Hello everybody. My name is MeHow. It has
been a while since my last video. Sorry it took so long and since I do not want to bore
you with my personal life let’s talk about the Gwent, the Witcher Card Game, closed beta.
I finally got the beta key before Christmas and want to share my opinion on what it good
and what is bad. Let’s start with the good things.
Number 1: The new card game mechanics. I played Magic the Gathering in my teens. Fun fact
I sold my cards after a few year of playing for more than I bought them for. I played
also Magic Online a few years ago and Hearthstone last year both on PC and my smartphone. The
differences between Magic and Hearthstone are in my opinion subtle, so I find it really
refreshing that Gwent isn’t a clone of these games, but brings new interesting mechanics
into the deck building card game genre. I am talking here about the introducing the
3 different rows: melee, ranged and siege and the 2 round to win system instead of healthpoints.
The 3 rows allow for interesting synergies, combos and tactics. The 2 rounds to win system
adds another layer of tactical choices, since you do not only have to think how to win this
round, but also if you should try to win this round. What’s very important: both rows and
rounds are easy for to understand, it’s not something complicated where you need to look
up on the forums, a wiki or Youtube how that works.
Number 2: New cards every few games. One of my biggest problems with Magic Online and
Hearthstone was that getting new cards just by playing was a very slow process. In Gwent
you win 6 round daily and you get more than 5 cards. 6 rounds – that’s just 3 wins or
6 or more losses. In Heartstone you needed 30 wins to get 5 new cards. I know Hearthstone
has also daily quests, but still most of the days I played Hearthstone I didn’t got new
cards and in Gwent I probably average 4 games for a new keg of cards. I have no problems
with spending some money, but with both these games I felt like you need to spend some serious
cash to really be able to create interesting decks and I looked at it like this: if I have
to spend 50 dollars to buy enough cards to have some fun, that’s really expensive for
a card game. You can get a AAA game for the 50 bucks. Not only do you get cards in Gwent
much faster, but the decks you start with have already a lot of good synergies and you
can still do very good with the basic decks, which in my opinion isn’t the case with Magic
Online or Hearthstone. I only hope that you will have enough things or incentives to spend
cash for in Gwent and CD Projekt can make some money. One earlies videos I made on my
channel was about not having anything to buy in The Witcher Battle Arena and I hope in
Gwent there will be things besides cards you can spend your money on.
Number 3: Stable game with little crashes For a closed beta Gwent runs really smooth.
This game feels like CD Projekt spend already a lot of time and money on it. There are small
problems: when you open “Friend Match” you are stuck in the “invite” screen and
there is no way to close it. If you find an opponent initially, but the connection is
lost before the game starts you are stuck in the game loading screen. But these are
small issues that really do not bother me much. This closed beta runs much better than
The Witcher Battle Arena a few weeks after it’s launch.
Number 4: Always finding games, which are fairly close
This was a big problem with the Witcher Battle Arena. It was really hard to find a game.
Often you waited for 5 minutes without being able to find a game. Games would be partly
filled with bots, thought CD Projekt insisted that this is not the case. Plus games were
often one sided and it’s was really hard to come back. Of course in Gwent were you play
only 1 vs 1 (at least so far) this task is much easier. But still I am positively surprised
that within 13 seconds I almost always find an opponent and that the games are very close
and you never can be curtain, if the enemy doesn’t have one last card, that can change
even a big point lead into a lost round. Number 5: The “send good game” mechanic.
I know not everybody likes it, but I think it’s a good addition. Whenever I get the GG
I feel like my opponent is friendly and it gives a good vibe. Maybe this is because I
am a little bit tired of games where the chat is always full of insults and hate.
Now let’s talk about the bad things. Please remember that I am talking about a closed
beta. This is game is still in development and it should improve and get additional content.
Number 1: High system requirements. I know my pick for number 1 bad thing about Gwent
beta will surprise a lot of you, so are the system requirements really that high? Well
if you bought a new desktop PC in the last 3 years you should be fine. The problem is
that desktop PC’s account only for 20% of all desktops PCs, laptops and tablets last
year. With the relative high graphic card and processor requirements many laptops won’t
be able to run this game. I experience this myself. I bought a few weeks a new 2 in 1
tablet/notebook with Windows 10. I even didn’t check if Gwent will run on it before my purchase.
I was sure it will, I mean Gwent is card game, it didn’t even cross my mind, that this card
game requirements would be too high for a brand new notebook. So while away on Christmas
I was shocked that my new notebook cannot run this game. The problem with the high system
requirements is even bigger, when you look at the highest grossing online PC games of
2015. All the top games made more money in 2015 than CD Projekt from the Witcher 3, but
almost all the top games have such low system requirements that you can run them on a PC
from 2004. Gwent requires more like a PC from 2014. Why do all the top online PC games have
such low system requirements? Well it’s mostly because the free to play model is very popular
in poorer countries, especially in China, which alone has 400 milion gamers. Many cannot
afford a good gaming PC and most internet cafes have fairly old PCs. Accessibility is
way more important than graphic in the Free to Play genre. And let’s not for get Gwent
is a card game. Good graphics and animations are nice, but how important are they? For
me it really doesn’t make a big difference, if it’s graphics from 2004 of 2014 for such
a game. Number 2: No knowing what a spell does. It
happened to my many times, especially in the beginning. My opponent plays a card and I
don’t know what happened. As fas as I know, there is now way of reading a spell card that
your opponent has played. While you can check a unit card, you cannot read a spell card,
only see it’s cover. Of course, after a game you can look for it in the “Card Collection”
section, but you should be able to do it in game and the card descriptions aren’t perfect
either, which brings me to my second point. Number 3: No glossary or wiki. While there
will be more information from either CD Projekt or the players in the future, right now I
have problems with understanding what certain words mean. For example what is a “breadable”
unit, what is a non-relentless unit? I tried to google “breadable” units and look for
the explanation on the official Gwent forum, but couldn’t find an answer. That make it
quite hard to understand how certain cards work.
Number 4: Little incentives in trying a new deck or grinding hard. The first week I been
playing almost entirely with the Skellige deck. I do quite well with it, probably win
85%, probably since the beta doesn’t have keep any stats of your games played for you.
While I tried all the other factions, I do not really have any incentives to play the
other factions, because you only benefit from winning. Many top online PC games have quests
that give you special benefits, like gold in Hearthstone, for playing a certain style
or certain faction. The very succesful wargaming franchise is also quite good at this. And
while we are at the wargaming franchise, they have really strong incentives that make you
play a lot and grind everyday to unlock a new cool commander skill or ship. So far I
haven’t seen anything of that in Gwent. While you have to get to level 10 to unlock the
ranked games, you do not seem to unlock anything else. In my opinion they should introduce
certain milestones, that will allow you to unlock certain cards or factions. For example
you could unlock a new deck like the upcoming Nilfgaardian deck only when you reach level
20 and a new deck for each next 10 levels. You could also unlock certain cards, when
you win like 100 or 1000 times with a certain faction. I really thing these grinding mechanics
keep players playing much longer, than they would without. I would probably stoped playing
World of Warships some time ago, but I really wanted to get one cool tier 5 commander ship
and a tier 8 German Bismarck battleship and getting them requires really weeks or even
months of playing. Number 5: Balancing card and factions. People
seem to complain about balancing issues on the Gwent forum. My only problem so far is
that 70% of my opponents so far have been using the Monster deck. That makes sense,
since the other once do not seem to be as good as the other once, thought the Skellige
deck is also very strong for beginner in my opinion. I do not really thing this is a big
issue, since balancing should be sorted out before the game launches. Overall I really like Gwent as a standalone
game so far. As I said, it is quite stable and bring fresh air into the genre. I am mostly
worried about the high system requirements for this game, which will probably limit the
player base. Let’s hope the system requirements want be as high for the mobile version of
Gwent, which I am sure will follow in the future. I will probably follow up with a guide for
a beginner Skellige deck next week. Thanks for watching, check out my
other videos and please subscribe.