New Artifact update improves matchmaking and user interface

Improvements are slowly rolling out.

Image via Valve

The Artifact 2.0 Beta is slowly rolling out more improvements as it creeps closer to inviting more players, making updates to the matchmaking system, user interface, and overall balance. 

The main areas being attended to in this patch were general gameplay enhancements and bug fixes, with Valve removing 10 different smaller issues and improving a lot of core mechanics. 

Starting with the general updates, matchmaking parameters have been reworked to prevent severely imbalanced matches while Valve works to implement player rank levels in the future. A change to card numbers has made 1.5 cards per turn the default in hero draft and players can now unlock one early complexity tier 2 hero in their third pack—and an early complexity tier-three hero in their tenth pack.

And to round out the general changes, combat stats are now locked in before combat resolves, the press to Win button now takes lane resolution order into account, and cards that deploy heroes now do Deploy effects.

To go along with those matchmaking updates, a new matchmaking chat channel was added that allows you to challenge users in the channel without being friends with them. All chats abide by Steam’s community bans and in-game chat has been removed, though bubble chat boxes on towers/units are still allowed.

As for bugs, color-shifted cards make cards of the new color, each Homefield Advantage disarms a different unit when stacked in the same lane, and Earthshaker’s Rocks no longer trigger death effects.

Here are the remaining bug fixes and balance updates that were added in this patch. If you want a full list of patch notes, you can view them on the Artifact Steam community page.

Bugs

  • Attempting to bounce rooted units no longer breaks the game.
  • Retaliate border shows up again under normal arrow conditions.
  • Timber Chain no longer damages multiple enemies en route to another lane when Timbersaw is rooted.
  • Mjolnir only triggers when the hero can attack.
  • Fixed a bug where equipping items could trigger Aghanim’s Sanctum or The Tyler Estate in another lane.
  • Pressing to win no longer gives out Blink Scrolls.
  • Fixed a bug where Sheep Stick could target friendly units.

Card Text

  • Added Root to the glossary.
  • Clarified Quickstrike in the glossary; only works in the combat phase.
  • Clarified Summon in the glossary.
  • Effects that replace melee creep now state that they are summoned rather than deployed.
  • Vendetta now specifies that it works cross lane.
  • Play Effect glossary entry updated to include non-creep cards.
  • Arctic Burn now specifies that it works cross lane.

Balance

  • Increased Body Modifications unlock tier: 1 -> 3.
  • Decreased Bracers of Sacrifice damage 5 -> 4.
  • Changed Essence Font from a Unit Enchantment to a Caster Enchantment and restricted its refund effect to spells and abilities cast in its lane.