The artifact Distortion locks a randomly selected ability for one minute, and then locks another one. It can be found in the Damp Caverns:
In one variant of the map, an artifact gate can be found in the upper-right. Along the right edge of the top-most platform there will be a short vine leading down to the gate. The artifact will not yet be present. Just off the right edge of the screen are some smaller ledges which are only reachable with a Photon Jetpack, 2 Hopoo Feathers, or 7(?) Rusty Jetpacks (and in each case, perhaps a couple Paul's Goat Hooves). The jump can also be made using the Spirit artifact at minimum HP and any ability that increases movespeed (tested Acrid and Commando) or with Loader's hook. The box-shaped object covered in fungus is a switch that cannot be directly damaged, but will activate with any area damage such as explosions. (Jumping with Headstompers will work, as will the Enforcer's Crowd Control skill and Crudely Drawn Buddy.) "Dying" by going off the top edge of the screen will respawn you above the artifact gate, which now holds the Distortion artifact.
- Some skills can have odd effects when the lock is changed every minute:
- The Enforcer can get stuck in Protect and Serve if it is locked while active.
- Loader can end up with one M440 Conduit on the ground, unable to use the other.
- The Sniper/Miner will auto-fire Steady Aim or Drill Charge if it is locked while charging[verification needed](could be the other way; can continue charging to full despite the lock).
- Sniper's Spotter: SCAN will remain on the target even if the skill gets locked.
- Acrid's Caustic Sludge will run its normal length even if the skill is locked immediately after using it.
- Mercenary's Blinding Assault 2nd or 3rd strike cannot be used if the skill is locked between dashes, even if you meet the requirement to enable it.[verification needed]
- Keep an eye out; there is no sound when skills are locked, so you have to watch the clock or glance at your skill bar now and then to avoid being surprised by a locked skill. If your "escape" skill is locked at an inopportune moment, it can be disastrous.
- Learn how to cope with only 3 of 4 skills at a time; new ways to be flexible in attacking/defending can be discovered.
It still needs verification if this is a bug, or working as intended: This artifact in online multiplayer mode will use the client's clock in locking skills for their own characters despite playing on different rates of FPS. So players don't have to worry or check the server's clock whether a skill lock would be happening.