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Artifact's update nerfed some expensive cards, so Valve is buying them back

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Valve’s changed its tune when it comes to tweaking cards in Artifact (opens in new tab). Today’s update brings with it some significant changes to cards like Axe, Artifact’s most expensive card (opens in new tab), as well as new features, including account levels and skill ratings. 

While Valve previously subscribed to the idea that cards should never be altered aside from a few exceptions, its philosophy has shifted considerably. 

“Our conclusion was that embracing ongoing card balance for a digital game has a lot more upsides for the game as a whole,” reads the update post (opens in new tab). “Once we shifted over to this new mindset, it became obvious to us that it was a more natural fit with how we tend to develop games. Starting with today's update, we will be taking an incremental approach to balancing, with the primary goal being to improve the gameplay quality over time.”

Eight cards have been changed with this update, including several prominent ones like Drow Ranger, Cheating Death and the aforementioned Axe. One of Artifact’s most powerful cards, Axe could be found selling for over $30 at its peak. That’s more expensive than Artifact. It’s now selling for around $7. 

Artifact’s steep decline in players (opens in new tab) is likely responsible for the drop, and it’s been going down all month, but the nerf certainly isn’t going to add value to it. The base stats of Axe have gone from 7/2/11 to 6/2/10. It’s still got two armour and his fancy Berserker’s Call ability, but it now does less damage and has less health. 

I wonder if we’ll start to see even fewer people throwing big bucks around in the marketplace now that there won’t be this expectation that a card will be as powerful today as the day you bought it. 

If you've bought one of the cards changed by the update, you can sell it back to Valve, but only for the peak price 24 hours before the announcement. If you blew $30 on it, you’re out of luck, though you’ll still be able to claw back around $8. You can sell your cards back to Valve now. Here’s how (opens in new tab)

Are these changes going to make any of you more hesitant about investing real cash in the game? 

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.