“Hearthstone Test Season 2 Begins!” exclaims Google’s preview of the CCG’s official website - but click through, and you’ll find no immediate mention of next scheduled phase of Blizzard’s closed beta. Rather, the new ranked season partially rolled out yesterday has been hastily closed back up, probably folded in all the wrong places like a AA roadmap.
The Hearthstone dev team shut down Hearthstone’s closed beta for maintenance yesterday - only to discover that “pesky sprites” prevented them from properly transitioning to the new test season.
As a result, Blizzard plan to extend the duration of Test Season 1 until they can ensure a “smooth transition”, like an interim post-revolutionary government. When the game’s servers emerge from maintenance today, player ranks will remain as they were, and the current season will continue until further notice.
Test Season 2 will bring with it a full player reset to Rank 25. At the conclusion of future seasons, Blizzard plan to reward players with alternate card backs and Golden Heroes based on their performance.
Hearthstone was originally intended to enter open beta in December - but production director Jason Chayes said at the time that delaying the next stage of development was “the right thing to do”.
“The development team has been working hard to get this out before the end of , but our highest priority is that Hearthstone has an awesome launch when all gates are lifted and everyone can download it and play at the same time,” he said.
Do you lift gates? A portcullis, maybe. Whatever: between its Twitch dominance and fairly revolutionary promise of cross-platform play, Hearthstone’s going to come into its own this year. Oddly, two other Blizzard games made it onto our rundown of the most important PC games of 2014. Which is most important for you?