[Updated] Hearthstone's ranked play mode has been hotfixed

Update: Blizzard has one again hit ranked mode with a spanner and it sounds like it's confident that matchmaking for legend players should now be working correctly. As of about an hour ago, community manager Jesse Hill wrote: "We recently identified an issue where some Legend ranked players were being matched with players of a lower ranking than intended. A hotfix has gone out to remedy this issue. Legend ranked players should now experience intended matchmaking in Ranked Play." 

As this snafu only effect the players at the very top of the ladder, I shouldn't imagine the rest of us plebs will be getting any free packs for this one.  Still, the three freebies from the previous problem should be arriving sometime this week. I'll be praying for a golden Lynessa.

Original story: The March 2018 Hearthstone reset that hit last week did not go off entirely smoothly. Blizzard was forced to disable Ranked Play almost immediately after it went live because of issues with progression that, according to one theory, saw players in Asia earning a sweet five stars per win rather than the usual one. Ranked Play was restored the next day, but it's starting to look like the trouble may not have gone away entirely. 

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Neither the tweet nor this Hearthstone forum post reveal what exactly the "potential issues" are, but Hearthstone pro n0blord theorized in this detailed rundown on Reddit that matchmaking isn't actually using MMR for Legend-ranked players as it's meant to, and as a result, Legend players will actually drop rank when they play. 

Hearthstone designer August Dean "Iksar" Ayala responded to suggest n0blord's theory was off the mark, however, saying on Twitter that "there are a lot of misconceptions in this post." He also emphasized that Blizzard isn't even certain if there's actually a problem at all. 

"The core point is that players are reporting something that feels different than past seasons. We'll take some of the examples players have given (very helpful) and use that to help determine if there is an issue, and if there is how can we address it," he wrote. "Most theories include a lot of speculation right now which is fine as a starting point, but now is the time to take a look at the data and see what's going on. It's something we'll investigate." 

It's possible that the system isn't broken, and that changes to matchmaking simply have it working in unexpected ways. Whatever the cause, this tweet from another pro makes it sound like something is definitely up. 

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I've emailed Blizzard for more information, and we'll update when we know more. 

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.