seen in the TES games.

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White decks contain Imperial themed cards that encourage fielding large amounts of individually weaker troops, but which can be buffed by Imperial leaders and support cards to steamroll the opposition. Legion grunts, sergeants, battering rams and more create the feeling of building up the mighty force that mastered a continent. Even General Tullius makes an appearance as a legendary card. The plethora of life gain mechanics in this color emphasize the traditional staying power of the Empire. Aedric and Daedric themed cards (Divine Fervor, Golden Saint, Spiteful Dremora etc.) stress the complicated relationship that the Empire has had with these otherworldly powers throughout history.

Altmer and Dominion cards fill the ranks of the white set too, which may or may not lend support to my pet theory that the Empire and Dominion, ostensibly deadly rivals, are much closer in method and particularly, aspirations, than many realize. And deadly rivals primarily due to similarity rather than difference.

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I've tended to view Argonians in the series as sort of a joke race/culture, what with the tree hugging, being enslaved, perpetual underdogs etc. but the raw power of Argonian cards in the green and black (or purple) sets goes a ways toward tempering that view. Argonian druidic culture is elaborated naturally through the way cards interact, and I picked up roundabout knowledge and grudging appreciation for it just by examining them and theorycrafting decks based around their mechanics.

Black often rewards playing long games and therefore appropriately includes many ancient and powerful Elder Scrolls creatures like dragons, draugr, vampire lords and so on.

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TES lore makes its way into the sets in surprisingly subtle ways, like with the blue card Dres Tormentor, a Dunmer slave driver who punishes foes by quite thematically leveraging the game's Shackle mechanic. Blue incorporates many of the traditional arcane masters of TES, including Bretons, Dunmer (Telvanni wizards!), Altmer, and even the dragon priests made famous by Skyrim. These cards reward crafty combos, mind games, and longer term strategic maneuvering than most of the other sets, which seems especially appropriate in the case of the long-lived mer.

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TESL's green set is heavy on Wood Elves and Khajiit, with appropriate stresses on Bosmer as archers (complete with ping mechanics), and the reputation of Khajiit in the series as tricksters and thieves (Pilfer keyword, Cover synergy [representing stealth] etc.). Green cards often focus on making unexpected plays like moving creatures between lanes, granting otherwise vulnerable targets Cover, and otherwise keeping the opponent off balance through the sheer versatility that the set brings to the table. It has a bit of everything with reliable removal, Charge, card draw, Pilfer, Lethal, Shackle, life steal. Goblins appear here as a viable tribal build, with each creature granting bonuses to other goblins played, as the deck threatens to snowball out of control with sheer numbers of small minions that build up a critical mass of synergy with each other by the mid game.

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Neutral cards are a catch all category for animals, Dwemer, Forsworn, Deadric artifacts, and other things that don't seem to fit in thematically with the other sets. Interestingly, many of the creatures and items in the neutral (colorless?) category are often encountered as optional quest, dungeon, or generic enemy content in the main TES titles.

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 Post subject: Re: Representation of TES races, cultures, and factions in T
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:28 pm 
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Yeah I think some of the guys at Bethesda have been quite vocal in praising Dire Wolf for the racial themes. Definitely well thought out.

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 Post subject: Re: Representation of TES races, cultures, and factions in T
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:48 am 
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I remember taking a keen interest in the lore of Magic: The Gathering while I was playing it (which to be perfectly honest wasn't very long) so I'm curious to see if piggy-backing off the lore of an existing game will make Legends that much more successful. It may even open up opportunities for the designers to expand said lore in future cards using flavor text and interaction rules, maybe give hints to future projects.

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