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GWENT Homecoming — see what's next for GWENT



GWENT Homecoming — see what's next for GWENT

GWENT HOMECOMING — an Open Letter from Marcin Iwiński and the development team

I love GWENT — especially when I am winning. At times, I hate it — it’s when I get my ass kicked. GWENT is one of the very few games I play almost every day (I clocked close to 350 hours). Why am I telling you this? It’s because I want you to know that I’m invested and treat GWENT very personally.​

I still remember the excitement of E3 2016 when we announced GWENT on PC and consoles. It was a blast! Well received by both you — gamers — and the media, I think we couldn't have had a better opening. And boy..., were we naive. Compared to the single player RPGs we had been creating so far, we didn’t realize how different it was to operate and develop a live game at the same time.

A year later, we took GWENT to Public Beta and — again — tons of gamers jumped in and checked it out. We still had a lot to learn. But, as always, we adapted. What we didn’t realize back then was that we also started slowly drifting away from our original vision for standalone GWENT. While fighting with the everyday reality of regular updates and content drops, we lost sight of what was unique and fun about the game. And you played a big role in making us realize that. Thank you for your sincere feedback!

We have never accepted ‘good enough’ at our company. We have always taken risks and made bold decisions if we believed they would result in a better game. And, you’ve guessed it, we’ve just made one now.

We call this project GWENT Homecoming.

We want GWENT to kick some serious ass and reignite your passion for our beloved CCG. We would like to ask you for your trust and patience. We need 6 months of fully-focused development to deliver what we’ve planned. Aside from standard season transitions and events like Faction Challenges or Warped Arena rulesets, we will release only two updates during this time. One in April — it will introduce the missing Premium Cards as well as faction specific board skins — and one in May, which will balance out the game (Wardancer included) with a new approach to “Create”. Six months is a long time, however, on the flip side, after Homecoming concludes, we will go out of beta and release Thronebreaker at the same time. Don’t worry about your progress, once Homecoming is complete, for a limited time, you will have the ability to mill all of your cards for their full value. Regarding our esports activities, for now, our calendar is not changing.

As for details on Homecoming, Kasia and Rafał, GWENT’s leads, have broken down the project into the following key pillars:

  • 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!

Best regards,
Marcin Iwiński, co-founder / joint CEO
Katarzyna Redesiuk, Game Director
Rafał Jaki, Product Director

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twinkiegorilla It would have been dead if it continued in the current direction. think taking 6 months off and going back to the drawing board is the best decision they could make now. There are fundamental flaws in the current design, cant make it better with a few balance tweaks.

Lilayah Im actually excited. This restores my faith in CDPR being a company striving for perfection. I spend about 100€ and quite some time playing Gwent, i was sad when it all went in the wrong direction. I approve of all the mentioned changes and will happily wait for you guys to make it the game it should be! Well played!
So after the May release, Throne breaker will be released around September. You guys do what you need to do; I've waited longer for things that had been totally worth my anticipation, and I'm always pleasantly surprised by what CDPR has done so far. Best of luck.

Edit: Bring back Quen Sign.
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Looked promising at first (prefered-rows, awesome), but then

Lilayah;n10800231 said:
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.
Don't do this!

So, see you in 6 months and I hope you don't do something stupid.
Good luck on the path :)
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Six months go by faster than one might think -- especially when there's something as huge as Thronebreaker, what sounds like a total overhaul, and even release at the end of it.
Looking forward to all the new things, of course!

Well, I guess I will take a break from Gwent for those six months.

For me - take your time games, I am still big fanboy of you and of Gwent too and I am really looking forward how things look when new version of game will come.

Only thing I am worry about is that after 6 months there will be nearly noone left to play this game with us. Wish I was mistaken.

Good luck CDPR. I understand how hard it must have been to take this decision and put it just before players.
Six months without content... added to the three months with barely anything we already had. This sure is a lot of time .

The changes are much needed, but I'm really concerned about how much of the player base will remain after this six months of nothing. Six-nine months of no content to a card game is a very problematic situation.
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Dear CDPR,

Thank you for your honesty with regards to taking on the development burden and learning curve of this very different genre of game from your flagship rpgs - it's only reasonable that some hiccups would be faced along the way. I've logged over 400 hours on Gwent and (generally) really enjoyed my experience; that said, I stopped playing a few weeks back due to how amplified the coin-flip problem became at the the top of the ladder (going first means losing 40% more often automatically). 6 months will be a long time to wait to try Gwent again but I'm confident that if you make good on your intentions many players and streamers who have become fatigued with the game will come back to give it a second chance. You have a wonderful 'scaffold' of a game that many players seem to forget is still in Beta. The other changes you've presented look promising and I hope you're successful.
I think the game needs major changes and I'm glad CDPR has the courage to make them. I'll be back in 6 months, but again, please don't do something stupid :( .
Good stuff, I'm looking forward to Gwent, as well as Thronebreaker in 6 months then:) And as for people "having left", maybe they have, but I'm sure other people will join when the game actually releases and others will return. For me as a passionate gamer waiting is part of it, I'm currently waiting for the next Tomb Raider, I can't wait for the new Assassin's Creed to release, I also can't wait for FF VII remake, really, these 6 months for Gwent and Thronebreaker is nothing, especially if the result is up to the standard that CDPR delivered for the Witcher series. See you all in 6 months then =D

And yes, please bring back Quen sign :D