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Author Topic: Artifact: The Two Tower Takedown CCG  (Read 1244 times)
naum
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on: November 19, 2018, 11:59:38 AM


Artifact beta is live now, and release is slated for 11/28.

Had some experience (a little bit) with it over the weekend.

My account came with 5 Event Tickets (unused yet, & not until I get more comfortable) and 10 packs (which I did bust open).

I guess everybody with a scintilla of interest in CCG has heard about the 3-lane board. Your objective is to destroy 2 towers of the opponent before they do likewise. You can takeout 2 of their starting towers (which start at 40 HP). Or take the same tower out twice (another is generated with 80 HP when you destroy one). To accomplish this, you use a deck comprised of hero cards (5 to a deck & each hero card comes with 3 additional copies of a "signature" card that accompanies said hero), creeps (units/minions/creatures in other CCG), spells, improvements (relics/artifacts, that give lasting effect every turn/etc.) and non-color items that I'll explain a bit further along.

1. You order the sequence of heroes -- the 1st 3 are slotted into your 3 opening boards, the 4th you get to add on turn 2 and 5th on turn 3. You can only play cards of the same color as a hero (and you can have multiple heroes of different colors) on a given board and if you don't have a hero there, not much you can do.

2. Four colors in a game --- Red / Green / Blue / Black. Each of these, like MtG & Eternal, have a theme & correlate roughly to MtG except maybe Black which is about heroes & gold. Red is aggressive, good stat heroes/creeps. Green is about ramp & buffs. Blue is the control & card draw color.

3. Items are colored yellow and operate a little differently -- heroes & creeps have a Bounty figure, an amount of gold you receive for eliminating. At the end of round, those items in your deck are offered to you (well, not all, a draw of 3) to buy or you can hold a set too for 1G. You can play them at start of next turn (at no mana cost).

4. No land/resource card -- you start with 3 mana and it goes up by 1 each round (though like just about every CCG, there are cards that can alter your max mana). And mana resets for plays in each of the boards. And you draw 2 cards at start of turn.

5. Heroes can be equipped with weapons, armor, accessories.

6. Heroes never die -- if they get killed they sit out a turn and then you can redeploy the next.

That's the basics -- there is a lot of stuff I don't have a firm grasp of yet like Initiative and a bunch of other finer points. But the basic gist of this game is not complex at all. Play stuff, combat (maybe combat tricks too), buy items, rinse and repeat.
 

"We offered players a Camelot. We immediately discovered players wanted to smear shit all over the walls, create giant penises out of whatever was available, rape, rob and kill their fellow players and anything else not given invulnerability while making the teabag emote over their corpses and generally be utter and complete cunts. So we dialed it back a little." ~HaemishM
Rendakor
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Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 12:14:17 PM

Any way to buy into the game yet? If not, I'd love a beta key if someone has one to spare.

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Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 12:31:51 PM

Looks like preordering was not enough to automatically get in the beta, but they'll probably add more people in the coming days. As far as I know Rendakor at the moment there is no way to have a guaranteed beta spot until the 28th.

naum
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Reply #3 on: November 19, 2018, 12:39:04 PM

I believe Valve gave out 1K beta keys for Twitch streamers to invite.

I got mine, a while back, on Twitter, from the official PlayArtifact site for responding to a Tweet in-form.

Though it didn't activate until Sunday, unlike a whole bunch of other preferred who were able to play game pre-NDA. Which didn't make a lot of sense to me because spectating the game without every playing is just an exercise in confusion IMV.

Once I played, it not overly complex, as some have stated, like Disguised Toast who said:
Quote
Tried Artifact for 5 hours today.

Pros:
High Skill Ceiling
Lots of mechanics and strategy

Cons:
Hard to watch as a viewer
$20 Initial Cost
Must pay for more cards
$1 per Draft Run (unless you hit 3 wins)
Too much IQ needed for my small brain

Not the game for me.
89 replies 190 retweets 3,761 likes

While, like I said (& I haven't played much other than the 1st 2 tutorial games & a couple of games against bots & started a Phantom Draft) still muddling about the finer points of game but basic thrust of game is fairly simple -- draw cards, play stuff, combat (maybe some combat tricks), collect gold & buy items, then rinse & repeat until one player takes down 2 towers.

A lot of grief about the pay-to-play model of the game, but there is a lot you can do in game without paying & as a result of outrcy, Valve made Phantom Draft free (there are 2 Draft modes -- Keeper, where you keep the cards and Phantom where you don't). Then you can play against bots (and use cards you don't even own, and direct the AI bot to play whatever deck you deem even with cards you don't have).

The competitive realm is pay-to-play though. And still seems a heck of a lot cheaper than MtG.

