Most games are keen to tell you about the features that will be included in a game, but Artifact is perhaps most telling for what it won’t have. Namely, Artifact monetization will currently not include any way to earn free cards and the game’s chat will not include any form of moderation.
In an interview with programmer Jeep Barnett and lead designer Richard Garfield, it was revealed that Artifact will cost $20 up front, which grants you two starter decks and ten random card packs. The game will not include any way of earning cards through play. Cards can currently be earned in one of two ways; real-world money purchasing of packs, or bartering of individual cards in an in-game marketplace.
According to the interview, this decision was made in order to avoid the “suboptimal experiences” of free play according to Garfield.
“It’s not pay to win. It’s pay to participate. We expect top-tier play to include a lot of common cards. We also make sure that rare cards that are there are not so rare they drag prices up.”
As for chat, Artifact will include one-on-one chat between yourself and your opponent, but once again does not currently have any features that will allow a person to report bad actors or even involve any sort of direct moderation plan. According to Barnett’s response, it appears the devs of the game are hoping that a lack of an audience for someone being a digital a-hole will be moderation enough:
“Psychologically, we find that people misbehave when there is somebody else to observe them misbehaving. When it’s a one-on-one game, what is my motivation for saying something awful? But when you’re in a game with a bunch of other people and you say something, a bunch of other people laugh at you, so something happened. We tend to see people behave very differently in one-on-one situations.”
There also does not appear to be a plan for inclusion and diversity surrounding any esports scene that might spring up around Artifact, with both Barnett and Garfield appearing to hope that the scene would just be inclusive all on its own. “If you look at Magic tournaments, it encourages wide participation from lots of different players. I think Artifact’s tournament will look a little more like that,” remarked Barnett.
It is important to bear in mind that Artifact is still in development and a number of these decisions may not yet be final, particularly in regards to card earnings or other features found in online CCGs like a single-player mode or ranked matches. According to the piece, Barnett did mention that these features may come later depending on community response.
Early days or not, these sound like astoundingly poor design choices, particularly in regards to moderation. We definitely hope that the devs of Artifact strongly consider, because right now a number of these missing functions and features mean a pretty hard pass for many of us.
The post Artifact Will Not Have Free Cards or Chat Moderation appeared first on MMOGames.com.