What we know about the game we are eagerly awaiting - Valve’s Artifact
Artifact is the digital card game that has everyone waiting with anticipation for the release.
It comes from the creators of Dota 2. With the combination of the card game from Richard Garfield (game designer) and Dota 2 (the computer game) - add some bits of technology, and you have “Artifact.” This game is aimed to give all lovers of trading card games more in-depth gameplay and the best playing experience they have witnessed.
With a significant amount of over 280 cards, the shipping set featuring 44 heroes is set for release in late 2018. Players will have the opportunity to sell and buy the cards in the steam marketplace. Artifact will also be supported through expansions, competitions, and other features.
What is the background behind Artifact?Well, Artifact is themed around the Dota universe. If you don’t know about it, then here is a basic overview of the inspiration surrounding the game. Dota is a multiplayer online battle area where two teams of five compete to reside in a series of lanes on the map, where they will have to attack each other defend their positions. On the map at each end, is each team's base ready to be overtaken. Winning depends on who reaches the base and turns it into a pile of trash first.
As the players fight it out, they can gain experience points and items that can enhance their fighting performance. Dota has a vast number of heroes at publication, with their 113 hero characters and all their separate abilities. There is speculation whether Artifact will have more power for unlocking some new heroes rather than just unlocking individual cards.The invitational is a huge tournament that happens annually, and the same is to be expected with Artifact given its popularity. We may not see it at launch, but in the time following the release date, we will most likely see a similar tournament.
In Dota all the heroes are put in categories such as support and carry. Will Artifact carry on the same trail when it comes to characters who get the last hit of the opposition or will the minions get all the rewards? There is no leak yet as to whether Artifact will use a shared resource or continue with the last hitting scenario they have now in Dota.
Deck building in Artifact
The vital element of the whole artifact game is the deck of cards. Each deck will contain five heroes, ability cards, and spells. Four suits are known by their color black, red, green and blue.The black cards are the assassins, green is the support, blue represents the spells, and the red cards are the bruiser/tanker heroes and abilities. The deck is made from a combination of two of these suits.
The Artifact deck can be made up from any number of cards you wish, there will most likely be a minimum of cards you need to have, but in the end, you won’t have a strict set of only 30 cards you can use like in Hearthstone. You will be able to choose your deck size, whether to have more or fewer cards than your opponent. In Hearthstone, it can become frustrating when you run out of cards, however, in Artifact the cards are shuffled and put back into the deck once you have played them, so you can’t run out of cards. Think about the small decks with these you can replay each card more frequently rather than fewer times with a more massive deck of cards. Either way is alright as the decks built with a larger volume of cards that will offer more possibilities, and the downfall will be less dependent on the draw.
How will heroes work?
There are 44 heroes in Artifact, but they are spread across the four different categories of suits. The suits give the member heroes a sense of their playstyle.
• Black has characteristics similar to assassin types with the capability of communicating with other lanes further on from the one they are currently on.
• Blue is a hero type that is quite weak at the start of the game but becomes more powerful as the game develops.
• Green stands for healing. These heroes restore your health and provide beneficial effects to your combat allies.
• Red is for the bruiser characters, and these guys pack a punch, that can offer a good whooping.
Your hero will be able to equip a few different items. You will have three slots - one for armor, another for healing, and one for a weapon. You will get the opportunity to purchase new items once you start working on the board.
Exactly who are the heroes in Artifact?
A few lists are going around of the heroes in Artifact. Most are based on the recent press reveal, so you are only getting leaked cam footage and a few screenshots. Here is a list of heroes that we may see when the game hits launch but don’t settle on them just yet as they can change between now and then or be taken out entirely all together.
• Crystal Maiden
• Bristle back
• Legion Commander
• Phantom Assassin
• Sorla Khan
There are rumors these characters are going to be in the playable mode in the closed Beta that is soon to be taking place. However, these are only rumored, no proof has been given yet.
• Drow Ranger
• Ogre Magi
While there is no proof that any of these characters will be in the build, there have been some screenshots appearances, so it is highly possible that we see them throughout the game.
• The bounty hunter
• Death Prophet
• Night Stalker
• Dark Seer
• Troll warlord and clockwork
Game modes available in Artifact
We will see several different game modes in the game like draft mode and sealed deck. The details of what these modes will be are not confirmed, but there is a word that they will be putting out a future announcement concerning this. We do know, however, there will not be a single player module in Artifact. Luckily, there will be a tutorial to teach you all about the game as it might seem very complicated until you get the gist of it.
