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#1 Posted by Splodge (2721 posts) -

I picked up Artifact as I am a fan of CCG's, and while I think the base game is fantastic, I am shocked that the people who make DOTA and have made a CCG based around DOTA have released a game with ZERO progression for the player.

I have used up my five free tickets, and now there is nothing for me to do. I can play the base game, sure, but if there is no sense of achievement for playing it I do not feel bothered. I am not adverse to buying a few tickets every now and again, but even if I do that I am just buying an outside chance of getting a few packs for my trouble.

There is: No ranking system, no ladders, no daily quests, no cosmetic progress, no visible rating system at all, not even a basic "level" stat. Nothing.

Not everything has to drip feed you achievements but this is a VIDEO GAME IN 2018. Even Hearthstone which has a free to play model has daily quests that you can do for a small amount of premium currency.

Until some kind of progression is introduced this game is going to gather dust in my library, and surely I cannot be the only person to feel this way.

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#2 Posted by CheapPoison (1111 posts) -

I think a lot of people feel that way, me included.

They are so stingy with the game I am not sure if there will be much of a worthwhile progressions. Just giving me a rank won't be enough to see me play regularly. I'll probably check out if they do new sets of cards.

What I think is really interesting is that the hate for free to play seems so high that some people seem to justify and applaud the way artifact is monetized.

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#3 Posted by Splodge (2721 posts) -

I think a lot of people feel that way, me included.

They are so stingy with the game I am not sure if there will be much of a worthwhile progressions. Just giving me a rank won't be enough to see me play regularly. I'll probably check out if they do new sets of cards.

What I think is really interesting is that the hate for free to play seems so high that some people seem to justify and applaud the way artifact is monetized.

It would not be an issue for me if there was at least some minor way to get some in-game currency, like the hearthstone quest system, but I guess being able to buy and sell the cards for steam credit has made that a non starter. I don't mind buying a few micro-transactions every now and then, but as far as I can tell they have made a completely pay to win game, in almost a pure form. Having at least some way to get card packs without spending money is all ti would take to get me back on board.

In hearthstone you get a monthly reward based on how high you ranked. Surely something like that would not be too big an ask.

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#4 Edited by CheapPoison (1111 posts) -

@splodge: With the basic structure they have set I am not expecting much. Cause I think they believe every pack they give away eats into the 'worth' of the cards. And the people who are still positive are convinced that that is a good thing. I am not sure cause they think it makes decks cheaper or that they assume they are good enough so they will be able to earn steam credit by selling cards they get with won packs.

So I bet they won't ever give out packs, not even ladder rewards, they'll find something cosmetic or achievement related. I have even saw the audacious idea that they should do a dota plus so you could pay for the privilege of progression. I doubt Valve would do that. the discourse about this game is already very negative that it is pretty greedy, so going that route might extract more from the players that are there it will kill the potential to get new players

I wonder what will happen when the tickets from launch start drying up. The odds of earning something in play aren't great, so eventually the people who don't want to put in money will disappear from that mode, as well as the people who aren't good enough to get burned enough to never earn something. And if the lower tier of players leaves the mod, a higher tier of players will be the worst in that pool, so they will end up leaving cause the mod only costs them money while only the top players are able to make a profit in the mod. Eventually you drive out all but the best players, whose odds of getting something, will eventually be affected.

I am really stunned they went from Dota, arguably the most generous free to play game, with the whole game being free besides cosmetics and other trinkets, to Artifact a cardgame with a buy in alongside a economy that would be harsh in a free to play game. And basing artifact on a game that is so different. Free to play players from dota won't come over to artifact.

Another thing I wonder about that if this game ends up going into decline fast. (There is that potential, bad word of mouth about the economy might keep people out, low odds of winning something in payed mods might force people out, lack of progressions might see less players play on a daily basis. There are quite a few cards that have a problematic design)
They will backpedal and make changes, or if this model will be enough to make money from a small player base.
Cause 60k players is not low by any means, but I can't help it feels meager for the first game valve released in 5 years. Especially when you see the number all they other game pull, over 5-10 year old games. And I am not sure Artifact is a game with a ton of growth potential if you don't get people in now.

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#5 Edited by BisonHero (11544 posts) -

So I bought Artifact, the actual game part is rad, and sure, technically the buying price is about equivalent to the cost of the card packs and the event tickets you get to start with when you purchase the game, and the game client itself is effectively "free," so it's not ripping you off by costing what it costs. But I think it's fucked up that to even try the game you have to spend $20. They easily could've made the client free, let you play the free modes (draft and premade deck modes where you can never earn anything) and have basically no actual card collection as a "free" player, and offer a $20 starter bundle (with all the packs and tickets you currently get when you buy the game). It's baffling that the game essentially forces you to buy a starter bundle as the price of the game even if all you want to access is the free modes.

