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‘Hearthstone’ Adds New Player Ranks, Delays In-Game Tournament Mode

There’s good news and bad news for “Hearthstone” fans. Developer Blizzard Entertainment is adding four cards to the Classic set and creating new beginner-friendly competitive ranks, but it’s delaying its anticipated in-game tournament mode, it said in an update on Tuesday.

The digital collectible card game’s tournament feature is “on hold for the foreseeable future,” Blizzard said. It was supposed to arrive this year. While tournaments can serve many different audiences, Blizzard said “Hearthstone’s” version catered to a very specific audience instead of broadening the game and felt “tacked on.”

“Ultimately, we were forced to conclude that we needed to think about how and where we want to improve ‘Hearthstone’s’ overall social experience before we can tackle adding a satisfying and robust implementation of In-game Tournaments that all players can enjoy,” Blizzard said. “As developers, sometimes we have to make the difficult decision to step away from a design that isn’t working. We no longer felt that the end result would deliver on everyone’s expectations or the high standards we have for ‘Hearthstone.'”

The four cards being added to the Classic set are all class cards — Icicle, Tome of Intellect, Call of the Void, and Pilfer. Players can craft them or open them in Classic card packs starting next month. Blizzard said it wants each class to have a roughly equal number of cards available in Classic, so it’s filling in some gaps.

“Looking forward, we expect more cards to join the Hall of Fame,” Blizzard said. “There are also still some gaps in Classic where neutral Legendary cards joined the Hall of Fame, so we’re considering adding some new cards to the Classic set in the future.”

Right now, “Hearthstone’s” competitive ladder has 25 ranks. Blizzard is adding another 25 specifically for newcomers. Ranks 50 through 26 are for new players only and, just like ranks 25 through 20, they won’t lose starts at these ranks. Once a player reaches Rank 25, they’ll never drop below it again. Experienced “Hearthstone” players who make an additional account can choose to skip the new ranks.

“We hope this gives players who are new to ‘Hearthstone’ a little more time to get used to the Tavern, and we’ll also be giving them a few free gifts along the way to help them get up to speed,” Blizzard said.

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