We've got a huge update to the new player experience in Hearthstone in this week's patch! Just in case the catch-up packs weren't enough, a new type of rewards track is being introduced to better guide players through their initial progression.

  • The Apprentice Track replaces Apprentice Ranks.
  • Gold, Catch-Up Packs, Starter Decks and more are earned through progression.
  • New players will unlock Modes and Classes as they progress through the track.
    • Death Knight included!
  • Tavern Guide is a new series of quests designed to teach players about Hearthstone's systems and strategies.
  • It is expected the new systems are quicker to complete than Apprentice Ranks.

That all sounds awesome and it's a great time for new players to get into Hearthstone, ahead of the datamined Hearthstone steam launch. Here's what the start of the track looks like:

Quote From Blizzard

After finishing the tutorial, new players will now get access to the new Apprentice Track—an experience replacing the current Apprentice Ranks and intended to simplify and guide new player development and progression. Modes and classes (including Death Knight) are now earned as rewards on the Apprentice Track, instead of their previous unlock requirements. We’re also introducing the Tavern Guide, a series of quests designed to teach players about Hearthstone’s core systems and strategies. The new Apprentice Track and Tavern Guide are expected to take less time to complete than the current Apprentice ranks. Rewards for completing the new track include Gold, Catch-Up Packs, starter decks, and more!  

Returning players who are still in Apprentice ranks will be placed on the Apprentice Track, with their current Modes and all classes unlocked. Experienced players or players who just want to play Battlegrounds will be able to skip the track and guide to immediately unlock all classes, modes, and Loaner Decks, but will miss out on the other rewards along the Track.