Artifact goes into beta tomorrow, with the game set to officially launch November 28, but some potential players are already upset about the planned pricing scheme for Valve’s forthcoming CCG.
The major complaint, it seems, is that there are very few ways to earn cards by simply playing the game. After the initial buy-in cost of $19.99 USD, each additional pack of cards costs $2. To earn packs in the game, you can’t play Artifact in casual competition. Instead, you have to play in expert, which costs tickets, and to get tickets beyond the initial five you get with the base purchase, you’ve got to spend money on ticket packs.
In a thread that’s received around 2,600 upvotes, user Ac3Zer0 explains their frustration with the pricing scheme.
“Here are the ways to get cards,” Ac3Zer0 says. “Pay 2 dollars for a card pack, pay for cards on the market, or play expert. Every time you play expert you have to spend a ticket, which is a dollar” since a pack of five tickets costs $4.95.
“So to play constructed, NO MATTER WHAT, you will have to spend money (to get cards), to play draft NO MATTER WHAT, you have to spend money (for tickets),” Ac3Zer0 says.
What’s more, some of the cards you can get in packs are essentially useless. Heroes that everyone gets in the starter edition are included in the pool for purchasable card packs, it seems. You can’t have duplicate heroes in your deck, and since everyone has those cards, they’re essentially worthless on the Steam market.
Dustin has been playing Artifact as he finalizes his official review, and he says the starter edition he opened for his pre-release copy included four duplicate hero cards – which he now can’t use. However, he told me that having starter heroes in the card pool could be useful for Artifact’s draft modes.
As some commenters have pointed out, the state of a subreddit isn’t always a good indication of general public perception of a game. Others have suggested that a game like Artifact is appealing to a ‘hardcore’ audience, and therefore the subreddit’s overall feeling carries more weight.
“Reddit is always whiny, and they always think this, it never fails,” one commenter sighed.