As 2022 comes to an end, we want to give our community as much knowledge about our future plans as possible. This will be a long article recapping our roadmap video, which you can watch below. In the near future, we will release another article, which will deliver a more detailed look at our planned community balancing system.
What happened in 2022:
- 4 card drops adding 86 new cards to the game
- All 8 Journeys re-released in the eternal format
- 88 reworks of old cards
- Around 30 different “game strategies” were targeted (Multigang SY decks, Selfwound and NR Knights are examples of such strategies)
- A new mechanic allowing us to further increase interactions - infusion
- We’ve introduced a sink for excess scraps in the form of a fast travel purchase option in Journeys as well as added the converter of Reward Points to other resources. There are more things on the way.
- As always, we had a bunch of fun seasonal events, including some new additions such as Shupe’s-themed one in September.
- This year seasonal modes got some love with unpopular or “solved” modes being rotated out, while a few brand new ones were added. A special mention here deserves “Trial by fire” - a seasonal mode in which players could play new cards without owning them.
- GWENT Masters S4 is in the books with a total number of 17 official events organized by CDPR, including the qualifiers done with the great help of our great community partners from Claymore and ESC Gaming.
- We were happy to share great conversations with our beloved community members at the CDPR 20th anniversary party in Warsaw and its follow-up in Lucca.
What did not happen in 2022:
Premium tokens. The truth is we were unable to move forward with our initial plan to premify every token in game and release them all as one happy package. Whenever we're facing the choice between making new premium cards or premifiying existing tokens, we are opting in for new cards. With no real progress on this topic in 2022, we’ve decided to wrap up the tokens that were ready or almost ready to be released and make them available ASAP. It means that over 20 previously static tokens will become premium in the few next upcoming patches, but we can’t really commit to premifying all of them.
Draft rework. It’s quite obvious that Draft mode got stuck in the past with packages no longer relevant after the reworks and we’re not happy with its current state. With the way the current iteration of Draft was developed, it’s extremely inefficient to keep it the same way it is and just try to keep up with the updates. Therefore, our design team put an effort to rework it significantly and solve some gameplay issues along with the maintenance issues. Even though we managed to create a working prototype of a new draft system, putting these final new design concepts into the game is not a simple and quick task. With the understanding that the most popular game mode (constructed ranked) should be our major focus, as of now, Draft isn’t fitting into our development plans for 2023. With that being said, we’re not abandoning the hope to finish other features earlier to be able to come back to draft, but this chance isn’t huge.
All archetypes are valid. While quite a lot of old archetypes and game strategies got a new life in 2022, it’s worth noting that we still see room for improving some of the existing archetypes including those that weren’t touched at all yet or those that didn’t get where we wanted them to be despite receiving some support earlier. Therefore, our work on this goal will be continued in full force in 2023 and we’re aspiring to completely finish this process by the end of the year.
What are our plans for 2023?
- We’re aiming to release a total of 72 cards between 3 card drops.
The period between the last drop to be released between 11.9 and the end of the year is reserved for the balancing and various “final touches” aimed at ensuring that new cards' impact on the meta is aligned with our ongoing mission of bringing more variety to GWENT.
- We will continue to provide monthly updates including balance changes.
Through targeted balance changes we will continue to manage the gap between the top competitive decks in each faction and its competitors, but our main efforts still will be aimed at expanding the pool of viable strategies.
- We are planning 2 major competitive events next year.
GWENT Masters will go into its last competitive season - Season 5 in 2023. The competitive structure will be changed to have a Mid-Season tournament and the World Masters (+qualifiers). For now, we’re only announcing the quantity and timing of these events, but in the upcoming weeks before the start of the new competitive season, we’d like to involve the top pro players in a discussion about the details of the format to agree on the best solutions.
What are our plans for 2024 and beyond?
There will be a significant change in the way we’re operating the game starting from the beginning of 2024: After releasing the last drop of new cards in 2023, we do not plan to add any more cards to GWENT. Big change, obviously, but it’s important to look at it in the grand scheme of things.
- With the cards added to the game in 2023, we plan to complete the card pool with every idea/mechanic or archetype that we wanted to see in GWENT.
- We don’t resign from updating the game in 2024, on the contrary - we want to do something special here and give power to the people. We will let you - the GWENT community - directly decide what balance changes are needed every month. We already started working on the feature that will allow players to vote for the desired changes in-game and thus steer the meta in the direction favored by the majority. While this functionality can’t be as robust as the tools available to the developers, we strongly believe it will have a positive impact on keeping the game fresh.
- Obviously, only balance changes won’t be enough to keep things interesting for active players. That’s why we are also developing a new progression system that will encourage players to experiment more with their decks throughout the seasons to unlock special rewards and achievements. We see this system as a softer alternative to rotation which allows players to have their card collection always usable, but rewards following some deckbuilding restrictions to spice things up and get more goodies.
We don’t plan to have CDPR-organized events after 2023, but we hope that it won’t be the end of the competition and players will be organizing tournaments of various sizes and formats on their own like it happens for many old multiplayer games already. Our tournament platform will continue to be available.
We call this set of initiatives aimed at ensuring that the game can exist without our active input - project GWENTfinity. The name reflects our intention to allow players to enjoy this game for years from now. We believe that it is the most player-focused solution to empower the community this way.
Still, in order to make GWENTfinity work, we need support from GWENT’s true fans. None of this will make sense without players who want to continue their GWENT journey and are willing to make the game better. I know that we do have such players and GWENTfinity is made with you in mind.
We’re making this announcement about our long-term plans now, because it’s the right thing to do and because we believe in transparent and honest communication. We came a long way together. There were ups and downs. We made memories, we saw friendships being forged, and even marriages being made over the years. You deserve to know what the future holds for our favorite game and how you can be a part of this future. With all that being said, let’s have another great year of GWENT together. The future of the game was always in players’ hands and it still is.
Thank you for reading and make sure to watch this space for Part 2 in which we will explain our current plans for the community-based balancing system. ❤️