Valve announces Artifact, finally jumps into virtual collectible card gaming


I got a free copy of Artifact, but I’m definitely not a CCGer.

Is it possible for me to give away the cards that come with the game? I’ve got some friends who may be interested; if so, I’ll just give them the cards. Otherwise, I guess I’ll load up the game, open the packs, and sell the ones that came with it.


There’s been a chess clock in the bottom right corner of the screen in the streams I’ve watched.


So you’re saying Valve wanted to make a LOT of money. And no, I’ve never heard of the guy. CCGs are just aberrant pay-to-win Skinner box background noise to me.


You’ve never heard of the guy who created Magic: The Gathering, NetRunner, Roborally, King of Tokyo and a ton of other games?

He’s pretty well respected.


I’m Sadley on Steam for anyone who wants to run over my pile of cards with your deck.


A couple non-obvious notes if you try drafting:

In each round of packs (there are five rounds where each round starts with 12 cards and you take two at a time), you can take up to one hero. so once you take one you can’t take another until you get to the next round. If you don’t take enough heroes or items, you can fill your deck with basic-set ones, so you can take cards of whatever color without worrying that you don’t have enough heroes of that color.

You don’t get that for regular cards so if you don’t get enough creeps it’s not great.

The first pack you get has 12 cards in it. after you take two, you get a new pack with 10 cards in it, and the two missing cards are (i think) chosen to be two of the better cards in the pack, so the deeper you go the less useful the cards are. It’s not clear if it tries to emulate the people next to you being in colors (so you could try to be in different colors and thus get better cards), or even if they do the neat shadow draft thing that Eternal does, where it figures out what was taken by basically replaying drafts so the cards that got picked are cards that were picked in previous drafts.

It’s not clear to me that it’s trying to emulate real people vs just trying to make sure the card quality is decreasing, which you could do by just tracking how early each card normally gets chosen and then removing two of the higher-ranked cards each pass.


So two things happened this morning: I had alot of fun playing the free draft mode, and against expectations the market for certain cards is actually going up a bit since yesterday.

So I sold all of my cards on the steam market that were worth more than 5c. I came out slightly ahead of what I put in, and still left with the free modes, all of the commons and some of the uncommon cards, and 7 event tickets. So pretty pleased!


Biggest issue for me right now is that there’s no stat tracking. I know it’s kind of sad that everything needs to have numbers and bars going up these days, but at least give me some win/loss/kills/cards played/gold farmed/etc so I can feel like there’s any record at all that I actually played the game.


I’d like stat-tracking too. I hope that’s part of the “progression”* the devs plan to add, which I would hope includes at least cosmetic rewards for winning in various modes – foil cards, player levels, avatars, etc. I actually liked earning that fluff stuff in Gwent.

Incidentally, I had fun making my first deck, and I even won with it against a Medium bot. Also, the deckbuilding UI is fun to use. (The UI in this game is generally pretty good.) Also, each card gets spoken lore; pretty nifty. Now I’m off to try my first Phantom Draft.

*The devs say “Progression is top on the list of things we want to tackle post-launch!”


Sidenote, lol at some of the replies in that twitter thread of people complaining they can’t repeatedly beat up on low skill opponents for prizes because the matchmaking prioritizes matching them against someone close enough to provide challenge.


Did you (and the other person who said they did this) have one of the very expensive cards? Trying to decide where I fell on the distribution - my collection of things worth a nickel or more is about six bucks.


So, I get the impression the consensus here is that whatever you think of the monetisation model, the game itself is pretty good, right? The RPS cast on it was pretty down on it, apart from maybe one person. It does seem it might be easier to get into if you bring some DotA knowledge too.


The game itself seems legit from the few hours I’ve put into it so far, but I wish there was some progression system. I mean, I don’t honestly see the point of playing casual games after you’ve learned all the cards and how to play them. And even if that will give you a lot of playtime for your 20 bucks, this game could be so much more. It’s like they learned nothing from Blizzard, which whatever you think of Hearthstone itself, is played by an insane amount of people.


I think the core card game is pretty great. I love multiple lanes in card games and bringing in strategic layers over and above the intra-lane tactics required to do well. I also thought Elder Scrolls: Legends was better than the single-lane CCGs like Magic or especially Hearthstone. I’ve had a fair few very close matches in Artifact and they are always very tense.

I think the overarching wrapper around the card game is good too, but needs some improvement. It’s very polished but lacking some features. There are alot of fun modes and all have a free mode or ‘reward’ mode where you spend ‘event tickets’. Yet as others have said it needs stat tracking and some kind of progression system (yet hopefully that won’t mean any stat advantages as that would be terrible).


I’m not too fond of the game. So I sold all my cards for $25! Might have been lucky, but it is nice that you can just sell everything if you’re not enjoying the game and get back at least some of your investment.

I think beyond the basic structure of the game that DotA knowledge doesn’t help much. It’ll mostly help with identifying why creeps spawn for free all the time, but that’s about it.

What’s most different about this game than every other CCG I’ve played is how tactical it is. This is in part because you do one thing and then your opponent does one thing and repeat until you both pass (in comparison to games like Hearthstone or Netrunner where you run a bunch of actions before passing). It’s also due in part to creeps spawning randomly and unit targeting being semi-random. Both of these things create a bunch of board chaos where it’s often hard to plan beyond the current board state. A lot of the cards are built around what appear at first to be minor adjustments but have profound effects on the board, like changing who you’re targeting.

It feels less about building up crazy card combos and more about building a strong board state through a series of tweaks. It’s really clever how all of it is built and plays out. But it’s not for me. I don’t tend to like highly tactical board games either, so I think it’s purely a design aesthetic mismatch.

One thing that surprised me though is it’s much easier to understand when you’re playing then when you’re watching it. The game is really good about making it clear what decisions you can make at any given time and is usually pretty clear about what the effect will be. Even if you don’t understand how and when some of the random stuff is working, you’ll definitely know how you can change it once it has resolved.


though, if you sell your cards, you get money back only in STEAM WALLET currency right? so ultimately, valve will get your money regardless haha.

my question after watching more is, is it worth it to buy if you don’t want to spend extra money on the game at all? It seems the draft modes function exactly the same, except one gives rewards. I’m not keen at all to putting in dollars to keep playing.


You can do free phantom drafts, but you’ll only get rewards (tickets, packs) if you spend cash.


Hmm. If free phantom drafts are premanent, then that actually might bring a lot of players. I hadn’t actually realized that was a thing - in most other f2p CCGs, drafting is the part that isn’t free.

A $20 buy-in for unlimited drafting actually sounds reasonable (if you’re the kind of players that likes drafts vs. constructed play, of course). Artifact was absolutely nowhere on my radar, but this makes me reconsider.


The free phantom drafts are a good way to try and figure out how the different colors work together and what their strengths are. Usually, I find that whatever I drafted doesn’t really work.


this is my point… I am wondering, if the draft mode is where the fun is at, why even bother playing the keepers mode if you aren’t going to play constructed? if there is always a free draft, i might consider picking it up! monetization isn’t as important if the core draft game is fun…