CD Projekt has posted a message to Gwent players thanking them for the "massive amount of feedback" they've offered over the past few weeks, promising more gameplay and balance changes to come, and—this is probably the most important bit—apologizing for a multitude of problems that were introduced in the big midwinter update that rolled out just ahead of Christmas.
The message doesn't get into the specifics of where it all went wrong, but it does acknowledge that describing the update as being in need of further polish is an "understatement."
"Let’s start with the tech and visual changes [in the update]. We’ve been working on them for a very long time. These under-the-hood changes lay foundations for future updates which will define GWENT, and we wanted to make sure everything worked," the Gwent team wrote in an "open letter" to players.
"Then there’s the content drop (over 120 new cards) and the fact we haven’t introduced new cards in some time. We wanted to close the core set of Gwent's cards for some time now (so we could divert focus to bigger expansions) and these cards have been burning a hole in our servers. We wanted them to finally be in the wild, in your hands—ideally before the holidays, so you can play with new combinations during your free time."
But the combination of new technology, new content, and a tight deadline was simply too much to take on, although that only became apparent with the benefit of hindsight. "Truth is, we should have waited longer and properly tested everything (for example, problems with full mill value of cards are a result of this) instead of rushing the release," the developers said. "Us wanting you to have stuff to play with is one thing. Us breaking things because of that is another."
A patch and hotfix released this month only addresses "major bugs," so for the immediate future the developers will continue working on balance adjustments. For the future, CD Projekt has also committed to making balance changes to cards only at the end of a season, to give the game "more stability and predictability. The only exception to this are major bug hotfixes."
The hotfix released yesterday removes the Doomed tag from Slave Infantry units, changes Vreemde back to a silver epic card, eliminates a self-copying problem with Slave Driver, fixes minimum MMR requirements for a couple of ranks, and clarifies changes to the Shilard and Eist cards. The next full patch "will most likely come out in the following weeks."