15 thoughts on “Artifact devs discuss the launch, fate, and future of Artifact”

  1. You can tell how full of himself Garfield is. He still feels artifact is a great game but it failed because of some people not liking the revenue model? Complete blowhard. Especially at the end when you talk about current magic he says his favorite is something he created.

  2. >Pay-to-win is a sloppy term leveled at any game where you can buy components. You will see it leveled at any game in which a player, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to engage. And there are a lot of reasons not to want to engage with a new massively modular game like Artifact, not the least of which is that the player is already probably invested in one or more other games.

    “Hell yeah it’s pay to win, but we want you to *pay.* Don’t *’not* pay’ and then whine about losing, loser.”

    If they genuinely believe that the game is not Pay to Win, here’s a way to prove it: *You own the game and its financial platform, make that visible to the players.*

    By that I mean, you know for a fact how much each player has spent building his deck, you have a record of his every transaction, including card trades. So show it. Have next to each player’s name what their lifetime spending amount is. If you get beat by someone who’d spent $1000 building his deck, you would at least know it. If you got beat by someone who’d spent less than $50, you would know it. Ideally you could even sort matches based on spending amounts, so it would be whales vs. whales, guppies vs. guppies.

    Magic can’t do this because their economics are so distributed, there are all sorts of stores involved so it’s impossible to track spending, but with Artifact, all spending goes through them, so they should know.

    >There were oodles of reviews that were, “This game is great, but because of X I am thumbs downing it.” My understanding is that there were also many cases of people buying the game so they could rate it, then refunding immediately.

    These are engaged consumers providing feedback. They are not a “problem” that you have to “solve,” unless you intend to actually *respond* to that feedback.

  3. Make it F2P.

    Having to pay $20 for a pay-to-win card game is ridiculous. Not only do they want the whales’ money, but they also want to have the whales’ food (normal players) to pay.

  4. I think there is more than the revenue model. 3 boards still feel too slow compared to other card games. I don’t really like the heroes ideas, sometimes comebacks are impossible. Some heroes are way stronger than other at least they did a patch with some tweaking. While people hate mobile games (at least here) the card games are the perfect one for mobile and the game in current state will not be really mobile friendly.

  5. > Instead, Artifact has thus far shaken out to be a shocking commercial flop.

    Artifact isn’t well-liked by players, but calling it a “commercial flop” is probably horseshit. The game sold somewhere between 1 to 2 million copies according to SteamSpy. Add that to the amount of money earned from microtransactions, and it’s safe to say Valve made at least a modest profit on the game.

  6. Game designer blames failure on anything but game design.

    Even if the revenue model is fucked (which it is, you pay money to play the game and money again to buy the cards you need to play the game…what?), if the game play was really fun it would still find success.

  7. I dont get what this is about. Payment model? It was cheaper to get cards and build decks than Hearthstone or MTG:A are. In Hearthstone it was shown that on average you need AT LEAST to spend the equivalent of $20-$30 to make even ONE LEGENDARY! in Arfitfact, Axe was less the $20. You could buy a full playset of commons and uncommons for less than $5. Rares depended on what it was though. In Hearthstone it was said you would probably need to spend $400 to build a full collection of a given set. The same is likely true for MTG:A as well. So please, tell me how Artifact is more expensive and harder to get into than either. And dont give me that “Free Pack” crap. You are capped in HS at 100 coins (or 30 wins) a day, which is 1 pack. Or you can get 1 pack and some change every 2 days. MTG:A is 3 free packs a week I believe and then whatever you make from dailies. So again, if someone wants to talk about “pay to win” in Artifact, I hope you get promptly busted up side the head for you stupidity.

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    The actual real problems with the game stem from “mechanical issues” deep within the game and how it works. I’ll tell you what they are right now.

    1. “Fake” Drafts: I dont want hear about how “You cant have a real draft because they take too long to get people together. Automated is best!” No, they arent, as Artifact’s “drafts” clearly show. Now people wanted free drafts so they could play with cards they didnt own and see how good they are against like minded people. Fine. Heres the problem with that idea. There is very little incentive to play out a bad draft or continue with bad card. So you drop out and start a new one. Another problem that shows up, and this is why drafts are usually done between a set group of players, is for balance purposes and being able to play with set packs and have the knowledge that certain cards might show up again or to force players to play a certain way. In “Arena style”, or “Automated style” you basically lose this ability and the cards may as well be completely random since only what you choose matters and you will never know what you get back. Thats why I call these drafts “fake”, theres no rhyme or reason to the picks. you just get some cards and make a deck. Its garbage.

