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Valve's card game Artifact is running very well on Linux, releasing next week

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Artifact, Valve's newest game, is due out on November 28th and it will be coming with same-day Linux support. Valve provided me with an early copy and it's pleasing to see it running well. 

We won't have any formal review until after release, however, I do have some rather basic initial thoughts found from a few hours with the beta today. Mainly, I just wanted to assure people it's running nicely on Linux. I also don't want to break any rules by saying too much before release…

Some shots of the beta on Ubuntu 18.10 to start with. First up is a look at the three lanes during the hero placement section, which gives you a choice where to put them. It's interesting, because you can only play coloured cards if you have a hero of that colour in the same lane.

Heroes are your essential cards of course, for a number of reasons. They can really turn the tide when things get ugly. They can buff up other card, have their own special abilities, you can equip items on them to buff them further and so on. Honestly, I'm a little blown away at the level of detail here.

For those collectors amongst our readers, here's a little shot while opening a Booster Pack with the last one always being a rare card:

Lanes can extend across the screen, as shown here where I have an additional four cards not shown. You can amass a pretty big army of heroes and creeps. In this particular screenshot, I had already taken down the tower (there's one in each lane) which was replaced with an Ancient in this lane and so with my current combined attack power this was a fatal finishing blow to my opponent (destroying an Ancient is an instant win).

I haven't so far come across any Linux-specific issues, it certainly looks like Valve has given the Linux version plenty of attention. I would have been surprised if it wasn't running well, given Valve's focus on Linux lately. For those of you who might have had some worries—fear not!

It's worth mentioning they have been through a bit of controversy on it lately, with it having a bit of a backlash against the monetization model. This was amplified somewhat, because Valve didn't put enough focus into certain areas of the game. Valve responded here, to say they've added additional modes to practice and play with friends, along with allowing you to convert unwanted cards into event tickets. It sounds like they're going in the right direction with it and it is good to seem them act on feedback.

It's going to be interesting to see what more of you think of it once it has released. For me personally, I think I'm going to quite enjoy it. What I honestly thought would confuse the hell out of me, so far, hasn't in any way. There's quite a bit to learn of course and certain elements to it are quite complex, but it's nothing like what I expected.

You can follow along and wishlist it on Steam. As always, do ensure your platform preference is set on Steam in your account preferences at the bottom. More thorough thoughts will be up at release on the 28th.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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35 comments
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Ehvis 20 November 2018 at 10:07 am UTC
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ajgpCan you buy booster packs with any sort of ingame currency earned from playing?

No, but you can win them by playing games with "event tickets". And you can also win back your event ticket with those. So if you're really good you can have an endless supply, if you're really bad you get nothing. Or somewhere in between of course.
abelthorne 20 November 2018 at 10:14 am UTC
DamonLinuxPLAnyone one know if is possible to launch this game with OpenGL? Steam req show only Vulkan... but I still hope to see it on my old notebook. Anyone know is opengl is available?
From what I've seen elsewhere (Reddit, I think?), it's Vulkan only, no OpenGL option. EDIT: whoops, the message I had seen was based on the system requirements, not someone who actually played the game.

1xokCan you play it with children or is it too complicated for that? The little dragons should please children very well.
I'd suggest that you look at HearthStone instead (Windows only but works fine with Wine). From the reports I've seen from pro gamers, Artifact has a really complex gameplay and is more aimed at hardcore card gamers.

Another option would be Faeria, which has a native Linux version and isn't too complex (a bit more than HearthStone but far less than Magic and, obviously, Artifact) but the game isn't f2p anymore and I'm not fond of their new economic model which can cost a lot of money if you want to keep up with the new cards released; though it's not mandatory, there are already a lot of possibilities with the base game.


Last edited by abelthorne at 20 November 2018 at 11:10 am UTC
TheSHEEEP 20 November 2018 at 10:14 am UTC
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Ehvis
ajgpCan you buy booster packs with any sort of ingame currency earned from playing?

