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Hearthstone Update to Fix Ladder System, Nerf Cards

An update due later this month aims to make ladder less tedious and slow down the aggressive metagame.

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Hearthstone will be receiving a new set of changes this month, meant to alleviate concerns about both the ladder system and the current aggressive metagame. This 7.1 update will be rolling out later this month.

The most significant and long-term change comes to its ranked ladder system, which has been criticized as a slow grind almost since the game began. The current system grants stars for victories and removes them for losses, which accumulate towards your rank as you climb towards lower numbers. The update will introduce "floors," which group the ranks into tiers. Once you reach rank 15, 10, or 5, you'll no longer be able to fall below that rank due to losses. So if you reach rank 8, for example, you'll no longer be able to fall all the way back to 12 after a bad string of losses. 

This is similar to the tiered rewards structure Blizzard introduced in a previous update, which gives chests with better rewards the higher rank you reached. Under that system, you would be rewarded for the highest rank you reached in each month-long season, rather than the rank upon the end of the season. That way, you wouldn't feel punished for continuing to play after reaching a high rank. With the floors system, you can continue trying to climb the ranks comfortable in the knowledge that you can only fall so far. Reaching Legend will still be difficult, though, as ranks 1-5 don't give win streak rewards.

In the same update, Blizzard plans to nerf two cards that have made the game especially fast and aggressive lately: the neutral Small-Time Buccaneer and the Shaman's Spirit Claws. Though the Buccaneer is a neutral card, the update notes explicitly mentioned that it was seeing heavy use in Shaman, which has been very prevalent in the meta lately. Its health is being reduced from 2 to 1, making for easier removal. Spirit Claws, a Shaman weapon that increases its power with a Spell Damage minions, will increase its cost to 2 Mana, making it more difficult to curve out with cheap activators like Bloodmage Thalnos.

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  • reply
    February 14, 2017 11:11 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Hearthstone Update to Fix Ladder System, Nerf Cards

    • reply
      February 14, 2017 11:12 AM

      [deleted]

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      February 14, 2017 12:25 PM

      These are the two exact changes I wanted for those cards. Well done Blizzard.

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      February 14, 2017 12:45 PM

      At one health a lot of classes will be able to remove small time buccaneer with hero power now. That brings the power level of the card down quite a bit. Spirit claws is probably dead at two mana cost. I don't think shaman can get the spell power buff often enough to justify the card now.

      I agree with firebat that the game shouldn't be dominated by swing card combinations: https://youtu.be/70x7OB_Ov0U Although I think it's okay for rogue to be that way, because that's the entire point of the class.

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      February 14, 2017 1:08 PM

      Alright, so that’s two (1) drops nerfed, how bout the other ten or so that are on par with (2) drops.

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