Let's Shop! (continued)

Welcome back to another round of shop talk! After our last blog post we received a lot of email which made it clear that people still had questions about the specific functioning of the new shop. A lack of clarity in our previous discussion also caused some confusion. Let's start by trying to clear up some misconceptions, then we'll give some more details on the new shop's current implementation, and finally show some updated cards.

Clarifying The UI
Our tasteful placeholder art muddied the waters a bit. The title "Secret Shop" in the new shop interface implied that it was somehow separate from the old shop in Artifact or a replacement for the Secret Shop slot, when really it is just a reimagining of the old shop.

People also found the "Invest" option confusing, because it created the expectation of giving money in the future, rather than right away. In response, we've renamed the options from "Purchase" and "Invest" to "Shop" and "Earn" to make them more specific. The reroll button has been removed in favor of immediately replacing any purchased items, like in the original shop.

Here's a sketch of the current iteration of the shop from one of our UI artists.



Populating The Shop
Before a match begins you assemble an item deck, which currently consists of 10 cards. There are no tier restrictions on the items. Once you enter a match, your item deck is supplemented with extra items drawn from the whole set of items available in the game. You can see which items have been added via the in-game deck tracker. This recreates some of the varied gameplay of the old Secret Shop and ensures that the shop will initially contain items of each tier. Currently the number of items added per tier is:

Tier 1: 4
Tier 2: 3
Tier 3: 2
Tier 4: 1
Tier 5: 1

In the shopping phase, each of the three slots in the shop is populated from this combined item deck, so roughly half of the items available at any time will be from the deck you constructed, up from a third in the original shop. As mentioned, when you purchase an item it is immediately replaced with a new item drawn from the deck.

The items in the shop are drawn from the cards remaining in the combined item deck whose tier is at or below the shop level. If you’ve already bought all those cards, you will see a random Tier 1 card instead.

Item Reworks
You may have noticed how the rarity icons look different. These icons represent the general order that cards can be unlocked instead of traditional card rarity. Players start with the first group unlocked (cards with a grey icon) and some of the second group (the green icon). Cards in higher tiers aren't necessarily more powerful, but tend to use more advanced game concepts and require more finesse to be used at their full potential.

Let’s take a look at some of the changes to items.



Phase Boots
  • These boots are still a strong option for forcing or dodging match-ups in a lane.
  • The switch from swapping with an ally to swapping with any slot gives more options.



Claszureme Hourglass
  • The old version of this card had the most requests for change since it could feel so suffocating.
  • The new version is mostly good for use against heavy card draw strategies.



Nyctasha's Guard
  • This item clearly follows the old adage that the best defense is a good offense.
  • Equipping this item makes a hero a huge target. Make sure to bait out your opponent's counters before equipping it.

Hero Reworks
It doesn't seem fair to cover the same topic twice, so we wanted to share a few hero reworks as well!




Prellex
  • When Prellex enters the lane, she converts one of the Melee Creeps to a Mega Creep for an instant hit of extra power on the board.
  • Deploying creeps on the right gives you a few tactical options when deploying. Outside of round 1 you can easily get a strong blocker in the 4th or 5th slot.
  • Barracks helps empower many of the weak creeps blue tends to rely on by keeping them healthy and able to use their powerful effects more often.




Axe
  • While Axe is no longer the stat juggernaut he once was, he's still extremely durable with great deployment options.
  • With some setup, and the fact that it's repeatable, Culling Blade lets you lop the heads off several heroes in one round (repeatable cards are added back to your hand when cast, but are discarded at the end of the round). It's also fun to bluff holding so you can bait reactions from your opponent.
  • Berserker's Call is still a beast and makes itemization for Axe extra powerful. It's a good idea to control initiative when Axe enters the board with it off cooldown.




Ogre Magi
  • Ogre has become a popular hero to build around, just make sure you have enough Mana to cast both copies of your spell this round or you've wasted the cooldown.
  • Repeatable cards are discarded at the end of the round, so you can't build card advantage the way you could with Multicast in the original version of Artifact. The increased level of predictability makes this version easier to use though.
  • The Multicast ability doesn't modify the base card. Unlike cards which are innately repeatable, Multicast only returns the card to your hand one time. Normally repeatable cards can be cast until you run out of Mana or valid targets.
  • While two armor makes Ogre a good option for offlane deployment, you may want to keep him in the safe lane instead to trigger Multicast frequently.
  • Due to lower unit stats, Ignite is a great way to clear out small units from a lane.

We are looking forward to your feedback.