Hearthstone Update Implements Changes To Arena, Ranked, And More

Make it far enough in Ranked and you won't have to worry about dropping past that point.

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With a new expansion on the way soon, Blizzard today released a new update for Hearthstone.

This patch delivers some of the big changes recently announced, including those to Ranked Play and Arena. When you've reached certain milestones for the season in Ranked mode--20, 15, 10, 5, and Legend--you'll no longer be able to lose ranks past that point.

Arena shifts to the Standard format, limiting the potential cards that can show up. Additionally, spell cards will show up more often, as will Rares, Epics, and Legendaries, while neutral Basic and Classic cards become less common. And it'll now be possible to bring golden versions of cards into Arena matches, provided you own a gold version already.

In terms of balance, two changes have been made: Small-Time Buccaneer loses health, going from two to one, while Spirit Claws now costs two mana instead of one.

Matchmaking has been improved for new players, and Blizzard is working on a new system for creating an account on mobile, so as to make the process easier.

A handful of bugs have been resolved, including those involving Small-Time Buccaneer's attacks. You can get the full rundown in the patch notes below.

Hearthstone February 28 Update Patch Notes

Ranked Play

  • Upon achieving certain milestones in Ranked Play, it will no longer be possible to lose ranks beyond those milestones for that season. The milestones are Rank 20, 15, 10, 5, and Legend.

Arena

  • Creating decks for the Arena will now feature Standard cards only. Arena runs that were started prior to the patch will still include Wild cards.
  • Rares, Epics, and Legendaries will be offered more frequently during Arena deckbuilding.
  • Spells will now show up with a higher frequency.
  • Neutral Basic / Classic cards will appear less often.
  • If you own a Golden version of a card, the first copy you draft will be Golden. If you own multiple Golden copies of a card, all copies you draft will be Golden.

Balance Updates

  • Small-time Buccaneer’s health reduced from 2 to 1.
  • The mana cost of Spirit Claws increased from 1 to 2.

General

  • Added some memory optimizations.
  • Improved matchmaking for new players.
  • We are testing an update to the account creation process for mobile players. This will minimize the overhead associated with creating a new Battle.net account, and will be available in limited release.
  • Maximum in-game music volume has been capped in order to retain the best audio quality.
  • [Android] We made some optimizations to Android distribution, allowing for a smaller install size and smoother patching in the future.

Bug Fixes

  • Resolved inconsistencies in the way that Small Time Buccaneer’s Attack interacts with effects such as those generated by Humility, Keeper of Uldaman, and Crazed Alchemist.
  • Resolved an issue where a Kazakus potion spell cards could appear blank when copied by a minion or spell effect.
  • Knuckles will now correctly use its effect when under the effects of Misdirection.
  • Addressed an issue with the interaction of Wrath’s card draw timing in conjunction with Daring Reporter.
  • Snipe will now correctly trigger after Potion of Polymorph.
  • Djinni of Zephyrs will now correctly copy spells buffed by spell damage.
  • Bouncing Blade will now correctly continue bouncing after clearing a Divine Shield.
  • Resolved an issue where seasonal reward cards could take a while to show up in the Collection Manager.
  • Searching the Collection Manager with a class name will now correctly display Tri-Class cards.
  • Resolved issues that could slow or stop payment authentication when using the in-game Shop.
  • Fixed many minor visual issues and some card text inconsistencies.

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