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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.
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.
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.
This thread is for comments about our Jambre's Rank 4 Legend Highlander Galakrond Rogue Deck.
This thread is for comments about our PapaJason's Top 50 Legend Reno Mage Deck.
Update 17.0 came with a few bugs that need fixing, so Blizzard outlined a hotfix schedule for the next two weeks.
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!
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.
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.