Below are a few questions asked by GameOgre.com to Artifact. The questions from GameOgre.com are in bold.
There are currently 7 different player levels ranging from Free to Unlimited Access. How have these various levels been accepted by players and are there any plans to reduce the number of levels to around 2 to 3 so players can have an easier choice of selecting a pricing plan?
The variety of options has grown over time and even shrunk for a while. Besides Freeman (the free play option) we started out with: Citizen Gentry Noble Royal and Imperial. These were one-time payment options. That is the player pays once and does not have to pay again (though they could choose to upgrade their access).
With the release of Artifact 2 we added the Full Access subscription option. Full Access provides a way to try out the game that is less expensive than the other levels but you pay quarterly.
During 2003 we discontinued the one-time payment options. Players liked having the options though so we re-instated them before the end of that year.
Unlike MMORPGs where your character is unaffected when offline your empire in Artifact is fair game for online players when you are not in the game. Can explain how this interesting dynamic works and how have players responded to it?
Artifact was designed from the beginning to be a team game. Players form alliances to help each other. That includes combining their forces in large online battles and “standing guard” over each other’s empires while some of them are offline.
That has proven to be part of the “learning curve” of the game. New players often try to play solo outside of any alliance. And they tend to die when they do that. It’s also proven to be somewhat detrimental to sleeping habits. 😉
How important are clans in this game?
Artifact clans provide a type of “members only” club for players. They also provide a collection of allies that work together. Like players clans have game statistics like games won games played artifacts found troops killed and so on.
What advantages would you say Artifact has over retail RTS games like WarCraft 3 and the Command and Conquer franchise?
The style of play is different because of the built-in team support and the persistent world aspects. Also there is less emphasis on twitch-and-click resource collection.
Online battles require a team of players with different skills all working together. While one player is leads the troops there is another building out the walls to advance on the enemy city. And there is likely someone else in charge of building and training the troops while still another keeps the city supplied with food and raw materials to train more troops.
If you could pick one aspect of Artifact that you think would appeal the most to the online gamer what would that be?
The community of players in Artifact is very unique. There are teenagers playing alongside adults (and some of those adults were teenagers when they first started playing). There are boys and girls men and women. There are Americans Canadians British French Germans and more. Overall the community of players is very helpful and loves to see new players join.
Are there any future improvements or expansions in the future that you would like to mention?
We do have plans for future expansions but nothing that we can announce currently. In a very real sense the game is always growing. We’re not restricted to specific release dates and enjoy extending the game based on player suggestions. For example last year we added several new units to the game.