Valve announces Artifact, finally jumps into virtual collectible card gaming


But therein lies the problem. If you need to watch a video explaining things or go through a tutorial to even understand what is going on, you’re making a niche product.

Niche products are fine, great even, but if you’re going to get into the ring against Hearthstone and Magic things aren’t going to end well when long-time Magic players stare at a screen and don’t understand what is happening. The massive RNG that seemed to fly around didn’t look like much fun either.

“Oh my dude is just doing his own thing, so I guess I lose this.”
“Oh there was a 25% chance this thing happened, and it did, so now I’m screwed.”

It seems like an interesting concept, but it just feels too random and needlessly complex for it’s own good. I said I was like playing Shaharazaad and Forking it twice. You’re basically playing 3 games at once because… that’s how MOBAs work. And when the board ends up being like 15+ dudes and you have to scroll down the lane? Yikes.

After a few hours of it being on in the background, I figured it out, but I’m not sure I like a lot of the things they went with.


There can’t possibly be any more RNG than in Hearthstone.


I can’t imagine long-time Magic players will need alot of time to understand this game, I got it pretty easily without watching an explainer vid. Sure, it is more complicated than Hearthstone, but then again almost all games and things in the universe are.

You’re probably right that it will lose some of the card-gaming audience for not being immediately understandable, but they may also gain audience from DOTA 2 players who have never played/watched a card game before, and gamers over 16 who want something with more lasting appeal.

If anything is going to keep the hordes away from the game, it’s the fact it has a $20 price tag. Anyway, we’ll see what happens over the next few months after it releases.


This weekend’s Twitch channel sure had a lot of the bigger Hearthstone players playing Artifact, some who have been away for a while. Will be interesting to see if it catches on because it is harder to follow.


Yeah, last night when I was browsing Twitch, Artifact had 54,000 viewers while Hearthstone had only 11,000. Of course, a large portion of that 54K was Kripparian who tends to get around 20k on his Hearthstone streams, but all the other HS streamers were playing it too.

I know that Disguised Toast at least tweeted that he didn’t think it was a very streamable game, because it’s hard to follow, and I’ve heard that some of the other streamers share the sentiment. I tend to agree. I watched Kripp’s stream for a while, and it was really hard to figure out what was going on in the game, but I’m not sure how much of that is unfamiliarity with the game and its cards. We’ll see how it goes.


For me I like the fact that Artifact looks like its a deeper game. What is holding me back a little is how much $$$$ it is going to take to have fun. Also can homemade decks be competitive or net decks will be required. I hang around rank 13 to 15 in Hearthstone with my homemade decks and I’m fine with that.



My high level takeaway from watching Kripp stream over the weekend was “this is crushingly dull.”

I was excited to see where Valve was going to go in this space, but having now seen the combination of gameplay and pricing I’m a solid pass.


Purge (famous noob-friendly DotA streamer/announcer) has just put up a bunch of explainer videos and game talkthroughs.


I was really excited for this, because it had a $20 price tag and seemed like it would be easier and cheaper to get into than Hearthstone which is such a drag but looks fun when all the cards are unlocked. However, it seems from all the backlash over the game that this is simply not the case at all. the buy in gets you little more than some basic cards. there is no way to unlock packs in game except by paying money to enter draft or ranked, it seems. you can get copies of starter cards you’ve already unlocked in packs. Who knows what the resell value will be.

I don’t know. I’m very disappointed. I won’t be buying this game, although i probably will watch it on twitch.


I wonder how ‘objective’ people will be with this game. If any other strategy or action online game was released being sold by piece meal and being p2w, it would be crucified.

But as people are conditioned to allow this model for CCG games, thanks to many years of physical ccg games like Magic, lots of people will give it a pass.


I think the opposite is true. This game is launching in a world with multiple, very good f2p digital CCGs. They have normalized a certain business model and created expectations that are directly counter to the way Artifact wants to operate. Valve wants to have the best of both worlds, zero cost card production, physical price points PLUS they get to take a cut of the entire aftermarket for card sales.

Personally, I’m not super keen to pay $20 just to see if I like the game and then be a punching bag for people spending real money.


I agree with Brad. There are a number of F2P CCGs where you start for free and then put your money in, so when I saw Artifact’s pricing I presumed the playground behind the $20 entry gate was going to be mostly free, with Valve scooping money off of card trades - so they’d charge to get in and then take a bit off the tail. Instead it looks a lot like triple dipping at beginning, middle and end.

Because you have to buy the game, then buy packs and then spend tickets to play the packs I’m already seeing this semi-jokingly referred to as “pay2pay2pay2play.”


That was roughly my assumption as well - 20 bucks gets you in the door and a bunch of cards to start, then additional packs can be purchased at 2 bucks a pop. I’ve considerably cooled on this after hearing about literally everything costing money. Valve’s already made some changes; hopefully they’re willing to keep reevaluating the model based on feedback (though it is a bad sign, imo, that the payment design made it this far).


“popular “Hearthstone” streamer Kripparian said he recently spent $300 on card packs but failed to come up with two viable decks because he couldn’t get some of the important cards needed for them”



I should be the target market for Artifact. I watch competitive Dota2 but don’t play it (since it’s far too hard for me). I’ve actually put money into online collectible cardgames. And a PC is my platform of choice for playing games.

There’s no chance I’m touching Artifact. The business model seems to be predatory beyond belief.


I’m not sure the monetization scheme is any worse than Hearthstone, in fact I think it is better. The $20 entry fee does give you basic cards but also 10 booster packs, so it’s basically just asking users to commit to a minimum level of investment before they can play (which I still don’t understand the reason for, but whatever).

Both Artifact and Hearthstone make you buy more boosters to get more cards, but Hearthstone does give you in-game gold which you can use to make a booster pack every now and then. While Artifact does not have this, it does let you buy/sell cards on the marketplace, which in my opinion is a huge improvement.

If you want to play a certain deck in Hearthstone, you have to either buy a billion boosters to somehow find the legendaries necessary or craft the cards by throwing away many many legendaries that you already own. I abhor this system and it’s one of the reasons I stopped playing. In Artifact, if you want to play a certain deck you can just hop on the marketplace and buy the specific cards, the majority of which will be very cheap I am sure. The only potential problem is if some of the cards in Artifact go for lots of money on the marketplace, but Valve has mitigated this greatly by not having any rarity tiers above rare. Unlike Hearthstone, there is no epic or legendary cards.

Unless I have got something majorly wrong, I am quite confident (nothing is guaranteed until the market is operating) that you will be able to construct netdecks in Artifact much more cheaply than with Hearthstone.


With Valve’s recent last minute change, if you really get infinite phantom drafts for 20 dollars, that’s pretty good.


The question is, how much money you have to spend to get… says, 5 different, decent decks?
Because if the answer is more than $45, no thanks.


The problem, I think, is that Valve is going to take a huge cut of the aftermarket (I heard 50%? Is that right?) which means that selling your cards to buy other cards is a losing proposition – if you open 3 packs ($6) and get 3 rares you don’t want, you might be able to sell them and get enough money for 1 rare you do want. Maybe. Popular rares for netdecks will probably be more.

Is it possible to trade cards directly with other players? Or can you only go through the marketplace?