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Hearthstone's ladder is changing to enable 'a faster climb'

Blizzard is making a "quality of life" change to Hearthstone ranked play that will make it easier for players to advance through the ranks. Currently, players must earn five stars to advance through most ranks, but beginning with the February Ranked Play season, the number will be reduced for all but the top-most ranks. 

Players will require three stars per rank to advance from ranks 50 to 16 following the update, while four stars each will be needed to get through ranks 15 to 11. The top ten ranks will still require five stars per rank for advancement. Blizzard said the change will enable faster climbs through the lower and mid-level tiers, "while preserving the more competitive Star values for the higher Ranks." 

"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," Blizzard said. 

"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." 

The change will actually take Hearthstone's ranking system more or less back to where it used to be: Prior to the March 2018 season, ranks 25 through 21 required two stars to move through, 20 through 16 required three stars, 15 through 11 took four, and the top ten needed five stars each. Blizzard added 25 more ranks to the game in October 2018 to help ease new players into the experience. Will this be enough for you to finally make the push for Legend? I believe in you, champ. (As long as you're playing Hunter, let's not make this unnecessarily hard.)  

Andy Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.