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.
The team has been monitoring Ranked Play since coming back online last week. We are currently looking into potential issues surrounding Legend rank. We will update as more information becomes available here: https://t.co/MjZ6YQ1Aw6March 5, 2018
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.
80 % winrate in the last 20 games was good enough to drop only 100 ranks on ladder, I guess I have to try a bit harderMarch 5, 2018
I've emailed Blizzard for more information, and we'll update when we know more.