Valve’s digital collectible card game “Artifact” entered closed beta on Sunday, giving people a chance to test it out before its full launch on Nov. 28. Now, many players are slamming the game in a lengthy Reddit thread over what they call a “shady” monetization system.
Instead of being “pay-to-win,” “Artifact” is “pay for everything you do,” players said. The base game apparently costs $20. This nets you some starter cards. But, getting new cards after that costs more money. Booster packs are $2. You can buy and sell specific cards via the Steam marketplace, but you cannot trade them with others. You can also win cards by playing certain game modes, but these require tickets to enter. And, yes, you have to pay for the tickets.
“This just looks like a system trying to exploit people who have a gambling addiction,” one Reddit user said.
“‘Artifiact’ looks pretty fun,” said another. “I wouldn’t mind paying $60 for all of the content up front. I have a decent job now. I’m not going to buy it because I don’t want to feel like I’m getting nickel and dimed every time I play. These microtransactions always end up costing more than just buying a product up front. Also ‘pre-ordering’ games is stupid.”
Meanwhile, popular “Hearthstone” streamer Kripparian said he recently spent $300 on card packs but failed to come up with two viable decks because he couldn’t get some of the important cards needed for them. Right now, a lot of the cards you get are already in your starter set, he said, giving you multiple hero cards you can’t use in constructed. “I ended up not getting any of the cards I actually wanted,” he said, though he admitted he did actually make some good decks in the end.
Valve responded to the backlash on Sunday, saying there’s been an “overwhelming amount of feedback on all parts of the game.” “Much of that feedback has been a clear signal that we underestimated how much interest and excitement the community has around certain features that weren’t available in the initial beta build,” it said. It now plans to add a casual Phantom Draft gauntlet in the next beta build so people can practice the game mode before venturing into the competitive mode. This new mode won’t cost a ticket. It’s also adding the ability to do a draft event with friends. Finally, it said it’s creating a system that allows players to recycle extra, unwanted cards into event tickets. That feature will ship before the end of the beta period.