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Valve's card game Artifact is still being worked on for a big revamp

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Artifact, the failed card game from Valve, released in November 2018 and within the space of only two months had lost almost the entire player-base. Valve don't appear to have given up, quite the opposite.

In it "for the long haul" the Artifact team at Valve said in December 2018, then in March 2019 they said how they were going to "re-examine" the decisions they made when designing everything on it. Since then, pretty much silence in public. Well, until today that is.

On Twitter, the official Artifact account said "Artifact: Under Construction" and linked to a post on the Steam page to thank people for their continued interest which had been "encouraging". Not only that, we can expect to see some changes "soon" (keeping in mind Valve Time here) as they're "starting tests on our systems and infrastructure" and we can expect to hear more about what's going on after Half-Life: Alyx launches (which should come to Linux later).

The thing is, I genuinely liked the gameplay in Artifact a lot. It made card games fresh again for me, it was graphically great and felt interesting to play with so much to think about. The economy ultimately ruined it and Valve knows this.

GamesRadar+ notes that during the interview for Edge Magazine, Valve are preparing a relaunch that's so big they're calling it Artifact 2.

You can follow Artifact on Steam. Once we learn more, we will let you know.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Card Game, Steam, Valve | Apps: Artifact
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14 21 Mar, 2020
Quoting: Kimyrielle
Quoting: 14
Quoting: Kimyrielle
Quoting: rkfgMake it F2P,

100% of all so-called "free"-to-play games suck. As in all of them, no exceptions. Because all of them are designed to suck unless you dump more money into it than you ever would in an actual for-purchase game.
Oh, like Dota 2?

I'm fine with buying a digital card game if I can play a trial mode first. I was too hesitant to put money down on Artifact and so never experienced it. I wish they had a free weekend or a trial mode of some sort. I also think it's OK to charge money for card packs just like Magic (etc) does in the physical world... as long as the game includes a Draft mode!

Not sure which part of "100% no exceptions" wasn't so clear.
Usually when people speak in ultimatums, they're exaggerating due to a lazy mind or anger-fueled irrationality.

Needless to say, I disagree with you. But that's fine.
Kimyrielle 21 Mar, 2020
Quoting: 14Usually when people speak in ultimatums, they're exaggerating due to a lazy mind or anger-fueled irrationality.

Needless to say, I disagree with you. But that's fine.

For the most part I would agree with you that absolutes rarely exist, and there's usually an exception or two to every statement one can make. I felt fairly comfortable generalizing in this particular instance though, and still do. The reason for this lies in the very effect the "Free"-to-Play model causes on game design, which makes these games bad by definition.

I will try to explain:

For a Buy-to-Play game, the game design focuses on delivering the best possible experience for the player. There are no secondary concerns for game design - the monetization has already happened.
For a "Free"-to-Play game, monetization has to happen DURING play, and AFTER giving the player access to it. The design no longer focuses on the best possible experience for the player, it focuses on motivating the player to pay up. Which for the F2P side of the industry is habitually done by intentionally making the game boring or tedious after a few hours of playing it, while giving players the opportunity to buy away these nag-mechanics with micro-transactions ("Don't want to wait 100 hours for this cooldown to expire? Just pay $10!").
In short, you can safely say that F2P games are universally designed to suck unless you pay up. It's how these games make you pay when you otherwise would have no reason to.

Now, you might say "But what about vanity and cosmetic items that have no effect on gameplay? Selling these don't make a game suck!"

Unfortunately, it does.

In a B2P game, cosmetic items are earned in-game, by PLAYING it. For many games, getting better-looking gear is the very essence of our motivation to play them in this first place. But with F2P games, you just BUY them. You can't earn the good-looking stuff in game, because it's moved to the cash-store. All you do is swipe your credit card and done! Your character looks great now. The only problem is that moving in-game rewards to a cash-store is that it kills in-game content, because your already great-looking character doesn't have to do any dungeon crawling to become great-looking. Cash-stores, even if cosmetic only, leave game designers with a lot less options to design rewarding and engaging content.

Maybe this helps you to understand why I made my absolute statement the way I did. There is simply no way to make a F2P game NOT suck, because the problem is in the business model itself.
inlinuxdude 21 Mar, 2020
Quoting: Kimyrielle
Quoting: rkfgMake it F2P,

100% of all so-called "free"-to-play games suck. As in all of them, no exceptions. Because all of them are designed to suck unless you dump more money into it than you ever would in an actual for-purchase game.

Why anybody still thinks FT2 is the solution is beyond me. In today's gaming business, it's the root of the problem.

Ummm..... Battle for Wesnoth?
TheSHEEEP 21 Mar, 2020
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Quoting: inlinuxdude
Quoting: Kimyrielle
Quoting: rkfgMake it F2P,

100% of all so-called "free"-to-play games suck. As in all of them, no exceptions. Because all of them are designed to suck unless you dump more money into it than you ever would in an actual for-purchase game.

