Valve’s Artifact is live to ‘reimagine’ the online TCG genre

laugh, then laugh again

Trading card game fans know the name Richard Garfield well. The man created the legendary Magic: The Gathering back in the early 1990s, but he hasn’t stopped making games since. His latest effort, Artifact, is now online for those looking for a new online multiplayer experience.

Created in cooperation with Valve and set in the Dota 2 world, Artifact “reimagines” the genre to make, quote, “an immersive and visually stunning trading card game unlike any other.” The debut of the game this week also ushers in the 280-card Call to Arms set.

It certainly looks very slick with high production values but also somewhat complicated as well – and it’s not been without its serious issues along the way. Take a look at the trailer after the break — and maybe even read the official comic while you’re at it.

Source: Steam. Thanks Tim!

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I tried watching some streams when they popped up after the NDA lifted and it certainly wasn’t a game I could learn in that setting. All the streamers I tuned into weren’t exactly running classrooms for viewers. They all seemed more interested either in the rush to figure the game out to be ahead of the competition or in self promotion with all the fresh eyes they may have been getting with the new shiny streamer game.

*I got Artifact for “free”* (because I was a Steam Controller early adopter) so I don’t have a $20 purchase to be emotionally invested in, but after the beta was opened to me for whatever reason a week or so ago I played the two tutorial matches. It was really easy to grasp it.

When the Steam Marketplace for Artifact opened I sold 1 copy of my most valuable card and now have money to buy dozens of cards of my choice (no lootbox shenanigans or grind on my part). Once the economy stabilizes the prices of the 10-20 trendy cards will most likely plummet (that is my experience with Team Fortress 2 guns/hats and Dota 2 hats). I don’t know yet if I can say I like this more than the idea of grinding quests every day like the standard F2P games do, but I am at least open to seeing developers experiment with different ways to monetize their games.

Whether Artifact takes off like Dota or Hearthstone really doesn’t change the fact that Valve will update and add stuff to the game for longer than most online games can even hope to survive.

Ok, I think I’m rambling, bye.