It just feels like it commits the sin of double charging you, once for the cost of the game and then hundreds of dollars more if you actually want to expand your collection. The game is fun as hell when you're in it, but I worry that the game costs so much that the only people playing it in a few months will be Russian credit card scammers and Saudi princes. Most of the commons cost less than 10 cents on the marketplace because they're very nearly unusable, but the uncommons, rare heroes, etc. that are actually good and useable cost several dollars or more.

I think the business model is why it's extra fucked that the game has no progression. I honestly don't need it to have an account level or some XP nonsense, but no visible MMR or ranking of any sort is a bizarre omission in this day and age. Yes, there's something to be said for playing just for the love of the game, but even having a ranking to measure your improvement seems like a basic feature at this point. I'd love if there was some slow way to grind out packs just by playing, but that would definitely decrease the value of cards on the marketplace on a long enough time scale, which I doubt Valve wants to do. But if I'm not going to buy packs or event tickets very often, what is going to keep a player like me coming back day after day, with the same stagnant card collection and no daily quests (since they couldn't reward anything of value) and no ranking to push myself to improve. Sure, the whales beat up the free players in lots of pay-to-win games, but Artifact offers such a poor free player experience that I worry they won't stick around and it'll be nothing but whale-on-whale violence. Free players can never grind fast enough to catch up to whales in any game, but in Artifact free players can't even delude themselves into thinking they're catching up in any way, unless they think they can consistently get a 66% or better win rate every time they spend an event ticket.

So personally I'm in full-on wait and see mode. I bought the game, but I'm not spending a cent more. Haven't bought packs or events tickets, haven't bought anything on the marketplace. I want there to be a pie chart in a Valve meeting room somewhere that says "Oh fuck, this large percentage of people who bought the game didn't spend any more money and many of them stopped playing after a few weeks, maybe we should ease up on the business model." Again, the game itself is great, but the complete lack of any meaningful player profile/ranking other than "here's your collection" makes the menus and online play feel like a fucking alpha, and I hope there's enough player revolt that Valve backtracks on the card collection business model the way that Blizzard eventually backtracked on the Diablo 3 real money auction house. I'm fine with real cards costing money since there are unavoidable physical costs of them existing and making it to stores, but anytime you have a Diablo 3 real money auction house or Artifact buy-and-sell cards on the Steam marketplace, it feels like some artificial scarcity crypto-bubble bullshit where they just make the game awful for players that don't spend hundreds of dollars. Get that shit out of video games I already had to spend $20+ to even download.

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#6 Posted by CheapPoison (1111 posts) -

A pack (most online cards games have this) feels like it costs a bit too much. There is no cost and you don't get an actual physical good. Magic is know for being hella expansive. Buying one pack over the counter in a store is going to run you 3.99$, but if you buy in bulk or online you can push this down to 2.20-2.30$ per pack. A pack containing 15 cards.
And those cards can be freely sold for money. I am not sure how so many people get excited about the prospect of being able to sell their cards and make a profit when the 15% Valve takes means that the profit goes to Valve.

Fun little tidbit that might mean nothing.
It was the 8th most played game the day of launch. Now it is 19th. Weekend might have something to do with it, but that is still interesting.

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#7 Posted by BladedEdge (1301 posts) -

The stuff that they give you that, to me, justifies the charge is access to a draft/limited mode that I can play an unlimited amount at no additional cost. No I don't keep the cards, but drafting was rarely the right way to go about building a deck for constructed anyhow. Keeping what you drafted was, essentially, just a bonus of "you add some to your collection". And, like every other card-game with such formats, they do have a version of that which costs what I'd expect it to cost. They also have a version that is phantom (no keeping what you draft) but does pay-out prizes if you want to pay to play.

But, for me, Draft is about the experience of building a deck, and then taking what you've done and pitting against like-wise drafted/crafted unique decks. I would gladly pay 20 dollars to get to do that forever at no additional cost in Magic the Gathering, or Eternal or heck even HearthStone (though I do find the gold it gives daily and its arena cost to balance out more or less fine).

And even then..the game is not that $$$ to get into if you want to play high-level constructed. Yeah it costs money, but every other F2P card game does too. Either the same (or really more from my experience) amount of money as Artifact, or a very large time investment.

I agree with the dislike of their not being anyway to grind for packs or tickets for free in this game being a bummer. For me, the free infinite draft mode off-sets that however. And it is leagues ahead of something like Magic:Arena which to me has an abysmal prize-structure where packs are worth next to nothing, and I'd damn sure rather pay 20 bucks to draft phantom forever then to have to keep paying into the system, and instead get back packs of cards that largely don't add anything too my constructed experience, or do so at such a slow rate as too be insulting. Hell, at least artifacts 'convert unwanted cards into tickets" gives its packs a floor when it comes to value.

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#8 Posted by Ares42 (4226 posts) -

@bladededge: Have they actually confirmed that the free draft will stay forever ? Last time I checked in it had a rotation date that seemed to indicate it might not always be available.

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#9 Edited by BladedEdge (1301 posts) -

@ares42: My reading of that rotation date was of the "If you draft a deck, it will be closed out and a new 'season' started at this time".

Since you can pick up and put down a draft in progress, and there is no time-limit on playing the games (aside from a 30 minute delay if you retire a deck you don't want to finish playing through).

It's possible they rotate it out yah, that would make me pretty angry if so. But, as I said. I read that as a "All decks not yet finished at this time will be closed." With everyone who had an active deck just having to draft a-new.

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#10 Posted by stinger061 (462 posts) -

The business model of this game is so confusing to me. It seems to be the complete opposite of the model they have used to make Dota 2 one of the biggest games on the planet. Dota players are known for pouring money into the game but not in a 'Pay to Win/Progress' model.

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#11 Posted by eccentrix (2346 posts) -

They've now announced that the next update will feature a progression system, but I don't think there are any details yet.

I found it refreshing that the only reason to play was to play. It speaks to their goal of making the highest fidelity card game ever. MTG doesn't come with a built-in ranking system or a way to get free stuff for playing.

For a long time I've been waiting for a game to sink money into that I actually enjoyed and this seemed like the one. I was surprised that there have been no holographic or limited edition cards of any kind; it's actually possible to have a complete collection, something I never expected to have in a game like this. Maybe it's selfish, but when people talk about what they'd change about the game, I think "But you don't even like the game. Why are you changing the game I've been waiting for to make it like all the others? You already have those games. This one's for me."

I don't understand the argument that this is a modern game and therefore should have what other modern games have. It's not trying to be like other games. If it was, it would have achievements and Twitch integration and a Fortnite crossover pack.

Also I rarely win games and I'm not looking forward to seeing how bad I actually am.

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#12 Edited by haneybd87 (315 posts) -

Honestly the way I see it is this game is supposed to be like MTG. It's weird to me that this game is being lambasted for being pay to play but it's no different than MTG in that respect. Yes there are other games you can play free and progress (like Hearthstone) but this isn't that, it was made by the creator of MTG.

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#13 Posted by DodoBasse (89 posts) -

As someone who admittedly only played HS when it came out, I feel very differently about their model. They gave you a bit of gold to entice you in early, but for me it quickly ran out, leaving only a grind ahead.

I found it nigh impossible to penetrate past rank 15 with my meager collection, and the daily quests felt more like work than fun.

As far as I can tell, the price to acquire a full set of Artifact base is also cheaper than any set of Hearthstone cards have ever been.

The Constructed mode currently seems a bit lacking, but that's base sets for you. Draft is super fun, which I'm not sure was particularly true for HS.

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#14 Posted by haneybd87 (315 posts) -

@dodobasse: I’ve long been a fan of primarily draft in MTG. Sure it costs you some money but that aspect kind of adds to the fun, it’s a bit like playing poker for money in that way. Also if you do good you can earn your packs back and then some. The fact that you have the same odds as everyone else in draft means it’s not really pay to win, just to pay to play. That’s why in all these types of games I shy away from constructed because there’s always a way to “solve” a set and then everyone who’s put in the money ends up with the same 8 decks. There are people that enjoy that aspect and more power to them. There will always be an element of “pay to win” in constructed card games but no matter how much you pay you still have to play the game and actually be good at it when you’re going up against other people who have also “payed to win”.

Anyways I’m rambling. I haven’t actually played this game yet but I’m looking forward to doing some drafts at some point when my gaming plate isn’t so full. My guess is I will enjoy it, probably a little too much, since I’m not bothered by the pay to play aspect.

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#15 Posted by RonGalaxy (4936 posts) -

Playgwent.com

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#16 Posted by eccentrix (2346 posts) -

This new update makes me lose a lot of confidence in Valve. I thought they knew what they were doing and were appealing to a niche audience, but apparently they just didn't consider how people would react to how the game worked. I think I'm going to get into Magic: The Gathering.

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#17 Posted by nnickers (465 posts) -

This new update makes me lose a lot of confidence in Valve. I thought they knew what they were doing and were appealing to a niche audience, but apparently they just didn't consider how people would react to how the game worked. I think I'm going to get into Magic: The Gathering.

Do it! Not as a knock against Artifact at all (I haven't played it but am curious and will definitely pick it up eventually), Magic is my favorite game of any kind, period. I've played on and off since elementary school and with the new Arena client there's finally a good digital client!

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#18 Posted by tunaburn (2059 posts) -

This new update got my hopes up. But this system pretty much sucks. Its basically a reason to win 3 games a week because beyond that you get next to nothing. Someone did the math and it was 51 hours on average to get from level 199 to level 200. That is the definition of grindy bullshit. The "ranking" system they put in is clearly just some slapped together crap they didnt put any thought into. I think I am officially done with the game.