Hearthstone patch holds secrets of ranked season play and iPad release

In Hearthstone, Garrosh rules over all only about 50% of the time. Balance is a bitch.

Blizzard’s mighty CCG is out now; read our Hearthstone review to see what we thought of it.

Blizzard oversee more changing seasons than Mother Nature herself: the World of Warcraft arena just finished its fourteenth season; StarCraft II ranked play resets its seasons once a year; and once Diablo III gets its ladder installed, you can bet there’ll be a demon-hunting season too.

Well, guess what. Hearthstone means to establish itself as the fourth pillar of Blizzard. I think you can work out what that might mean.

The 130MB beta patch was rolled out to testers yesterday, on the day of Hearthstone’s official release. It contained achievements and a few new card backs – as well as early word on when the game’s ranked seasons might fall.

The seasons currently listed in the client are as follows:

  • First Test Season -Test season 1 in closed/open beta
  • Second Test Season -Test season 2 in closed/open beta
  • Third Test Season -Test season 3 in closed/open beta
  • Fourth Test Season -Test season 4 in pre-iPad release
  • April Season 2014 -1st real season
  • May Season 2014 -2nd season
  • June Season 2014 -3rd season

Four test seasons did indeed roll out during Hearthstone’s long beta period – excusing some minor delays. We can expect to see the inaugural season proper begin next month, then, and a ranked reset every four weeks thereafter.

It’s nice, too, to hear that Hearthstone’s iPad version is coming along. Internal testing began on the handheld port in October – though Blizzard said last year that it wouldn’t “necessarily” feature cross-platform play for launch.

“I will say we’ve done it – a PC has played with an iPad in the studio, it has happened,” Blizzard director of special projects Hamilton Chu told PCGN at the time. “But we’re not promising it for launch necessarily.”

Are you more excited by the idea of competing in regular ranked tournaments, or the prospect of beating your Hearthstone sparring partners from the bus?

Thanks, Hearthpwn.