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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.

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Tags: Card Game, Steam, Valve | Apps: Artifact
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scaine 23 March 2020 at 12:14 pm UTC
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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 March 2020 at 2:30 pm UTC
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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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