Valve recently announced to expect news for their card game Artifact sometime soon, and now they're saying an Artifact 2.0 Beta will start trickling out to players.
In the announcement on Steam, they made it clear that they've been working on revamping the core mechanics of Artifact. You will now be able to zoom out any time, to see and interact with all three lanes at once. However, the "majority" of effect still only work across one lane so they're all still important but a player is less likely to get shut out of a lane like they used to.
Something better is that Valve will no longer sell cards, so there's no chance of facing an opponent with more money who has a completely stacked deck to steamroll over you. There's even a new "Hero Draft" mode, "that gives you a taste of constructing decks without all the pressure".
There's no exact timing on when the Artifact 2.0 Beta will roll out but Valve said it will be a new entry in Steam, it will roll out gradually and randomly to existing players and they will announce again when they're ready. This is their current short roadmap:
- Test boring stuff <- We are here
- Trickle out invites, starting with players of the original release (ramping up similar to Dota 2)
- Work on the Beta, eventually transitioning to an open beta
- Leave Beta (hopefully quicker than Dota 2)
In the FAQ, they mentioned that cards will be earned by playing the game (hooray!) and they do have some ideas about what they wish to sell for the game but it won't be cards. So we're likely looking at some sort of cosmetic items.
Whenever we get access to the Artifact 2.0 Beta, we will take a look.
Artifact is available on Steam.