Valve opens sign-ups for Artifact Beta 2.0, prioritizing first-version players

Aaron Mamiit

Valve has opened sign-ups for its second crack at Artifact, the digital card game that went into hibernation last year to give the developer time to fix “deep-rooted issues.”

Fixing Artifact, which was already a disappointment as soon as it was announced at The International 2017 because players were hoping for Half-Life 3, has taken more than a year. However, the overhauled game, which was reportedly being referred to as Artifact 2 within Valve, is finally ready to deploy.

The sign-up page for Artifact Beta 2.0 requires players to log in with their Steam accounts. Not everyone will be able to access the revamped game right away though, as it will only be made available to a limited number of players at the start.

After signing up, players will be entered into a lottery, with those gaining access to the beta chosen randomly. Valve said that the number of invites will quickly increase, and that all players of the original Artifact will be granted access before the beta is opened to everyone.

Earlier this week, Valve released footage of Artifact Beta 2.0. According to the description of the YouTube video, which was recorded on May 1, Valve has streamlined the digital card game, and has removed the old monetization system.

The video shows placeholder art for some cards alongside temporary effects, and Valve said that it will be making some changes as the beta progresses. However, it shows a good glimpse of what to expect from the overhauled Artifact, which is now looking to become a better challenger to the likes of Blizzard’s Hearthstone.

Artifact‘s issues

Artifact drew heavy criticism before it was released in December 2018 because of its monetization model, forcing Valve to make changes before the game entered public beta. However, that was not the only problem, as the game’s mechanics, which attempted to mimic the gameplay of DOTA 2, were not enough to draw interest away from the likes of Hearthstone and Gwent.

Valve, learning from the shortcomings of the game’s first release, will add a single-player campaign to the overhauled Artifact, and will no longer allow players to buy and sell cards.