The Hearthstone developers have recently hinted at some upcoming changes to the game's Arena format, and we've finally had confirmation on what exactly those changes will involve.
The headline news is that Arena will no longer use the Wild format - where you can potentially draft any card from Hearthstone's history - and will instead be limited to the Standard card pool (where only the most recent expansions are available).
The reason for this charge seems to be that it becomes harder and harder for players to draft interesting synergies as the card set becomes more diluted. It's tough to get a Jade Golem deck going, for example, and so instead it becomes a process of drafting cards on a pure power-level basis - not so fun. The devs will tweak things further if Arena still doesn't feel thematically connected to each new expansion as a result.
Next up on the list of changes is card rarity distribution. Common and Basic cards will show up less often in Patch 7.1, giving more space for options from the Rare, Epic and Legendary pool of cards to appear. In addition to this broader change to drafting odds, Abyssal Enforcer and Flamestrike will be specifically tweaked to show up 50% less often than they do right now.
If you've become bored of trading minions continuously, you can expect to see more spells show up during the drafting process as well. This will serve to stop every game becoming a board-presence tempo race.
The last drafting change focuses on Neutral cards, which are going to show up much less often than they currently do. While these primitive cards are good for new players, they're a little bit dull for those who've been around a bit and the team would like to see more exciting decks form.
Finally, you won't have to wait for the expansion to enjoy these changes (assuming we're not going to get a new set of cards in very short order!). The team will deliver these tweaks in an update coming before the end of February, which is just under a week from today - put your money on Tuesday 28th.
You can read all about these changes over at the official forums. Let us know what you think about these tweaks in the comments!