Valve posted another update today regarding the upcoming Artifact rework. The developer outlined the reasons for the team wanting to reboot the card game, reiterated its desire to focus on gameplay, and teased some of the new content the Artifact team has been working on.
This post comes on the heels of Valve revealing a brief roadmap of Artifact 2.0 last Monday, referencing one of the community’s most regular and popular memes in the process.
The devs outlined that they decided on a rework for the ill-fated Artifact 1.0 due to a love for the original’s “freeing sense of creativity,” along with a desire to “figure out how something is broken and see it fixed.” The team believed that there was something special within the game and thanked the community for sharing the same feelings.
But there’s still a lot of hard work ahead for the devs to bring the “something special” to the forefront. The devs promised that the original Artifact players who have sunk in time and money to build a collection will eventually receive “incredibly cool and special things,” but the process is still in the pipeline.
Additionally, the team continues to emphasize gameplay as the upcoming revision’s cornerstone. The devs “wanted to make sure the game had a strong foundation to build upon” using existing data, even calling for fans to provide feedback directly to their email address in a more interactive process.
To sate fans’ hunger for the time being, Valve has released some new cards with the roughest of placeholder art that would probably make for some fantastic new meme templates.
Interestingly, Valve seemed to have reduced the scaling of stats on Artifact 2.0’s cards to “around 60 percent of the original game.” With a lesser variance in between cards, statistical anomalies like Axe might become easier to balance.
Mirana is a 4/4 Black card, a category usually reserved for assassin-style heroes. Her Sacred Arrow signature certainly fits the bill, allowing her to stun a hero or kill a creep in any lane that even Valve admits is “probably a bit too powerful right now.” She also has a Leap ability that allows her to switch lanes and buff neighboring units on landing, making her an amazing Black hero with high utility.
Wraith King is a Green hero, usually characterized by their powerful ramping abilities with buffs and heals. Thanks to his innate Death Shield ability that allows him to reincarnate once on deploy, he’s bound to be an ever-present thorn in your opponent’s side. His Hellfire Blast signature ability stuns a target, with Decay being a new keyword. Extrapolating from the ability in Dota 2, it could be a damage-over-time effect.
Sticky Greevil looks to be an annoying, low-cost blocker that can root enemies, likely preventing opposing cards from moving around freely. Valve added that there’s an “increased amount of movement in the game,” possibly indicating that more mobile heroes and units will take the stage without an over-reliance on Blink Dagger.
Morphling Whelp is a Blue card, known for its powerful spells and abilities with a trade-off of lower base stats. It’s basically just Ditto from Pokémon, copying both innate and active abilities.
Defenestrating Ogre is another Blue card that will return a pesky blocker to your opponent’s hand. It could be a double-edged sword, however, potentially refreshing Deploy abilities like Wraith King’s Death Shield.
Sheep Stick comes with the most complete and perhaps the most adorable art. It also comes with an important clarification: the target will look like a sheep upon being hexed.
At first glance, it certainly looks like Artifact 2.0 is expanding on options for mobility and crowd control, likely making the game more dynamic to play. While some of these cards seem on the verge of being broken at first glance, it’s up to the devs to execute the balancing act to make sure that another Axe doesn’t happen. After all, Dota 2‘s philosophy has always been if everything’s broken, nothing is.
This is a promising start and Valve will likely try to continue to keep the small but faithful Artifact community updated.