Tired of grinding out win after win to advance up the ranked ladder in Hearthstone? Soon, you’ll have to grind somewhat less, especially if you’re a low-ranked player, as Blizzard will tweak the number of wins needed to advance starting with next month’s competitive season.
Currently, you need five stars — roughly analogous to wins, though there are bonus stars for winning streaks and you can lose stars for losses at some ranks — to advance in rank. When February rolls around, ranks 16 to 50 will only need three stars to advance, and 15 to 11 will need four stars. Ranks 10 and better will still need five stars. It’s very similar to the requirements that used to exist before the ranking system was expanded from 25 to 50. A blog post goes into further detail about the changes.
It’s also somewhat telling that the barriers for ranked play in Hearthstone have been progressively lowered as time goes on — first by the addition of more ranks to better represent new players, and now this. To some degree, this happens with all online games, as the developers usually make things a little easier to try and keep players or bring in new ones. Once the initial shine of a new game has worn off, it’s harder to keep people interested, especially when there are about a dozen new options every day. That’s certainly been the case with World of Warcraft over the years, and Blizzard is following suit with Hearthstone.