"We offered players a Camelot. We immediately discovered players wanted to smear shit all over the walls, create giant penises out of whatever was available, rape, rob and kill their fellow players and anything else not given invulnerability while making the teabag emote over their corpses and generally be utter and complete cunts. So we dialed it back a little." ~HaemishM
schild
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Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 01:12:34 PM

get me a fucking beta key this shit is horseshit
Druzil
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Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 01:15:15 PM

And still seems a heck of a lot cheaper than MtG.

I think that's hard to say until the marketplace is actually out and prices settle.  Unless there is some mechanic of generating specific cards or something that is going to keep card prices in check.

Edit: I meant for constructed, maybe for draft this is true.
Rendakor
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Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 04:12:32 PM

None of the pricing/monetization is a turn off for me, although I wish there was a "$250 for drafts for life" option. why so serious? Whether or not the gameplay is fun remains to be seen, but I'm willing to pay Valve $20 to find out. Lack of a firm entry cost was, IMO, one of Hex's biggest problems: by not charging admission, they pretended that the game was f2p and that fact hounded them for the game's entire life. Asking for $20 at the door (which will inevitably be discounted) should make it clear that this is a real card game, not a Hearthstone free-to-grind mess; of course, this is the internet so idiots are still furious. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Setanta
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Reply #7 on: November 20, 2018, 12:20:54 AM

I'll give this a 20 whirl but cash for cards etc - yeah nah, Eternal has spoiled me and I'll stick with that f2p model.

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Reply #8 on: November 20, 2018, 02:16:03 AM

I am happy about the phantom draft for free in custom games (so, with friends). I know this is not what TCGs are really about but it gives me a chance to fool around with my son and friends without anyone having to go past the 20$ mark.

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Reply #9 on: November 21, 2018, 04:59:22 PM

Patch notes:

Features
"You can now recycle cards into event tickets at a rate of 20 cards to 1 ticket. There is a "Recycle Cards" tab accessible from the collection. Note that each card will currently show "N/A" where the market price would be until the market is open. Sort by market price will sort by mana cost until the market is open."

EDIT:

Also,



 Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 05:22:12 PM by Falconeer »

Falconeer
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Reply #10 on: November 28, 2018, 05:38:45 PM

It's live, folks. When's the first f13 draft tournament?

schild
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Reply #11 on: November 28, 2018, 07:14:48 PM

I'm killing my "free" keeper drafts atm

but I *think* we may be able to make a custom keeper draft? Not sure.
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Reply #12 on: November 29, 2018, 12:27:19 AM

Is there a breakdown/analysis of the design of the game somewhere?  Just started learning about this game and am already confused what the point of having 3 lanes is (e.g. do the lanes interact other than sharing the same pool of drawn cards?) and why there's a "rich get richer" hero item buying mechanic in it.
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Reply #13 on: November 29, 2018, 12:34:41 AM

Just watch a couple matches, it takes basically no time to learn. Sometimes lanes interact, sometimes they don't. It's card driven interaction. It's not really rich get richer in the moba sense. They're mostly marginal improvements, even at the top end. There is a bit of Win More issues with it though.
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Reply #14 on: November 29, 2018, 02:56:17 AM

« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 02:58:56 AM by Falconeer »

Trippy
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Reply #15 on: November 29, 2018, 03:10:00 AM

Thanks, I'll check those out. Though I was asking more about the reasoning behind the design decisions rather than the mechanics themselves. Though it seems like the overarching design goal seemed to be "make it like Dota even if it's doesn't really make sense for a card game".
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Reply #16 on: November 29, 2018, 03:39:48 AM

I would agree but it's not too much of a weird concept for card games. I believe the Warhammer LCG had a very similar "three lanes-kill 2 to win" mechanic almost ten years ago. Overall, I'd say it works here.

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Reply #17 on: November 29, 2018, 04:00:53 AM

Legend of the Five Rings CCG had 4 provinces you would attack independently acting kind of like 4 lanes. Unfortunately part of your card draw was dependent on the number of provinces you held which made comebacks extremely challenging if you had fewer territories than your opponent. The follow up game Legend of the Burning Sands CCG fixed that issue by removing that card draw penalty which made for closer games. Unfortunately it didn’t have ninjas nor purple unicorns (except for some cameo appearances) so it wasn’t nearly as popular.
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Reply #18 on: November 29, 2018, 04:05:29 AM

Ugh, I need to share like an overexcited 5 year old. I spent $18 to buy this game with 2 starter decks and 10 booster packs, and in my second booster I found the most expensive card at the moment which I can sell on the Steam market for 16 dollars in a second. SQEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Also, decisions!



Setanta
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Reply #19 on: November 29, 2018, 01:51:45 PM

First impressions:
Wow, the tutorial is bad... not bad bad, spectacularly tedious and bad.
Artwork: Shit. Even Eternal's early art shits all over it. Crappy font for card text detracts too.
Game length: Yuck
Graphics: everything on full and it's still not a pretty place to be.
Ambience: None. In fact, a pack of physical M:TG cards had more visual/aural depth to them.

