Hearthstone’s next update will shake up the game for new players, offering a friendlier set of ranks to climb and a handful of new Classic cards.
It will be the first time Blizzard has added to its evergreen set of Classic cards since the game’s beta began five years ago. Since then a few Classic cards have been retired, so the new selection replaces ones now only available in the Hall of Fame.
New players will see a set of 25 newbie ranks – from 50 down to 26 – which they will slowly climb to then enter the standard ranked match ladder. Once you climb ranks here, you won’t ever fall back down.
In other Hearthstone news, the game’s long-awaited inclusion of a Tournament mode has been postponed “for the forseeable future”. Blizzard did not explicitly spell it out, but it sounds like the game’s focus right now is on adding new players – and Tournaments is a feature which does not ally with that.
“Tournaments can target many different audiences, but the implementation we’d arrived at catered to a very specific audience of players,” a Blizzard blog post explained. “Instead of broadening Hearthstone with an exciting new way to play, it felt ‘tacked on’, and wasn’t integrating well into the larger Hearthstone experience.
“Ultimately, we were forced to conclude that we needed to think about how and where we want to improve Hearthstone’s overall social experience before we can tackle adding a satisfying and robust implementation of In-game Tournaments that all players can enjoy. As developers, sometimes we have to make the difficult decision to step away from a design that isn’t working. We no longer felt that the end result would deliver on everyone’s expectations or the high standards we have for Hearthstone.”
And finally, there will be new ways to spend money in Hearthstone very soon – a revamped Welcome Bundle which guarantees a Legendary dragon from the game’s Classic set, and a new premium Paladin hero, Sir Annoy-O.