Valve announces Artifact, finally jumps into virtual collectible card gaming


Well, it depends. Do you enjoy playing poker with play money? When there’s no stakes, people aren’t going to play their best against you. Like, in Hearthstone, playing casual matches is incredible dull compared to ladder play (or arena).


The free draft is, so far, my favorite mode in Artifact. Just as Arena was my favorite mode in Hearthstone. I like drafting! I like free! But wow, I suck hard at drafting so far. I’m finding it much more challenging than Hearthstone’s Arena. You’ve got four colors to juggle here, and it’s awful easy to get tempted by a snazzy card in a color you hadn’t been drafting up til now…

That said, I think phantom draft mode would be improved by some sort of progression system, even if it’s only just cosmetic stuff – avatars, foil cards, avatar borders, etc. Even a small reward like that can keep me interested. I didn’t care at all about card rewards in Hearthstone, as I didn’t play constructed, but I loved the cosmetic rewards in Gwent. The Artifact devs say progression is their top priority, so I’m hoping phantom draft will get some progression system.

Also, won-loss stats would be good. I used HearthArena in Hearthstone mostly to track how many wins/losses I got in Arena mode. To me, stat-tracking would be a natural part of a progression system.


I’d be in for the free drafting mode at $10, but for $20 I can’t really justify it. I’d even forego the ten packs or whatever they give you.


Why not sell the packs? Should net you some of your money back, maybe more than 10.


Can you sell the packs directly? Or do you need to open them, and sell the cards?

(I have no patience for trying to sell 100+ items at ten cents a piece).


Open them and sell the cards. And if you’re lucky you won’t be selling at 10 cents, some rares go for pretty much the price of the game.


The sell interface looks pretty straightforward. I don’t think it’ll be too much of a headache, you can just sort by cost and click a bunch of times.


No guarantee of that, though…also no guarantee I’d be able to control myself. xD


Ah, thanks. That’s less bad than I thought. I’d been under the impression that all this trading was done using the normal Steam marketplace, which requires an absurd number of clicks. That’s why I have a couple of hundred unsold trading cards and PUBG items :-/


Pluuuuus, I don’t really get that money back, I just get to spend it on something else on Steam later on…which I actually haven’t done in some time.


My top 3 card values were $2.18, $2.02, and $0.98, so it’s no guarantee that you’ll get your money back. The best value right now seems to be for people who want to play “Expert” - craft 20 of your excess cards into an event ticket. Tickets usually go for $1 and low end cards can be grabbed for 4 cents a piece. This assumes that you’re good enough to get some value, but not good enough to go infinite.


All buying /selling is through the marketplace, but there is an in-game interface that will buy/sell cards en masse. I sold 133 cards in one click yesterday.


Yeah you can trivially sell every single card in one big click. Everything defaults to last market price.


While I have found myself rather bemused at all the people shouting about the pay structure of the game I found the game itself pretty fun.

I bounced off of Magic: The Gathering back in the early 90’s when it came out, and have bounced off it in real and virtual versions a few times since then. The actual gameplay in MTG and Hearthspace et al. never seemed that interesting to me.

I’ve only played a handful of games of Artifact so far, but it feels like my gameplay decisions have more impact than in those other games. I’m liking it enough I picked up a $20 Steam card on the way home to buy some more cards. It ain’t Up Front, but it ain’t bad.


Yhe conversion from cards to tickets was clearly supposed to be providing the price floor on the cards. Except that at the floor, where basically every single common has now ended up at, the buy/sell spread is 75%. So if I buy commons for $1, the seller gets $0.25.

Before launch it was believed that fees would be 15% (or maybe 30% if both sides had to pay it). But not only is Valve’s cut 25% rather than 15%, and it is indeed paid by both sides, but I guess there’s also a special 25% cut to Artifact as a separate entity.

This also makes the competitive modes far more expensive than they first appeared (and they appeared pretty damn expensive to start with). I think it works out to Valve keeping about 80% of the entry fees and distributing 20% out as the rewards.

So I’m back to viewing the monetization model as just brazenly abusive, maybe the worst I’ve ever seen. Not sure whether it’s intentional, or whether Valve just stopped hiring economists.


Huh? I sold a card for $2.30 and got $2. What are you talking about?


Huh? I’m talking about cards at the price floor, and stated it outright.


I’m still confused. If I sell $1 worth of commons, I get $0.60. Which is less than it would be at a higher price due to rounding (which sucks) but still isn’t $0.25.


Are you saying Valve takes a different percentage at different price levels?


Just to be clear, in your example is the “$1 worth of commons” the purchase price of those commons? Or is it that the UI was showing you’d get $1 for selling them, but then there was some fee on top of that, with $0.60 arriving in your Steam wallet?

I just put 30 commons whose sale price is listed as 0.01 CHF into the hopper, and it’s saying 0.32 CHF as the sale price (not sure where the 0.02 difference is coming from; maybe the price of one card shifted by a cent during the experiment, or maybe there’s some pricing going on in fractions of cents as well). If I pick a random one of those cards and try to buy 30 copies, the price that’s quoted is 1.20 CHF.

In any case it sure looks like Valve is always taking at least three cents minimum on any transaction, which works out to a different percentage for different price levels.