Tomorrow brings the first full and proper new Valve game since 2013: Artifact, a card game based on wizfest Dota 2. Yes, it is a game about pushing lanes and managing lords (made together with Magic: The Gathering mastermind Richard Garfield, no less), but apparently it also has a story told in that modern Valve way, through a companion comic. Artifact's first digital issue is out now for free, and confirms that Dota really is about wizards and lords.
Head on over to Artifact's site to read the first issue, Prelude, in your browser. Valve also have a CBZ version to download for comic reader software.
"Artifact is more than just a Dota card game," Valve said in the accompanying announcement, "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."
I hope it's Windrunner's fate to get more good hats.
The second comic is due alongside Artifact's launch tomorrow, and Valve say it "sets the stage for a series of events that will transform the world of Dota forever."
Transform it into a more stylish world, thanks to Windrunner's new good hats.
Artifact hits Steam on Wednesday the 28th. It'll cost £16/€18/$20 to start, which gets you two decks, ten packs of random cards, and five "event tickets" to enter competitive modes to win more cards. Beyond that, you'll need to pay real money to buy card packs from Valve, buy event tickets, or get individual cards off the Steam Community Market. Yup, unlike many digital CCGs, you apparently have no way to get more cards for free by playing. (I stand corrected: doing well enough in events will get you a pack as well as refund your ticket.) Naw, I had enough of that with Magic, I'll not let the Garf get me again.
As for how the game goes, our Dave explains in his Artifact guide.