The Hearthstone team has announced some upcoming changes to the game’s Ranked Play system. These changes will take effect officially with the March season, but how you play in February will also impact where you start on the ladder in March.
- Starting in March, all players will reset four ranks back.
For example, a player that ends the February season at Rank 15 will start in March at Rank 19. Legend players will start March at Rank 4. Currently, the monthly reset feels different depending on what rank players end at each month. Players at the top of the ladder feel like they have too many ranks to climb through, whereas players on the other end of the ladder feel like they hit a wall pretty quickly. With this change, players who gain more than 4 ranks each month will start each month higher than they did the last.
- Each Rank will contain 5 stars.
This makes each rank the same, and means that all players will experience the same amount of progression, regardless of their placement on the ladder.
- Players will need to win five games to get their monthly card back, instead of having to hit Rank 20
The change in stars at each rank would otherwise have a significant downside: While the monthly card back reward at rank 20 was only 10 wins away from rank 25, starting in March it will be 25. So, this change will also help make sure that getting monthly rewards doesn’t become more challenging. Reward chests will still increase in value with each rank attained.
There will be a brief window of time where elements of both systems will be in place as we transition to the new system:
- During the February Ranked Play Season reach Rank 20 to receive your seasonal card back. Your rank will reset to four ranks below what you achieved during the season.
- During the March Ranked Play Season, and after, win 5 games to receive your seasonal card back. Your rank will reset to four ranks below what you achieved during the season.
Overall, this update should help make climbing at the top of the ladder each season less of a grind, while improving matchmaking, and still providing a sense of progression at all levels. Since players will be more evenly matched at the start of each season, players will still be able to demonstrate their skill climbing the ladder, and each new rank will be well earned.