If you’re looking for a game where your decisions matter, definitely check out Gwent.
My disappointment with Eternal is that it has become even more random and less strategic. Cards like Throne Warden make Armory even less interesting to play against as relic weapons repeatedly remove your board. Set 2 has introduced Champion of Fury, a needlessly swingy card that clearly finds its home in a mindless SMOrc/aggro archetype.
So let’s talk about Gwent. Gwent’s developers have been willing to make huge changes to the game to try to make it more fun. Less interesting mechanics (e.g. the uninteractive Kambi combo) have been nerfed so that they won’t see mainstream play. When they make balance changes and rework cards, they’re clearly thinking about whether or not a card is fun to play against.
Gwent tries to reduce swinginess so that games are closer. Matches have a back and forth feel to them. Cards have been re-designed to put a cap on how many points of value that they can generate (e.g. affecting only 5 units instead of an unlimited number of units).
In terms of the metagame, the developers are trying to tone down the “rock-paper-scissor” environment where some metagame decks have highly favourable matchups over others. They’re trying to cap how favourable a matchup can get, e.g. by reducing the swinginess of cards.
In terms of randomness and variety, Gwent has very few impactful RNG (random number generator) elements. There is no mana flood or mana screw since there is no resource system. You don’t have non-games where you lose because you were unable to play your cards (or drew less gas than your opponent due to flood). That being said, Gwent games often don’t lead to novel and new situations (though it does happen). That’s one area that the devs don’t seem to be focusing on and is an area for improvement.
Overall, Gwent is a great game worth checking out. It’s a card game without a lot of the frustrations that you’d face in Eternal. The game is free to play and you can check out the awesome trailer below:
The PlayGwent.com website has a brief description of the game and obviously you can download the free-to-play game from the site.
If you do get into the game, check out my Ciri:Dash deck on GwentDB. Enjoy!