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Major Ranked Ladder Changes Coming March 2018

by - 4 weeks ago

This morning, Hearthstone released a “Designer Insights” video and article announcing major changes to the Ranked Ladder, going live as of the March 2018 ladder reset. From then on, every month the reset will be only 4 Ranks deep–making the ladder much less grindy and encouraging overall progression. Each rank will also have 5 stars, which is intended to improve matchmaking for players at the lower end of the ranked ladder. The monthly card-back reward will be adjusted so that players at the bottom end can still attain it.

Check out the entire official announcement and video, then let us know what you think in the comments below:

Originally Posted by Daxxarri (Blue Tracker / Official Post)

Beginning with the start of the March 2018 Ranked Play season, we’re making improvements to Hearthstone’s Ranked Play ladder experience.

Join Hearthstone Game Director Ben Brode as he explains what to expect, as well as the philosophy and intentions behind the update:

Here are the upcoming changes you can look forward to:

  • You’ll earn card backs by winning five Ranked games during the season, regardless of what rank you achieve. It will no longer be necessary to reach Rank 20 to earn these card backs.
    • After each game, the UI will let you know how many wins you still need to earn the Ranked season card back. You can check your progress between games by visiting the Quest Log.

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  • All Ranks will now have 5 stars.
  • Player ranks will reset to exactly 4 ranks below your current standing, including the number of stars in that rank you earned. Here are some examples:
    • Rank 14, 2 stars resets to Rank 18, 2 stars
    • Rank 1, 3 stars resets to Rank 5, 3 stars
    • Rank 10, 0 stars resets to Rank 14, 0 stars
    • Players at Legend reset to Rank 4, 0 stars

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Moving to the New System

Some elements of the old and new systems will exist simultaneously when we first make the transition:

  • During the February Ranked Play Season, you’ll still need to reach Rank 20 to receive your Ranked season card back. At the season’s end, your rank will reset to four ranks below your current standing.
  • Starting with the March Ranked Play Season, you’ll only be required to win 5 games to receive your seasonal card back. At the season’s end, your rank will reset to four ranks your current standing.

The update should allow players at the top of the ladder to jump into the action immediately by matching them against similarly-ranked opponents, providing more engaging matches while reducing the time it will take for them to climb to a rank appropriate for their skill-level each season. This in turn should improve matchmaking for everyone who plays Hearthstone, including those climbing the ladder for the first time. Since players will be more evenly matched at the start of each season, they can make immediately meaningful progress toward their ladder ranking against players of similar caliber. We want the experience of climbing the Hearthstone Ranked Play ladder to be fun, challenging, and satisfying for everyone.

We hope you enjoy the updates to Ranked Play, and we’re looking forward to your feedback. See you on the ladder!


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Nicholas Weiss

Is a lawyer by day and a cardslinger by night. He's decent at both. He's been playing Hearthstone since open beta and writing about it for the past year or so.