Valve's long-awaited multi-screen card battler Artifact is now just a couple of days from full release, and that means it's time for an interactive comic that sets up the game's narrative—the reason you're slinging all these cards around in the first place. Because you, it seems, are an acolyte of the House of the Cunning, with the power to stick your finger into the river of time and alter the flow of history.
There's a weightier air to it than the "let's hit the pub and play cards" justification for Hearthstone, perhaps a tad overwrought, but for the most part it comes off as a fairly straightforward, Harry Potter-flavored story of chosen one(s) in times of trouble. What's interesting is the possible impact on Dota 2 that Valve teased in the blurb. Artifact is a Dota-themed game, but Valve has been coy about how the two will co-exist and interact.
"Artifact is more than just a Dota card game—it is a shared universe with a storyline that will deepen the history, expand the world, and change the fates of the heroes of both games," Valve wrote. "We'll also be releasing a second comic called Call to Arms on launch day, which sets the stage for a series of events that will transform the world of Dota forever."
Valve also rolled out a new update to the beta today, the notes of which you can catch below. Artifact comes out on November 28, and we will have our impressions up the day before that, which is tomorrow. We've also got an analysis of just how much it will really cost to build an Artifact collection that you should probably check out, too.
November 26 beta update notes:
- Added the ability to inspect the current deck lists during play using F2 and F3.
- Fixes for several crashes.
- Pressing ESC to cancel an unrecommended action no longer causes the card to become unresponsive.
- When you try to recycle >1000 cards, the dialog box will be clearer about why you can’t.
- Fixed the text not fitting in some dialog boxes.
- Fixed the reward ticket image sometimes being black.
- Fixed the allied Radiant towers covering damage preview numbers.
- Fixed bugs with the forced surrender warnings firing too frequently and under the wrong conditions.
- Improved timing on for Lux and Nox to make them less active.
- Updated gauntlet rewards sounds.
- Updated the localization files.