Just two months after Valve announced a reboot of its card game Artifact comes news that a beta will kick off later this month. In an announcement today, the company outlined a strategy for the beta and the conditions for getting into it.
As for the latter: You'll need to already own the original Artifact. If you do, you'll receive an email by next week allowing you to opt in to the beta lottery system. This lottery determines how quickly you can get in: If you opt in, you'll still eventually get access to the beta before it's open to the public. That said, the chance of early access will only be granted to people who purchased the game before March 30.
It sounds like the beta period may last a while, too. "The Beta for the original game started too late and was too short," Valve writes. "We’ve decided to approach things a bit differently this time around by gradually inviting people to join us while we are still 'Under Construction'."
For those who do gain access immediately, Valve warns that you should expect bugs, placeholder art, and the chance that data will be reset early in the beta. While access will be limited at first, title updates will be public and those with access can share whatever they want.
Interestingly, it looks like the beta will provide access to the Artifact campaign. It's listed among other testing priorities, including balance, hero and color identity, social features, card unlocks, ranked play, spectating and replays. The update also reiterates that cards and card packs cannot be purchased, though ideas for other in-game purchases are being discussed.
As Andy pointed out last month, Artifact's "reboot" is starting to look like a whole new game. There will be no buying and selling cards, deployment has been radically overhauled, and the game's heroes are going to be more exciting.