The latest update to Hearthstone sees minor tweaks to Arena and some pretty small but significant changes to the solo experience; Rumble Run.
First of all, it’s been stated that the appearance of each individual card available in Arena has been adjusted to keep the win-rate of each class as close to the ideal 50% as possible. So what does that mean?
Well on the surface, it sounds like match-fixing, but what it really means is players will see an increase in under-performing classes being the only arena choice when you start a new arena run.
In addition, if a particular class is overperforming then expect a shakeup in the potential draft cards. These changes are designed to get players playing on the merits of their draft decision making and depth of card knowledge.
It’s also designed to stop players trying to recreate a well-known constructed deck as best they can. Basically, stop trying to make Dragon Warrior in Arena.
I’m all for these changes, and I think most Arena players are aware that there’s a good change of random chance when it comes to drafting the cards you need. I think Rastakhan’s Rumble as a set has a lot of fun cards that never see their way into constructed but are great for Arena, for example, most of the Loa do great things in Arena regardless of the decks builds.
The biggest changes have come to Rumble Run. A solo player experience that pits each class against each other in a gauntlet of unrelenting combat and deck building.
Similar to the Monster hunt in Witchwood, you pick a class and add more cards or sets with each victory. However, with nine possible classes to choose from, your options are a little more random like, just like Arena.
Probably my favourite update to the Rumble Run format is the shrine selection phase, where you choose your chain which determines what class you are playing. The first time you fire it up you’ll receive three random shrines to choose from.
However, as you play more games you’ll notice that the choice is a little less random. Players will always be able to choose the shrine the most recently lost with if a run end in defeat, allowing you to pick and refine a class or multiple games in a row. Not only can you replay the same shrine, but you’ll also be offered the opportunity to use the shrine that ended your run last game.
If like me, you just can’t beat Warmaster Voone and his Dragon spam, then you can try it out yourself after you’ve finished watching him beat you easily.
Speaking of Voone and his Dragons, the card rewards are weighted towards synergy and there’s a real angle towards teaching you the current Meta or design space of the existing constructed decks. With Shaman comes a lot of overload and Murloc options, Dragons for the Warrior, Beasts for Hunter and so on.
The solo play experiences are really well designed to teach new players how to best harness their deck building skills in an easy practice mode, so you don’t have to just get crushed relentlessly in ranked to learn how to play.
Finally, the difficulty of Rumble Run has been tweaked. The Boss decks will escalate with you, so expect some harder fights in your final few but earlier on they won’t have all their tools to smash your face in, same as you have limited tools in your kit to win. The games feel more fair and balanced instead of stumbling into high ranked games with a beginner deck and hopeless optimism.
I’ve been really enjoying Rumble Run and the changes are all welcome, I’ve personally had little to do with Arena in the last few weeks while I focus on my constructed gameplay and skills.
That being said Arena is always good for a laugh if you go in with the attitude of learning and having fun because sometimes you can’t plan for a top deck Deathwing or Ysera.
Just GG and queue up again.