Valve's troubled card game Artifact has been ramping up to a reboot, and today, we got the first glimpse of what that will actually look like. As Artifact nears a beta period the team is calling "Beta 2.0," the developers confirmed some big changes to both gameplay and the monetization of Artifact.
In a blog posted today, the team discussed the upcoming reboot. Most notably, it confirms that the card economy has been scrapped: "We aren't selling any cards," the blog says. In the FAQ, the team addresses how this affects those of you with full Artifact collections.
"In the new version cards are unlocked through play," the blog says. "Individual cards are likely to have been changed, removed, or brand new; so old decks and stats wouldn't be valid."
Artifact's monetization scheme used the Steam marketplace to allow the selling and trading of cards, similar to real-life card games like Magic: The Gathering. This was, however, contentious at the time due to other games like Hearthstone having more free-to-play progression than Artifact, which had an upfront buy-in.
The Artifact team also mentions that gameplay changes are coming first, with the biggest update being a zoom-out to a broader view of the action. Essentially, players will now be able to manage all three lanes of the board at once, rather than one at a time.
"The majority of effects still work on individual lanes so they still maintain their identity, but it's less likely that a player will get shut out in the same way they used to," the blog says.
It's been a full year since Valve published its statement on Artifact's reception, announcing a plan to head back to the drawing board. This new update, which is reportedly quite large, looks to give Artifact a second chance to shine.
Now it's 2020, where the card game arena is stacked with notable competitors like Hearthstone and MTG Arena joined by newcomer Legends of Runeterra. But as an advocate for Artifact's original take on tri-lane card battling, I'm still eager to see what a revamped version looks like. The fact that I won't have to play the virtual stock market to fill out my collection makes the notion all the more appealing.