No, but you can win them by playing games with "event tickets". And you can also win back your event ticket with those. So if you're really good you can have an endless supply, if you're really bad you get nothing. Or somewhere in between of course.
Sounds a lot like MtG Arena, except that Arena at least allows you to purchase booster packs with earnable in-game currency.
jardon 20 November 2018 at 11:01 am UTC
TheSHEEEP
Ehvis
ajgpCan you buy booster packs with any sort of ingame currency earned from playing?

No, but you can win them by playing games with "event tickets". And you can also win back your event ticket with those. So if you're really good you can have an endless supply, if you're really bad you get nothing. Or somewhere in between of course.
Sounds a lot like MtG Arena, except that Arena at least allows you to purchase booster packs with earnable in-game currency.

Ya but MTG arena has its own problems. Ever heard of the fifth card problem? In arena if you have most of the cards and you spend money buying packs you're pretty much just throwing money away.

People act like there are cheap card games it there. Sure there are some that you can substitute your time for cards, but I'd rather have the option to pay. TBH I could have the most expensive deck out there and still lose. As long as the barrier to competitive play is relatively low then I see no legitimate reason to complain.
ajgp 20 November 2018 at 11:22 am UTC
jardon
TheSHEEEP
Ehvis
ajgpCan you buy booster packs with any sort of ingame currency earned from playing?

No, but you can win them by playing games with "event tickets". And you can also win back your event ticket with those. So if you're really good you can have an endless supply, if you're really bad you get nothing. Or somewhere in between of course.
Sounds a lot like MtG Arena, except that Arena at least allows you to purchase booster packs with earnable in-game currency.

Ya but MTG arena has its own problems. Ever heard of the fifth card problem? In arena if you have most of the cards and you spend money buying packs you're pretty much just throwing money away.

People act like there are cheap card games it there. Sure there are some that you can substitute your time for cards, but I'd rather have the option to pay. TBH I could have the most expensive deck out there and still lose. As long as the barrier to competitive play is relatively low then I see no legitimate reason to complain.


Im not suggesting that there isnt space for buying cards as well, certainly in my example of Gwent you can buy card packs for cash, its just I personally prefer to pay via an ingame earned currency. Now it sounds like if I play well I can get booster packs as rewards, that sounds sufficient for me that I may pick this up.
TheSHEEEP 20 November 2018 at 1:26 pm UTC
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jardon
TheSHEEEP
Ehvis
ajgpCan you buy booster packs with any sort of ingame currency earned from playing?

No, but you can win them by playing games with "event tickets". And you can also win back your event ticket with those. So if you're really good you can have an endless supply, if you're really bad you get nothing. Or somewhere in between of course.
Sounds a lot like MtG Arena, except that Arena at least allows you to purchase booster packs with earnable in-game currency.

Ya but MTG arena has its own problems. Ever heard of the fifth card problem? In arena if you have most of the cards and you spend money buying packs you're pretty much just throwing money away.
That's what the wildcards are for.
Getting a card that you already have four of will instead grant you a wildcard of the same rarity, which can be exchanged for ANY card of that rarity.

And in addition to that, you also get some "wildcard progress" for opening booster packs, giving you some wildcards on its own.

It is a pretty good system.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 20 November 2018 at 1:26 pm UTC
Cybolic 20 November 2018 at 1:38 pm UTC
1xokCan you play it with children or is it too complicated for that? The little dragons should please children very well.
And adults! I'll admit that I'm mostly drawn to it because of those little critters, enough that I'll actually be purchasing it. I've never really been interested in card games but if I can have a furry little winged wolf-bear cheering me on whilst playing, that's good enough for me
jardon 20 November 2018 at 2:51 pm UTC
TheSHEEEP
jardon
TheSHEEEP
Ehvis
ajgpCan you buy booster packs with any sort of ingame currency earned from playing?

