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CD Projekt Red Announces Gwent: Rogue Mage, a Single-Player Deckbuilding Roguelike

Bullet Club

Member

CD Projekt Red Announces Gwent: Rogue Mage, a Single-Player Deckbuilding Roguelike​


A Witcher prequel card game is out tomorrow.

IGN can reveal that The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red will release Gwent: Rogue Mage - a single-player deckbuilding roguelike - tomorrow, July 7, for PC, iOS, and Anrdoid.

Previously known as Project Golden Nekker, Rogue Mage is branded as a Gwent expansion, and retains the card game's core mechanics, but will be sold separately from the multiplayer original. The standard version will be available for $9.99, while a premium edition – which comes with in-game skins, cosmetics, and card packs for the multiplayer game – will cost $19.99.

"Rogue Mage came out of us noticing that years after The Witcher 3's release, there are a significant number of players who want a more PvE experience from Gwent," said game director Vladimir Tortsov.

"While Gwent multiplayer is a fantastic game for those who are looking for a great PvP multiplayer experience, we perfectly understand that many Witcher players loved the original mini-game of Gwent for totally different reasons. With Rogue Mage we aim to give this audience a reason to play modern-day Gwent in the format they prefer."

We've had the chance to play Rogue Mage ahead of its release date, and it definitely feels reminiscent of The Witcher 3 version of Gwent, though obviously set amid a roguelike format. Much like the original, players will use Witcher world characters like Dandelion, Zoltan, and Yennefer, but Rogue Mage uses cards from the multiplayer version of Gwent. While this means the mechanics are a bit more complex, cards are presented in simpler packages that aren't nearly as daunting as logging into the multiplayer version for the first time.

Players only start with around a dozen cards in their deck, and each deck focuses on an easy to understand main theme. The first deck focuses on a boosting mechanic, for example, meaning players know that every card in it will generally either boost another or do something cool when booster itself. There are four decks in total, though players also choose between three key cards to build around in each deck.

More cards can be added by exploring the map, but these usually arrive one at a time meaning there's not an overwhelming amount of information presented at once. Players earn experience during each run, and levelling up increases the pool (and power) of cards available to the player on their next run.

Tortsov estimated it will take players more than 30 hours to collect and do everything in the game (and Rogue Mage includes an extensive set of achievements to unlock too), though gameplay loops are split into shorter bursts that can take up to around an hour.

The roguelike mechanics mean players enter the map and progress through their chosen path before either overcoming the final boss or being defeated along the way. Some runs can therefore be over in a few minutes if an enemy proves too strong – for those seeking this sort of challenge, Rogue Mage also includes dozens of difficulty modifiers to make it as relaxing or relentless as players like.

The story of Rogue Mage takes place hundreds of years before Geralt was born, with players taking on the role of the mage Alzur as he attempts to create the first ever witcher. Moving around a procedurally generated map, the player participates in Gwent battles, confronts moral dilemmas akin to those in The Witcher series, and interacts with Places of Power and other locations to bolster their collection of cards.

Rogue Mage doesn't feature the in-depth story that fans of the Witcher games, books, or TV show might expect, however, as Tortsov explained the development team prioritised gameplay over narrative. "While we have a story to tell about Alzur's obsession to create the first witcher, we do not treat this expansion as an official addition to The Witcher lore," he said.

"Our goal with Rogue Mage's story is to give players enough context on who Alzur is, what is his motivation, and the general setting of the world he lives in. We hope that players will get enough immersion to complement the gameplay-first formula, but we do not expect the story to be the main reason for players to appreciate this release."

CD Projekt Red decided to release Rogue Mage as a separate package to multiplayer Gwent due to its size, with the project growing considerably since it was first suggested in late 2019. "Instead of chopping the campaign into multiple pieces and using microtransactions to let players progress between chapters, we decided to make it a straightforward buy-to-play title," Tortsov said.

The decision to release Rogue Mage as a standalone was also made so that it could be fully playable without an internet connection. While it does feature some online-only features such as leaderboards and cross-save progression, the overall experience is built for offline, single-player use.

