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Moz

Artifact - Valve's Collectable Card Game. Signups for the first RLLMUK Tournament in first post.

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They haven't changed the pricing model at all have they? It looks interesting from a gameplay point of view but otherwise it's the most blatant and cynical gash grab I've seen in a long while. 

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(Moving my whinging to the second post so at least the OP isn't a whingefest!)

 

Anyone playing Artifact? I can't even find a thread.

 

It's pretty good. The game itself is exceptionally well designed as you'd expect from Richard Garfield. I played 5 games of the current event (where you play with premade decks) and won all 5. Then I took the best deck I could make with the packs it gave me into the no-holds-barred matchmaking and lost five games in a row to a bunch of cards that cost £5-30 each. And the marketplace has only been open a couple of hours. Shrug. I can't see myself going back there, so great job there Valve. You're clearly going to end up with 2% of players spending thousands to jizz on each other while everyone else has a nice time at the kids table. 

 

It's a real shame it's a CCG and not an LCG. I infinitely prefer LCGs for this reason. I'd rather just give Valve a tenner a month for all the jpegs cards and have fun building decks, rather than have single cards worth more than the game itself (or all my cards added together) in the mix.


I've played about 8 hours of this, my friend rolled in having never played this type of card game before, skipped through the tutorial, picked a deck he'd never used before with Axe in (the £30 card) and destroyed me while genuinely having no idea what he was doing. Initially I couldn't work out why it was £30 - it looked like your average shitty card. **** EDIT - THE FOLLOWING IS WRONG! I'M AN IDIOT! *** But it comes with another card, granting an ability which gives you a moderate amount of direct damage ("siege damage") to the opponents tower. Multiplied by every card you've got out, regardless of whether they're any good or not. He had a load of shitty almost-dead misplayed cards in the lane as a totally new player would (I was going a little easy on him to lengthen the match a bit - not much though). He played this card and instantly oneshot my tower from full health. Even though all of his cards in the lane died during the action phase and all of mine survived. It was quite funny to be honest. Afterwards I had to explain to him how he won and what siege damage was. I had no idea that card existed so I'm not blameless by any means, but you can see the problem. "Shit, it's only £20 on the market now, price has gone down since the game went live" he said afterwards. He probably bought it as well. Somewhere far away, a fat bearded man in sandals felt a tug on his line.
 

On one of Discord channels I asked about 30 people who got the game if they got this card. All of them got several of the same type and rarity, but none of them got this one. Hmm.

 

The actual card game is really excellent, as you'd expect from the creator of MTG and Netrunner, but it's not hard to see Valve's intentions around it. It smacks of the same mentality that created the £20 Dota cosmetics that just happened to be for heroes who just happened to be a bit overpowered that patch.

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Yuuuup that sounds terrible. I have no idea why people are still jumping on this despite the obvious shady monetization scheme. I guess I should at least be glad that I won't be victim to another card game that I'll lose hundreds of hours to. 

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Axe will be down to less than a tenner in a few days. He's only that expensive because it's the first day. To be fair to Valve it's probably the best value ccg out there atm. Once you buy the game

you can play with every card for free. 

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18 minutes ago, VN1X said:

Yuuuup that sounds terrible. I have no idea why people are still jumping on this despite the obvious shady monetization scheme. I guess I should at least be glad that I won't be victim to another card game that I'll lose hundreds of hours to. 

 

The reason is that you can play with a whole load of cards without owning them. You don't have to own a card to use a deck that contains it in the default mode. There are currently 8ish decks you can choose from, and you'll go up against someone else also using one of those decks. There are two versions of the construct-a-deck mode where you pull cards exclusively from your stash. One of them is casual, and one of them requires tickets to enter. It looks like a best out of five, but if you lose two games you're done. The ticket is consumed and you have to buy another one with real money. There's no third game, it's not "first to three". Winning three before you lose two nets you a ticket back. Winning four gets you a pack of cards, winning five gets you two packs. You can get more tickets by recycling cards. but of course cards cost money. Or you can buy more tickets directly which costs money. In theory the more cards from the base deck you have, the more duplicates you would have and thus you'd be able to recycle cards more frequently to get more tickets. Tickets can net you cards (if you win 4-5 games) and cards can net you tickets if you get enough duplicates. But as with most things in life, you can bypass all of it by pulling the credit card out.

 

Weirdly there's no real tracking of your accomplishments at all - no winrate or MMR or match history that I can find. No replays, no data to dig through. No cosmetics, no XP, nothing to really catch on to.  Equally there's no way to communicate with the person you're playing against, not even a cheeky phrase wheel or "good game". If it weren't for the online matchmaking I'd swear I was playing Windows 95 solitaire.

