Gwent official artwork from the Thronebreaker campaign

I'm certain some will disagree with me, but Gwent has been on a downwards trajectory ever since the fabled Midwinter Update. The removal and simplification of many strategic elements resulted in the matches becoming increasingly more stale, while the newly introduced cards with random effects ended up having a profoundly negative impact on the overall gameplay, so much so that CDPR announced they are banning the most egregious examples from the constructed mode. Long story short, things were not looking good for Gwent's future.

However, there is a beacon of hope on the horizon - the newly announced Homecoming update. According to CDPR, the Homecoming update will rework Gwent from the ground up and refocus it on what it was always trying to be - a deeply strategic game with many unique and interesting playstyles to explore. To further emphasis this point they also announced that they will be fixing the long-standing second player advantage, diversifying the factions, and perhaps most importantly, removing randomness in favor of cards that require skill and timing in order to use well.

The Homecoming update will also bring with it a much-needed visual overhaul. The details are still shrouded in mystery, but you can expect to see a brand new and more Witcher-y board, increased card sizes so that the lovely premium artwork can shine, as well as new animations in order to make the whole experience that much more enjoyable. There are also plans to rework the UI, something I definitely agree with given how clunky it is right now, though I'm afraid no specifics have been given.

Gwent Skellige official artwork

Gwent has some truly excellent artwork, but right now the game doesn't do it any justice

While all of this sounds pretty darn awesome, there is one problem - the Homing update will require around 6 months to finish! Furthermore, since this is an "all hands on deck" kind of update, the current version of Gwent will only be getting minimal patches and balance changes. So if you think the current meta is already stale, I'm afraid it's only going to get worse before it gets better. It's a bit of a risky gamble on CDPR's part, that's for sure, but it's one that I really do hope ends up working out for them because Gwent has some genuine potential for greatness.

As for the continuously delayed Thronebreaker expansion, you'll be glad to hear that it will be coming "after Homecoming concludes". When exactly that's going to happen, nobody currently knows, but if I was a betting man I would put the majority of my chips on "around Christmas time". It just makes sense for this kind of an 'update'.

You can learn more about the Homecoming update, as well as follow any further developments, over at the official website.