Hearthstone's Rise of the Mech update is now live

Hearthstone's 14.4 update, Rise of the Mech, is now live on PC (mobile to follow later today), bringing buffs to every class (which you can read about in detail here), quality of life changes including improved reconnection options and matchmaking, Arena set rotations, new card backs, and a free golden SN1P-SN4P, the new neutral Legendary Mech who caused Blizzard some surprise headaches a couple weeks ago, for everyone who logs in between now and July 1.

Rather than being tossed to the login screen, players who get disconnected from the game will now "seamlessly reconnect in the background from any screen," including when editing decks or browsing collections. There may some wonkiness now and then, as Blizzard said it's still a work in progress, "and you may encounter some issues with the online version." 

Collections can also now be accessed while offline, with changes stored locally and then uploaded to servers once internet access is back. Again, it sounds like it's not quite 100 percent dialed in yet: "Note that some changes may be lost if a player creates multiple decks or edits the same deck simultaneously on multiple devices," Blizzard said. 

The odds of being matched up against the same player and class multiple times in a row are now reduced thanks to changes in the matchmaking system, although that's obviously subject to available competition, and Blizzard specified that players in ranks 25-21 especially should see improvements in the quality of their matches. 

There are a pair of swanky new card backs on the table as well: Shado-Pan, for finishing five matches during the July season, and Stolen Thunder, available by purchasing the Masters Bundle. 

As occasionally happens, the update launch has not been entirely smooth sailing: Blizzard is "actively working" to fix bugs that are causing progress through chapters 2-5 to be improperly displayed. Actual progress is still being accurately tracked, however. 

Blizzard has also released the new Hearthstone Masters Bundle, which includes 10 Rise of Shadows card packs, 10 Rastakhan’s Rumble packs, the new Stolen Thunder Card Back, and a Thunder King Shaman Hero for $20. A portion of the proceeds will go to bolster the prize pools for the three 2019 Hearthstone Masters Tour events up to an additional $250,000 in prizes per tournament, beginning with the Masters Tour Las Vegas, which runs June 14-16.

Full details on Hearthstone's Rise of the Mech update, including bug fixes and gameplay tweaks, is up at playhearthstone.com.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.