No, but you can win them by playing games with "event tickets". And you can also win back your event ticket with those. So if you're really good you can have an endless supply, if you're really bad you get nothing. Or somewhere in between of course.
Sounds a lot like MtG Arena, except that Arena at least allows you to purchase booster packs with earnable in-game currency.

Ya but MTG arena has its own problems. Ever heard of the fifth card problem? In arena if you have most of the cards and you spend money buying packs you're pretty much just throwing money away.
That's what the wildcards are for.
Getting a card that you already have four of will instead grant you a wildcard of the same rarity, which can be exchanged for ANY card of that rarity.

And in addition to that, you also get some "wildcard progress" for opening booster packs, giving you some wildcards on its own.

It is a pretty good system.

It's really not though. You should watch Seth's video on it from MTGgoldfish. Supposedly they're supposed to fix it but it probably won't get fixed until the new set that comes out in a couple months.

Edit: Link to video mentioned above https://youtu.be/KGPkw2aEUQI


Last edited by jardon at 20 November 2018 at 2:56 pm UTC
rkfg 20 November 2018 at 3:46 pm UTC
jardonI think this game looks sweet. I've always liked the look and feel of Dota but I hate mobas so I've never been able to enjoy it. As someone who's played magic quite a bit, I'm really looking forward to playing.
You're quoting my exact thoughts. Dota looks rad and it's fun to watch The International but it requires a lot of different skills and memory to remember all those abilities, items, spells, synergy, tactics etc. Card games usually have a lot of strategical freedom but much less tactical freedom. I.e. you can try many deck builds before playing but as you start it's pleasantly limited in what you can do at each turn. I can wrap my mind around that and enjoy the game.

As an example, instead of hundreds of items in the store I can only choose from 3 each round. Instead of 4 hero abilities I only have one (if I understood it correctly) + I can add the equipment I buy. And it's not 6 + 3 slots but just 3 and the old items are discarded when replaced. You still have a lot of options but you won't be as confused and you won't need to think and act as fast as in mobas. I think it's great. I consider Artifact a Dota for the older generation, slower pace, more strategy, still fun and rewarding.

And also, the paywall is really nice. I can afford it (in fact, I just preordered it) but this will put away those people from the Dota community. Yeah, that kind of people that Dota is famous for. I guess not many would pay $20 without any regional discounts to troll, whine and insult others. So far so good.


Last edited by rkfg at 20 November 2018 at 3:51 pm UTC
Micromegas 20 November 2018 at 9:54 pm UTC
abelthorne
DamonLinuxPLAnyone one know if is possible to launch this game with OpenGL? Steam req show only Vulkan... but I still hope to see it on my old notebook. Anyone know is opengl is available?
From what I've seen elsewhere (Reddit, I think?), it's Vulkan only, no OpenGL option. EDIT: whoops, the message I had seen was based on the system requirements, not someone who actually played the game.

1xokCan you play it with children or is it too complicated for that? The little dragons should please children very well.
I'd suggest that you look at HearthStone instead (Windows only but works fine with Wine). From the reports I've seen from pro gamers, Artifact has a really complex gameplay and is more aimed at hardcore card gamers.

Another option would be Faeria, which has a native Linux version and isn't too complex (a bit more than HearthStone but far less than Magic and, obviously, Artifact) but the game isn't f2p anymore and I'm not fond of their new economic model which can cost a lot of money if you want to keep up with the new cards released; though it's not mandatory, there are already a lot of possibilities with the base game.

The base game of Faeria plus both available expansions (which give you all the cards) cost less than one preorder package for one Hearthstone expansion which only gives you a fraction of the new cards. Faeria announced that they will slow down with the release of new expansions but 2 new expansions per year for 13,99€ each would be fine with me.

Yes you can play Hearthstone without spending money but it's unfair to compare that very limited play and fun to an experience where you have access to a huge pool of cards with spending some money like in Faeria. But of course for kids to just press some buttons which do funny things on the screen Hearthstone is more affordable.


Last edited by Micromegas at 20 November 2018 at 9:56 pm UTC
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