The New 'Witcher 3' DLC Is Getting A Big Gwent Expansion

The Witcher 3 now features a New Game + mode
The Witcher 3 now features a New Game + mode CD Projekt RED

The upcoming The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt expansion will include a new faction for its in game card game, Gwent. Damian Monnier , a senior gameplay designer at CD Projekt RED announced during a PAX East panel that a faction for Skellige will be added to Gwent in the upcoming DLC, upping the total faction count from four to five. He joked that it would provide a nice balance against the new setting of Touissant, a French-Riviera style town “where people drink a lot and have sex a lot.” So the team jumped at the chance to create the Skellige faction as a way to maintain some of that dark Witcher feel.

“We didn’t know what people were going to request, but we were ready,” said Monnier.

For fans, this is great news. Gwent is one of the best minigames we've seen in any RPG and the already beefy Blood And Wine expansion just got meatier now that there are more cards to collect. The panel revealed four of the new cards coming in the Skellige faction.

The mushroom card allows berserkers in the Skellige deck to transform into giant bears, ala the King’s Gambit quest. The Draken card does something, but Monnier wouldn’t reveal exactly what. Madman Lugos is a hero card, but his stats and special powers are unknown. And the mythical “golden cock,” which Monnier said alluded to something in Norse mythology. That “something” is Gullinkambi , the golden rooster who wakes the gods in Valhalla and also cries a warning when Ragnarok, the end of the world has begun. How this translates to Gwent will be revealed when Blood And Wine releases this summer.

The Skellige faction won’t see a print run anytime soon, although Gwent itself has become a game in it's own right thanks to some physical card decks that have been distributed by CDPR. Pax panel attendees walked away with a box of cards, something that was inconceivable when Monnier was designing the game in his bathtub because his boss, managing director Adam Badowski, gave him and fellow panelist/Gwent mastermind Rafal Jaki three days to figure it out.

“He wasn’t trying to be cruel,” said Jaki, a business developer for CDPR. “We were all occupied with our own tasks as a team and couldn’t [try to] pursue something that wasn’t going to happen.”

But the time crunch and intense work environment meant that no one on the team really had time to spare. So even after Badowski approved the pursuit, Monnier and Jaki still had to hustle employees for help. Mostly this involved teaching them Gwent and, once properly addicted, the passion to bring it to the world of The Witcher 3 would spread.

“We would play games with them and people would want more,” said Monnier.

The theme of the panel was simple: Gwent speaks for itself. From it's humble beginnings as an overtime passion project to a cult-status card game that can fill an auditorium with cheering fans. The possibility of a standalone version of Gwent for mobile isn’t out of the question either, but nothing official has been announced. For now the future of Gwent resides in the Blood And Wine expansion, where a whole new faction full of cards is waiting to be collected.

Are you a big Gwent fan? Don’t you love those cards that let you draw more cards and then you play decoys on them and pick them up and play them again? Those are the best. Or are they? Tell us why in the comments!

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