|Ann. date:||December 10, 2013|
|Release date:||December 10, 2013|
- 1 Official overview
- 2 Patch notes
- 3 Undocumented changes
Our latest Hearthstone patch is here! We’ve included a lot of great features and bug fixes in this update, including the ability to abandon one Quest per day, animations for all of our Golden cards, and the addition of the epic rocker Elite Tauren Chieftain! That’s not all—we’ve also added a completely new Ranked Play system, where you can work your way through the ranks to become a Hearthstone Legend. Check out the details on the new Ranked Play system below, along with the full patch notes.
Ranked play details
First of all, we’ve really amped up the visuals on the Ranked Play and Unranked Play (now called Casual) tabs in Play mode, so it’ll be immediately obvious which mode you’re about to dive in to once you’re ready to pit your best deck against real opponents.
All players first stepping foot into the revamped Ranked Play mode will start at Rank 25: Angry Chicken. In Ranked Play, you’ll be pitted against opponents equal to or as close to your rank as possible. You and your opponent’s ranks will be visible to each other as you battle. Every time you find yourself victorious against your opponent, you’ll gain a star above your medal. Collect enough stars, and you’ll eventually find yourself attaining the next rank—Rank 24: Leper Gnome. There are 25 different ranks to attain, starting at Angry Chicken and going up to Rank 1: Innkeeper.
As you progress through the ranks, you’ll continue to be matched with opponents of equal or close-to-equal rank. If you hit a win streak, you may notice you collect more stars per win. However, once you progress up to Rank 20, a loss will cause you to lose stars, so play carefully! Win streaks will also end starting at Rank 5 through Rank 1, so every match will really count at those high ranks.
Once you become a Rank 1: Innkeeper with five stars to your name, another win will push you into a special rank: Legend. Legend rank will be represented by a Legendary orange mana crystal with a number in the middle of it. That number tells you exactly where you rank against other players in your region. If your Legend rank shows the number 300, you’re the 300th best Hearthstone player in your region.
Legend ranks and matchmaking rating
You’ll continue to be matched against opponents of equal or close-to-equal skill in Legend rank using a hidden Matchmaking Rating (MMR). Matchmaking Rating follows a couple of simple general rules:
- MMR is gained with wins and lost with losses.
- The amount of MMR gained or lost is dependent on the MMR of your opponent.
Legend rankings in your region will only be displayed for the top 10,000 Legend players, so battle on if your Legendary mana crystal doesn’t show a number. Keep racking up those wins, and you may become the #1-ranked Hearthstone Legend!
And so begins test season 1
With all that said, this patch marks the start of our first test season of Ranked Play mode. Since we’re in closed beta, we expect some things to break along the way, and we hope you’ll post your feedback and findings on the forums and contribute to various discussions revolving around the updates we made to this mode.
Every month of Ranked Play is called a “season,” and Ranked Play rankings are intended to reset at the end of every season. However, since this test season is starting a bit later in the month than a season normally would, it may act a little strangely. Casual Play will not reset on a monthly basis like Ranked Play does—Casual Play will continue to match you with other players of similar skill. We’ll keep an eye on things as time goes on and make changes as necessary.
During this first test season, Ranked Play rewards (alternate card backs and Golden Heroes) will not be available. We want to make sure the rewards for Ranked Play are available to anyone who wants to attain them—with your help, we can get Hearthstone out of closed beta and let the game loose to everyone!
Check out the detailed patch notes below, and play Hearthstone!
- You are now able to abandon one quest per day. When you abandon a quest, you’ll receive a new, random quest in its place.
- New Feature: Recently played Opponent – Your friends list now displays the last person you played against, provided they were not a Real ID or BattleTag friend. If you had a particularly great match against someone, you can now friend them for future play!
- New Feature: Players Near Me - You can now opt-in to seeing other Hearthstone players on your local network in your friends list.
- Parental controls can now disable in-game Shop purchases.
- You now have the option to keep the sound playing while the game is running in the background.
- The amount of gold gained by winning games in Play mode per day is now capped at 100. This cap does not affect gold gained through Quests, Arena, or Achievements. There will now be an indication within the game when this gold cap is reached. This cap is intended to combat certain methods of gold acquisition that violate our Terms of Service. The spirit of fair play is extremely important to us, and we will continue to monitor gold acquisition activity closely to ensure a fun and enjoyable game environment for everyone.
- The Ranked play system has been completely redone
- There are now month long seasons that reset at the end of each month
- There are new ranks and minion portraits for all levels of play
- You earn a star for each win and lose one for each loss and your stars determine your rank
- Players who get to top rank of legend and are in the top 10,000 players have their exact region-wide ranking displayed
- There will be rewards for playing ranked mode in the future, but they were not implemented with this patch, and will be added at a future date.
- The number of matches you can win in Arena has increased to 12 (up from 9).
- Arena rewards have been restructured.
- All Golden cards are now animated.
- The visual effects of some cards have been improved.
