If you happened to tune into Valve's "The International" Dota 2 esports tournament, you were treated to an announcement that seemingly came out of nowhere. Without any prior rumors to ruin the surprise, Valve teased a new game called Artifact, which is a card game themed after Dota 2. Beyond that tidbit, there is not a whole to share about the announcement, other than the short video.
What little we know at this point is that Artifact is coming out sometime in 2018. That much Valve was willing to share. During the tournament (and right before the final match of Day 2), host Sean "Day9" Plott also revealed that the Dota 2 card came will comprise three boards and involve building barracks, creeps, and lanes, according to RockPaperShotgun. Go ahead and cue the inevitable comparison to Hearthstone.
"If you’ve played previous trading card games, it has a lot of similarities in terms of having creatures and spells that you cast onto the board but in this game, anything you see in Dota, it’s here," Plott said. "There’s not just one board but three boards. You control five heroes, deploy them among the different lanes, creeps spawn every turn, the heroes that you play in Dota, they’re in the game. You can play as Bounty Hunter and cast Track on an enemy hero. Killing it gives you extra gold, use the gold to buy item cards, equip them to your heroes. And I gotta say, it’s a really cool experience because you really feel like the commander who’s allocating the various resources among this entire huge battlefield, moving from lane to lane."
Plott later added that Artifact will be a "very difference experience" compared to Dota. He also hyped up the cards as be 'really interesting" with unique behaviors, including improvement cards where you can cast spells on varying lanes while they continue to upkeep with every turn.
"I played a game where I was honestly getting my ass kicked in two of the lanes but I just kept building more barracks in the third, flooding my opponent with creeps," Plott added. "And it’s really nice because often card games can be very complex, and if you’ve played Dota, virtually any question you would have about how the game works, there’s a very clean and clear reference to Dota 2."
So there you have it. For more details as they become available, Valve created a Twitter account for Artifact. Also be sure to bookmark HotHardware, as we will be watching this one closely.