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    2. “Fake” Tournaments: Any card slinger who has ever played a game worth a damn knows that ultimately its tournaments that matter, not throwing yourself against a stupid random ladder! This is something MTGO and PTCGO understand very well. Unfortunately Artifact doesnt actually have a real tournament mode. Its actually more like a made up room and you play against random people for a few hours until its done. No actual rounds or anything, just a made up lobby. It was absolutely PATHETIC! Why not brackets? Or even a round robin with set rounds and a cut? Was it again a time issue? I dont remember anyone griping when MTGO or PTCGO did it. And there have been many other TCGs that have done just fine with it. I just dont get having a mode in the game that literally doesnt emulate the very thing it was supposed to. Which leads us to no.3

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    3. “Fake” eSports: This nonsense really pisses me off because even if the Tournament mode failed, you could AT LEAST do real community run tournaments if you like or get people together and do a proper tournament on Challonge. Unfortunately all we got was a few community run stuffs and that awful invitational one on Twitch that just felt fake as shit. Like it literally just came off as some dudes getting their buddies together and throw a couple of bucks at each other and calling it a tournament. It didnt speak to the spirit of the game or what the competitive scene was supposed to look like and you could tell how bad it got because no one else wanted to watch it.

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    4. RNG filled mechanics : And this is the big one, the one that basically tore the audience apart and made them either go back to their Hearthstones or MTGAs or GWENTs or Eternals/etc. From the very first formation to the way creeps are played or attack is out of your hands. Unless you play specifically made cards to mitigate the RNG, you are at the mercy of fate. While i can agree that not all RNG is bad and is inevitable since its a card game, not being able to form a reliable strategy as the board is being formed just destroys any want to play this game. I cant create my own formations or orders with creeps and heroes to play to the best of my ability or board. I’m not allowed to decide “Maybe I dont want my mage to fight against that assassin I obviously wouldnt have put in front of them.” It just makes me feel like I cant be a part of the most important decisions in the game. And the only reliable strategy is just the blue version of “wrath of god everything every other turn”. Why not? its the only reliable way to know I come out on top. The game is FULL of this BS and for something that is supposed to feel so smart, it comes off as way to stupid. Just another reason to play its competitors or Auto Chess. At least I get to choose how i position and play my pieces.

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    To me, THESE are the problems I had with the game. These deep issues that really go against what Artifact was supposed to be and what it could have been. Its not some awful super pay to win game, at least not as much as Hearthstone or MTGA are no matter what those players say. But it wasnt good or perfect either. The parts it needed to excel at, Tournament and Esport structure, Drafts, strategic gameplay, it absolutely came up short (or flat out failed at them). I hope maybe it comes around. I dont know if it will, but Valve always plays the long game with most of its multiplayer properties. Artifact will probably be given one more chance with its redesign before it simply throws in the towel and moves toward its Auto Chess variant in Dota Underlords. Hopefully they will fix it’s problems before such a move needs to happen.

  8. Wow, feels like Keyforge getting it’s own official digital version probably deserves it’s own story instead of being buried in this. That’s kinda big news considering FFG had repeatedly denied it was getting one.

  9. >Instead, Artifact has thus far shaken out to be a shocking commercial flop.

    It’s failure was only shocking to Valve. Their announcement of a new game that turned out to be a card game based on Dota 2 was one of the most [tone-deaf](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0qZTS38cjw) announcements of all-time.

    What is happening with these formally great video game developers? How are they fucking up this much? It’s not that hard to make great games that people want to play. Instead these devs (publishers really) are just chasing fads to establish meager revenue streams.

  10. MTG Arena is actually a lot of fun. I can definitely see why Artifact failed in a sea of F2P card games. Artifacts business model is absolute BS.

  11. The future is the other Dota2-based card game, Auto Chess.

    Which, interestingly enough, is more similar to a Card Game than Artifact, which might actually be closer to a Board Game. Not that there’s anything wrong with either Board Games or Card Games.

  12. devs should grow the fuck up again

    the last years devs and publishers dont want to take blame anymore. they just call out review bombing and other stupid stuff instead of realizing that their games just suck

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