Exactly how I feel. Though I had lots of positive experiences with both MtG and Gwent, the toxitity is ALWAYS there in some form. I've played lots of other card games where every single person is respectful - both towards others and themselves - and friendly, but for some reason specific ('competitive') games attract this crowd. Be that as it may (it's a given), I just don't want to bother with PvP and getting hatemail for quitting games, while I can have loads of fun playing AI. It might be surprising to some, but I'm not looking for a sense of "pride and accomplishment". I'm looking for some fun, and that's it. Not that you can't have any fun with this model, but it's obviously geared towards the former crowd.To be fair... I hate Player vs Player online part of the games. I got hooked on Gwent by the lore and fantasy displayed in The Witchers series, started slow playing to know the game... and then comes Thronebreaker.
The puzzles, the Player vs Environment, the Gwent against CPU (that looks like less mechanic than the Meta Gwent it has on the Multiplayer side), the balance induced by difficulties... got me really interested in play the Multiplayer... until the Multiplayer part of the game drove me away.
Like you I play games a long time... but in the '90s starting with Magic The Gathering, Board games, RPG, MMRPG... but, Single players and coop-op are far better than the plaged/toxic competitive scenario, and 75% of the fault comes from the company and P2W mindset that brings unbalance every patch/expansion deterioration the good they delivered in the Beta phase.
In came Thronebreaker, where they did a lot of things right. But the game ended up being an unbalanced mess, where I often ended up hero-passing with 5 cards left, just to get some excitement. So back to MP I go, only to see all the cards completely overhauled, which is still awkward. Every few months I came back for a game or two, only to find all my decks unusable, etc. It makes sense to rebalance the cards, but atm it's just a mess. Either you adapt the COST of the card, or you change the TEXT (I heavily prefer the former), but please don't do both.
Why is this relevant here: as OP indicates it drives people to compete for 'prizes' so they don't have to buy the cards randomly. There's some obvious frustration in people. This direction they are moving in will only increase that. Based on recent updates I think they are just concerned with making more money, and not with increasing our experience. If you explicitly state that the latter is your intention, but your action say otherwise, you will be losing players as you're simply not genuine.