Let's brainstorm ideas for a new game mode in Gwent, something a bit more unpredictable than ranked, akin to the "Arena" mode in other card games.
This sort of game-mode is healthy for a card game because it provides a refreshing experience and a source of resource income, it shows new players how to build effective decks, and it can push innovations in deck design. The tricky part is that Gwent relies more heavily on card synergies than other games, so the typical card-by-card randomization isn't too appealing, at least for bronzes. Here's what I've come up with...
Entry is free, but see Revenue section below. Leaders are randomly assigned so that players don't become too comfortable with a particular ability/archetype, and a new run cannot be started until the previous run is completed. Every run ends after one of two things happens, the player wins 8 games or the player completes 10 games. If the player forfeits a game at any point they receive credit for completing that game and they are unable to start a new game for 15 minutes (to avoid players forfeiting until they find a favorable match-up or favorite leader).
All cards in the set can appear, but are class-limited as usual. First, choose between 3 different random bronze cards 5 separate times; you receive 3 copies of each chosen bronze. Then choose between 3 random silver cards 6 times, then choose between 3 random gold cards 4 times. Special cards can appear, but at least 1 of the choices will be a unit. Once, after every lost game, 1 card may be mulliganed from the deck and replaced with another choice of 1 of 3 random cards of that rarity (bronzes are handled individually). Players can choose to keep the original card. This provides a handicap for poor decks, but still rewards deck-building knowledge.
It is entirely possible that the following revenue model is inadequate or damages the meta of the mode, in that case, I would support a 50 meteorite powder entry fee. Up to 4 times per run, players can pay 50 meteorite powder to mulligan 1 card from the deck and replace it with another choice of 1 of 3 random cards of that rarity (bronzes are handled individually). Players can choose to keep the original card, but will not have their meteorite powder refunded. This can be done immediately after deck-crafting or between games, whether the previous game was won or lost. This might sound like pay-to-win, but it still rewards deck-building knowledge and these additional choices can still be terrible.
Appropriate reward balancing would require talking to a CDPR accountant, but I'll offer thoughts. At the end of the run, the number of rounds won and the number of games won are tallied. Every round won rewards 5 ore, and each game won rewards 20 ore. Round and game rewards stack, so that a won game rewards 30 ore (unless it ended in a draw or the opponent forfeited). Players who win 8 games additionally receive a keg and 1 premium copy of a bronze card of their choice from their deck. For an 8 win run, this totals to 240 ore + up to 10 ore from 2 lost games + a keg + a premium. For a 5 win run (average), this totals to 150 ore + up to 25 ore from 5 lost games. For a 0 win run, this totals to up to 50 ore from 10 lost games. It may be prudent to allow players to choose their preferred resource reward (ore, scrap, or powder).
That's what I have so far, but I'd love to hear everyone's ideas and critiques!
arena= RNG feast. Fun but feel salt when loses to perfect deck.
I think that tourney mode better.
I can agree that a tournament mode should be a higher priority. A "perfect deck" in this arena mode would be challenging to build, would depend on the arena meta, and would be removed from the ladder after 8 wins. "Bad decks" could be improved over the course of losses and there would be 2 free losses, helping somewhat with the salt. The mode is meant to be more about improvised deck-building skill than pure RNG, but I take your point.
Unlike Hearthstone, the number of cards in the deck in Gwent differ from 25 to 40. When it comes to draft mode, I think they should let you draft exactly 32 cards (5 golds, 7 silvers, 20 bronze). Then let you keep 4 of those 5 golds, 6 of the 7 silvers, and 15-20 of the 20 bronze (meaning every draft is between 25-30 cards).. That's in case you get a bad draft or an anti-synergistic card, because unlike in HS, deck synergy is very important here, so I think it's only fair that they give you a second chance to edit your draft.