 

Maybe this will all make sense at some point, but right now it looks pretty ill-advised and I would hope they reconsider some of it. Their first game in five years looks like a weird mix of pay-to-own, pay-to-win and pay-to-play, drizzling sour sauce over what is otherwise a beautiful and fun card game.

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7 minutes ago, Zael said:

Axe will be down to less than a tenner in a few days. He's only that expensive because it's the first day. To be fair to Valve it's probably the best value ccg out there atm. Once you buy the game

you can play with every card for free. 

 

Unless you want to deckbuild, which is the linchpin of every CCG and LCG, real world or digital. And of course there'll be a new set every 2-3 months requiring you to shell out some more to stay competitive. 

 

I generally have problems with CCGs vs LCGs so it's not entirely Valve's fault. I would gladly pay £15 every few months for a new stack of cards to play with, just as I've done with LCGs in the past. But I more or less refuse to play CCGs IRL. 

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Yeah that's fair. But in the context of how ccgs do operate this one is pretty generous. 

 

Also if you want to deckbuild then you can draft for free too, which is what I plan on doing until prices drop so low that I can pick up the majority of cards for like 15 quid. 

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But they're just jpegs. Grumble.

 

I noticed you can filter for cards on the shop screen to "complete the set". but there's no "add all". After a few minutes of frantic clicking I was barely a quarter of the way through adding the day-one cards I didn't have to my basket, most of which had multiples available (so less than quarter?) and I was up to £55. It told me I couldn't add more than 75 items at a time. I can go and buy a major expansion for Netrunner containing 165 physical cards for under £30 quid.

 

I know you're right in saying that prices will settle, but it doesn't provide much comfort when the whole dang framework seems shifty. 

 

That said if you're up for a game, I'm in. Free cards only, of course.

 

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Yeah I really wouldn't go judging prices by day one. People will be flooding cards onto the market and the only things that will hold any value are the top tier heroes. But even then you only need one copy of them per deck. Prices will drop significantly. 

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Weirdly I've got supposedly the second best card available after Axe - Legion Commander - and it's only ever been worth a pound. 

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That's because she's uncommon rather than rare and common & uncommon card prices are low because of the amount of them you get. 

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Makes sense. I also got a rare Chen, but that's worth 70p. Is there any way to see the rarity of a card by looking at the artwork - is there any kind of icon etc?

 

I noticed some of the card backs in game were gold instead of silver. Are these rares? Can you tell from the front which is which? 

 

I realise these are very stupid questions, sorry. You've just done a great job explaining so far.

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No worries, I don't blame you tbh the icon depicting rarity is crap. There's a little symbol at the bottom of the card kind of like a head with horns. If that symbol is gold then it's a rare card. 

 

The card backs being gold in game I think depicts items that you buy in the shop phase. So if you're looking at your opponents hand you can tell which cards are normal cards and which ones he picked up during the shop phase. 

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I think if you're on board with ccgs then Artifact is probably the best value one out there. It's looking like you'll be able to build whole decks for less than 2 quid. And you can also play the draft mode with all the cards for free once you buy the game. 

 

But if you're not on the ccg train (which is totally fair because they're not the cheapest) then Artifact isn't the grand saviour. 

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1 hour ago, moosegrinder said:

So is it really p2w like the steam reviews say it is it simply because the users have no idea how ccgs work?

 

I imagine the aim is to provide balance, but nevertheless the unbalanced meta cards will rocket in value. Which is an interesting conundrum. You can't easily patch a physical card once it's out there, but what happens if you pay £30 for a rare card which Valve nerfs in the next patch due to some exploit they hadn't considered?

 

I didn't realise the draft mode lets you play with ALL the cards Zael. That's pretty good.

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I'm going to be jumping in tonight, as a Magic player I've been keeping an eye on this and it looks great. Sure, the payment model won't be for everyone, but compared to Magic and Hearthstone, it seems like it will be the most budget friendly. Drafting for free is really nice too - am I right in thinking you don't keep the cards, and there are no prizes, but there's no fee to enter?

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16 minutes ago, Moz said:

 

I imagine the aim is to provide balance, but nevertheless the unbalanced meta cards will rocket in value. Which is an interesting conundrum. You can't easily patch a physical card once it's out there, but what happens if you pay £30 for a rare card which Valve nerfs in the next patch due to some exploit they hadn't considered?

 

I didn't realise the draft mode lets you play with ALL the cards Zael. That's pretty good.

