Valve’s Artifact hits PAX West
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The much anticipated digital trading card game from Valve, Artifact, has just had it's first official public showing at PAX West this past weekend. First announced at The International 2017, the game is expected to be released on the 28th of November this year, with a closed beta launching sometime in October.
Set in the DotA universe, Artifact will feature hitherto unseen heroes, opening up new possibilities for the development team to expand the lore of the franchise. It has been confirmed by Gabe Newell himself, that the team have no intention of implementing a singleplayer mode to the game, rather focusing on the multiplayer experience and the game's potential as an eSport. Having to compete with a slew of titles that have been dominating the genre for the past few years, Valve believe they're bringing something fresh to the table.
And for good reason.
Richard Garfield, the creator of the critically-acclaimed trading card game Magic: The Gathering, has been brought on as the main architect of Artifact. The game itself incorporates certain features generally associated with the MOBA genre, such as splitting the board into three separate battlefields, meant to represent the three lanes of DotA2. Each segment, guarded by a tower, has its own manapool and vitality. Take down a tower and the opponents ancient is exposed. Take down two towers or the ancient and you've won.
The first official gameplay reveal, video by IGN.
The developers are putting emphasis on the 'trading' aspect of the digital TCG, with hopes of incentivising players to use the Steam Marketplace to acquire new cards, trade out duplicates, or sell items they wouldn't use in their own decks.
Attendees of The International 2018 and PAX West visitors will be among the first people to join the playtesting phase leading up to the release of the game. So far no other methods of acquiring beta-access have been confirmed.
Artifact launches on the 28th of November 2018 on PC with a mobile version coming further down the road. The game will ship with 280 cards and 44 heroes, additional card sets and expansions are expected to follow.