Hearthstone Changes Include New Classic Cards And Easier On-Ramp

A lot of small changes could make a big difference.

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Now Playing: Hearthstone's Boomsday Project Expansion Has New Cards And A Popular Character - GS News Update

Blizzard has announced several changes coming to its digital CCG Hearthstone soon. These include some new cards, changes to ranked mode to make it easier for new players to come aboard, the return of the Welcome Bundle, and more.

First off, the studio is adding four new Classic cards next month. The Classic set is one of only two constants that remain in Standard circulation all the time, along with Basic cards, while all expansion cards rotate out. Some Classic cards have been rotated out of Standard for balance reasons, but Blizzard says it wants all of the classes to continue having a roughly equal number of cards. To make up the gap for ones removed, it's introducing these new ones:

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Another big change is coming to Ranked play. Currently, Ranking goes from 25 to 1, followed by Legend ranks, with lower numbers signifying a higher skill level. But Blizzard says that even at Rank 25, the level of competition can be intimidating for new players. As a result, it will be introducing 25 new ranks, so players will start at rank 50. Ranks 50-26 will be exclusively for new players, and players won't be able to lose stars in the process, so they can just slowly progress through the ranks as they get their feet wet and earn some special rewards along the way. There will be an option to skip these ranks entirely, just in case you're a veteran making a new account.

Also for the sake of new players, Blizzard is revising the Welcome Bundle. It will offer 10 Classic card packs, but the random Class Legendary is being swapped for one of the six Legendary dragons from the Classic set. Those could be Alexstrasza, Deathwing, Malygos, Nozdormu, Onyxia, and Ysera. Several of those are still used in competitive standard play, so it's a strong set to choose between. A special Days of the Frozen Throne event is set to release a specially priced bundle tomorrow as well.

In news that may disappoint some fans, though, the announcement also reveals that the planned in-game tournament feature has been put on hold. "Ultimately, we were forced to conclude that we needed to think about how and where we want to improve Hearthstone’s overall social experience before we can tackle adding a satisfying and robust implementation of In-game Tournaments that all players can enjoy," it says.

Finally, the Hallow's End event will kick off on October 17 with a special Tavern Brawl, and come alongside a new Paladin hero for purchase, Sir Annoy-O. The blog also welcomes feedback about Wild play, the current Standard meta, and even particular points of interest like the prominence of Giggling Inventor since the launch of The Boomsday Project.

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