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    • By L0rinda

      Iksar has confirmed that the Matchmaking in Legend Ranks has been changed.
      As stated in our previous article, Legendary players have been noticing that in the last few days that they have been matched with players much closer to their own rank than usual. There was some confusion regarding this, as Iksar had not been made aware of the changes, but he has now confirmed that there are definitely changes in place.
      It is hard to precisely evaluate community feeling on the the new system, especially as I personally think they're a step in the right direction, but there are some players who are not keen on the changes. RayC and Xzirez have been the two highest profile players so far to disagree with the change. The issues that people against it have can be summarised as follows: Counter-Queuing: Many top Legends do not like counter-queuing, which is where you change your deck to try to counter your opponent. With the new system meaning you can often play the same person several times in a row, counter-queuing will become an important part of the game.
      Early Legend Advantage: People opposed to the changes claim that it overly favours the players who reach Legend early on. The older system made it easier to catch up at the end of the season.
      Win Trading: Due to the increased chance of playing against the same opponent, it is now easier to cover your tracks if you lose to a friend many times in a row to boost their ranking.
      There does seem to be a majority of players who support the new system however. The ladder system has been a cause of much debate for a long time now, and these changes, alongside the recent addition of ladder floors, seem to show that at the very least, ladder is currently a high priority for Blizzard to get right.
    • By L0rinda

      The Hearthstone Championship Tour continues this weekend, with the focus shifting to the Asia-Pacific region. In this article I have introduced some of the players, and listed their deck archetypes.
      The APAC region is often regarded as the weakest region, and with some justification. However, although the region lacks a little in depth, the best players are definitely world class. Not only that, but the rest of the pack is rapidly improving, and it would be very negligent to ignore the region in 2017. Staz, from The Philippines recently won the $150,000 first prize at a stacked WESG, which marked the first major tournament won by the region. The top players will be looking to keep the rest of the world on notice, with some high quality play this weekend.
      Below I have listed a few of the key players, along with notes and deck archetypes.
        CaraCute: Tempo Mage, Aggro Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Pirate Warrior
      CaraCute has been touted by both NeilYo and Staz as having a good chance, and since those comments were made, she has come through the Tavern Hero Qualifier to take her place in the main Swiss. She learned her trade at Guildhouse Fireside gatherings, the same Fireside gatherings where caster Jia Dee also rose through the ranks.
        Che0nsu: Jade Druid, Miracle Rogue, Mid Shaman, Pirate Warrior
      Che0nsu made his name by first winning the Last Call qualifier, and then building on that to finish top four in the World Championship at BlizzCon. 
        ChongGEr: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Reno Warrior
      ChongGer is one of the most consistent performers in the South-East Asia scene. He came fourth in the Singapore Major, third in the Thai Major, and second in the Malaysia Major, where he lost two matches in the final to a player he had already beaten in the upper bracket! He also placed consistently high in the preliminaries last year. 
         GundamFlame: Tempo Mage, Aggro Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Pirate Warrior
      GundanFlame impressed observers in the Japan Summer Championship with his understanding of aggressive play. His understanding of when to ease off the pedal, and when to go all-in, won him the national title. It is no surprise that his lineup for the Playoffs is an aggressive one.

        HandomeGuy (pictured above): Aggro Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      HandsomeGuy is regarded as the man to beat whenever he steps foot in an APAC tournament. He finished in second place in the APAC Winter Championship, and that proved to be his worst result, as he went on to win both the Spring and Summer Championships.
        Kranich: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman (shown below), Reno Warlock, Dragon Warrior
      Kranich played in both the 2014, and 2015 World Championships, finishing top four and top eight respectively. Due to this, and the fact that he was a member of Team Dignitas before they withdrew from Hearthstone, he is one of the best known APAC players in the West. He is not scared to put his own stamp on decks, his RenoLock contains Doomguard and Krul the Unshackled, while his Shaman deck is slower than most Aggro Shamans, and leans towards midrange.

        NaviOOT: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      NaviOOT has built a strong reputation on the back of relentless top 100 finishes, and a consistently popular stream. In recent months he has turned his attention more and more to the tournament scene, making the trip to the Malaysia Open, in which he placed top 8. He has also stated that he will be travelling to DreamHack Austin, which is coming up soon. He managed top four at last Winter's APAC Championship, and is a genuine contender in 2017.
       Pinpingho: Tempo Mage, Mid Shaman, Reno Warlock, Water Warrior
      Pinpingho finished top eight in the 2015 World Championship. He was known for being one of the strongest Shaman players, back before Shaman was regarded as a playable class, so it will be interesting to see how a does now! He qualified for two APAC Championship events in 2016, and so is no stranger to these events.
        Surrender: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      Although he is yet to have a big win, Surrender is highly regarded in the community and has numerous good results. He already had Xixo as a playtest partner, and has recently joined Counter Logic Gaming, along with Xixo and Hoej. He will be as well prepared as anyone for this event.
        Tom60229: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      One of the most accomplished players in the field, Tom60229 has shown consistent results since the dawn of Hearthstone. His most recent tournament win was the Malaysia Major, but also had good success on the 2015 ONOG Tour. His worldwide tournament experience will stand him in good stead in this event.
       
      The event begins at 3am CET on Saturday 25 February, and coverage will be on the official PlayHearthstone Twitch channel.
    • By L0rinda

      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!
    • By L0rinda

      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.
    • By Reji
      Introdution:
      <Turkeyism> is a (7/7M EN) (2/3M ToV) (3/10M NH) weekend raiding guild on Stormrage US. Our guild was originally formed in early 2013 as a 10man Heroic raid team with the goal to have fun and get as far as possible. After having defeated Heroic Garrosh in Siege of Ogrimmar and ending the Mists of Pandaria expansion ranked 19th on Stormrage, our team decided to push forward into Warlords of Draenor. With the introduction of Mythic in 6.0, our team set out to expand our roster, overcome new challenges, and defeat the final boss on Mythic, all while maintaining a fun atmosphere to raid in. We finished Warlords of Draenor ranking 14th on Stormrage and managed to get 27 of our raiders the Felsteel Annihilator mount from Mythic Archimonde. We are now currently raiding Mythic Nighthold and looking for additional players (870 ilvl+) who seek a challenge and want to have fun.
      Raid Times:
      Friday: 7:30pm – 11:30pm EST
      Saturday: 7:30pm – 11:30pm EST
      <Turkeyism> is a weekend raiding guild that raids two nights a week from 7:30 – 11:30pm EST on Friday and Saturdays.
      In Demand Classes:
      Paladin (Holy/ret)
      Druid (Balance)
      Priests (Shadow)
      Hunters (Marksmen/Beastmaster)
      Warlocks (Affliction/Demonology)
      Monks (Mistweaver/Windwalker)
      (We prefer the classes listed above but all exceptional applicants will be considered.)
      Guild Expectations:
      So as a guild there are a few things we expect our raiders and recruits to do/know.
      First, we expect our raiders/recruits to know their class fairly well. They should also have a good grasp of the encounters by either having first-hand experience, or by watching tutorials and kill videos online. Knowledge is power as the saying goes.
      Second, we expect players who wish to be part of the core raid team to understand that attendance and showing up on time to raid is important to the success of the guild. We understand when real life issues come up, however it isn’t fair to the other 19 players who showed up if you continuously miss raid because of “reasons”. This is why we want to make sure that our raiders/recruits understand that by joining our raid team, you are making a commitment to the rest of the group to show up every week. Ultimately, we are all individuals working together towards a common goal and our success or failure as a group depends upon people committing to the team.
      Third, we expect our raiders/recruits to be able to take criticism from others. If we notice that you could improve in any manner, we won’t hesitate to point it out. We won't ever attack others for making mistakes, but we will politely let them know of their blunders and how they could improve.
      Fourth, raiders/recruits should be willing to sit out for certain encounters. We know it isn’t the most fun thing to have to sit out on a boss fight, especially if there is loot or if you’ve worked hard getting to that encounter. However, not all fights are created equal and sometimes we have to ask players to sit out in order to have the best group composition to complete the encounter. Your willingness to sit out won’t be forgotten and we try to make sure that everyone gets a chance to kill the boss and get loot.
      Fifth, all recruits are expected to present WarcraftLogs in their applications. This will give us an idea of how you handle mechanics and how well you performed. We understand that your time is valuable and so is ours. By looking at your WarcraftLogs we can get an idea if you can perform within the required range were looking for before bringing you in to raid with us.
      Finally, our guild is made up of players in their early 20’s/mid-30’s and our chat can sometimes get spicy and very adult oriented. We can sometimes talk about off the wall stuff, some of which can get very “Rated R” very fast.
      Contact List:
      Patakra: Braxxas#1433
      Ravenhill: XHunter#1289
      Tehproofter: Tehproofter#1990
      Callmetheo: t455m#1373
      Reji: Rejinald#11466
      Where to Apply:
      http://www.usturkeyism.enjin.com/recruitment
      Our Warcraftlogs:
      https://www.warcraftlogs.com/guilds/22857
      Our Wowprogress:
      http://www.wowprogress.com/guild/us/stormrage/Turkeyism
      (All guild policies can be found in the website under the section: Forums>Guild Discussion>Turkey Recruits.)
      Thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you soon!