Artifact tournaments will work just like the Dota 2 compendium system funds. A certain amount of the revenue that comes from the game will go directly to the e-sports scene although again the details of the funding have not been released, yet. There has been a few ups and downs in Dota 2 and Valve have stated that they will use the good and the bad experience in making the Artifact competitive mode to match player expectations. The developers also plan to allow watchers to browse the competition area and view the stats while events are underway.
Are we going to see an Artifact beta?
Nothing has been confirmed on whether there will be a beta for Artifact or not, but there needs to be some period for testing outside the walls. Significant games that were released over the close ranging years like Elder Scrolls and Hearthstone have all had beta testing and in fact quite a substantial period of both closed and open testing, before launching the game. Card game communications and their interactions bring in a significant amount of data, and while Valve may be running simulated testing, there is surely nothing better than hardcore, honest feedback from the players.
Some members from the CCG scene were already invited to test the game before the press reveal back in March 2018.
What engine will Artifact be running?
Artifact was created using the engine Source 2. The valve enthusiasts will remember it as the same engine that Dota 2 was using a few years back. There is no doubt that we all should prepare for some severe gameplay when Artifact is released on PC.
Is there a release date on the horizon for Artifact?
Artifact is expected to be released for PC later in 2018. A mobile version is also expected somewhere around the middle of 2019. There isn’t a concrete date for now. The game is packed with data, and Valve must make sure it is perfectly balanced before release.
Is Artifact going to be free to play?
The Dota 2 card game, unfortunately, will have an outright price to pay for it, so it won’t be free to play. You will have the choice to buy in-game card packs as well as buying off from other players. Whether or not there will be any other methods for obtaining cards in Artifact, we don’t know for sure.
Artifact trading and economy.
Valve is trying to have the same success as Hearthstone. Artifact will focus more on trading between players and exploring other features that the Blizzard franchise is not offering.
While it is confirmed that the game is not free to play, it won’t be pay to win either. The cards will be available to trade at the steam marketplace where bargain hunting will be an essential part.
Artifact system requirements
There hasn’t been any information on what the system requirements will be, but we are expecting something similar to the settings for the Dota 2.
Does Valve see the mixed debut as a challenge to be changing minds?
Artifact had a hard revel back in 2017 at Valve’s most significant annual Dota 2 tournament. Fans had only seen the debut from a video, but they went crazy when they figured out Valve was unveiling a new game. Though the excitement immediately dropped after people realized it’s going to be a card game based on Dota 2, Valve remains optimistic.
Here is a list of what we already know in quick form as released by PC Gamer and IGN reports:
• The deck will have over 40 cards, five heroes and each card will have three copies.
• There will be four colors black, red, green and blue. These can only be played when there is a hero with the same color there.
• The games will start off with having each player picking a hero for each lane that has minions of two or more which will spawn after each turn.
• Lanes will start with a tower of 40 health. Once they die, they will be replaced by the Ancient with a health of 80. If you lose two towers or an Ancient, then the game is over.
Each lane has a mana pool that will start at three and increase every turn this is when you can spend on play cards that cast spells and other unique stuff.
• When playing your card your opponent gets the chance to return with one of theirs. Once the back and forth happens, the combat will start with the heroes and minions.
• Once the battle has finished in one lane, it will shift to the next one. The round ends when the battle in all three pathways is over.
• Once the combat ends, you can collect some gold for the things you’ve killed. This gold can then be spent on items to better your hero. A shopping trip can happen between the rounds.
• Heroes have limited number of slots for their equipment.
• When heroes die, be aware they are not gone forever. They can respawn and can be redeployed whichever lane you think needs them the most.
The idea of a Dota 2 card game seemed to be a bit of a side project for something bigger, according to some of the media, but it seems that Valve is taking it seriously. While Valve sees it as just a card game, some players said, that by the end of the quick test they had barely had the hang of it. It seems for many it will take time to grasp the game, but it is going to be a continuous learning journey that eventually leads to excitement and will hopefully end up being worth our time.
Valve has stated they are not offering workshop support, yet they didn’t completely rule it out as something we may see in the future. It definitely won’t be a feature at the release, but it could become something later on that illustrators will enjoy. However, with the community items of Valve being exclusive cosmetic it is doubtful to see that the artifact workshop support will be anything more than card art.
It can be a lot to take in when learning the new heroes, minions, and spells, along with the goal of the game. You can expect plenty of game tutorials, walkthroughs along with interesting facts and hints to help you through the journey. The release time is near! Stay in tune with Boosting Ground