I'd rather play Hearthstone ... and I haven't touched HS in over 12 months

Richard Garfield and Valve should be ashamed of themselves. There is nothing there to grab a new player or make me want to keep playing and pay money, even MTG:A is a superior game.



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Reply #20 on: November 29, 2018, 03:43:17 PM

Interesting take.

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Reply #21 on: November 29, 2018, 04:44:08 PM

I don't think Artwork, Graphics, or Ambience rank very highly on my TCG priorities list.

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Reply #22 on: November 29, 2018, 05:26:40 PM

First impressions:
Wow, the tutorial is bad... not bad bad, spectacularly tedious and bad.
Artwork: Shit. Even Eternal's early art shits all over it. Crappy font for card text detracts too.
Game length: Yuck
Graphics: everything on full and it's still not a pretty place to be.
Ambience: None. In fact, a pack of physical M:TG cards had more visual/aural depth to them.

I'd rather play Hearthstone ... and I haven't touched HS in over 12 months

Richard Garfield and Valve should be ashamed of themselves. There is nothing there to grab a new player or make me want to keep playing and pay money, even MTG:A is a superior game.

lol

but yes we're all making fun of the art
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Reply #23 on: November 29, 2018, 05:36:44 PM

There is something off about the game length, its a tiring game. I've yet to leave even a win without feeling like I probably should have applied myself even more and not missed some details.

Its a very deep game, even without interrupts there is a lot of layers but I wonder if it can maintain a playerbase even with dota/volvo involvement considering the mental bandwidth requirements. This is way harder to play well than most Eternal decks, and HS/SV I could basically autopilot for the most part without losing too many matches I would have otherwise won.

Sharing a single hand over 3 lanes, with some cards able to effect others, initiative and the general its both people's turns at once sort of aspect of the gameplay, being only able to play colors you have a hero in the lane, its a lot. But I'm not sure if its a peak high level thinking game either because sometimes you just get absolutely dicked by where the game decides to play things or where those attack arrows end up.

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Setanta
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Reply #24 on: November 30, 2018, 12:25:34 AM

There is something off about the game length, its a tiring game.

That sums it up beautifully. I used to play millstone decks in the MTG days that would take forever to play out but I was never exhausted. A couple of games playing Atifact and I can't wait for the game to end because it's tiring and clunky and I just don't care anymore.

I'm still trying to care about it and that's where the ambience comes in. HS/Eternal et al are trying to create a sense of place and attempting immersion and character. Artifact looks like it stumbled out of beta with no other purpose other than to kill 2 towers with cards. It's just not appealing. MTG did this all the way back to Arabian Nights. Sure the flavour text and stories wern't that good, but you could enjoy the artwork (mostly) and the attempt at world building was there.

Then again, I remember loving the homelands set because it really did try to tell a story... even if most of the cards were shit :D

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Reply #25 on: November 30, 2018, 12:50:36 AM

There's nothing off about the game length. It's one set with no real depth and they don't have a grip on how to design sets for fun and efficiency yet. Magic goes through these cycles. Hearthstone did early on. The games just dragged. Hex set 1, great draft format - but still incredibly slow.

It's a valid complaint, but it's a common complaint. It's not a differentiation between products.

Also, ALL of the Homelands cards are shit. If you think there's a good card in Homelands, you're legit crazytown. None were good. 0. Zilch.

As for Artifact, I'm not really a person that gives a shit about lore and setting. But even in a vacuum, I'm more likely to play Artifact than ANY other card game available because the client itself is the best ccg client ever created. Objectively it's just an astounding achievement in design and translation of a market and genre to digital. It's an utter masterpiece.

I've played through 25 years of Magic with small breaks, I can wait for the Artifact designers to get a grip on how to design sets.
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Reply #26 on: November 30, 2018, 01:11:00 AM

Autumn Willow is the only usable card I can think of that came out of Homelands. The rest was unplayable in competition although I did see Spectral Bears used a bit when mono black and necro was a thing.

I haven't given up on Artifact and I hope it resolves itself. I love TCGs all the way back to MTG so more competition is good. I'm just not feeling Artifact and that worries me, because if I'm not feeling it then god help new players.

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Reply #27 on: November 30, 2018, 01:19:59 AM

People played Homelands cards because they basically had no choice back at release. None of them are good and none of them should be played. At all. Not anymore. Not for a very, very long 22 years.

It actually sounds like you're a tough sell with weird taste. I wouldn't compare your experience to the average new player. Or to the average Magic player that's going to be playing the thing. Or the average core Steam user.

