Greetings, traveler! You’ve had a long climb to get there, hadn’t you? Come on in, have a pint on me, play a round of Gwent with the crocodile in the corner…what’s that? You’re saying that the beer is stale? Well, you shouldn’t play Gwent either then…
While today’s announcement provided us with a general idea of the pillars of the Homecoming Project, one announcement was stated very clearly: there will only be two updates in the next six months. The April update will bring board skins and the missing premium cards to the game, and the May update will be a balance patch, tweaking many cards, including a significant change to the Create mechanic.
This most likely means that difficult times are ahead of Gwent. We’ve already gone through an extended period of “content drought”, and the patience of the Gwent community is about to be tested once again. The approach of new competitors, such as Magic the Gathering: Arena and Artifact, means that once Gwent 2.0 comes out it will have formidable competition, and only time will tell how it will stand its ground in the new age.
Instead of regurgitating what has been already said about the future of the game, let’s look at the core changes that are to come in the next 6 months.
Changes to the Row Identity – Row identity is something that players have been complaining about ever since cards were no longer restricted to specific rows. With the additional changes to the game, such as gold cards immunity, a significant portion of the player base felt like Gwent has lost its unique touch. The Gwent Homecoming promises “meaningful rows” as you may expect to get additional benefits for playing cards in preferential rows.
A more drastic change comes in the decision to remove one row completely, perhaps to make the two remaining rows more impactful, and to improve the visual fidelity of the cards in anticipation of the mobile release.
Visual Treats – New themed boards, a “darker esthetic and mood” that would be more in-line with the dark fantasy world of Witcher and promises of new user interface are all included in the Gwent Homecoming makeover. CDPR intends to turn the game into something completely new in terms of both gameplay and visuals, focusing on the things that made it stand out among the competition – a more mature game for mature audiences.
Thronebreaker, finally – As a nice cherry on top of the content cake, CDPR promises that the revamp of the game will be accompanied by the long-awaited release of Thronebreaker – a single-player campaign that promises to break all preconceptions about what single-player card game adventures can be. This has the chance of luring in an audience that is not entirely interested in card games, but hunger for the more spectacular storytelling we’ve come to expect in the Witcher universe.
For full details on the Gwent 2.0 Roadmap, check out the official announcement.