 

No but they can ban it in tournament play, and cards rotate out of use anyway. But those are the risks inherent in tcgs. 

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13 minutes ago, Keiths_Dad said:

 am I right in thinking you don't keep the cards, and there are no prizes, but there's no fee to enter?

 

Yeah but there's also competitive draft. One called Phantom which you need a ticket for and get prizes if you can get past 2 wins before losing twice and there's also keeper draft which requires you to have two tickets and buy 5 packs. In that mode it also has rewards but you also keep all the cards you draft.

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21 minutes ago, Keiths_Dad said:

I'm going to be jumping in tonight, as a Magic player I've been keeping an eye on this and it looks great. Sure, the payment model won't be for everyone, but compared to Magic and Hearthstone, it seems like it will be the most budget friendly. Drafting for free is really nice too - am I right in thinking you don't keep the cards, and there are no prizes, but there's no fee to enter?

 

The other thing that's worth mentioning is the ease of setup, collection, tournament and social play. I have a few friends who are big into MTG but just can't find the time to get together to play, never mind keep decks together and up to date. As I described it to a colleague thinking he would be really turned off at the idea, he seemed quite keen on it. It's hard for lapsed CCG players with jobs and kids to coordinate anything at times, but the tournament play in this is quite robust. I'll set up a rllmuk tourney later and post the link to join here if anyone is interested.

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28 minutes ago, moosegrinder said:

 

No but they can ban it in tournament play, and cards rotate out of use anyway. But those are the risks inherent in tcgs. 

 

Yeah - at the moment there's no option to ban specific cards from tournament play, though there are quite a few options available when setting up a tourney. You could simply come to an agreement not to use it however. I really don't think Valve would let truly broken cards or interactions survive in the wild for long though. I've lived through enough emergency Dota patches to know they're pretty quick with their fixes when it counts.

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So I've had a go now, lost the first practice match by going all out way too early, but won the second, and more importantly I won my first online match with the mono-red deck. It's fun, there's obviously a lot of depth, and I can't wait to have another go already, but it seems like it'll be a lot harder to pick up properly than either Magic or Hearthstone.

 

I also managed to forget my Steam password, resetting it has locked me out of the marketplace for 5 days. Guess I won't be playing the expert constructed queues for a little while.

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I really wouldn't venture in too deep straight away. Some people have had the game for a year now!

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Had a couple of games yesterday with the premade decks. Initially a bit overwhelming with the three lanes, like having three games of Hearthstone going simultaneously. An extra layer of complexity is keeping track of heroes innate charged abilities (both your heroes and your opponents) as they can be quite powerful. Add a few pieces of equipment with activation effects and you suddenly have a huge amount of factors to juggle when it's your turn.

 

Having played a lot of Keyforge recently (new physical card game also designed by Richard Garfield) Artifact certainly seems a lot less elegant designwise. I'll try to put together my own deck this weekend and do some practice games against bots to really get a feel for the game.

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I've set up a Call To Arms tournament for any Mukkers who want to jump in. I've gone with Event decks only and Swiss style rather than custom decks and single elimination brackets, as the aim is to have some fun on a level playing field, not brutally murder each other. You can join here, anybody is welcome:

 

https://www.playartifact.com/tournament/?invitekey=14820689762655326063

 

I've set it to a maximum of 8 players, I don't think we'll get off the ground if we aim too high initially. Hope to see you there!

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10 hours ago, Moz said:

I've set up a Call To Arms tournament for any Mukkers who want to jump in. I've gone with Event decks only and Swiss style rather than custom decks and single elimination brackets, as the aim is to have some fun on a level playing field, not brutally murder each other. You can join here, anybody is welcome:

 

https://www.playartifact.com/tournament/?invitekey=14820689762655326063

 

I've set it to a maximum of 8 players, I don't think we'll get off the ground if we aim too high initially. Hope to see you there!

 

Nice one, was a bit overwhelmed by the tutorial and felt odd not getting straight into a grind mentality. But as someone who's spent plenty on MTG cards just to play draft on the holidays with pals the economy really isn't that off putting provided I get my head around the game.

 

This introduction from the Artifact Reddit was pretty useful in explaining some things the tutorial didn't.

 

 

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I'm reading a bunch about how you can draft forever for $20, which makes this sound like a free to play/pay for cards model. On Steam it's £15.99 though and there seems to be no free option.

 

Am I misunderstanding something fundamental? Is the £16 that it costs on Steam also enough for these unlimited drafts, or do you have to pay again for those drafts?

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