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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.

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35 comments
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Lionheart 21 November 2018 at 4:27 am UTC
I'm super confused whether to buy the game or not, I hate any sort of Pay to Win scheme, and I just want to feel that my skills got me the win not my money, so I don't mind to pay $40 for the game, but everything else should be included, and only gold made in the game is used to buy extra stuffs, something like Insurgency:Sandstorm, where the gained coins that are made playing and increasing your rank will be used to buy your extra addons with.

What I need to know right now, whether the game will still be full of fun, and enjoyable if you just play the base game, and my hands are itching so much to buy, and I'm afraid I'll be hugely disappointed, and I need some insight from those who played it.

Unfortunately, I asked over Twitter and got no response, and I realized GamingOnLinux might have an NDA that stopped him from answering me there, and I'm double checking here.
rkfg 21 November 2018 at 5:54 am UTC
LionheartWhat I need to know right now, whether the game will still be full of fun, and enjoyable if you just play the base game, and my hands are itching so much to buy, and I'm afraid I'll be hugely disappointed, and I need some insight from those who played it.
I guess you'll be fine. According to this, you'll get 'two pre-made "base" decks of 54 cards each ("5 heroes, 9 items, and 40 other cards") and 10 sealed packs of cards, which each include 12 random cards, one of which is guaranteed to be "rare."'. I think it's quite a lot of cards considering the game only has about 300 so far so you'll have about 54*2+12*10 == 228 tops (actually slightly less because of inevitable duplicates).
TheSHEEEP 21 November 2018 at 6:27 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.
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
That's... confusing, to say the least.

My experience is that whenever I open a booster pack, any card that I already had four of becomes a wildcard. I specifically remember opening two booster packs that each had a rare wild card (since I already had four of the original card, I assume), and that indeed increased the number of rare wild cards I had by one each time.
While the video claims they don't, but just go to a "pool" that eventually becomes a bunch of wildcards all at once.

Maybe the claims of the video are simply based on an old system?
Because what he claims in the video is simply not my experience.
Or I assume wrong that the wildcards I got were because I already had four of a card - but then that would mean wildcards could appear at random in booster packs instead of normal cards, and that really wouldn't make much sense.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 21 November 2018 at 6:33 am UTC. Edited 2 times.
monkygames 21 November 2018 at 7:32 am UTC
LionheartI'm super confused whether to buy the game or not, I hate any sort of Pay to Win scheme, and I just want to feel that my skills got me the win not my money, so I don't mind to pay $40 for the game, but everything else should be included, and only gold made in the game is used to buy extra stuffs, something like Insurgency:Sandstorm, where the gained coins that are made playing and increasing your rank will be used to buy your extra addons with.

What I need to know right now, whether the game will still be full of fun, and enjoyable if you just play the base game, and my hands are itching so much to buy, and I'm afraid I'll be hugely disappointed, and I need some insight from those who played it.

Unfortunately, I asked over Twitter and got no response, and I realized GamingOnLinux might have an NDA that stopped him from answering me there, and I'm double checking here.

Its pay 2 win with loot boxes. Its the worst gaming has to offer so based on your comment, you won't like it.
Lionheart 12 January 2019 at 1:25 am UTC
I had the game back then, but I can barely play it anymore, crazy hectic schedule right now. It's super fun for card games' fans.
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