Artifact 2.0 seems ready for testing. On Monday, Valve confirmed that the revamp of their Dota 2 card game will enter closed beta some time next week, prioritizing players who bought the original game before end of March 2020.
In the blog post, Valve admit that “the Beta for the original game started too late and was too short” and that they’re trying a new approach now, inviting people in from the very early stages of design. The original beta, of course, had other problems too: for the longest time, it was only available to pro players and influencers and the wide public only got access to it at the final stretch.
According the Valve, in this new Artifact 2.0 closed beta, they will be testing “Gameplay, Balance, Hero Identity, Color Identity, Social Features, Card Unlocks, Ranked Play, Replays, Spectating and the Campaign.” As previously confirmed, since the card collection will be unlocked only through play and since the card set has undergone heavy revision, players will not have access to their existing collections.
The Artifact 2.0 closed beta will also roll out without any NDA and streaming restrictions, so we’ll likely get a lot more content this time around.
This is a make-or-break period for Valve’s card game. Competition on the market is getting steeper with Hearthstone, Legends of Runeterra, and MTG: Arena all boasting their own fanbases. At the same time, Artifact has a lot of bad reputation to repair and a more public-facing beta — and not just one for the privileged few — is a smart decision from Valve.
Judging by recent communication, the company has also gone through great strides to revamp many of the questionable mechanics of the original game, including initiative, lanes, the shopping phase, and collection progress. Whether that’ll be enough though is still up in the air.