Hearthstone Beta Updated, Full Release of Blizzard's Card Battle Game on the Horizon
Blizzard's free-to-play card battle game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is still in open beta and has been well received throughout its trial. It's getting a large number of players, both consistent and new, and Bliazzard is continuing to tweak the game. A change to the way the beta operates and ranks players has been released, and the developers promise the full launch is not far away.
So far during the beta, the player levels have reset every month and started everyone over. This caused inexperienced or new players to be put back in the same pool with formerly high-level gamers who had played quite a bit, and they had no choice but to be dominated by the more skilled until a level gap emerged again.
The monthly reset is still sticking around, but Blizzard will now be looking at levels when resetting and placing the low-level or new players at a staggered gap away from the experienced players.
Now when the reset occurs, Legend, Innkeeper (Rank 1), or Black Knight (Rank 2) players will be put at Questing Adventurer (Rank 16), rather than Angry Chicken (Rank 25). This keeps the new and experienced players in separate pools, and should lead to less frustration for people joining the game.
That should do wonders for people who start playing after a reset, because I'm sure they tend to think the gamer is just a lot more difficult than it naturally would be in ranked matches, perhaps unaware of the reset that's making them more likely to be put against skilled opponents. This may improve feedback from new gamers overall, and keep people who normally would have been discouraged playing the game longer.
Blizzard has also rebalanced several cards including Tinkmaster Overspark and Nat Pagle. The developers said, "The release of Hearthstone is on the horizon, and we have a couple of additional changes to certain cards we feel it is necessary to implement before the game goes live." Keep an eye out for an official release date, and try out the game for free on Battle.net.