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About this mod

Gwent Improvements - Ultima goal is to bring more fun playing Gwent, especially for Players who got tired of the weak AI even on the hardest difficulty.
It also features some unused Textures, which CDPR put in the game files, but for some unknown reason they did not brought them into the final game and there are six totally new cards added.

Permissions and credits
This Mod improves your Gwent experience in many ways.

Be aware, that due to the relatively complex changes of Gwent (and the fact, that Gwent-related stuff is stored in your savefile) your savegame will or may cause problems IF YOU INSTALL OR UINSTALL THIS MOD DURING A RUNNING PLAYTHROUGH. One issue for sure will be, that cards you have already bought from merchants will be available for buying again.

So I would recommend you to only use this Mod with a fresh Savegame and to not uninstall it during a running Savegame!

It is also recommended, to play the Mod on the hardest Gwent-difficulty to have the best and most challenging experience. But you can also play on the two lower difficulties without any problem.
Easy is a good lot easier than hard, normal is sometimes a bit easier than hard, sometimes also a good lot easier than hard (depending on the Gwent-opponent).

You do now have a much better AI for Gwent. Especially Quest-related opponents and tournaments are now much more interesting and harder to play with. But also the merchants are tweaked to be better Players. Of course, they are not OP, because that would make you frustrated in a new Savegame to collect the Cards.

For the second thing, this Mod brings you, I first have to thank the former W3 Mod-author cowfez, he made this second thing possible to be added to this Mod. And that is the restored and unused textures. You can see them in Nilfgaard and Northern Realms decks, for example Blue Stripes Commando.
Also a new (non-spoilering) Card-Texture for Birna, a more fitting Texture for the regular Scorch-Card and the DLC-Regis-Card Texture (for the transformation result of the normal Regis Card) are included.
Six totally new cards are now included, too. Thanks and credit to Tinnaib (aka Fabian) for help with the textures aswell as some help to add those cards to the game.

This Mod is not only tweaking the AI, it also features a Bugfix considering of some Gwent-Players are playing some duplicated cards, where they shouldn't. For example, right in the beginning, Aldert Geert in White Orchard plays Puttkammer twice, but this card is determined to be existing as just a single card.

In the beginning, Gwent will be the hardest - because you are just starting collecting all cards. Therefore, you probably can't win each Gwent-Match at any time. And that is, what I wanted that way. Where is written that you must be able to win each Match against anyone at any time? Nowhere! This should count for regular quests against enemies/monsters (which have certain Levels) in the same way for Gwent (especially for quest-related Gwent-Matches). All quest Gwent-opponents are strong, no matter if they are on your way earlier in the Game (Velen-Nomansland), or if they are in Novigrad or Skellige. So it's maybe needed, that you have to collect more better/stronger cards first and come back to them later, when you are more competitive to beat them. But the first quest opponents you meet in the game are a bit easier than the ones that come later. Toussaint is a bit different, the tournament is hard, collecting the cards in the other quest is not so hard, because there is the variety of weak, medium and strong opponents given. So, you will have a few tougher matches, but most of them will be relatively easy to play. Keep in mind, at this point of the game you should already have all regular Gwent-Cards from the Main Game and HoS (as a Gwent-Addict^^).

As in vanilla, you can collect the cards to be stronger from all the vanilla-placed Merchants/Shopkeepers in the Game. There are weak (relatively, as the goal of the Mod is to make Gwent harder) opponents, medium opponents and strong opponents.

For example: Marcus T. K. Hodgson (Bookkeeper) in Novigrad plays a hard Version of the Scoia'tael deck. So if you want to beat him, you should already have a competitive deck that time.
Aldert Geert in the tutorial in White Orchard plays a fitting "weak" deck for example. But to beat him, it is maybe needed to buy the first cards you can buy in the Tavern from Elsa or from Bram.
You can beat Aldert Geert without buying cards, of course, it could take a few more tries then. But it would be easier, if you buy them. This mod gives you much more variable matches and they are sometimes longer and more intensive.

