Artifact - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

There’s a lot going on in Artifact. I’d already read enough to know that, but apparently I needed to see a game play out before the extent of the complexity sank in. Now I can’t wait to start laying cards down on three separate lanes, working towards two different victory conditions, parsing each card’s stats and tooling up heroes with equippable items.

Artifact is Valve’s upcoming card game adaptation of Dota 2, made with Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield. The public got play it for the first time over the weekend at PAX West, where the victor of a mini-tournament earned the chance to play a veteran in a casted match on a fancy stage. Here’s the first match from that, where the commentators do their very best to explain what on earth is going on.

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Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Valve have announced plans to launch Artifact, their digital card-battling adaptation of wizard management simulator Dota 2, on November 28th. That’s the plan. That’s what they say now. Valve’s first big game since Dota 2 in 2013, Artifact turns the MOBA into a card game where players build decks to make wizards fight across three ‘lanes’ of the table and murder the other wizards’ base. Unlike Dota 2, Artifact won’t be free-to-play, costing $20 to buy in with starter decks – and more for more cards.

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Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Austin Wood)

artifact

I’ve had Artifact on the brain these past few weeks, so I’ve mulled over the phrase “Dota-inspired card game” more times than I count. But what does Dota-inspired really mean? Artifact has lanes and creeps and heroes and also some nifty rectangles if you haven’t heard, but that just makes it a MOBA-inspired card game. What makes it a Dota game? I spoke to Artifact programmers Bruno Carlucci and Jeep Barnett to find out. (more…)

Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Austin Wood)

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Collectible card games have been around for decades, but they’ve really been running hot ever since Blizzard unleashed Hearthstone four years ago. Since then, we’ve seen Shadowverse, Gwent, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, Duelyst, Faeria – there are a lot of these things, if you haven’t heard. They all put their own spin on rectangles with numbers on ’em, but they also universally take cues from Hearthstone and, just as often, each other, and as a result they regularly run into similar problems, the biggest two being how to balance a competitive system and how to price card packs fairly.

Artifact, Valve’s upcoming Dota-inspired card game, is definitely using some pages from the same books, but it’s also doing enough things differently that it has the potential to solve a lot of those problems. (more…)

Duelyst - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

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Welcome to Spawn Point, where we take something wonderful from the world of gaming and explain what it is, why it s worth your time and how to get involved. This time: collectible card games (or at least, the videogame kind).>

Hello, I would like to collect some cards please. Of course, friend. We have a wide variety of fantasy themed cards, ranging from hostile dragon to raving ghoul to

Hang on, what are these numbers? Oh, ignore those, they re nothing to worry about. Look at this wizard! (more…)

Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Austin Wood)

artifact-preview-1

You’ll often see characters in sci-fi stories play seemingly incomprehensible games like multi-dimensional space chess, and that’s basically what it’s like playing Artifact, Valve’s upcoming Dota-inspired card game. It’s an ambitious hybrid of the studio’s MOBA and Magic: The Gathering, and it works shockingly well. So much so that it only took two games for me to understand and get on board with Valve’s vision. (more…)

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