The latest Gwent update makes three really good changes to how you progress
Gwent just got a whole lot better.
Gwent developer CD Projekt RED has responded to community concerns raised during the closed beta and overhauled the progression and reward systems.
Firstly, under the new reward system, you need six crown halves to fill a progress bar and unlock a reward - as opposed to three wins. Each round you win within a Gwent match is worth a crown half.
Secondly, there's now a more comprehensive experience system, which gifts you with specific rewards at each level. Everyone's going to start at level ten or lower, depending on their standing in Gwent's old level system, and will be back-gifted any rewards from lower levels. You'll earn XP independent of wins and losses, so everyone should progress steadily.
Finally, ranked play unlocks at level ten; that's why experienced players haven't been dropped back to level one. Ranked play is another way for Gwent players to earn rewards.
These are great changes. I keep meaning to write about my experience with the Gwent beta but times has slipped away from me, so I'll just say this: prior to this update, it could be really heartbreaking. The problem was that unless you won a round, you couldn't progress through the reward system, which meant there was no way to get new cards except by buying kegs (card packs) with real money.
As with most card battlers, there's a real haves-and-have-nots situation going on in Gwent: if you don't have a pile of good, rare cards you will be steamrolled by those who do. That made it really dispiriting to try and play for free, or to only spend a controlled amount of cash, because those willing to spend big had a huge advantage and it was a long, long grind for anyone else to get a competitive deck going.
But now there's hope: you only need to win one round of three to score a half-crown and you earn XP regardless of your win-loss rate, so as long as you keep putting the time in, you can unlock new systems and receive crafting materials. Some jerk with a platinum credit card may still smash you to bits, but at least you're more likely to get something out of an evening's string of losses, so that one day you will be seen as the jerk, just like you always dreamed.
This is a great change and makes me much more enthusiastic about diving back in over the break. I can see fewer despairing forfeits and more hard-fought matches in the near future. Watch the video above for all the details and explanations of CD Projekt RED's thinking with these changes.
Gwent is currently in closed beta on PC and Xbox One. The update also delivered 20 new cards, some ability changes and a visual overhaul.