End of the day, these guys made something pretty damn new, all things considered and the first step has some weird stumbles. Alpha Magic was garbage. Hex Set 1 was a disaster for constructed. The first Hearthstone set was literally a series of coinflips and boredom.

Basically, I hear all the complaints, and they're all basically fine (except for the complaint about price - not that you really made it, it's just a stupid fucking complaint). They're all just existing in a place where we can ignore things that are completely expected. That is to say, we expect certain problems and then we're still somehow surprised when they show up? Sure, why not.
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Reply #28 on: November 30, 2018, 07:22:03 AM

I opened a bunch of packs and played a few bot games to get a feel of the game.

The client is amazing.
The pacing is good I think.
I like the general game design.

I want better cards, better cards that exist and better card design.

Also, it seems like I never have the cards I want. I can't seem to cycle my deck enough. The game ends after 9ish turns or so (yay a few bot games) and I have a 40 card deck plus items. I need to learn proper deck building for this game.

I think it's easily worth the money.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 07:24:22 AM by Draegan »
naum
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Reply #29 on: November 30, 2018, 04:42:39 PM

As for Artifact, I'm not really a person that gives a shit about lore and setting. But even in a vacuum, I'm more likely to play Artifact than ANY other card game available because the client itself is the best ccg client ever created. Objectively it's just an astounding achievement in design and translation of a market and genre to digital. It's an utter masterpiece.

^^THIS^^

Considering this is the client pushed out of the gate on initial release, it's a marvel, all the game modes, tournament setup (that blows away any other digital CCG), other game features (though Shadowverse, oddly, still might rival this, as it provides replays & leaderboards) like built-in deck tracker.

The games are longer than the typical CCG, I guess cause you're playing 3 boards, and even if game is over by round 5-7, it still longer than most other CCG games.

I wonder about player retention -- in Artifact, skill differential weighs more than any other CCG I've played (including MtG). Yes, there's RNG in it with what you draw on opening flop (& no mulligan) and the lane arrows, but those are minor compared to the myriad of decision points in a game. This morning while getting ready for work, watched Stan Cifka on the tail end of a 12-0 constructed run and it's not uncommon to see pros / expert level players just go perfect run after perfect run. That means a lot of players are losing a lot, and it not fun to continuously lose. In HS & MtG there enough RNG (I know not much RNG in MtG, but thinking of mana screw/flood) that a poor player can still win a good % of games. Here, it looks like new and/or weaker players get farmed.

Also, the constructed game may get repetitive fast -- already I see from WePlay tournament decks, Axe & Legion Commander are in almost every single deck (exception thus far was B/G infinite combo deck Strifecro went 4-0 with yesterday). Draft (and Draft is the best limited format in digital CCG at present, hands down) will have to carry this until the next set pops, hopefully early next year.

"We offered players a Camelot. We immediately discovered players wanted to smear shit all over the walls, create giant penises out of whatever was available, rape, rob and kill their fellow players and anything else not given invulnerability while making the teabag emote over their corpses and generally be utter and complete cunts. So we dialed it back a little." ~HaemishM
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Reply #30 on: November 30, 2018, 05:08:22 PM

It's shorter than best 2/3 in any other game I've played. The only faster game, I think, is Hearthstone - which is garbage.
naum
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Reply #31 on: November 30, 2018, 05:17:11 PM

I'm so thankful that there are enough digital CCG out now that I can shelve Hearthstone for good (though I've said that before and then return :().

Artifact now my #1.

Eternal now takes the place of #2, even if I don't like some of the design decisions (Markets! mainly, but also trend to encourage 3+ faction decks) and the current meta (the Haunted Scream / Cookbook FJS meta). But I can play it on a phone or tablet. Though I think Valve is bringing Artifact to iOS/Android next year.

Unless I lose a job again, that's all the time I can spare for CCG, so Hearthstone, Shadowverse, MtGA are out.

"We offered players a Camelot. We immediately discovered players wanted to smear shit all over the walls, create giant penises out of whatever was available, rape, rob and kill their fellow players and anything else not given invulnerability while making the teabag emote over their corpses and generally be utter and complete cunts. So we dialed it back a little." ~HaemishM
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Reply #32 on: November 30, 2018, 06:02:55 PM

Do we know if the 1 million dollar tournament is gonna be constructed or draft?

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Reply #33 on: November 30, 2018, 06:38:49 PM

Constructed cut to draft I think but who cares. There's no way to get into it. -_-
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Reply #34 on: December 01, 2018, 09:34:19 AM

I'm still very new and very inexperienced but I'm pretty sure the way draft handles heroes complete garbage.

Still feel odd about the game, its very nice in the ways Schild says, I keep wanting to play it. But once I'm playing it I feel instantly a lot more ambivalent about the whole thing.

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
-William Gibson
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