Artifact Update: Rating System, Leveling and Rewards, Cards Balance
Valve have released a new major update for their trading card game Artifact, which introduced some very important changes to the game. Based on the community feedback, the developers decided to change some fundamental concepts of the game. First, it was decided that it would be better for the game to adjust the card balance, while initially they planned to never change cards so they do not lose their value. Second, this update introduced a new progression system so that the players will now be able to get free card packs and tickets just by playing the game. The third major addition of the update is the long-awaited rating system.
Every matchmade game now grants experience that is used to level your account and get special rewards, including icons, card packs and tickets. The number of free packs and tickets is limited – this season each player will be able to get up to 15 of each. The players can get additional experience by completing weekly quests and specific challenges.
The update introduced a seasonal rating system. Every player starts at Rank 1, and can reach up to Rank 75. Once you get to a certain rank, you will not lose it during the current season. There are independent ratings for constructed and draft game modes. Once a new season begins, the ratings will be reset.
In their first balance update Valve changed eight cards, including the very popular Axe card. Players who purchased changed cards from the marketplace are able to sell the cards directly back to Valve for what their peak selling price was in the last 24 hours. The developers explained their decision to change card balance in the blog.
- Base stats changed from 7/2/11 to 6/2/10.
- Base stats changed from 7/6 to 7/7.
- Blood Rage (signature spell) mana cost changed from 5 to 4.
- Mana cost changed from 5 to 4.
- Old Text: "If there is an allied green hero in this lane, allies have a 50% chance of surviving with 1 Health when they would die."
- New Text: "Active (Cooldown 1): Give a unit a Death Shield this round. May only be used if there is an allied green hero in this lane."
- Gust (signature spell) Old Text: "Silence enemy heroes this round."
- Gust (signature spell) New Text: "Silence an enemy hero and its allied neighbors this round."
- Gold cost changed from 7 to 5.
- Old Text: "Equipped hero has +2 Attack and Pierce."
- New Text: "Equipped hero has +2 Attack and Pierce. Equip Effect: Purge your opponent's effects from equipped hero."
- Finger of Death (active ability) Old Text: "Deal 8 piercing damage to a unit."
- Finger of Death (active ability) New Text: "Deal 8 piercing damage to a unit. Quicken." (Quicken means "reduce cooldown by 1, but not below 1".)
- Base stats changed from 4/6 to 4/7.
- Reactive Armor (passive) Old Text: "Timbersaw has +1 Armor for each of its attackers."
- Reactive Armor (passive) New Text: "Timbersaw has +1 Armor for each of its attackers. Each of Timbersaw's attackers have -1 Armor."
- Added Skill Rating. Skill rating is specific to a particular time period and game mode (draft or constructed) and ranges from 1 to 75. Once you've earned a rating, it will not decrease this season. Every matchmaking game outside of the Call To Arms featured event contributes to skill rating adjustments.
- Added account levels and unlocks. Every matchmaking game grants experience that contributes to account level. Increasing account level unlocks portraits and a number of event tickets and card packs.
- Added Quicken keyword. On activated abilities, this means "reduce cooldown by 1, but not below 1". (See Finger of Death in the card changes section.)
- Added Equip Effect keyword. On items, this ability will trigger immediately after the item is equipped to a hero. (See Jasper Daggers in the card changes section.)
- Fixed some words being underlined on ability tooltips in-game.
- Fixed the complete deck list not being visible for the opponent in Call To Arms gauntlet matches.
- Fixed some instances of Red Mist Pillager not showing their combat target arrows after being spawned.
- Fixed a number of other minor bugs and issues.
- Updated the localization files.