Blizzard’s planning to roll out an update to Hearthstone later this month that aims to resolve some of the long-standing issues players have with the collectible card game. Due to go live shortly, Update 7.1 will insert new “floors” into Ranked mode, making it far less risky for players to try out homebrewed decks rather than following what’s popular in the ‘meta’ at any given moment.
As of now, gamers begin their monthly climb up the ladder at rank 25 (assuming a fresh start) until they hit rank 1, which is then succeeded by the coveted Legend rank. However, losing too many matches in a row after a certain point can cause players to de-rank. The introduction of new floors at ranks 15, 10 and 5 will, Blizzard hopes, “promote additional deck experimentation between ranks, and that any losses that may occur feel less punishing,” according to a post by the developer on the game’s forums.
Additionally, in order to silence some of the disquiet surrounding the emergence in popularity of Pirate cards and the Shaman class, a couple of cards will be receiving nerfs to bring them in line. First up is Small-Time Buccaneer, a card printed as part of last year’s Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion. Deemed to be too slightly too oppressive, its health will be reduced from 2 to 1. The other victim is the Shaman weapon Spirit Claws, which will have its cost upped from 1 mana to 2.
As is generally the case with everything that Blizzard makes, Hearthstone is a hugely popular title for the developer, often appearing at the top of Twitch’s most popular games, as well as enjoying a thriving eSports scene. It’s a shame, then, that the above changes will have come a little too late for some players. Perhaps it’s time for Hearthstone to receive its own PTR servers similar to Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm?