Jump to content
FORUMS
Lemon1

Hearthstone Grandmasters Updates: New Format and More

Recommended Posts

I8WRMQGD12ZQ1564113717865.png

Blizzard have unveiled some changes to the structure of the Hearthstone Grandmasters programme for Season 2, including a replacement for the Specialist format.

 

Blizzard have posted a "Patch Notes" update for Hearthstone's flagship esports programme, Hearthstone Grandmasters. It includes details on a new competitive format for the game, replacing the much-maligned Specialist format.

Hearthstone Grandmasters matches in Season 2 will be played in best-of-three Conquest with a "Shield Phase". This means that as well as banning an opponent's deck, players will be able to protect one of their own to ensure they get to play it. After this phase, players will have to win a game with two of their remaining decks to take the series.

The original format, Specialist, sees players bring one "Primary" deck and two variations on that deck to switch to depending on the matchups they face. It has been widely criticised for reducing the number of viable decks in the metagame. The concluding playoffs of Grandmasters Season 1 were dominated by Cyclone Mage and Shark Rogue; only four of the eighteen players competing chose to bring anything else.

Additional changes to be made include a switch-up of divisions for Season 2. The team have also stated their intent to adjust the Masters Qualifier system in accordance with player feedback, and to increase the number of promotion and relegation spots for Grandmasters in 2020.

Read the full blog post below:

Blizzard LogoA Remixed Format and More for Grandmasters

The inaugural season of Hearthstone Grandmasters ended with a bang as Chris "Fenomeno" Tsakopoulos, Kim "Surrender" Jung-soo, and Francisco "PNC" Leimontas punched their ticket to the Global Finals at BlizzCon. Although it was an exciting season, we have certainly learned some things and will be changing certain aspects of the program moving forward. We continue to listen and gather feedback from players worldwide, and we’re excited to share today some of the changes we’ll be implementing for Season 2.

For starters, we are retiring the Specialist format for Grandmasters Season 2 and will be replacing it with best-of-three Conquest featuring a Shield Phase.

How it Works

  • The two battling players bring four decks, each from a unique class.
  • The match starts with a Shield Phase where both players will choose one of their own decks to “protect” that cannot be banned.
  • Each player will then ban one of their opponents’ decks, removing it from the pool.
  • Each player then selects which of their eligible decks they would like to play first, then begin their first game of the match.
  • After the first game has concluded, the winning deck is removed from the pool before both players pick which of their remaining decks they would like to play next.
  • If after the second game one player is 2-0, then the match is over!
  • If the score is 1-1, then the winning deck from the second game is removed from the pool and both players will choose their third and final deck to decide the series.

For Masters Qualifiers

We sent out a survey to all players who have participated in a Masters Qualifier (you can find a link to the survey in the #player_announcements channel of the Masters Qualifiers Discord) to help us gather feedback related to that program including the tournament format, schedule, event types, and the frequency of events. We will be using those responses to inform changes to the Masters Qualifiers and the Masters Tour after Season 2 of Grandmasters begins. We want to hear your thoughts!

Quality of Life Changes

We’re mixing up the Divisions in each region for Grandmasters Season 2, swapping the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th place finishers from Season 1 in each region. Beyond that, we’re implementing the following quality of life changes:

  • Including the 4th place player from each division in the end-of-season playoffs.
  • Changing the semifinals of both Grandmasters playoffs and Masters Tour events to best-of-five.
  • Standardizing the deck submission times across all three regions.
  • Setting the match schedule to 16 matches each day (instead of 15 Friday, 15 Saturday, 18 Sunday).

You can find more information about these changes on our Rules & Policies page.

Regarding Mobility

We have heard and appreciate the feedback regarding the desire for increased mobility into Hearthstone Grandmasters. With Grandmasters, we wanted to ensure that players and organizations could commit to the program knowing exactly what their chances of relegation were. We did not have relegation for Season 1 and set the maximum relegation to two players per region for Season 2. For Grandmasters in 2020, we will look to change relegation further to increase the maximum number of relegation/promotion spots per season.

We will have details on changes to relegation/promotion, changes to the tournament structure in 2020, and more in the coming weeks. In the meantime, keep it tuned right here to PlayHearthstone.com/esports for our coverage of Masters Tour Seoul!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I'm stupid but I do not understand the new tournament format. You come with 4 decks, 1 gets banned, but you don't actually have to play all of the remaining 3 if you win the tie at 2-0? Plus they say "if the score is 1-1, (...) both players will choose their third and final deck" but there's no guarantee that both players will have played 2 different decks at this point, so how can there be a "third and final deck"? Confusing.

To be honest I don't quite get the points of banning decks in the first place. This is wasting a significant amount of the efforts done by the players and I can't immediately see what problem it solves. For me it's only adding one level of complexity to a system which is crying for straightforwardness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Smorod said:

Maybe I'm stupid but I do not understand the new tournament format. You come with 4 decks, 1 gets banned, but you don't actually have to play all of the remaining 3 if you win the tie at 2-0? Plus they say "if the score is 1-1, (...) both players will choose their third and final deck" but there's no guarantee that both players will have played 2 different decks at this point, so how can there be a "third and final deck"? Confusing.

To be honest I don't quite get the points of banning decks in the first place. This is wasting a significant amount of the efforts done by the players and I can't immediately see what problem it solves. For me it's only adding one level of complexity to a system which is crying for straightforwardness.

I think by "third and final deck" they just mean that whichever deck is chosen by the player, it will be the last game in the series. So yeah the upshot is that players don't have to play all three of their unbanned decks. I think they made this choice to reduce the viability of lineups that target a specific deck.

Bans add a bit of extra strategic depth and give players more freedom to build different lineups. Many decks have decent matchups in general but lose hard to one or two popular decks. A ban option can make decks like that more viable and increase the diversity of decks we see played.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lemon1 said:

A ban option can make decks like that more viable and increase the diversity of decks we see played.

Does it really? I mean, players will ban the best deck, and the second best deck will become the best deck, etc. So we decks 2-4 being played instead of decks 1-3. Not sure how it increases the diversity. The last 2 tournaments I watched online, had really a lot of the same decks coming again and again.

The fact that you must stop using a deck after you win a game with it, is a great idea, and should in my opinion be enough to guarantee diversity. Changing from best-of-5 to best-of-3 is step backward in terms of diversity. If you really want diversity, no ban and best-of-7 is the way to go - you'd be certain to see at least 4 different decks. I understand it might be a scheduling challenge though. Best-of-5 was probably the best compromise.

One concern I have is that by allowing bans in tournaments, Blizzard developers have a biased ideas of which decks are overpowered at a given point in time. You can't really decide that a deck is overpowered just because it gets banned, but if you don't see it played, you can't make an educated opinion on the matter.

Another concern is that this creates a gap between tournaments and playing regular Hearthstone. In Ranked play mode, you don't get to ban decks against which you do not perform well. You must fight against whatever decks the other players are using. And that does effectively makes certain decks almost unplayable in Ranked play mode because they don't perform well against top meta deck. If that's considered a problem in tournaments then it should be considered a problem for the rest of us, a problem that can only be addressed with targeted nerfs.

The gap is already quite visible anyway. For example, Mech Hunter has been the deck with the best win rate for the past 2 or 3 months in Ranked, and we haven't seen any in tournament recently. Our meta and their meta is clearly not the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      In the Year of the Pheonix post, we learned more about the Ranked mode overhaul in Hearthstone and Blizzard has now put together a general matchmaking FAQ which hopefully helps answer the most common questions.

      Rank Mode Changes
      The existing ladder in Ranked Mode has been replaced with a new league system. The system has five leagues each made up of 10 ranks. You will start each season at Bronze 10 and slowly make your way to Bronze 1 before graduating to the Silver League and above. Each league also has rank floors at rank 10 and rank 5 where you won't go down in ranks when losing matches. New players will have their own league that runs from ranks 40-1. 
      Stars & Bonuses
      You need to gain 3 starts to be promoted from Gold 10 to Gold 9 for example. You will gain one star for each match you win and lose one for a loss.  Based on your performance in the previous season, you will be rewarded with a star bonus which acts as a multiplier on the starts you get from each win.
      Ranked Rewards
      They've also reworked rewards that you earn at the end of each season or Ranked Play. Reward chest can now contain card packs from the latest expansions, Rare, and even Epic cards based on the rank you achieve. There are also brand new first-time rewards to help new players.

      You can find more details here and check out the FAQ below for more information.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Hey everyone! We put together a general matchmaking FAQ here for our new ranked system to help answer questions you may have.
      For general description of this new system, please refer to our Year of the Phoenix blog.
      If you want to learn some basic concepts of matchmaking, here is our previous blog about matchmaking in Battlegrounds.
      Q: How does matchmaking work for each season?
      A: There are two matchmaking pools: matchmaking by rating (aka. MMR) and by rank.
      When your star bonus multiplier is bigger than 1, or you are in Legend rank, you are (generally) in the first matchmaking pool; when your star bonus drops to 1, you are in the second pool.
      Q: Why are there two matchmaking pools?
      A: Since each player starts at the bottom of the ladder at start, we want fair matches for everyone (aka. win-rate close to 50%). At that time, your progression on ladder is protected by your star bonus, thus your net expected gain will be positive through the ladder. Once other players run out of star bonuses, matching by rank will allow for good players, or players who want to push themselves a bit, to be able to progress to a higher rank.
      In short, having two matchmaking pools helps players progress in the ladder without having to grind as much, while still making most matches fair.
      Q: If I “tank” my MMR at certain rank floor, will I be matched with easier opponents next season because you are matchmaking by MMR at the start?
      A: No, in general you won’t. At the start of the season we will recover your MMR to certain threshold if it is dropped below that value, which is based on what your rank is in the previous season. Therefore, there would be no benefits to intentionally tank your MMR.
      Q: How many stars bonuses do I get at the start of the season?
      A: It depends on your current MMR and the rank you reached from your previous season, whichever gives a higher value. Generally, the minimal initial star bonuses you get for each rank floor you reached are:
      Best Rank Minimal Initial Star Bonuses Bronze 10 2 Bronze 5 2 Silver 10 2 Silver 5 3 Gold 10 4 Gold 5 5 Platinum 10 6 Platinum 5 7 Diamond 10 8 Diamond 5 9 Legend 10 As you can see, every player starts with at least two stars bonuses.
      Q: Do you reset MMR each season?
      A: No, we do not.
      Q: Will the value of my previous season’s MMR be exactly same as the new season?
      A: Technically no, although the change will be very small and the “value order” will be kept (Player A whose MMR is larger than player B in the last season will still be ordered as such). Mathematically, a re-normalization process takes place at the start of each season to keep the distribution in a nice bell-shaped curve.
      Q: If I missed one season, will I lose my star bonuses when I return?
      A: No, you won’t.
      Q: If I missed multiple seasons, will I lose star bonuses when I return?
      A: Based on how long you are absent, there will be some small decay applied to your MMR. Therefore, you may (or may not) lose some star bonuses.
      Q: Where do the win steak bonuses end?
      A: Diamond 5.
    • By Damien
      This thread is for comments about our Jambre's Rank 4 Legend Highlander Galakrond Rogue Deck.
    • By Damien
      This thread is for comments about our PapaJason's Top 50 Legend Reno Mage Deck.
    • By Stan
      Update 17.0 came with a few bugs that need fixing, so Blizzard outlined a hotfix schedule for the next two weeks.
      Blizzard (Source)
      We are currently in the process of putting out a few hotfixes for issues introduced after the 17.0 update. Please note that these fixes take place on the server side, so you should not need to download anything if you’ve updated to 17.0.
      We’ve identified and fixed an issue that could cause the game to fail to offer some eligible players the Returning Player Experience. Affected players should now receive the appropriate quest line when logging into Hearthstone. Whizbang the Wonderful will no longer offer decks with cards that have moved to the Hall of Fame. Kingsbane will now correctly be destroyed and shuffled into your deck when it reaches 0 durability. Living Roots, when disenchanted, now properly gives the amount of dust of a common instead of an epic. However, its gem rarity will not be updated until Monday (3/30). Invoke cards will now no longer appear from cards that generate other cards. Clever Disguise will now correctly function as intended when played. This coming Monday (3/30), we’re planning to deploy a data-only patch that addresses a couple more issues:
      Darkness Awaits will no longer be incorrectly marked as collectible in the Collection. Basic cards will no longer be incorrectly earned from Arena rewards. Living Root’s gem rarity will be corrected from Epic to Common. There are several known issues that will self-resolve on 4/7 when the Demon Hunter and Ashes of Outland unlock:
      Felfin Navigator will correctly appear in the Battlegrounds minion pool. The Battlegrounds Perks button will correctly function as intended when clicked. The new Priest cards will correctly appear in the Arena card pool. Demon Hunter Initiate cards will no longer be granted by completing Galakrond’s Awakening Chapters. Hallucination and Blink Fox will work correctly when played against Demon Hunter in Practice Mode. Curious Glimmerroot will no longer cause client crashes when played against Demon Hunter in Practice Mode. The Search Bar in the Collection will correctly function as intended, and will no longer jump to the top of the screen. Additionally, there are a few Boomsday Project Puzzles that can no longer be completed now because of card changes introduced in 17.0. We’re planning to deploy a fix for Boomsday Project Puzzles on April 9.
      We are investigating several other reports and will keep you posted as we know more. We’d like to thank everyone for their patience while we get some of these bugs squashed!
    • By Stan
      Update 17.0 came with free decks for returning players. Blizzard defines a returning player as one who had not logged into the game for four months as of March 17, meaning if you logged into Hearthstone between November 18, 2019 and now, you don't qualify as a returning player and won't receive the Class Deck.
      Blizzard (Source)
      As our new Returning Player Experience went live along with the 17.0 update, we’ve found a few places where we think we can clarify the process and what you can expect.
      To expand upon the eligible time period, we’ve defined a returning player as one who had not logged into Hearthstone for four months as of March 17th, so your last login to Hearthstone needed to be before 11/18/2019 to qualify. If you logged in on or between 11/18/2019 to 3/17/2020, you would not qualify as a returning player and receive the Class Deck.
      If you’re a returning player who has not logged in since before 11/18/2019, to earn your free deck
      Log into Hearthstone and be presented with a new Legendary Quest line, which is made up of three total quests. In the first quest, you will face three bosses made specifically for the quest line. In the final two quests, you will play 30 cards then deal 100 damage to an enemy hero. Upon completing the third and final quest, you will be able to select your free Class Deck once you return to the main menu. If you’re a new player and have not completed the new player ranks,
      Log into Hearthstone and complete the tutorial and the Starter Quest line You will need to graduate from the New Player Ranks (Ranks 50-26) Upon completing these quests, you will be able to select your free Class Deck once you return to the main menu. If you have played Hearthstone before, but either did not complete the tutorial or the New Player Ranks, you will need to do both before receiving the free Class Deck. Note that there’s also a chance you’ll see the Returning Player quests and need to complete those as well.
      As a final note, it is possible that you may not see the deck in your deck list if you did not have an open deck slot when you chose your free Class Deck. If this happens, don’t worry! You will still receive all of the cards from that deck. If you would like to delete one of your existing decks, you can then navigate to this page and use our deck list. From here, copy the deck code, and you can then add the deck to your deck list from within Hearthstone.
      We hope this helps to clarify the experience for everyone! In addition, we are going to keep investigating any potential issues with the returning player decks, and we will provide updates as we learn anything new.
      EDIT 1: Quick update: the team has indeed identified an issue that we know is affecting some players. We're currently investigating the steps needed to fix it. I may not have an update again until tomorrow, but I'll let everyone know what to expect as soon as I know more.
×
×
  • Create New...