The Artifact Card Game: Hearthstone’s Upcoming Rival
Hearthstone’s huge success took the gaming world by storm and card games are now officially a thing in PC games. And none other than Valve has a plan to join the party with their upcoming Artifact Card Game.
And what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “online card game”? Hearthstone! Indeed, Blizzard’s legendary card game based on the Warcraft universe has been a massive hit ever since it first saw the day of light back in early 2014.
Now, everyone’s familiar with the epic rivalry between Blizzard and Valve. Let’s not forget that Dota 2 is actually based on the highly successful MOBA named Dota that was originally based on Blizzard’s very own Warcraft 3.
Regardless, Artifact is going to arrive soon and It’s time to take a look at what we know already about what’s supposed to become Hearthstone’s primary rival!
What exactly is Artifact Card Game in the first place?
Artifact is a digital card game created by the makers of bestsellers such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike and of course Dota 2 – Valve Corporation. It utilizes a similar concept to Hearthstone when it comes to gameplay as there are basically two players battling it out across three lanes (or boards).
The idea is to build a powerful deck of cards that’ll help you to defeat your opponent. You can get your hands on new cards either via trading on Steams’ official marketplace, or alternatively, you can buy new cards directly from Valve.
Now, Artifact is supposed to offer the ‘highest-fidelity experience’ in any online card game out there. On top of that, here are some of the more general aspects related to Valve’s upcoming title:
- Over 280 cards that’ll be available with the shipping set
- 44 unique Dota heroes
- Available on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOs
Perhaps It’s worth noting that Valve was smart enough to hire Mr. Richard Garfield himself for the Artifact project, as the lead designer. You might know Richard Garfield from Magic: The Gathering because, well… he’s the one that created one of the most epic trading card games in existence!
The expertise of Garfield in the card game realm will definitely give Artifact the competitive edge when it comes to fascinating gameplay mechanics. Speaking of gameplay, let’s take a look at how things work in more detail when it comes to winning…
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How is victory achieved with gameplay?
The game mechanics here are pretty similar to Dota and you’ll be crowned victorious If you achieve one of these two things:
- Destroy the Ancient that pops up when a tower has been demolished
- Destroy 2 of the 3 enemy towers
Since there are three distinct boards (a.k.a. lanes), each guarded by a tower (in a similar fashion to Dota) and every single lane has Its own independent board, this makes for a rather diverse and hectic gameplay. Also, there is some pretty cool stuff related to the in-game cards and how they work…
Every deck in the game comes with 40 cards and five heroes!
Your cards will be grouped into 3 particular, rarity tiers:
After that, the cards are further grouped into 4 distinct color themes, each offering exclusive effects on board:
Now, it’s worth noting that each of the 3 lanes has its own mana pool that’ll help your heroes cast their abilities as well regenerate by 1 after every single round. And apart from hero abilities, you can place item cards in any lane you choose.
Something rather intriguing is the fact that once all cards have been played (in a particular lane that is), the mobs that are generated every round go berserk and start attacking everything from the opposing faction on sight – be it enemy creeps or towers.
And after all 3 boards (or lanes) have been played, the game goes into a shopping mode. During this mode, you’ll be able to spend the gold that you’ve earned during the battles that you can spend on buying various items and upgrading your heroes’ accessories, weapons and armor.
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When can we expect Valve’s new game to release?
The official release date for Artifact is November 28, 2018, for Windows, macOS, and Linux! If you’re planning on playing Artifact either on Android or iOS devices, then you’d have to wait until 2019, as this is when the game will receive its mobile-friendly versions.
And on top of that, Valve’s new game will most likely receive future expansions (in a similar fashion to Hearthstone), as well as huge tournaments with hefty prize pools. Yes, It does seem like Valve is taking this whole card game thing really seriously because, by the looks of it, they’ll be attempting to take on Blizzard’s title and perhaps even overthrow it as the top dog in the online card game genre.
Artifact is undoubtedly the most promising digital card game that’ll be officially released in a just over three months. With a plethora of promising gameplay features and a theme that’s undoubtedly very appealing to every Dota fan out there, Artifact has lots to boast about.
Honestly, It’d be quite interesting to see how Valve’s brand new title clashes with Blizzard’s tested and proven Hearthstone card game. While the two games share a lot of commonalities and are placed in the same genre, Artifact still has its own unique set of features (e.g. the 3 lanes) that set it apart from the crowd.
We’ll have to wait and see whether or not Artifact manages to dethrone Hearthstone as the top dog in the digital card games world. In the meantime, we can wait patiently as we enjoy Blizzard’s popular card game!
Btw, what are your thoughts on the Artifact Card Game – do you think it’ll top Hearthstone?
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