Author Topic: Artifact - the trading card game from Valve  (Read 251 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Huw the Poo

  • Landsknecht
  • *******
  • Posts: 4480
Artifact - the trading card game from Valve
« on: December 02, 2018, 06:20:26 AM »
Artifact is, according to the blurb on their website, "a collaboration between legendary game designer Richard Garfield and Valve, Artifact offers the deepest gameplay and the highest-fidelity experience ever seen in a trading card game."

Launching last week amid a storm of controversy over pricing and related matters, Artifact plays like a combination of Magic: The Gathering and Dota.  The Dota influence is clear: the decks are all Dota-themed and gameplay is spread across three distinct lanes, each having its own tower.  To win the game you can either destroy two towers - that is, winning two lanes - or destroy one tower and the Ancient that is then exposed.

I've done nothing but play the two introductory bot matches which you are forced to do before you can reach the main menu.  The tutorial is pretty good actually.  It doesn't hold your hand every step of the way, it simply explains each new mechanic as it's introduced and tells you what your goal should be.

Besides the Dota elements I've described, the game plays fairly similarly to Magic.  Each deck has a theme (colour) and you never know what will be in your hand initially.  Each round has the fairly predictable action and combat phases, with the equally predictable triggers and equipment and stuff that can occur between and during phases.  You play heroes and creeps onto the board - heroes are more powerful and can cast spells of their own colour as long as you have spells in your hand and sufficient mana to cast them.  Creeps are cannon fodder but can be boosted significantly via spells and certain heroes' innate abilities.  Where it gets interesting is the three lane mechanic; you'll go through the normal phases for the left lane, then do it all again for the middle lane, then finally once more for the right lane.  When all three lanes are played, the round is over and you get a chance to go "shopping" for equipment and then choose where to play your new heroes.

As you can imagine, events in a single lane are pretty easy to manage but there are plenty of chances to influence other lanes not currently in focus.  It's a common situation where a player will decide to abandon a lane they have no hope of winning, with the intention of concentrating resources in the other two lanes in a bid to win.

I won't go into too much detail now, but what I can say from the two bot matches I've played is that it does look very promising.  Artifact feels luxurious to play; the UI is excellent and displays everything you need at all times, while staying out of your way when you want to just play.  Everything flows extremely smoothly. Scanning through your hand is easy, cards can be inspected at will, combat forecasts can be moused over to see why a battle will play out the way it will, and so on.  It's a very easy game to play and the rules aren't terribly complicated either.

Anyone else got or is considering this?  I'll play some matches against real people later and report back.

Offline glen55

  • Viking
  • ****
  • Posts: 354
Re: Artifact - the trading card game from Valve
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 01:13:11 PM »
Controversy over pricing aspects? If there's a hint of pay to win I'm not in.
Things are more like they are now than they have ever been before.
  - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Offline Huw the Poo

  • Landsknecht
  • *******
  • Posts: 4480
Re: Artifact - the trading card game from Valve
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 01:49:12 PM »
Um, it's a trading card game, so of course it's pay to win.  Or at least, pay to get more cards which means a better chance of getting rares.  It's exactly how a physical TCG works.

I believe there are casual or "social" modes which only use preconstructed decks, however.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 01:52:22 PM by Huw the Poo »

Offline Bardolph

  • Equites
  • ***
  • Posts: 208
Re: Artifact - the trading card game from Valve
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 09:49:10 PM »
I'm liking it. I've never got on with Magic because I never found the GAMEplay itself that interesting. It seems all about the deckbuilding and the actual game is pretty free of interesting decisions. Artifact seems to have me more involved in the game, at least from what I've played so far. The games are fun, and I feel like my in-game decisions have some effect on the outcome of the game.

I like the pricing model they went with. In Artifact, I can buy the exact cards I want on the market, or take a chance buying packs, just like paper MTG. No grinding. And more importantly I can sell stuff I get that I don't want/need. You can't do that in Hearthstone or the new Magic Arena.

First card game I've ever retained much interest in playing after trying a few games.

« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 12:46:49 AM by Bardolph »

Offline jomni

  • Landsknecht
  • *******
  • Posts: 5461
Re: Artifact - the trading card game from Valve
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 11:34:35 PM »
I thought this was related to the useless Steam Trading Cards.

Offline Nefaro

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 15576
Re: Artifact - the trading card game from Valve
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2018, 10:54:30 AM »
Not sure if I like the idea of running 3 separate "lanes" in a constructible card game, but I wouldn't be against checking it out sometime.

I wish someone would make a digital version of Mage Wars Arena.  Maybe even the lighter Academy version, too.  :coolsmiley:

Offline Tuna

  • Condottieri
  • ******
  • Posts: 2767
Re: Artifact - the trading card game from Valve
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2018, 11:17:45 AM »
My son is raving about this one.

Offline Huw the Poo

  • Landsknecht
  • *******
  • Posts: 4480
Re: Artifact - the trading card game from Valve
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2018, 11:30:15 AM »
Not sure if I like the idea of running 3 separate "lanes" in a constructible card game, but I wouldn't be against checking it out sometime.

I'll get around to posting more detailed impressions later, but this is specifically one of things I was going to mention.  I love the three lane board, it's probably the standout feature.  While the action generally centres on the lane that currently has focus, there are still certain cards you can play which affect other lanes.  More than that though, it's an extra layer of strategy.  Do you contest all three lanes or abandon one to focus on the other two?  Do you only focus on one with a massive damage-dealing deck to make it through the tower and the Ancient beyond, at the risk of possibly losing the other two lanes and thus the game?

It propels it above the likes of Magic: The Gathering, at least for me.  Needless to say, after playing some more, I'm really enjoying it and looking forward to playing again.

Offline Yskonyn

  • Condottieri
  • ******
  • Posts: 3135
  • The Flying Dutchman
    • Visit my blog: Yassy HQ for various things combat simulation.
Re: Artifact - the trading card game from Valve
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2018, 04:45:24 PM »
IIRC Artifact is from the brain of Garfield who also made Magic?
Goodwill's Grogheads Battletech Campaign GM
"I'd prefer to make my own rolls whenever possible, but running a group thing online can be a little like herding cats :P" - mirth

Offline Huw the Poo

  • Landsknecht
  • *******
  • Posts: 4480
Re: Artifact - the trading card game from Valve
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2018, 04:47:49 PM »
That's right, Ysk.  Individual lane play is quite similar to Magic (without tapping lands).