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I think it’s time to acknowledge that Garfield has completely lost his mojo and his name can’t be a watchword for “good CCG” anymore.

Keyforge is a mess of half-baked but interesting concepts mixed with bad ideas and poorly balanced cards, and none of it matters because you can’t take advantage of any of it or use any creativity to lean into the concepts you find fun. Its lootbox model leaves the entire game mortally wounded before you ever draw your first card.

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lurkerwithout said on December 10th, 2018 at 2:20 am

I think “3 battlefields at once” is where I’d have noped out.

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mygif

So last week I installed Artifact, Valveā€™s first in-house produced game in almost a decade,

This right here should have been enough to make you skeptical. “Haven’t produced a game in almost a decade” can be restated as “our development talent and product pipeline is either hopelessly incompetent or monumentally rusty.”

(Decade is overstating it a bit; Portal 2 is only seven years old, after all. But still.)

Valve isn’t a game company anymore. They don’t need to be; they make money off other peoples games. They basically decided that TF2 was “done” and would never be further iterated upon, which of course created the market opening for Overwatch. They let Half-Life wither on the vine because, as near as anyone can tell, they just… got bored with it. DOTA2 is rapidly becoming an also-ran in a genre that’s becoming less vital by the day. Then of course there’s their ill-fated Steam Machines, which… didn’t work out the way they wanted them to, now did they? Because we all already owned computers and didn’t need worse computers to hook up to our TVs.

And now there’s Artifact, which is horribly, terribly monetized with all the worst aspects of a F2P economy that you need to pay up front to get access to.

I don’t know why they made this game. It brings nothing essential or particularly new to the title, and doesn’t even seem to be a labor of love or have the confidence of the company developing it. It’s like they just did it to do something?

Gabe Newell was a brilliant innovator and game developer for a good fifteen years or so. But now he seems content to just kick back and let the money from Steam roll in while he and his company do jack shit creatively.

They don’t need to do anything creative, of course. They make their cash as middlemen. But it’s sad to see the studio that re-defined multiple genres of gaming multiple times become just a middleman.

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