- Recently, an unlisted video was published by Valves YouTube Channel that contains footage of the brand new “Draft” game mode. Here’s a quick summary of that video!
A Quick Recap of Everything We Know So Far
A couple of months ago, Valve released a blog post stating their plans for their next installment of Artifact, the card game. The first Artifact unfortunately was a largely unsuccessful and incomplete product, yet still held a small yet persistent and loyal following throughout the last couple of years. These blog posts detailed some of the plans Valve had in store for their fresh take on the game. From balance changes to monetization strategies to aesthetic.
- For more on that, read: Artifact Closed Beta Is Almost Here
The Main Menu
Right off the bat, the video gives us a quick look at the home menu screen. We can see that Valve has already emphasized competitive play with friends. In the original Artifact, the option to directly challenge a friend is hidden under the “Social Play” menu. It wasn’t inaccessible by any means, but this time around it looks like Valve is encouraging us to challenge each other. Interacting with friends is done directly on the home menu, which is a rather interesting change and gives us a look at Valves game philosophy for Artifact 2.
Hidden behind the Friend menu, a few options that we can select that are blurred out. On the very bottom left, is a “Play Artifact” button. Considering the barren game mode options on-screen, it looks like Artifact 2 will take a page out of Dota 2’s book. It’s likely that different game modes will be hidden until you select the “Play Artifact” button, which adds to a cleaner and more modern aesthetic. There are 3 smaller buttons on top of the “Play Artifact” button, with the lowest one being grayed out. Probably just a feature that is not yet ready for the Closed Beta! On top of that button is what looks like a “Open Packs” button, but it’s not too clear. And at the top of the 4, is possibly a “Card Customization” option.
In the top left corner, we can make out some interesting green and red icons. These icons could possibly indicate your recent win/loss/draw record. One issue is that they are spaced apart. My explanation for this is that icons that are closer together indicate that it was a game played against the same opponent or a rematch. Further underneath that, is a chatbox. Likely used to coordinate lobbies, or to communicate with players around the world.
Live Draft Screen
Now for the really interesting bit! Right here we get a first look at the brand new game mode. Once launching a game, you are greeted with a Draft screen, similar to that of Dota 2’s Captains Mode. Each player is assigned aside, and will have a pick order depending on that side (this bit is unconfirmed but likely). The side closest to us will have the following pick order: 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, while the side farther will get: 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11. It’s also noteworthy to remember that this pick order is identical to that of Dota 2’s Captains Mode (minus the “bans”). Each player will be able to choose off a pool of four cards. As a not very good Artifact player myself, I cannot comment on the implications this has on a balanced perspective, but looks to be an extremely attractive game mode to newer players, as it looks to be the most balanced Artifact game mode yet!
Let’s face it, the board looks pretty bad. However the narrators in the video mentioned that the board design is still a work in progress, and we can expect to see a fully-fledged 3D board in the future. Here’s a quick recap of everything else the video has to offer, as, beyond this point, it’s best for you to watch the video yourself. Credit goes to r/DrQuint for compiling all the significant changes that are shown in this Video on a Reddit comment.
Phantom Lancer Card
3 item slots
Starting mana is 3
Starting tower health is 30 (Compared to 20)
Larger initiative indicator
A copy of the same card handed to both players in the first round (???)
Item redeployment instead of destruction
Several abilities and units reworked
Improvements are the same
Combat is resolved left to right, or right to left every other turn
Chat you can type in, in the bottom left corner
Win condition is still 2 towers
Eric’s icon is a cute fantasy pupper (very important) lol
And that’s everything significant shown in the leaked Artifact 2 Beta video. The initial response from the community was overwhelmingly positive, as the game in it’s the beta state is already shaping up to be far superior to the current state of the original. Stay tuned for more Artifact 2 news in the future!