Artifact is moving on to the next stage of its revamping phase, which is a closed beta, Valve announced in another blog post today.
The developers working on Artifact have been showcasing the adjustments coming to the game with weekly blog posts for the last month and a half, revealing tons of changes coming to the shop, hero reworks, and new cards. But now, it’s almost time to let the players test out the revamped game.
Valve clarified that invites to the new beta will start rolling out next week only to those who purchased the original game. The developer advised everyone who meets the criteria to keep an eye on their inboxes for an email with instructions to sign up for the beta.
The invite system is intended to be lottery-based, which means overall playing time won’t affect players’ chances of getting in. “Access to the Beta will remain closed until we’ve worked through the signups from players of the original,” Valve said. “Communication about the game will remain open for the duration of the Beta.”
Valve also addressed any concerns surrounding the newly-announced beta. The developer said testing the “gameplay, balance, hero identity, color identity, social features, card unlocks, ranked play, replays, spectating and the campaign” is its top priority. Though social features were a subject of testing, Valve said most of the game modes like “tournaments and draft modes, other than Hero Draft,” wouldn’t be available until more players are added to the beta.
Since the first wave of invites is planned to consist of legacy players, Valve said the tutorial will also be disabled. But it believes the campaign mode could be a “good refresher” to help seasoned players get warmed up.
Valve pointed out that the beta could have several bugs. Temp art and progression in the beta could be reset, which could all be deal breakers for anyone thinking about signing up. The developer went on to emphasize again that the distribution of invites will be random and being a content creator or influencer won’t increase anyone’s chances of getting in.
The original Artifact’s first beta stage in 2018 was one of the main sources of criticism surrounding the game since it only had community figures and popular streamers. There also won’t be any restrictions on streaming or sharing anything from the game, which was the case with the original game’s beta.
To further clarify the invite system, Valve said it’ll be prioritizing players who bought the game before March 30, 2020. Therefore, buying the game now won’t help you be included in the first batch of invites.
Valve said it won’t be monetizing the game with cards or packs this time around while reminding fans that cards will be unlockable through gameplay in the overhauled version of Artifact.