Hopoo Games' Risk of Rain 2 has been getting a great amount of positive attention lately. As the early access of the Metroidvania title comes to a close, the developers added in a massive update, bringing the new Artifacts system into the game. \n \nThese Artifacts radically change the gameplay, but you'll have to unlock them to find out how. Hopoo has no intentions of spoiling what these items will do, leaving it up to the players to make the discoveries for themselves. \n \n \n \nLooking back, Hopoo has offered a few insights into the system, as well as the rest of the title as they move forward. Discussing Artifacts, they had the following to say: \n \n"One of the biggest topics when we were working on Artifacts 2.0 was 'how are we going to balance Artifacts?' They require no resource, the trials require no investment of in-game time, and have wildly varying power. Each of these have legitimate solutions. However, our final decision was that the design of Artifacts, and the systems around it, won't prioritize balance." \n \nThat sounds like an incredibly strange approach to balance - to just ignore it as a whole - but Hopoo describes why. The focus of the system was to add fun and replayability, not to be balanced as a core gameplay. They're meant to be considered more as cheats or secrets - sometimes they increase difficulty, sometimes they lower it, but it's always fun. \n \nPast the Artifacts system, Hopoo discusses some of their major changes moving forward. They're hoping to reduce the Horde of Many spawns from Teleporter Events, which are currently spawning significantly more than necessary. They also want to work on the crashes, freezes, or boot-up issues some players have reported. \n \nIn terms of minor fixes, they're aiming to prevent the Recycler from recycling the item recycled into the same item repeatedly. They're also working on Squid Turrets, Prismatic Trials, and a wide variety of other bugs that are currently negatively impacting gameplay. \n \nOn a closing note, Hopoo also discusses the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had. The entire team is working from home, and while it was certainly a large transition at the beginning, they don't expect any issues to impact the team moving forward. \n \nAs the full release of Risk of Rain 2 approaches, Hopoo has their hands full making sure the game is as polished and high-quality as possible. Thus far after a year in early access, they've managed to put together an incredibly fun and challenging game without making it feel unfairly punishing. As the months move on, we're all expecting big things from Hopoo.