Why anybody still thinks FT2 is the solution is beyond me. In today's gaming business, it's the root of the problem.

Ummm..... Battle for Wesnoth?
I'm pretty sure F2P implies that there is something that can be bought in some kind of MTX form.

Battle for Wesnoth is simply... free.
scaine 21 Mar, 2020
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I suppose Kimyrielle is right that F2P is generally bad, but as noted there are exceptions.

In this case though, I kind of feel that there are too many exceptions to agree fully. I've enjoyed playing Path of Exile, CS:GO, Warframe and Albion Online are all in the "F2P with monetisation" category.

But there's quite a few "Free to Play but pay if you want" category (which is admittedly different) such as Tales of Maj'Eyal, Mindustry.

Anyway, all to say that I don't agree that "Free" means "Bad"!
AciD 22 Mar, 2020
Quoting: Kimyrielle100% of all so-called "free"-to-play games suck. As in all of them, no exceptions. Because all of them are designed to suck unless you dump more money into it than you ever would in an actual for-purchase game.
Well, obviously with 14k+ games on Steam only, you ought to be wrong in absolutes, indeed.

For instance, Awesomenauts is now free-to-play (after costing a few bucks for some years) ; you can just earn every-single characters and spaceships by just playing, and not the Blizzard-way-of-playing with frustration so high you crack and buy packs and stuff.
No, just by having fun with the already very large roaster of heroes.

After almost 1000 hours on it, I never had any pressure (nor need) to shell out more bucks to the game than the original price I paid.
The only sad part now is that there are only ~220 players online at any moment, so for a MOBA that's very, very low :(


EDIT: typos


Last edited by AciD on 23 March 2020 at 1:49 am UTC
MisterPaytwick 22 Mar, 2020
Quoting: KimyrielleNot sure which part of "100% no exceptions" wasn't so clear. If a game was -designed- to be "free" (haha!) to play, it sucks. FTP is probably the most successful fraud ever conceived. Except that it's (yet) legal.

Yes, that's why a free mod turned game with the exact same thing for the initial investment is designed to sucks... I see... I see you didn't checked out what was paid in dota, but there is that if you are so sure to be right. Dota isn't for everybody that's true, but the monetization it has (excluding the lootbox themselves (ie plug in from Belgium), is the one true example of non-gameplay influencing F2P.

Quoting: TheSHEEEPPath Of Exile - completely free to play from start to finish, with nothing to buy affecting gameplay, skills classes, etc.

Le Ma Fucking Oh. Nothing affecting the gameplay? Did you stopped at Merciless final or second Kitava? Shall we talk about about the billion maps there is and the puny 3 tabs you have, despite having to juggle around currency, maps, all the crafting materials? Excluding the fact you are hard locked out of selling shit (trade channel is still filled with bots and the worst prices you'll ever see, so nobody should even turn that on)? It make you need a mandatory premium tab otherwise making the currency, even last league, to roll in the gear for late game. Can it be cheap-ish enough? Yes, is it free? No fucking no, stop saying that bullshit. Let's simply not talk about MTX changing effects that make you absolutely unable to fucking know which damage type or even the proper areas of spells. Does it make the game unplayable? Well, beyond a point, straight yes. So could the community just drop that bullshit F2P PoE? Sure, you'll know if you are interested in the game before you spend money on it, which is fine, GGG need to make money, which is fine (tho the whole balance fiesta, optimizations, liveservice bullshitery (let's have a hardcore mode in a live service game is simply denying the fact the model is a pretty bad thing to begin with) and still not even cross-platforms), but that fairy tail of F2P? stop it.

And unlike both of the above with cosmetics-as-a-products, there is easier way to go from there has Artifact have an upfront cost. Turning it F2P (within a very hardline non-gameplay altering design), going to sell skins (Desert board, Immortal Gardens board, cards with alternative arts, cards with heroes using another skin ie Bladeform Legacy, or Pilgrimage, or Jagged Honor one etc), is just one of the things they could do. And it still wouldn't do shit if the gameplay is not butchered along the way.

All in all, it's more a matter of actually having something that doesn't try to suck all the money out of players. Even excluding the most faithful believers of blizzard, their paid extensions being mandatory still work, it's simply not too much money to pour into the game to start with.


Last edited by MisterPaytwick on 22 March 2020 at 7:04 pm UTC
TheSHEEEP 22 Mar, 2020
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Quoting: MisterPaytwick
Quoting: TheSHEEEPPath Of Exile - completely free to play from start to finish, with nothing to buy affecting gameplay, skills classes, etc.

