Blizzard has announced plans to make it easier to climb the Ranked Play ladder in Hearthstone.
Starting in February, Ranks 50-16 will only require 3 stars per rank, with Ranks 15-11 needing 4 stars per rank, and Ranks 10-1 needing 5 stars per rank. Currently, all ranks require 5 stars, so this should speed the climbing process up at the lower ranks while maintaining the high degree of difficulty that should be present at higher ranks.
Speaking about the changes in their announcement, Blizzard said:
“We’ve heard a lot of feedback about the long climb in Ranked play, so starting with the February Ranked Play season, we’re introducing a quality of life change by reducing the number of Stars required to advance in many of the Ranks! This will make your Ranked Play climb faster in the lower ranks, while preserving the more competitive Star values for the higher Ranks.”
Players will still start the February season four Ranks lower than their highest Rank from the current season, but any stars that you earned within that Rank that exceed the number of stars that are in your new Rank will be lost. Explaining this, Blizzard said:
“When the February Ranked Play Season begins, you will still be reset four Ranks lower than the highest Rank you achieved in the previous season, but “excess” Stars will be shed to align with the new value for the Rank you are moving to. For example, if your highest Rank in January was Rank 10 with five Stars, then when the February Season begins, you will be set to Rank 14 with four Stars. The “fifth” Star is no longer there, but you would still be at the highest value for the Rank you were moved to.”
I think this is a good change for Hearthstone. It makes sense for it to be a quicker climb out of the lower ranks only to become a slower, more difficult climb as you get higher up the ladder. The current, consistent, long-winded system of five stars for every rank can make the process feel very slow, especially for newer players, so this new system should help to make Ranked Play more appealing and accessible for players.