I have edited the prices for nearly all Gwent-Cards, so if you buy some Cards you will have more fitting prices related to the Card Value the Card has in my Mod.

Thanks to cowfez again, this Mod deletes one of the Infantry-Cards from the Northern Realms. In vanilla, there are 4 cards existing and they all use the same texture - boring.
The restored textures offer now three different textures. That means, one card is still having a duplicated texture. With this mod, you only have three Infantry cards left in the game and each will have its own texture now. It is also no problem for the Gwent-Book ingame, there will be nothing wrong as the book just counts the different cards by names, and not how many of the same cards are in Geralt's stack.

About AI:
The vanilla AI has its issues and some have been "fixed" with this Mod, some may will never be fixed, as it's nearly impossible. Some examples for vanilla issues that could not have been fixed in terms of AI behaviour:
1) Not using Horn-Card wisely in the most useful row (sometimes)
2) Wasting Decoy-Card (rarely)
3) Do not make best use of powerful - in this case - Scorch-Cards like Villentretenmerth (sometimes)
4) Playing Kambi-Card (rarely and only Skellige-Deck affected, of course)
5) Playing some Weather-Cards not so wisely (sometimes)

All this does not happen too often, but it will happen maybe in 5-10% of all matches.

The six new added cards (Lambert, Eskel, Jaques de Aldersberg, Vilgefortz of Roggeveen, Coinneach Dá Reo and Caranthir) can only be achieved in Blood and Wine in the quest "Till death do you part" if you make the "right" decision (for Margot instead of Louis)
For those who directly want to have those cards added, here are the console-keys:

One little remaining issue for now: If you do the quest "Till death do you part" in BaW (Toussaint), you can only complete it if you already have the
Bruxa and Barclay Els-Cards collected. Normally, you should have, as you can get them via multiple occasions

To still have fun with Gwent after completing the whole thing, for example you can still find a good player in Gremist in Skellige, Marcus T.K. Hodgson at Hierarch Square in Novigrad, Tavernkeeper and some Smith in Urialla in Skellige or Barnabas-Basilius at Corvo Bianco. If you tell him, to use his best cards for the deck you told him to play, then he will play the best "Merchant-Deck" of Northern Realms, Nilfgaard, Scoia'tael, Monster and Skellige. Not as strong as some quest-related opponents during the playthrough for Gwent, but the best "Merchant-Decks", as I said.

Important to know: The better AI is working in a running savegame as good as it runs in a new save. But the restored textures are only working, if you have not won or bought the affected cards already in your savegame (except the new textures for Birna and Regis, this textures always work), so you will have the old cards then.
So, a new save will mean, you are safe with having all new textures. The AI will always use the new textures, it doesn't matter if it is an old or new save. But again: Better use this Mod with a fresh Savegame and do not remove it during that Savegame, otherwise your Gwent could or will be broken (at least for the mentioned thing with cards being available again for buying at the merchants).

The changes I made to the Cards (Skills/Abilities and Values) are documented in a detailed way in the Readme attached to the Mod.
The Cards now have more fitting Values in terms of Lore generally and for their Faction.

This mod features less Hero-Cards than the vanilla game, only 10, in total 13 - because of three transformation Cards (Regis, Kambi, Cow). All other Cards, that were Hero-Cards before in vanilla, are now regular Cards.

Information about the implementation of Faster Gwent:
The downloaded file comes with two Versions of my mod, the first Version includes the nice and popular (before it was taken off) Mod by cowfez - Faster Gwent (regular Speed increase).

Faster Gwent - but with one Sound-Change - cowfez made this for me - extra for Gwent Improvements. This affects the Regis-Transformation-Sound, which is the Cow-Sound without this Version of Faster Gwent - which does not fit nice.

So, with Faster Gwent you have a more fitting Sound for the Card-Transformation of Regis (The one that is used for Transformation from Kambi
to Hemdall) and you can also enjoy some faster Gwent - which is a great improvement imho and it is my recommended choice.