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What Went Wrong with Artifact?

Rate this Article Valve has always been known to produce top-tier games but, unfortunately, Artifact wasn’t one of them and in this article we’ll be talking about why. MMO Square - What Went Wrong with Artifact?

Artifact is a CCG by Valve that, upon its first announcement, gained incredible amounts of hype because it was a CCG based on DotA 2 which, of course, is one of the most popular games of all time. The first trailer of the game showed us an incredibly well-polished and refined CCG that had the potential to change the landscape of this entire genre. Unfortunately, however, the final product didn’t come close to living up to all the hype the game had generated.

One of the biggest flaws in Artifact was the fact that the game was a bit too complex for its own good. Complexity can definitely be a good thing, especially in games like CCGs where strategic depth is a must. However, in the case of Artifact, it ended up being a bit too much. The various systems of the game were fairly challenging to fully get the hang of and the different card mechanics and the way they worked off one another were confusing to say the least.

Due to the aforementioned factors, there were lots of instances in which players would lose games without even knowing what actually happened that caused them to lose and all this came together to make the experience a bit too frustrating for newcomers thereby hurting the game’s ability to retain new players.

An insane amount of randomness is also a key factor that contributed to holding Artifact back from being the truly exceptional game it could’ve been. Although RNG is no doubt a critical factor in a lot of CCGs and is actually something that can help make these games feel more exciting and dynamic, it’s always predictable to an extent and is usually something that players can adapt their strategy around. In Artifact, however, the randomness was simply too much. There were just so many unforeseen circumstances that could surface in games that players would have no way to predict and these hindered the experience quite a bit.

The randomness of Artifact was a major aspect in holding the game back because it often ended up causing even the most well thought out strategies to become useless halfway through a match and this led to an extremely frustrating experience for players who took the time out to plan ahead.

Alongside everything else, there was also the fact that, when the game was released, Artifact was pay to play. This was a 20$ CCG in a world where multitudes of other high-end games from the same genre were available for free. The game was later on switched to a free-to-play model but, unfortunately, the damage had been done by that point. If the game started with a free-to-play model from the get-go, it might have had more players investing time into it but this simply wasn’t the case.

Overall, Artifact was a game that certainly had the potential to make major waves in the CCG genre but, unfortunately, the aforementioned factors alongside various others prevented it from reaching its true potential.

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