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Artifact: The Dota Card Game guide - everything we know

Our continuously updated guide to everything we know about Artifact.

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About John Bedford

John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief, and is responsible for all of the Hearthstone news, features and guides content on the site.

Our Artifact: The Dota Card Game guide contains release information, confirmed details, and all the rumours and speculation about the direction of the franchise.

Artifact: The Dota Card Game has just been announced by Valve at The International 7. Its been quite a while since Valve worked on a new game, and it turns out they've chosen to expand in an existing universe and get a piece of that ever-popular CCG action at the same time.

We're incredibly excited to see the reveal of a new card game based on one of the most popular MOBAs on the planet. We'll be covering the game in-depth on Metabomb, and will have all the latest announcements for you as and when they're made by Valve. Once the game goes live, we'll have comprehensive gameplay guides for you as well.

For now, we wanted to bring together all of the information that's currently known about Artifact in one place. Here you'll find a pretty broad mix of facts and speculation based on the official reveal, with plenty more updates to come between now and the game's anticipated launch in 2018.

If you have any questions or there's anything you'd like to see added to this guide, just let us know in the comments!

Artifact: The Dota Card Game Release date

There's no hard and fast release date for Artifact right now, but we do know from the otherwise very vague announcement trailer that the game will be released at some point in 2018. Check the ending in the video below:

Looking to the release calendar, Hearthstone - the main competitor in this field, of course - tends to release three expansions a year: one in April, another in August and the final one in December.

While anyone who's covered games for even a little while knows that second-guessing Valve's release cycle is a fool's errand, a launch some time between August and December seems likely to us.

That's assuming the game even makes the 2018 launch window, of course. We'll have to wait and see how developments shake out over the next 6-12 months.

Artifact: The Dota Card Game Beta

We don't yet know if there'll be a beta for Artifact, although we would be surprised if there wasn't some period of testing outside of the publisher's walls. Valve has used betas for other games in the past, after all, and so it's not exactly a new enterprise for the publisher.

Every major collectible card game released in recent years, such as Hearthstone, Elder Scrolls Legends and Gwent has had a pretty significant period of closed and open beta testing in the run-up to launch as well.

Card game interactions and tightly woven metas generate a huge amount of balancing data, and while Valve will no doubt have the means to conduct simulated testing on a grand level, there's no substitute for getting hard and fast feedback on card balance from a large number of live games, not to mention individual player feedback.

We'll update this section of our Artifact guide as soon as we know more.

Artifact: The Dota Card Game FAQ

Here are the very basic nitty-gritty details about Artifact, based on the limited information that was released during the reveal at The Invitational 7:

  • There will be a total of three game boards, representing the various lanes from Dota.
  • You'll be controlling a total of five heroes - again, the size of a multiplayer team in Dota.
  • You can use gold to buy pieces of equipment that can be applied to your heroes as they fight.
  • Creeps will also spawn on each turn, and presumably provide a base level of defenses.
  • As well as the heroes that you control, you'll also be able to play creature - or minion - cards.
  • Some of the cards that you can play have ongoing effects on the lane they're targeted at (think of those environmental cards that affect lanes in Gwent).
  • Individual heroes have their own individual abilities, and they will be closely associated with their Dota counterparts. One example given was “You can cast track on a hero as Bounty Hunter and receive extra Gold.”
  • The fact that you control all five heroes suggests strongly to us that this is not a co-op competitive game like Dota. Rather, you'll simply control all aspects of the same team yourself.

Artifact: The Dota Card Game background

Artifact is themed heavily around Valve's Dota universe. If you don't know your jungle from your creeps, here's a quick overview of Artifact's direct inspiration. It may be we can deduce some gameplay clues from this comparison.

  • Dota is a free to play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). Given the competition from the likes of free to play games like Hearthtone, we would be very surprised if Artifact didn't follow this same revenue model.
  • Two teams of five compete to occupy and defend a series of lanes across the map.
  • At each end of the map, a team's base lies ready to be conquered. The team that manages to reach the base, destroy its defenses and turn it into rubble wins the match.
  • As players fight enemy heroes and enemy defenses, they gain experience points and items that enhance their combat performance.
  • Dota has a large number of hero characters (113 at the time of publication), each with their own defining hero abilities. Might Artifact place a greater emphasis on unlocking new heroes, rather than individual cards?
  • There is a huge annual tournament known as The Invitational. Expect similar competitive tournament support for Artifact, if not at launch then in the months and years following its release.
  • Dota heroes are separated into roles such as “carry” and “support”. The former focus on gaining experience to become more powerful over time, while the others provide utility and healing. It's likely we'll see a similar segregation of character types in Artifact.
  • In Dota - and many other games of its kind - the character who gets the last hit on an enemy hero or creep gets all the rewards. It remains to be seen whether Artifact will have a shared resource system, or will carry on this “last-hitting” system.

That's the end of the first edition of our Artifact guide. Don't forget to let us know your own thoughts and speculation on the game in the comments!

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