CD Projekt changes Gwent card crafting, tightens restrictions on 'full mill value' refunds

The new year has brought some pretty big changes to CD Projekt's Witcher-based card game Gwent, which will be a little less generous with premium cards than it has been previously. Under the old system, the "scraps" in-game currency was used to create a normal card with static art, while the "meteorite dust" currency could be used to convert normal cards to premium, with animated art. But scraps could also be used to create premium cards directly, "mixing vanity and game economies," which the developers said has diminished the experience for everyone.

"The result is an overabundance of premium cards, which diminishes the sense of accomplishment that comes from getting ahold of an animated version of your favorite card," CD Projekt explained

"We want premiums to feel special, as was originally intended, and not give anyone the opportunity to gain an unfair advantage in card collection and vanity progression. That is why we decided to disconnect scrap and meteorite powder economies by switching off the option to craft premium cards with scraps. Moving forward, [the] vanity economy will be based on meteorite powder. While small amounts of meteorite powder will still be retrievable from milling premium cards, we want it to stay as disconnected from the scraps economy as possible." 

CD Projekt is also putting some restrictions on when cards will be eligible for "full mill value refund," which effectively gives players the option of refunding cards in their collection for full credit if they're changed in any way. The studio said that the all-encompassing system made sense during beta testing, when "core mechanics were in a state of constant, significant flux," but now that it's in full release those changes won't be nearly so dramatic, and so the refund system is being adjusted to suit. That means "minor tweaks" to a card will no longer qualify it for a full mill value refund. 

"Regular balance and gameplay changes are typical for any online competitive game, and Gwent's no different. We're committed to building on top of the foundations the core of the game offers, while constantly listening to the community and making adjustments when and where it's necessary," the studio wrote. "That said, fundamental changes or complete reworks of a card will still be considered for full mill value refund." 

Leader cards will still be craftable with scraps, however, and will return half the original cost in scraps when milled. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.