First teased back in August 2017, several media outlets were recently invited to developer Valve’s offices in Seattle recently to have a first look at Artifact. A competitive card game based on Dota, Artifact will feature 3 different lanes on the playing board. PC Gamer said that players might feel like playing 3 separate Hearthstone games at the same time, and whatever happens on each lane will affect the other 2 lanes as well. More details below!
1. Richard Garfield, the veteran designer behind Magic: The Gathering, designer has been working with Valve on Artifact since 2014.
2. Artifact will not be Free-to-Play (most likely Buy-to-Play) on Steam, with players able to purchase card packs on the Steam marketplace.
3. Players will be able to trade and sell their individual cards on the Steam marketplace, although Valve stressed Artifact will not be Pay-to-Win.
4. Decks will consist of a minimum of 40 cards and have 5 heroes, with up to 3 copies of each card allowed.
5. The first edition will have 280 cards, consisting of 44 heroes.
6. Cards will belong to one of four different colors: Red, Green, Black, and Blue, each set of which will have a distinctive style and can only be played in lanes where a hero of the same color is present.
7. Games start with each player designating a hero for each lane accompanied by some ally creeps, two more of which spawn every turn after.
8. Lanes start with a tower that has 40 health. When they die they’re replaced by an Ancient with 80 health. Lose two towers or one Ancient and it’s game over.
9. Each lane also has its own mana pool, starting at three and increasing by one every turn, which you can spend to play cards which cast spells, summon more creeps, or do other cool stuff.
10. When you play a card, your opponent will get a chance to respond with one of their own. After this back-and-forth, combat takes place, with whatever heroes and creeps you have on your side attacking the enemies directly in front of them (unless there’s nothing, in which case they attack the tower or Ancient).
11. After combat in one lane, the action shifts to the next until all three lanes have been played and the round comes to an end.
12. At the end of combat you collect gold for anything you’ve killed, which can be spent on items to equip your heroes during a shopping phase that occurs between rounds. You also draw two cards from your deck during this period.
13. Like in Dota, heroes have a limited number of slots for equipment. A special cloak might add to their health stat, while a magic dagger increases attack or siege damage against buildings.
14. Finally, when heroes die they aren’t gone for good. Instead they respawn after the next round and can be redeployed to whatever lane you decide most needs them.
15. Artifact is currently in Closed Beta on Steam (via invitation only), with Open Beta scheduled for later this year. Esports and mobile version of Artifact is scheduled for 2019.