Gwent Getting a Major Overhaul to Return the Game to It's Original Vision

Thronbreaker, the highly-anticipated single-player story campaign for the collectible card game Gwent, is still about six months away, according to developer CD Projekt Red.

The single-player add-on will now launch alongside a major overhaul of the game that is designed to essentially fix everything people currently don't like, and return the game to the team's “original vision.”

The news comes via an “open letter” from Marcin Iwiński, CEO and co-founder of CD Projekt Red, to the game's community, where a new six-month plan is laid out.

According to Iwiński, as CD Projekt Red adapted to developing a live game for the first time, it began to stray away from the original vision for the project, including what made it “unique and fun.” However, it now realizes its mistakes following feedback from the game's community, who has been playing the title for the last year in beta form.

This new six month plan, which is being called “Homecoming,” will not only see Gwent revamped, but represents what Iwiński calls a large risk being made in the name of quality, one that he thinks will pay off.

After this period of reconfiguring is over, the game will leave beta and the aforementioned Thronebreaker will release.

As for the changes, they are laid out as followed:

Turning GWENT into a battlefield

When you play GWENT, you are a leader of an army from the world of The Witcher. We want to put more effort into reflecting that in in-game mechanics and visuals. As an example, we would like to introduce a preferred row for some cards that would grant them additional benefits when put on that row. Also, rows in the front and back would always grant a different buff when a unit is placed there.

Upgrading the board

Currently, rows don’t have direct impact on gameplay. If we count the hands of both players, we are looking at 8 rows in total. Our greatest visual assets — card art and premium versions of cards — are too small to shine in the current view. What we’re aiming for is a complete overhaul of the visual experience. The redesign will leave no stone unturned. We are even considering cutting one of the rows and leaving only melee and range. It’s still something that requires extensive testing, but we’re that serious about making things work.

Fixing the coin mechanic

Currently, going second can give players a significant advantage. We heard you — we will ‘fix the coin flip’ and are already testing possible solutions.

Revamping player progression

We have a lot of things planned for new and returning players. We will be offering a proper tutorial to ease first time players into playing GWENT. There will also be a new leveling system, achievements and a revised ranked mode — all with suitable rewards.

Focusing on skill and player agency

We heard you discussing the “Create” mechanic. At first, we thought it would be an interesting addition to the game, but — as time passed — we realized that this form of wide RNG is not something that fits our focus on player skill. We will be extra careful with these types of mechanics in the redesign process. That said, if we manage to find some cards interesting enough to include, but ‘too crazy for Ranked’, they will still have their place in Arena and Casual Mode.

Re-focusing on core gamers

We want GWENT to remain a deep game, where each faction has its identity and offers distinctive gameplay archetypes. We want rows to really matter in terms of gameplay, and gameplay itself needs to be engaging and rewarding.

Bringing back The Witcher

Homecoming will bring back a darker aesthetic and mood, more in sync with the original Witcher lore. We’ll change the main menus and in-game shop, as well as work on a consistent UI and UX throughout the entire game.

Thronebreaker

We saved the best for last. After Homecoming concludes, we will launch GWENT along with Thronebreaker — our single player campaign. A dedicated team has been hard at work to deliver you a great new story from the Witcher universe. Expect goodness!

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For more information on the changes coming to the game, the new six month plan, and more, be sure to peep the open letter for yourself, here.

Gwent, a fully-fledged, free-to-play collectible card game spun out of a mini-game within The Witcher III: Wild Hunt of the same name, is in development for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A full release is expected sometime in 2018.