Le Ma Fucking Oh. Nothing affecting the gameplay? Did you stopped at Merciless final or second Kitava? Shall we talk about about the billion maps there is and the puny 3 tabs you have, despite having to juggle around currency, maps, all the crafting materials? Excluding the fact you are hard locked out of selling shit (trade channel is still filled with bots and the worst prices you'll ever see, so nobody should even turn that on)? It make you need a mandatory premium tab otherwise making the currency, even last league, to roll in the gear for late game. Can it be cheap-ish enough? Yes, is it free? No fucking no, stop saying that bullshit. Let's simply not talk about MTX changing effects that make you absolutely unable to fucking know which damage type or even the proper areas of spells. Does it make the game unplayable? Well, beyond a point, straight yes. So could the community just drop that bullshit F2P PoE? Sure, you'll know if you are interested in the game before you spend money on it, which is fine, GGG need to make money, which is fine (tho the whole balance fiesta, optimizations, liveservice bullshitery (let's have a hardcore mode in a live service game is simply denying the fact the model is a pretty bad thing to begin with) and still not even cross-platforms), but that fairy tail of F2P? stop it.
Don't care about cosmetics, don't care about trading. You don't need any of that to play through the game, story start to finish, and then go on to do mapping. I did that, many times.
Currencies and the entire meta is optional - nobody really needs it, it's just a shortcut to get gear faster. You're perfectly fine using just the stuff that you find lying on the ground - once you get a loot filter, but those, too, are free.

The people who will even be bothered by anything you mentioned are those with thousands of hours in the game. Locked in an eternal grind to squeeze out a few %s of damage here and there, figuring out minutiae of meta-facts for reasons that will eternally elude me.

For everyone not interested in spending the rest of their life playing a single hack & slay and maybe just want to play through the game start to finish - exactly as I wrote - the game is 100% F2P.

If you want to spend thousands of hours in a game, it is only fair to give some money to make your life a little more comfortable.
scaine 23 Mar, 2020
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Just dropping by to agree with TheSHEEEP on Path of Exile - great game, got a nice 30 hours of it and didn't even finish the free content. My dude was epic by then and the whole game had, finally, become a bit of a grind, but still in quite a fun way. I didn't spend a penny in game and didn't even notice any particularly "locked" areas of the game as a result of my freeloading. I'd highly recommend it.

Warframe is more in your face about buying content. You get a choice of three warframes at the start, and although you can technically build others in game, it's pretty opaque and far easier to spend the £5 to unlock the one you want. I didn't have to, actually, because my Amazon Prime sub gave me a freebie that I enjoyed playing, but again - that's about 30-40 hours of really fun gameplay for free.

It can be done, but I suspect that there are certain personality types that simply can't enjoy a game without accessing the exclusive content.
14 28 Mar, 2020
Quoting: Kimyrielle
Quoting: 14Usually when people speak in ultimatums, they're exaggerating due to a lazy mind or anger-fueled irrationality.

Needless to say, I disagree with you. But that's fine.

For the most part I would agree with you that absolutes rarely exist, and there's usually an exception or two to every statement one can make. I felt fairly comfortable generalizing in this particular instance though, and still do. The reason for this lies in the very effect the "Free"-to-Play model causes on game design, which makes these games bad by definition.

I will try to explain:

For a Buy-to-Play game, the game design focuses on delivering the best possible experience for the player. There are no secondary concerns for game design - the monetization has already happened.
For a "Free"-to-Play game, monetization has to happen DURING play, and AFTER giving the player access to it. The design no longer focuses on the best possible experience for the player, it focuses on motivating the player to pay up. Which for the F2P side of the industry is habitually done by intentionally making the game boring or tedious after a few hours of playing it, while giving players the opportunity to buy away these nag-mechanics with micro-transactions ("Don't want to wait 100 hours for this cooldown to expire? Just pay $10!").
In short, you can safely say that F2P games are universally designed to suck unless you pay up. It's how these games make you pay when you otherwise would have no reason to.

Now, you might say "But what about vanity and cosmetic items that have no effect on gameplay? Selling these don't make a game suck!"

Unfortunately, it does.

In a B2P game, cosmetic items are earned in-game, by PLAYING it. For many games, getting better-looking gear is the very essence of our motivation to play them in this first place. But with F2P games, you just BUY them. You can't earn the good-looking stuff in game, because it's moved to the cash-store. All you do is swipe your credit card and done! Your character looks great now. The only problem is that moving in-game rewards to a cash-store is that it kills in-game content, because your already great-looking character doesn't have to do any dungeon crawling to become great-looking. Cash-stores, even if cosmetic only, leave game designers with a lot less options to design rewarding and engaging content.

Maybe this helps you to understand why I made my absolute statement the way I did. There is simply no way to make a F2P game NOT suck, because the problem is in the business model itself.
I see your point. I'll even say that I generally agree. But there are exceptions, for me at least. For a CCG, I'm okay with mimicking the physical card game model and charging for booster packs. All board games and card games get repetitive until you add more content. That content costs professional time to create. I also think Dota 2 is completely fun without buying anything. Other than those, nothing else is coming to mind right now, thus why I generally agree.
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