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For the past few days, top players have been discussing the pros and cons of the new MMR change at Legend Ranks. The only problem being, that Game Designer, Iksar, isn't aware of a change.
There are far fewer Legendary players than usual this season, and as such things might feel a little different to the players, but the sample size across many streams and thousands of games of Hearthstone seems to point to the changing of the matchmaking system. It has been accepted by most that the system has changed so that you only play opponents in a very narrow band, rather than the previous system where you could be matched with someone with a wildly different Legend Rank.
That alone might not have been enough evidence, but players are also queuing into the same opponent multiple times, to the point that they are having to play mind games on which deck to queue.
Hoej independently witnessed the same thing, and went to Twitter to check that he was not alone. Several Legendary players agreed that the system has been changed, and people began to discuss what they thought of the changes.
Placeholder for tweet 834430686325067776 The majority of players like the new matchmaking, although several did voice concerns that the new system heavily favours the players who reach Legend Rank early in the season. Just as the debate was getting interesting, Iksar dropped his bombshell:
At this point there are several options, and all seem unlikely. Either the entire community is suffering from some kind of huge matchmaking fluctuation, Blizzard have made a major change without informing Iksar, or there is a bug which most people preferred to the actual game. Whatever happens, the reply when Iksar has investigated is sure to be interesting!
Blizzard have announced that the next update will contain big changes to the way Arena works.
The newly announced changes will come into force at the same time as the nerfs to Small-Time Buccaneer and Spirit Claws, which we discussed previously.
The most important change will be that Arena will change from Wild format to Standard. This will help to keep Arena feeling fresh, as well as make sure that card synergies can be drafted more easily.
Changes have also been made to the distribution of cards. Common and Basic cards will show up less often, and the frequency of spells and class cards being offered has been raised. The full discussion can be found in the announcement link above, but the main reasoning is to allow players to have more opportunities to outdraft and outplay their opponents, rather than just playing the game on curve.
This philosophy will have some implications in Standard too. If Blizzard are actively trying to reduce the impact of playing on curve in Arena, this could mean that they will carry over the same thoughts into constructed play. I feel that moving away from the style, unaffectionately known as Curvestone, would be good for the game. The changes will almost certainly be welcomed in the Arena community, and it is good to see Blizzard making them now, rather than waiting for the next set to launch.
Im making a telegram bot that can send you new decks and news from https://www.icy-veins.com/hearthstone.
It already can send some decks and filter them by class and deck format.
Im going to open bot for all users in next few weeks.
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