This month, I have made a decision to do something that I’ve wanted to do for many a month. The particular endeavour in question requires patience, concentration, and, more than pretty much anything else, time. What is this task that will require the entire month of April to complete? Is it some momentous, life-altering paper that will shake the foundations of society itself? Have I begun to knit? No, my goal is even more geeky and niche than those – I have decided to make a run for Legendary rank in Hearthstone.
For those who don’t know, Hearthstone is Blizzard’s free-to-play online card game. The cards are very colourful, bright, and feature many pleasing sounds and flashing lights to reel in the kids. However, beneath this pleasant exterior lies a card game with significant depth, variance o play styles, and competition.
The game has a number of play modes to suit all tastes. There is a casual, once-a-week Tavern Brawl, where the game rules get mixed up and everyone has a jolly good time. There is the Arena, where you pay in gold to draft a unique deck from a slew of three-card choices. Finally, there is Play mode, where you construct decks using cards from your collection (which is grown by earning or buying card packs) and pit your deck against real-world players. Whilst there is a friendly option, the core of Play mode is the Ranked ladder. It is in this ladder that my grind lies.
In Ranked mode itself, there are 20 ranks, above which lies the elusive Legend rank. Every time you win a match, you gain a star and move up a little towards the next rank. Every time you lose, you lose a star and slip closer to where you started. Up until rank 5, you can go on a winning streak after three successive victories, and earn double stars for each win until you lose a game. This allows you to be able to go through the lower ranks more quickly.
At rank 5, the winning streaks stop. This means that the grind is slower. The players here are all trying to reach Legend. Rank 5 is accordingly considered the half-way point for the grind to legend. The better winrate that your deck has, the fewer games you will have to play to get to Legend. Here is a handy table from Tempostorm to demonstrate. This is the amount of games that you will have to play in order to reach Legend from Rank 5, depending on the win rate of your particular deck.
Considering each game takes approximately 8 minutes to play, that adds up to a lot of time spent for an achievement and an in-game card back.
I haven’t even reached rank 5 yet – at time of writing, I sit hovering around rank 10. I have ground my way up, but I still have a long climb ahead. I believe I can make it. I just need to play as much as I can, and I will eventually get there. Whilst I may not be the most skilled, I know that I am good enough to duke it out with the other aspiring Legend players.
All in all, I have many hours sitting in front of my computer ahead of me, trying to outwit a never-ending horde of faceless opponents standing in my way of glory. I hope that I will have enough time to get there. I have been streaming most of my grinding over at twitch.tv/pizzadogcasting. So, if you feel like hanging out in the digital world, watching me get frustrated and happy and frustrated some more, I’d love for you to join me in my pursuit of digital prestige. Now I have to go and get a few more stars before bedtime.