Gwent Year One

Year summary
First year of Gwent
total summary

Yesterday we had 1 year anniversary since Gwent went out from HC phase. So let's celebrate it with a summary of last 12 months.

Leave a comment with your best memory from this year of Gwent!

Thronebreaker - the last game from the Witcher universe that didn't achieve the expectations of the CDPR and had a hard time even after getting a lot of changes. It wasn't just the problem caused by being strictly designed for the card players which aren't the huge part of the whole Witcher fans but also for many people the game was just too easy and even patch didn't help much with the balance.

But the gameplay and story almost always should just defend the game on its own and easy difficulty level shouldn't make a big problem.

For an example we can give the Witcher 3 game which also for a lot of people was just easy and still remained one of the best games from the last years. That was also the case for Thronebreaker almost all of the Gwent community really liked that game even though it wasn't really hard.

Crimson Curse
Crimson curse was first big expansion to Gwent. We got trailer of it in March 4, 2019 ensuring gamers that new expansion will have 100 cards, so community got excited. Developers had huge opportunity to promote new content during first official post beta tournament, Gwent Open #8 and they used it very well. Day by day cards were leaked by community members and hype was growing. CD Projekt RED was making Leaders Spotlights, same thing they did with Thronebreaker leaders.

New expansion added few new keywords and statuses to the game, we got vitality, bleeding, formation, assimilate, harmony, shield, purify, poison, berserk and deathblow. Each faction got cards for brand new archetypes. For example, Monsters got a lot of vampires with Dettlaff as a new leader for them. Skellige got Svalblod and his Selfwound package.

Expansion has been released in March 28, 2019. Dettlaff quickly dominated meta, few days later Jason Slama, game director, publicized on his twitter that playrate of Dettlaff is higher than they expected and he will get nerfed. In April 4, 2019 developers released hotfix, which had included nerfs to Dettlaff van der Eretein and Dettlaff: Higher Vampire, and new monsters leader turned into unplayable until rework.

Novigrad / Syndicate
After release of Nilfgaard (6th February 2017) CD Projekt RED assured the community that there will be more than five factions in Gwent. Then we got Open Beta, Homecoming, devs were forcing on other things instead of introducing new content. Many people forgot about faction assurance. Then June 17, 2019 we got expansion trailer for Novigrad. Expansion, which will introduce new faction called Syndicate. Paweł Burza screamed „June twenty-eighth!” and whole community got hyped. You’re right, between announcing and releasing was only eleven days, it seemed a little rush and to be honest there wasn’t enough time to promote expansion properly.

Brand new faction with unique gameplay based on generating and spending coins. Day by day people were leaking new cards. Novigrad had cards, which many people at first look called strong, op or broken. Expansion had 4 provisions bronzes with much higher ceiling than other factions. The only faction with similar power of bronze cards was Skellige. So new faction got strong bronzes but also power of golden cards was kept on level similar comparing to others.

In July 12, 2019 Team Leviathan Gaming released theirs meta snapshot, there was no surprise, Syndicate had the strongest decks, with almost every leader and archetype being playable. Next to Syndicate was Skellige with Harald the Cripple pointslam list, and Svalblod selfwound. Release of Novigrad was the beginning of Francesca lists, Scoia’tael got another powerful special card, Novigradian Justice. Near the end of season devs teased sixth leader for Syndicate, Sigismund Dijkstra.

He seemed much stronger than other leaders. He alongside with Foltest quickly dominated ladder and we had probably the most hated season since beta. Good thing to say is that balance patch buffed bronzes for other factions, trying to make them as strong as Syndicate.

Iron Judgment
Newest big update to the game which added more than 80 cards to the game and a big return of armor, Radovid and Shani. To start with, many people are saying that armor as a mechanic should be added since HC came out. It would for sure help with balance in the game and don't cause like now the big need of changes to a lot of cards which seems unplayable right now including few leaders.

The biggest example is Harald which completely got destroyed by this update cause he can sometimes make 5 or less points that is pretty bad for a leader nowadays also a lot of cards with a random dmg are also unplayable.

Secondly, there is also a lot of hate for defenders cards that again like in an artifact meta are causing unhealthy time for the game. It makes all the players being forced to run some cards cause otherwise they wouldn't be able to interact with opponents board. After even playing these cards and answering these defenders is still trading down which makes defenders almost auto include cards to every deck.

In conclusion, there are again lots of things that needs to be changed from the devs to return to the balanced meta. Anyway, the expansion for sure can be rated very high especially thanks to the theme, new mechanics and cards design even though there is still lots work to be done.

Fulfilled promises
- "Hotfixes – whenever needed"
- "Patches – every month"
- "Expansions – every few months"
- "Reverting to the old system of mulligans per round"
- "Balancing leaders with provision cost instead of number of mulligans"
- "Changing how the hand limit works"
- "In January, we’ll add 5 new leaders to the game"
- "Big expansion is scheduled for the end of March and it will include over 100 new cards"
- "Turning Gwent into a battlefield"
- "New Visuals Upgrading the board"
Unfulfilled promises
- "Fixing the coin mechanic"*
- "Re-focusing on core gamers"**
- "Communicating with players every 2 weeks"***
- "Spectator mode" ****
- "Removing bad RNG like in Vipers Witcher"
- "Introductory faction videos"

* partial completion, statistics from official tournaments show problem still exists:
Open #8
Blue coin 37,04% WR
Red coin 62,96% WR

Challenger #5
Blue coin 43% WR
Red coin 57%

** core casters and streamers moved to other games, more than half of streamers of Skirmish don't play Gwent anymore. Players interested in esport feel left out.
*** last roadmap was in April from that moment communication is not that frequent
Tournaments in last year
Official CDPR main tournaments: 2
(GWENT Open #8 and GWENT Challenger #5)

Official CDPR invitational tournaments: 1
(GWENT Skirmish #1)

Unofficial community tournaments: 142
(MyEsports - 41 tournaments, Claymore - 29 tournaments, ESC - 19 tournaments, GEP - 10 tournaments, EGC - 8 tournaments, VPaG - 7 tournaments, Gwent League 6 tournaments, Gwent Esp - 5 tournaments, German League - 4 tournaments, TLG - 3 tournaments, Aretuza - 2 tournaments, Other - around 8 tournaments)

Tournament stats

Name Prize pool Peak viewers Hours watched Event date
Gwent Challenger #5
$100 000
17 152
173 462
14.09.2019 - 15.09.2019
Gwent Open #8
$25 000
20 546
180 049
Gwent Skirmish #1
in each match
2 647
24 849

Thanks to Gwent Team
Thanks to Jason Slama, Paweł Burza and everyone else who works on Gwent in shadows. We really appreciate your job. We hope that future will bring only great things for Gwent! Best wishes in years to come in Gwent development.
Best wishes also to the whole Gwent community, you are breathtaking

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