- Unleash the Hounds has been reworked and now reads: “(4) For each enemy minion, summon a 1/1 Hound with Charge”.
- The previous version of this card was allowing Hunters to win in a single turn, starting with no minions on the board. The new version should give hunters some fun new card combinations and bolster their AoE ability.
- Temporarily increased the amount of dust that you get from disenchanting Unleash the Hounds such that it is equal to the amount of dust that it would have originally cost to craft Unleash the Hounds.
- Starving Buzzard is now a 2/1 (was a 2/2).
- At some ranks, Hunter was too strong against Mage, Druid and Rogue. This change to Starving Buzzard helps even the playing field against those classes.
- Mind Control’s mana cost is now 10 (up from 8).
- Mind Control was frustrating to play against. Players worked to summon their powerful minions and not only lose the minion but die to that same minion the next turn. This change will give you a couple more turns to play with your Ragnaros.
- Flame Imp’s Battlecry now deals 3 damage (up from 2).
- This minor change should help bring the warlock’s early game down a small amount. We’re keeping our eye on other cards that help the Warlock maintain early board advantage and will make additional changes if necessary in a future patch.
- Temporarily increased the amount of dust that you get from disenchanting Flame Imp such that it is equal to the amount of dust that it would have originally cost to craft Flame Imp.
- Argent Commander is now a 4/2 (was a 4/3).
- Argent Commander is played more often than we’d like, so we are reducing its power slightly to increase the variety of cards being played.
- Temporarily increased the amount of dust that you get from disenchanting Argent Commander such that it is equal to the amount of dust that it would have originally cost to craft Argent Commander.
- Shattered Sun Cleric is now a 3/2 (was a 3/3).
- Shattered Sun Cleric is keeping the creature rush decks healthy enough to avoid many board clearing spells. By reducing the Health by 1, this leaves Shattered Sun Cleric a bit more vulnerable while still remaining strong.
- The golden version of the Elite Tauren Chieftain has been added to collections of those who attended BlizzCon 2013 or who purchased a Virtual Ticket.
- If this card does not show up, make sure the code found on the back of the digital items card found in the badge holder, or sent to you with a purchase of the Virtual Ticket, has been added to your Battle.net Account.
- The chat UI has received additional improvements.
- Your player rank (icon and number) is now visible in the friends list, the versus screen and your BattleTag in-game.
- The PrintScreen key now takes a screenshot of your game and saves it to your desktop.
- Custom art has been added to headers for each class in the collection manager.
- The toggle between Casual and Ranked Play modes is now more explicit.
- The art has been updated for the box and pack opening screens.
- Alexstrasza’s ability no longer counts as a healing effect when raising the target’s health to 15 and will not affect Armor when lowering health to 15.
- Fixed an issue where Truesilver Champion could trigger twice from one attack.
- Faceless Manipulator will now properly copy all buffs on a minion.
- Fixed an issue where replacing your hero with Lord Jaraxxus counted as a minion death.
- Fixed a visual issue where casting Mass Dispel while multiple global buffs were active was not updating the stats correctly.
- Fixed various issues involving the use of Tracking.
- Fixed an issue where Fatigue damage triggering Ice Block caused the client to halt.
- Playing a minion during Brawl’s animation no longer causes client issues.
- Freeze should now always properly cause the affected minion or Hero to miss its next attack phase.
- Fixed various issues involving the mechanic of returning cards to a player’s hand.
- Minions returning to the board from resurrection effects no longer trigger secrets.
- Fixed various issues resulting from viewing the credits.
- The cinematic can now be viewed multiple times from the Game Menu.
- Fixes various issues where twinkling sound effects would loop.
- Using the “<” or “>” symbols while naming decks no longer causes client issues.
- The Coin now displays the correct highlight as it enters your hand.
- The warning message for disenchanting cards should now appear at the appropriate times.
- Green highlights around minions are now updating correctly.
- Golden cards earned in the Arena now appear with the correct border on the reward screen.
- Fixed multiple spelling and grammatical errors in card flavor text.
- The Store is now called the Shop.
- The Shop has a new icon.
- Messages now appear when leveling characters below level 10, reminding the player that new basic cards will be awarded when they reach the next level.
- Some sound effects for the battlefields' interactive features have been changed, added or switched.
- Breaking the vines on the Stranglethorn map no longer triggers the sound of drums; this is now triggered by causing the gem to break
The below changes are part of the "multiple spelling and grammatical errors in card flavor text" fixed with this patch, but were not specifically stated.
- Blood Imp's flavor text now correctly states "Imps are content to hide and viciously taunt everyone nearby." instead of "Imps are content to hide and viscously taunt everyone nearby." (italics added).
- Emperor Cobra's flavor text now states "The Sholazar Basin is home to a lot of really horrible things. If you're going to visit, wear bug spray. And plate armor." instead of "The Scholozar Basin is home to a lot of really horrible things. If you're going to visit, wear bug spray. And plate armor." (italics added).