Hearthstone is planning a huge overhaul for ranked play plus balance nerfs

    
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Have you been annoyed with Hearthstone’s ranked play for a reaaaallly long time? Good news: A big change-up is on the way. Over the weekend, Blizzard’s Ben Brode explained that ranked play currently gives a really different experience depending on where you sit. At the top ranks, there’s too much grinding, while at the bottom, “Some players feel like they’re hitting a wall” and never progress at all.

So Blizzard is working on a big fix. Come the beginning of the March season, everyone will be reset “exactly four ranks,” and all ranks will be flattened out to five stars. “That means that every player gets to feel the same amount of progression each month,” he says. Players also won’t have to make it to rank 20 to get their loot – just win five ranked games.

Additionally, Brode hopes, this’ll affect matchmatching overall, as the best players won’t be crammed into too-low tiers and lower-ranked players will be more spread out according to their actual abilities. The brief explainer video – plus the brand-new dev blog on balance changes coming in 10.2 (and yes that means card nerfs) – is down below.

Source: YouTube
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Marko Zivkovic

Its not really that huge of a change for ranked.

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Armsbend

They always say this and nothing ever changes. All games that say they are re-working ranked not just this one. I assume it is a marketing tool to get old players who used to spend money back. I assume this because it is true.

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David McD

What’s not going to change is net-decking and time. The casuals that don’t net deck will hit the wall when they encounter those that do. And the people that have net decks and more time will be a higher rank than those that have net decks and less time. Because once you hit the spot where everyone is playing the same 4-9 decks, it’s a percentage grinding game.

But that is true with all CCGs and ranks… and their ultimate failure.

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Armsbend

None of the best players use net decks (they make them) though. If you ever watch tourney level play they always have some card adjustment in to throw off the other player. It usually isn’t much but enough to make them wonder.

At least when I used to watch.

But my point was every major competitive game says this. LoL, Hots, Hearthstone. We are re-working ranked. They make a patch and nothing changes. Nothing at all. I think it’s just a weak ploy.

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Dušan Frolkovič

I got the impression over the last few years, that one of the main problems of ranked play is that players expect it to be another form of progression.
Which just is just plain false.

Ranked is not something where enough time will get you to the top, you always need to also be better then some guy above you. I get the feeling that too many people feel they will be “da best” if they try hard enough, and not just trying to find their spot in the ladder.

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BDJ

Lol. “None of the best players” = .0001 % of Hearthstone players. A ton of legend players net-deck. Thats like saying “Most good players in the NFL have custom cleats”. How many people play in tournaments? Net-decking will ALWAYS exist. It exists in some form in every single game to date. Diablo 3? People google builds. CS? Teams steal strats/nade positioning. Even in Vanilla WoW, we had the most optimal builds up on our guild forums and people used them. Its the path of least resistance / effort.

As for your point. Its the fact that they are trying to do things. It doesn’t matter if they don’t take. They are trying to fix an unfixable problem. At least the effort is being put in. I don’t know why you are so negative / bitter about things like this. A “ploy” would be if they announced changes that didn’t require visible design changes. I could see it being a ploy if it was “under the hood” type changes. They are actually spending time on this. So cynical.

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Bruno Brito

“Even in Vanilla WoW.”

Given that the level of the player before was pretty weak, i’ll agree with you, but Vanilla WoW really isn’t a game that forgives tweaking with builds that much.