New details about Artifact

Lord Matus

New details about Artifact

Recently the developers of a new card eSports field have revealed new details concerning Valve’s new creation to the gaming press.

First of all, we want to remind you that the trailer Artifact was presented for the first time at The International 7. At that moment the audience couldn’t support Valve’s idea of developing of a card game based on Dota 2. But afterwards the people started to express interest in the new eSports field.

The recent presentation of Artifact took place in Seattle at the Valve’s office and the founder of Valve Gabe Newell took part in it. He told the audience the details of Valve’s new project and gave an opportunity to try the new game to the representatives of the gaming press. Also, Stanislav «StanCifka» Cifka was invited to demonstrate Aircraft’s new mechanics.

Release date

The release of Artifact is planned at the end on 2018. Before the release, the game will be in the state of the closed beta-test in which representatives of eSports and TGC professionals can take part. Thanks to the reviews they will give to the developers, Valve will improve the game until it is released to the open beta-test. Porting of the game to the mobile devices will have happened by the middle of 2019.

Game mechanics

Players will have 3 playing grounds, cards of the characters, cards with the abilities and appearing creeps.

The majority of the cards can influence only the area they are situated but some of them can influence all the three grounds.

To get a win, a player needs to destroy two towers, which have 40 health points, or to destroy a towers and a throne having 80 heath points.

Valve reported that at that moment approximately 280 cards are used, and 44 of them are the characters.

The first action at the lines will be going on automatically. At the first move, the cards will attack each other in the forward direction or diagonally. The destroyed card will revive with a delay of one move.

An interesting game mechanics which will distinguish Artifact from its opponents is item purchasing. Players can conclude purchases directed to the improvement of general characteristics for definite achievements in the game.

During the presentation, it has become clear that there are 4 types of character cards:

The Red

Different types of tanks as Axe, Bristleback, Centaur Warrunner and others belong to the colour.

The Purple

This type was described by PC Games as murderers who are able to inflict damage to the opponents and in some cases they can affect several lines at one stroke. Such carry characters as Phantom Assassin, Anti-Mage and others will be a part of the type.

The Blue

Such wizards as Zeus, Crystal Maiden, Skywrath Mage and others will belong to the group. They can be very useful at the final stage of the game.

The Green

The green colour will mark support characters, who can help to regain health of the other characters. Such characters as Lycan, Witch Doctor and others will belong to the type.

As for the quantity of cards in the pack of the players, the minimum quantity can be equal to 40 and the maximum quantity has no limits.

The chief editor of PC Games Tim Clark reported that there would be a random part in the game. He met RNG cards while playing, but they appeared to be pretty controlled and fair.

Way of distribution

It turned out to be interesting that Artifact would turn down the Free-2-Play model. There is no information about the price of the game and sets of the cards at the moment. Also, Gabe Newell said, that Artifact wouldn’t use the system «pay-to-win», but the decisive criterion of choosing the winner will be their skills and resourcefulness. As for the cards, it is also known that players will be able to buy and sell different cards at the ground and the process of the pack gathering can be fascinating. Of course, it will be realized on the platform Steam. The representatives of PC Games reported, that the cards wouldn’t have any rarity in order not to influence the cards’ prize.


The creator of the extremely popular card game Magic: The Gathering Richard Garfield became one of the developers of Artifact, which stirs up interest in the new eSports field. Gabe Newell reported that only the developers who were interested in Aircraft developing are still working on the game. Thanks to that, the doubts concerning the quality of the game have reduced.

eSports part

Artifact hasn’t left the stage of beta-test, but Valve have already announced the first tournament of this card discipline. At the beginning of 2019, the championship with the prize pool of $1,000,000 will take place, and it will be filled according to the system similar to Dota 2 compendiums. Valve reported that the experience of Dota 2, CS:GO and Team Fortress 2 of working with the audience will be given to Artifact. Thanks to that the viewers will be able to get acquainted with the statistics and players’ packs during watching them at the championship.

Game’s engine

Artifact will use the latest version of the engine of Valve Source 2. We should also pay attention that thanks to the engine and the developers’ talent, there are realized beautiful animations. As Artifact is being developed using Source 2, the developers will face technical difficulties of porting the game to the mobile devices, so they are planning to release Artifact on iOS and Android at the middle of 2019. We should mark, that the game will look different on the mobile devices due to the weak data sheet in comparison to PCs.

Game mode

As for the game modes, it is known that there is no mode for one player. The game will be developed for multiplayer battalions. But there is an exception of a training mission in the game against a player with an artificial intelligence.

Also, it is known that in Artifact, there will be automated championships for definite levels of players. The professional players will not be deprived and they will take part in the major championships from Valve.

Connection between Artifact and Dota 2

Despite the fact that the card game was based on Dota 2, the game will not repeat the lore of its thought leader. Developing Artifact, Valve decided to expand Dota 2 universe and to make the lore more vast. One of the proofs is that at Valve’s new project, there will be used some characters which do not exist in the MOBA project.

One of the first known characters has become a warrior woman with a spear Sorla Khan from the tribe Axe. According to the lore, she became a leader of the army after Axe leaving. It is not inconceivable that this character could be spotted in Dota 2 files by the name of Mars.

One more unknown character is a horned devil Kanna. We know that Juggernaut in one of his lines talks to Phantom Lancer, asking him about Kanna’s return.

The last new character is an anthropomorphic wolf Rix, using a sword as a basic weapon. On the basis of in-game lines in Dota 2, Rix could be somehow connected with Legion Commander.

Illustrations for the game and Workshop

Artifact will outstand with its beautiful illustrations. Robbie Trevino, Ji Hun Lee and Randy Vargas have done difficult work and created beautiful illustrations for the developing project.

Valve decided to refuse to give an opportunity of developing modes and updates and distributing them in Workshop to the players as they wanted to avoid disbalance. But talented artists can offer their works for Artifact design.


The journalist who played Artifact said that the game was pretty funny and complex to the extent.

The release date to the open beta-test is unknown yet. The other details about Artifact will be reported later.