Steven R. March 30, 2020
True to the company’s word, Valve is detailing its new plans for fixing Dota 2 spin-off Artifact.
On a post made to the game’s official Steam page, the publisher detailed its plans for an “Artifact Beta 2.0” that will reimagine the game and make the title more accessible for newcomers.
“We’ve been focusing on gameplay changes first. The biggest change is zooming out to allow players access to all three lanes at once...We’ve also focused on making the game easier to pick up. We aren’t selling cards, so you won’t face an opponent with a stacked deck,” Valve said.
It also detailed a new draft mode, Hero Draft. This will alter the deck-making experience of Artifact in order to relieve some of the “pressure” placed on players on this front.
The Artifact Beta 2.0 is still in the early stages, with the publisher “testing boring stuff,” according to the statement. The first invitees to the Artifact Beta 2.0 will be those who purchased the initial version of the game. This will then be ramped up in a way similar to Dota 2, which will eventually be expanded into a full open beta.
Valve teases new Artifact economy, monetization system
Artifact’s gameplay was generally well received. Though the game boasted a steep learning curve, those who played it for an extensive period of time largely credited its depth and interesting similarities to the actual Dota 2 experience.
What wasn’t liked was its monetization system. Artifact was entirely built around encouraging users to purchase cards through the Steam marketplace. While other titles like Hearthstone rewarded in-game progress with more cards, some fans felt like Artifact was designed to wring every penny it could out of players.
Valve did not go into its revised plans for Artifact in-depth, but it did tease that it heard fans’ complaints and will be rolling out a new system with the game’s relaunch.
“We have some ideas about what we’d like to sell, but none of them are cards/packs,” Valve said.
Unfortunately, established Artifact players are likely going to have to start over from scratch. Artifact will feature a heavily overhauled set of cards, so much so that “old decks and stats wouldn’t be valid.”
Artifact users should still be excited to hear that Valve is creating clear plans for the game moving forward. Valve released Artifact in late 2018, and completely abandoned it just a few months later. The company didn’t even bother updating social media channels, leaving many to wonder if Artifact had become abandonware.
Valve did not give a time table for the Artifact Beta 2.0 release.