With The Elder Scrolls Online entering its eighth year, a brand-new Chapter is on the horizon. After the Q1 release of the Ascending Tide Dungeon, the High Isle Chapter is due to be released in June of this year. The new content will bring a number of updates and features, including two new companions, the Dreadsail Reef Trial, and the High Isle zone for players to explore. Another big development that ties in to the High Isle reveal was the announcement of a new collectible card game called Tales of Tributes — a CCG that can be played anywhere within the world of Elder Scrolls Online.
The Elder Scrolls is a vast franchise with multiple tie-ins, in addition to a number of video games like the critically lauded The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This far-reaching cross-platform series also includes a number of Elder Scrolls board games, which often correlate with the ongoing events in the games to provide another perspective through which players can experience the world. There have also been a few Elder Scrolls card games in the past, like The Elder Scrolls: Legends. However, with the announcement of Tales of Tribute as part of the High Isle Chapter, gamers will be able to play the card game within the world of Tamriel rather than a separate game.
This combination will also allow The Elder Scrolls Online to incorporate the CCG into the world of the wider game, with a storyline that players will be able to follow as they challenge specific NPCs to a round or two of Tales of Tribute. There will also be the option for gamers to challenge each other individually, either directly or with a UI finder that works similarly to the one used to find Dungeons. This gives gamers the option to either experience the new card game in a single-player mode or in multiplayer.
Players can earn four starter card decks once they've completed the card game tutorial, starting them on their Tales of Tribute journey and allowing them to play straightaway. Further exploring the world of High Isle and beyond, as well as completing specific card game quests, will help to unlock more decks and specific cards, so players can build up their stash and increase their chances of success in matches. In addition to unlocking the Patron Decks, players will also be able to find unique individual upgraded cards as well, encouraging them to fully explore the regions of The Elder Scrolls Online with different CCG-based incentives.
Tales of Tribute will be available to play throughout Tamriel, either by speaking to NPCs in taverns, interacting directly with other players, or by using the Group Menu UI. There will be an in-game ranking system, so gamers can see how they currently match up against their fellow Elder Scrolls Online players, and who they need to beat in order to climb higher. There are a number of rewards to be earned by playing Tales of Tribute, including gold, cosmetics, furnishings, crafting materials, and Transmute Stones.
The goal of Tales of Tribute is to build resources and reach the victory point before an opponent. To do this, there are a number of ways that gamers can choose, putting an emphasis on strategic resource gathering through the use of pre-built decks over combat. Though not much is currently known about the individual cards that will be available, there will be specific Patron cards that let players curry favor to help them advance. The developers have promised that more information about Tales of Tribute will be available closer to the High Isle Chapter launch date.
Video games are no stranger to in-game CCGs, with titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt featuring the hugely popular Gwent, which then went on to become a standalone experience. Just like in Gwent, the aim of Tales of Tribute is to amass more points than the other player through the cards that are used. However, unlike other popular CCGs like Gwent and Magic: The Gathering (both in video games and in real life), the advantage doesn't necessarily fall to the more experienced player with the better cards. In Tales of Tribute, gameplay is much more balanced, as the decks of both players are shuffled together and then used as a combined common deck during a round.
This basically levels the playing field, ensuring that even if one player has unlocked all available cards and built a comprehensively impressive deck, both players will actually benefit from it during a game of Tales of Tribute. Each Elder Scrolls Online NPC or player can contribute up to two card decks during the match, with a total of four being used in the common deck. So even though the goal outside a match is still to collect cards and pre-build a strong deck, strategy really comes into play when facing an opponent as players won't necessarily know which of their cards they'll have access to until the match is underway.
This unique feature, not seen in other CCGs based on video game properties like Hearthstone, should lead to some interesting matches that don't lock out players that have just started or that have only a limited number of decks. Although Tales of Tribute can also be played in taverns in-game like Gwent and may have other similar features to previous CCGs, this element really sets it apart. Players will no doubt be eager to learn more about Tales of Tribute as the date for the High Isle expansion approaches.
Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle releases on June 6, 2022, for PC and Mac, and on June 22, 2022, for PlayStation and Xbox consoles.