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How about a round of Gwent?
These words marked the beginning of a new era for the CCG genre. How exactly did a mini-game turn into a successful, stand-alone title and why is it so fun to play? Read our top 10 reasons and find out why Gwent is most definitely worth your time.
1. Gwent is F2P-friendly
My love for card games came early and never left. Every year, I’d travel to the sea with my family and instead of asking my parents for sweets, I’d ask for card packs. In my defense, they saved a lot of money on dental care. Pokemon, Dragon Ball, Lord of the Rings, Yu-Gi-Oh or Duel Masters. I wanted to have them all, but they simply costed too much.
Card games, whether collectible (CCG) or trading (TCG), are often quite expensive. This opinion comes from someone who spent more money on Yu-Gi-Oh’s physical cards or Hearthstone’s digital ones, than on going out for drinks with friends.
A Question of Price
While most CCGs or TCGs are not pay-to-win per se, they often force players to get all the most expensive cards in order to even have a shot at playing competitively. Gwent – on the other hand – puts its faith into cheaper units. Most of the decks are viable in their budget versions.
As long as your collection has most of the cheapest units, you can jump into ranked and do fairly well. You will have time to learn some of the game’s more complex mechanics and to gather in-game currencies for future spendings.
Additionali, Gwent gives you an option to choose your fifth card while opening your card kegs. The first four cards are random, however the last one gives us three different options to choose from. Simple, yet ingenious and player-friendly.
2. You get rewarded for playing the game your way
Gwent doesn’t try to put the average player into drawers. You are free to play any kind of deck you want and – thanks to a universal system of rewards – get awarded for doing so.
Each game of Gwent can last from two to three rounds. Players get their daily rewards for winning single rounds, not whole games. Gwent’s system of daily quests dramatically reduces the pressure to win.
You can obtain one card keg (Gwent’s equivalent of booster packs) per day by playing for less than an hour. Two card kegs will usually take you around two hours, while three card kegs shouldn’t take longer than four hours.
In my opinion, Gwent has the most F2P-friendly system of rewards in the entire genre.
3. You literally feel the progression
Quite often, it’s only artificial or cosmetic and that’s fine. As long as the process feels right and not forced. In Gwent, the player advances their position across many platforms with each victorious round. During your journey to the top, there will be rewards for each level or rank you achieve and it will all come rather naturally.
The grind is not that bad
The grind is minimal. It cannot really be felt until you hit the top rankings and at that point, it is completely understandable. Your collection grows steadily and the learning process never feels exceptionally forced. Admittedly, the systems present in the game give you more and more incentive to play as your position improves.
4. Consisent game pace
Gwent’s basic mechanics are different from many card games. The emphasis is largely on thorough planning. Contrary to other titles of the same genre, each skirmish is almost certain to be played out until the very end. There’s no real way to get rushed down, nor is there truly a way to lose because our opponent drew way more cards than we did.
Each player is given the same amount of resources to work with – it’s simply a matter of who uses them in a smarter way. Gwent is all about the long-con planning and it heavily rewards insightful foresight.
5. Gwent reduces randomness down to the minimum
This is a card game, so let’s get this one out-of-the-way. Yes, there is randomness in Gwent and sometimes you will be on worse terms with it. However, it’s not as rage inducing as it often is in other titles. I’d even say that Gwent’s randomness is a really healthy one.
There are many ways for players to draw through more than 75% of their decks during the course of every, single game. That means your deck building and card management skills are the most important factors when it comes to obtaining a high win-ratio.
The randomness in Gwent has been mainly reduced to card draws. These can be manipulated rather easily – either because of certain cards or due to the Mulligan system. The game is quite predictable and that alone allows complex tactics to be present at all times. A breath of fresh air for the genre and on top of that – a welcome one.
6. Your decisions matter
Gwent is a game of plans. Yes, the play on words was totally intended, but this is because the game is just like everyone’s favorite TV show. It’s all about two people trying to outsmart one another from the moment they meet.
The planning starts with deck building and the moment a new game begins, it reaches an entirely new level of difficulty. Your game plan needs to be simple, but at the same time complex. It also has to be flexible enough to outdo your opponent in case things go south. There are mind games in Gwent and they are glorious.
Bluffing is also an essential part of the game and so is knowing when to pass. Even though Gwent may seem really predictable on the surface, it can become erratic depending on one’s game plan. This predictability allows players to throw opponents off-balance and to lure adversaries into a false sense of security with more ease, than some may think it’s possible.
7. Your performance and results are in your hands
All of the ingredients mentioned above mix into one conclusion: each and every game depends mainly on your correct decisions… and your mistakes.
You get heavily punished for not playing efficiently. The great thing about that is the ability to backtrack everything you did wrong and to learn from such experience. There’s almost no way to blame your losses on anything but your own decision-making. In my opinion, it makes Gwent one of the most competitive card games.
8. Developers listen to and work with the community
Come on, we are talking CDP RED here – this point was almost a given.
The developers of Gwent are one of the most responsive teams I have ever seen. If you don’t believe me, you can always go on Reddit and see the amount of responses the player base gets from Gwent’s community specialist: Paweł Burza.
9. Gwent is still in its baby days
There really won’t be a better time to get into the game or its community, than the here and now. Both of these are evolving at a fast pace. It’s an excellent opportunity for players, and content creators, to hop aboard.
On top of that, if I were to be completely honest, the game needs even more keen-eyed critics than ever before. It has grown tremendously in the past year, but the road ahead is a long and twisted one. There is no denying that fact.
A land of new opportunities
Gwent is quite easy to get into and it is extremely enjoyable to play. It doesn’t really matter whether you are more of a casual player or a hardcore competitor. In Gwent, one doesn’t necessarily exclude the other. As a matter of fact, both approaches provide entertainment, quality and progression.
10. It’s CDP RED and they have never, ever failed us
Baby, you know it. It’s a bit cliché, but also so true. This company gave gamers a title, which is often regarded as a game of the decade.
CDP RED is the company to trust when it comes to getting something done the right way. My inner Yami Yugi cannot get enough of Gwent. On top of that, CDP RED’s engagement in this project makes me a believer. I’m certain that the future of Gwent will be a bright one.
I have played a lot of CCGs and TCGs in my life. Those more competitive and those more casual. In my opinion, Gwent has just the right blend of everything a successful card game needs.
In a way, Gwent is a bit like chess. Complex, yet insanely enjoyable for anyone willing to learn the ropes.
To quote miracleofsound‘s unofficial Gwent anthem: “Be you a lass or be you a gent, you’ll never pass on a round of Gwent”.
This post is also available in: polski (Polish)