It will likely be the only solo Witcher experience fans of the franchise can enjoy for a while, as the upcoming mainline game only entered pre-production in May. CD Projekt Red has been tight-lipped about it otherwise, besides saying it's being made in Unreal Engine 5 and that its game director - who was the previous director of Gwent - has promised there won't be crunch on his watch.

Source: IGN
 

Braag

Member
Gwent was incredible fun in The Witcher 3, they really ruined it with the F2P mechanics in the stand alone game.
The Gwent in TW3 was incredibly simple and not all that exciting against another player. It was basically point slam and getting card advantage with spies.
The standalone Gwent is incredibly deep with tons of archetypes under each faction. The f2p mechanics are also light since you can essentially craft any card and resources are plentiful.
 

JohnnyFootball

GerAlt-Right. Ciriously.
Many games have tried to have their own Gwent, but NONE have succeeded. Valhalla and Horizon Forbidden West both had trophies/achievements tied to their unfun games.
 

Kamina

Golden Boy
Gwent is fine i guess, but i bet most people would rather like to hear when we can expect the promised next Gen Update of W3
 

ANDS

Thought gaf was racist. Now knows better, honorary gaffer 2022
Thank Christ I read that entire OP because I thought "tomorrow" meant Friday - didn't see this was posted yesterday. Fantastic surprise. GWENT that hews closer to TW3 with encounters and combat-puzzles like THRONEBREAKER is about as good a PvE GWENT as we could get I'm thinking. Will try this out during lunch (return to CK3 is going to have to wait).

Gwent is fine i guess, but i bet most people would rather like to hear when we can expect the promised next Gen Update of W3

Probably want to communicate this in the thread covering their anniversary discussion.
 

spawn

Member
Cool. I'm really into Gwent in the Witcher 3. I wasn't so much on the stand alone multiplayer game
 

ANDS

Thought gaf was racist. Now knows better, honorary gaffer 2022
Any played this yet? Feedback?

If you played THRONEBREAKER or the actual paid card game, it is pretty much exactly that. There is only one round this time, but I'm not seeing that diminish the ability to have broken combos or control the board in the three round variants. I'm seeing more than a few STEAM reviews moaning about this as if it retards the need for deck synergy and it's just not true.

. . .and at the end of the day it is 10 bucks.
 

CashPrizes

Neo Member
Many games have tried to have their own Gwent, but NONE have succeeded. Valhalla and Horizon Forbidden West both had trophies/achievements tied to their unfun games.
At least they made it so you barely have to engage with HFW's awful chess mini-game to get the trophy.

As soon as I got it I never touched it again. Unfortunate their are like 10 talent points hidden behind it. I nearly 100%ed the game besides that. Maxed out several of the legendary weapons and armor.
 

CashPrizes

Neo Member
Any played this yet? Feedback?
Haven't gotten super deep into it yet. It seems pretty slick. You have to balance the engagements you choose on the map like in slay the spire. Sometimes doing multiple fights in a row which will reward a card, or deviate to replenish your energy points which allow you to do bonus hero effects during the card combat.

I'm pretty good at current Gwent so I was steam rolling the AI until I chose my first optional boss fight, and she just barely edged it out on me. So there is definitely peril even in the early game.
 

billyxci

Permabanned.
i wanted to enjoy Gwent but i suck at building decks lol. i couldn't get into Thronebreaker either. The only version I like is the original mini game in W3. but for £7-8 i'll give this a try.
 

Con-Z-epT

Gold Member
Coming: when it's ready
From the article that recursive recursive posted it says:

"With consoles, we left them for a reason," Burza explained. "There was obviously some good about them otherwise it wouldn’t be released on consoles in the first place, but for live service games with frequent updates it was a really tough experience."

and

"Overall, since we’re not there, we’re not planning to bring any of our spin-offs to consoles at this point," Burza added.


