Valve announces Artifact, finally jumps into virtual collectible card gaming


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?


I think the cut is 15%, not 50%. 50% would be gross.


Ah, ok, well, then nevermind. Still wonder if direct trading is possible.


As I understand it there’s no trading in this trading card game. Straight sell the ones you don’t want, buy the ones you do.


Hearthstone is used as example lots of times because it’s the most popular game, but HS is notoriously grindy. There are other F2P games where is less onerous to get cards, like Gwent or Duelyst.


And if you think about it, if you do the most equivalent thing of trading (think selling a card for $5, and then using that money to buy another card for $5) Valve gains not a 15% but a 30% of the five bucks.


Where was it confirmed that there won’t be direct trading with other players? I have read forum posts saying that they are trying to think of a way to add it without wrecking the buy/sell marketplace.


Any Magic player will tell you that it’s a fool’s errand to buy packs hoping for specific cards. If you want specific cards, you buy singles. I don’t understand why people are expecting the economy to be the same as Hearthstone when they’ve made it clear its going to be nothing like that.

Artifact’s functioning secondary market means you can just buy the cards you want without ever buying a single pack. That’s something you simply cannot do in any other popular digital CCG right now.


Maybe Kripp couldn’t buy singles because the auction house isn’t operating yet? Also, he didn’t say he couldn’t put together good decks – just that he didn’t pull the cards he wanted for two particular decks.

I’m gonna mess around with the base game and see how I like it. The gameplay looks fun to me, but I kinda doubt I’ll go all-in. I actually don’t mind the economic model so much; I just wish there were more of a PvE side to the game. I wish that with pretty much all these online CCGs.


I’m certain this is the case. Either the marketplace isn’t turned on, or there are so few people with access as to make it useless. Given that the marketplace is one of the differentiators, it’s kind of a misstep that Valve didn’t have it available (even if it was heavily seeded by Valve) during the demo period.

Like, can you imagine if, instead of buying three hundred dollars worth of packs, Kripp said something like “Well, I need a playset of this common, let’s hop over to the market and buy a playset for ten cents.”? That would resonate a lot more positively with people than “I paid twenty bucks to get in, and now I’ve got to pay two bucks a pack on top of that?”


GiantBomb Unfinished: