Collectible card games come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from Magic: The Gathering to Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game. However, there is one feature that is shared between them: opening the various packs and getting at the assortment of cards held within.
While there is a certain amount of fun to be had with this, it also leads to the games' greatest weakness: RNG. Typically, every card pack is guaranteed to have a certain amount of cards of a given rarity, but it's unknown which specific cards the pack possesses until it is actually opened. More often than not, this means that players will encounter rare or uncommon cards they don't need, as they search for that one specific card required to complete their deck or collection.
Instead of having players experience the emotional roller coaster that comes with opening a card pack from a traditional card game, Gwent card packs will instead have three cards that are at least of rare quality presented to the player, who can then choose one card and discard the other two. Afterward, the remaining four cards in the pack are chosen at random and given to the player.
According to CD Projekt Red, this decision came about due to wanting to give the player a degree of choice as to which cards will be added to their collection. For example, if two of the three cards they're presented with belong to a faction they don't like, they can ditch those and replace them with another rare or higher quality card chosen at random.
"We have our own thoughts about card games in general, and we felt this innovation would reduce the frustration you sometimes get if you get all the cards you don't want to have," Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz, principal narrative designer, said.
However, even if this is a revolutionary approach to RNG in card games (afforded to Gwent due to it being a digital card game), it doesn't entirely eliminate the problem. The game will feature four factions: Northern Kingdoms, Scoia'tael, Skellige and Monsters, and decks are usually built around one of these factions. However, the company already stated it's possible to get at least two guaranteed rare cards belonging to the same faction. What happens if the third card is a duplicate of a card you already have, or even worse, all three rare cards belong to the same faction?
It's a small concern for those who choose to buy the packs using in-game currency, but it can prove to be a major annoyance for those who use real-world money instead.
Also, of course, as has been hinted at before, this approach doesn't entirely eliminate RNG. You know that the three cards will be of at least rare quality, as well as what they will be before even opening the pack, but those three cards are still chosen at random. Not to mention, there's still the cards inside the pack itself.
Even with those few shortcomings, however, this is still a step up from what other card games offer with their packs, it's just a shame that it will likely be unique to Gwent due to its format.