Valve's card game Artifact is slowly going towards its 2.0 phase, as developers like to call it.
The game was a complete disaster at launch and quickly have fallen into oblivion. But, in March, Gabe Newell himself confirmed that the studio is still not giving up on the game, and basically announced Artifact 2.0.
Shortly after, an official blog about the new life of the game emerged on Steam. From there, we've found out what's a general plan for the future of the game; the most important thing we've learned from the blog is that all cards will be completely free.
Another update for the game today and this time we're finding out about the new Deployment system and how it works. With the "old" Artifact, this was one of the most criticized parts of the game, since the game would randomly deploy the first set of heroes and lane creeps. With the new system, (almost)everything is in your hands.
Board is still separated in 3 lanes, and each lane has exactly 5 slots, with fixed positions. Before each round, a melee creep is deployed into the leftmost empty space in each lane. Heroes are deployed in three stages in the first round.
Step 1, Mid - Both players choose one of their first three heroes. They can choose to deploy them in one of the three middle spots in the lane. The heroes and their deploy locations are simultaneously revealed
Step 2, Off lane - Each player chooses their second hero (one player deploys to the first lane, the other to the third lane). The hero and their deploy locations are simultaneously revealed. This hero will be the most vulnerable since the enemy will be able to respond with full knowledge.
Step 3, Safe lane â€“ Players now deploy their last hero into their safe lane (the lane their opponent deployed into in the previous round). You have full information about what you are facing now, so you can deploy your final hero to the most beneficial of the three available spots.
This offers much more strategy and opportunities to outplay your opponents at this phase, which is something players are quite happy about, judging by the first comments on Steam forum and Reddit. Of course, this is just a first change of the gameplay we are seeing, there's still much to be shown, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
For more details of this new deployment system and some examples of how it unfolds in practise, visit the official blog on Steam.