Arena mode is that corner of Hearthstone where the cards all look familiar, but somehow combine in ways that seem profoundly unfair and tend to ruin your day. Nick seemed to have loads of fun though in his Hearthstone review.
This month’s third ranked season means we’ll at least get a bit of prior warning on that front. Hearthstone players of rank 20 or over – i.e. those with an unerring knack for pulling off those combo flukes, time after time – will get pretty new card backs to distinguish their decks from the rest.
Ascend steadily up the ranked play ladder to rank 20 before the end of June and you’ll earn a Rainbow! card back – Blizzard’s exclamation, not ours.
The Rainbow! backs replace the art decorating the reverse side of your cards. They are, point out Blizzard, a subtle means of boasting in a game which doesn’t allow much in the way of trash-talking.
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The developers seem to be planning a new rank 20 card back reward for every successive season, in fact. And once you’ve won your first, the second won’t be nearly so difficult – you’ll receive bonus stars in ranked play based on your performance in the last season.
Blizzard expect some players will be able to hit rank 20 instantly because of this provision – though they’ll need to log in at least once during the new season to qualify for the reward.
The best players will have a different reward in mind, of course – a piece of the $250,000 prize pool at the Hearthstone World Championship, destined for BlizzCon 2014.
Before we know it, Hearthstone will be in its thirteenth season, and we’ll be asking if this or that card game is a Hearthstone-killer, and wondering if expansion sale drop-off proves that Blizzard’s CCG is on the wane. Because it’s that good. Let’s make a pact here to never forget how good Hearthstone is, yeah?