It’s no secret that Artifact was a flop. A bad hand, if you’re into card game puns. Players never seemed sure about the trading card game’s gameplay, and with so many other options available to them, the game looked like it was dying just two weeks after it launched. Even Gabe Newell came out and said it was a “disappointment”. But then, out of nowhere, the Artifact Twitter account revealed the game was under construction. Now, Valve has revealed details about its plan for Beta 2.0.

Time for round two

The first and undeniably most important thing the Artifact team has been working on is the gameplay. The biggest change here is the ability to zoom out and view all three lanes at once. They’re obviously sticking to the multiple lane gimmick, which may seem like an unnecessary complication. But, at the same time, it is also the game’s unique selling point.

The Beta 2.0 announcement goes on to say that most effects in Artifact will still work on individual lanes. However, players are less likely to get shut out than they were in the previous version of the game.

Valve also wants to make the game easier for new players to pick up. To that end, cards will no longer be sold, so you should never encounter a player with a stacked deck. Artifact is also getting a new mode, Hero Draft. This will let players experience and practice constructing decks without all the pressure.

Artifact Board

Beta 2.0 details

Beta 2.0 will be an entirely new executable file, and access will be granted to individual accounts when Valve is ready to get things underway. People who played the original game will be prioritized when it comes to access to Beta 2.0. Valve has explicitly said that you need to have owned Artifact before today, so there’s no point purchasing it quickly in the hopes of getting access. Invites will also be random.

No cards or decks from the original version of Artifact will be brought into Beta 2.0. Instead, you’ll now earn cards through playing the game, and everyone will start at the beginning. The Artifact team is currently toying around with some ideas of what they would like to sell, but there are no details about them yet. They simply confirm that these things for sale will not include cards or decks.

Artifact Ogre Magi

Artifact Beta 2.0 roadmap

Valve hasn’t revealed a particularly detailed plan for Artifact‘s Beta 2.0, but it has indicated there’s a fairly long way to go. The studio is currently in the first phase of its plan to launch a new Artifact. They have dubbed this phase “Test boring stuff”. The next phase will involve slowly sending out invites to players who own the original game. This phase will ramp up in a similar way to Dota 2‘s beta rollout.

Phase three works in parallel to the beta invites going out, simply stating “work on the beta, eventually transitioning into open beta”. Again, not particularly detailed. The final phase of Artifact‘s Beta 2.0 plan is to leave beta. Jokingly, the announcement comments that this will hopefully happen quicker than it did with Dota 2.

Logan Broadley
Logan is an enthusiastic player of games (sometimes too enthusiastic according to his wife at 2 a.m.), and a video game reviewer, esports writer and gaming news writer. Originally from South Africa, he started out as a writer in advertising agencies, but has since moved on to a much higher calling: video games.

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