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In a pretty refreshing update from the Artifact team at Valve, they stated they're looking into the major issues with it.

In my original article posted at release for Artifact, I did mention how I enjoyed the actual gameplay. However, I also mentioned how it could end up costing you a lot of money even though it's not free to play and there was no progression system (at the time). I still think launching without any kind of progression was a huge mistake and the tickets you had to pay for were not good value for money either.

The game lost players at an alarming rate, something I also covered (#1, #2) and now it's struggling to even keep 400 players on it. Valve certainly aren't stupid though, they do have some incredibly smart developers and it seems they're going to attempt to bring it back to life but this could take a while.

In the blog post they mentioned how big the difference was between their expectations for their own game and how it was received, so it seems like they really didn't see any of this coming. However, in a very refreshing statement they clearly said they don't think it's an issue with the players misunderstanding it or playing it wrong. It's a very surprising and open admission that the game itself, is indeed the issue.

They're going to attempt to address the "deep-rooted issues with the game", which will be done instead of shipping any updates at the moment. Valve expect this to "take a significant amount of time".

See the full update here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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13 comments
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Rugaliz 30 March 2019 at 1:16 pm UTC
Releasing a digital card game years after Heartstone filled the market...gee i wonder what could go wrong
TheSHEEEP 30 March 2019 at 2:07 pm UTC
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RugalizReleasing a digital card game years after Heartstone filled the market...gee i wonder what could go wrong
Not much, if you do it right.
As MtG Arena has shown, the market is truly big.

However, as has been iterated many times by now, you really have to do it right, and Valve just didn't this time.
If all of this leads to a re-release next year, who knows, it might actually have a chance.
liamdawe 30 March 2019 at 2:14 pm UTC
TheSHEEEP
RugalizReleasing a digital card game years after Heartstone filled the market...gee i wonder what could go wrong
Not much, if you do it right.
As MtG Arena has shown, the market is truly big.

However, as has been iterated many times by now, you really have to do it right, and Valve just didn't this time.
If all of this leads to a re-release next year, who knows, it might actually have a chance.
I have to agree with this. We see the same genres like FPS/Battle Royale come out all the time, plenty of them become hugely popular. There's plenty of room for good games, just Valve need to get it right.
madpinger 30 March 2019 at 2:30 pm UTC
They clean it up and make it into something that's not like a cash grab of micro, I'll give it a shot. Ignoring it like the rest atm tho.


Last edited by madpinger at 30 March 2019 at 2:30 pm UTC
sub 30 March 2019 at 4:06 pm UTC
So, what are those deep-rooted issues?

While I think there might be obvious things to change,
the reason behind its failure *can* be something like a mixture of bad luck and
many (yeah, not all) people being disappointed about Valve releasing a card game (and nothing else).

So. What to change? Make it F2P and p*ss off people that paid quite a lot for the base game?
Even the low number of players seems like a good argument to change that light heartedly.
Sure, currently there aren't many *playing* Artifact but there a quite a lot that *paid* for the game and are still potential players in the future.

Then, isn't there currently the limitation that you basically can't get booster packs for free?
If they'll change this, people that invested a lot so far might not be very happy about it.
Same goes for the market. You don't simply change things there.

Wouldn't it be an idea if you can order real printed cards that you own for a small fee?
(Only once per card)

Looks like it will be a tough challenge to bring this back on track.


Last edited by sub at 30 March 2019 at 4:12 pm UTC
HadBabits 30 March 2019 at 4:14 pm UTC
If they go F2P, or at least bring it down to, like, $5, then I'd have a go. Until then I'm still not interested. Might seem obnoxious to comment such disinterest, but I did try out Hearthstone and ended up sinking $20+, ya know?
Kimyrielle 30 March 2019 at 5:16 pm UTC
As long as you're not a MMO that's constantly being worked on and improved by a sizable live-team, don't think for a second you can ask me for more money after I bought the game. The idea of milking people's wallets way after the initial purchase has become a complete pest in the gaming industry, and led to games designed from the ground up to be unfun and tedious (unless you pay up). Sorry, but I keep to games I can just buy -once- and have fun with.
TheRiddick 31 March 2019 at 1:45 am UTC
Well the major issue I hear is that its a digital card game... gonna be a tough one to fix
Mountain Man 31 March 2019 at 2:18 am UTC
We could see this failure coming from miles away, so it's curious that Valve couldn't. I think it's the sort of blindness that comes from being too close to your own creation.
1xok 31 March 2019 at 4:23 pm UTC
It makes me sad, because Artifact has become my absolute favourite game with more than 500h playing time.

I don't understand what Valve means by "deep-rooted issues with the game". Once you get deep into the game, it's probably the best online card game of all time. Only most don't get that far at all. Permanent payment barriers and an entry that works like a kick, make people give up the game after a few hours.

So the main thing is that there is no F2P mode, although that could be done already. You could just let people play without boosters and the card market. Especially in draft mode you can have a lot of fun and get to know each card bit by bit. That's really great. Paradoxically, you can't play a draft against a friend outside of tournaments. Why not? Many of the discrepancies Artifact currently has. And this state is supposed to be frozen now? Even if only small changes are needed to greatly improve the gaming experience? And what Artifact really lacks is an expansion of the cards. Does it make sense to freeze it now? I have my doubts.

Who buys Artifact now? Nobody. But there is still no F2P mode. Does that still make sense?

In any case, Valve should now provide an F2P version so that the game is not completely forgotten. And I say that as someone who has invested over 100 Euros in the game.

As I said, it's my favorite game right now and it would be a shame if it broke. A small loss for Valve maybe, but a big one for all gamers and lovers of TCGs.


Last edited by 1xok at 31 March 2019 at 4:27 pm UTC
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