Doesn't sound like that their even trying at this point.
 

kuncol02

Member
Many games have tried to have their own Gwent, but NONE have succeeded. Valhalla and Horizon Forbidden West both had trophies/achievements tied to their unfun games.
Mini games in RPGs are not something new. Pazaak in kotor, dice poker in Witcher 1 and 2, card games in New Vegas, Arcomage in M&M7 and who knows how many minigames in FF series.
Also I actually liked minigame in Valhalla.
 
Having a lot of fun with this, I was obsessed with Gwent in The Witcher 3 and although it is very much a different game than that was, it's still very addictive.
 
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mxbison

Member
I just read some of the Steam reviews and people are absolutely losing their minds that it's only 1 round lol. Pretty much all you can see in the reviews.

Guess I'll just download it and try it myself later.
 

ANDS

Thought gaf was racist. Now knows better, honorary gaffer 2022
Mini games in RPGs are not something new. Pazaak in kotor, dice poker in Witcher 1 and 2, card games in New Vegas, Arcomage in M&M7 and who knows how many minigames in FF series.
Also I actually liked minigame in Valhalla.

Orlog was really fun. I think that was a very well done minigame. I also didn't mind the minigame in HFW (or what I played of it) - I just found it went a bit too slow. All the Witcher minigames have been fun, but obviously GWENT is their most successful shot at it - and is also why I found a lack of mini-game in CP77 so shocking.

I just read some of the Steam reviews and people are absolutely losing their minds that it's only 1 round lol. Pretty much all you can see in the reviews.

Guess I'll just download it and try it myself later.

It's one round because there isn't a reason for it not to be. It's a wholly single player experience so no real need for it to go multiple rounds (which would also make the game longer).

Honestly, the matches are exactly like the puzzle-encounters in TB with a fixed deck, except you control the deck and it's still "Win in one round."

The reviews that this becomes a "DPS race" are garbage (unless bolstering your cards is a part of your strategy). The game isn't doing anything new largely because it's just single player GWENT, but it still is as deep as previous iterations. With the "decks" they for sure are going to offer expansions in the future, which I bet are not going to be difficult to design for.

. . .I do love that the best UI compromise they could do for the single round limitation is to just have both players start with one round won (I want to say this was also done in TB).
 

Lunarorbit

Member
Many games have tried to have their own Gwent, but NONE have succeeded. Valhalla and Horizon Forbidden West both had trophies/achievements tied to their unfun games.
The trophy in hfw is really easy to get; you only have to beat two different machine strike players. Only 18% of people have it though.

As soon as elden ring came out I stopped playing horizon so many everyone else did too
 

Lady Jane

Member
I gave GWENT two fair shots (at launch and on their reboot update a year or two after launch). It's not up to par to the competition. The presentation, variety in cards, the general systems in the game (other mods, ranks, community aspect). It's a great game but there are better out there.
 

ANDS

Thought gaf was racist. Now knows better, honorary gaffer 2022
I suspect that they wanted to use braindance as puzzle minigame in Cyperpunk but scrapped most of it for some reason.

I can see that. The design space within that idea would seem pretty god damn wide in terms of developing a mini-game out of it. I think the major reason I was so bowled over by ANYTHING is that the game itself is so fucking bleak (can say the same thing about TW3) that including a frivolous discretion (like the Gwent tournament you can do in Norvigrad I believe) would have gone a long way to break up the "Everything is so serious" vibe of the game.

Hopefully with the invetible CP77 MP experience we can get some proper diversions in the game.
 
For those curious.....it doesn't launch on the Steam Deck. Even when switching compatibility Proton launchers.

BUT, there is a simple fix.

How to run Gwent: Rogue Mage on Steam Deck

It's very easy and once you do this you can launch it from the main game library. A GOG launcher will pop up. Just exit out of that and don't log in. It will ask if you want to play offline. No issues at all so far. Default controls too.
 

Complistic

Member
I love single player qwent so Im going to buy this right now. Multiplayer gwents alright in small bursts but I feel meta decks just take all the fun out of it.
 
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