Artifact, Valve’s long-awaited Dota-themed card game, launches tomorrow, and some players are already upset at the changes that the developer is making. In a blog post published last night, Valve noted the addition of a feature that the community has already dubbed ‘deck tracking.’
Last night’s beta update “added the ability to inspect the current deck lists during play using F2 and F3. Essentially, that means that you’ll be able to take a look at all of the cards that your opponent has brought to the game at the touch of a button, whenever you want (and vice-versa).
Presumably, you’ll simply be presented with a list of cards in their deck, rather than anything more technically relevant than that. The blog post is pretty open to interpretation, but I’m sure you won’t be able to see what cards your opponent is about to draw. Personally, I think Artifact’s three-board layout means that deck tracking could have a positive impact on the meta, allowing you to play and counter-play around strategies across all three lanes, but the game’s subreddit doesn’t seem to agree with me.
The Artifact community is currently filled with discussion around deck tracking, with differing opinions on the subject scattered throughout its front page. Most players seem to be upset that the game’s Constructed mode – most similar to Hearthstone’s Arena – will be ruined if your opponent can see exactly what you’re coming into lane with, but other players fear it could ruin ranked strategy.
I’ll admit it does seem an odd feature to add to the game at the eleventh hour, especially given the impact it could have on the ongoing state of the game. Valve have previously said they’ll re-address some aspects of the in-game economy after player backlash, so it’s still possible that the deck tracker will be a relatively short-lived addition.
Ahead of the game’s release, check out our Artifact review, or take a look at our Artifact card list if you fancy doing some theorycrafting. You could have plenty of time to put aside for some Artifact-related reading material – the Artifact release times mean that European players won’t have access to the game until quite late at night on Wednesday.