A few examples…
Card Factions and unique abilities
Up until now, each card faction has perks and a leader card with unique capabilities. During the closed beta it became apparent that at the highest levels certain decks combined with a certain leader would generate a lot of points quickly using less cards through combos that could not be countered consistently by other card decks and leaders (for example decks that revolve around reducing opponents’ points or decks with cards meant for more intricate, situational combos/ strategies we’re not as effective).
In the open beta, factions no longer have perks. For example Monsters factions would leave the last card played on the board at the end of a round, win or lose. This remaining card would be used in powerful combos in subsequent rounds. Now this is no longer the case, as all factions lost their perks.
Leader cards used to be just triggered without being an actual card that you put on the board. Now leaders have points attached to them and can be played by putting them on the board.
More agile cards
Agile cards are cards that can be placed on any row. If you remember, there are three rows in Gwent: siege, … Lol, I forgot myself oh yeah, siege, range and… One more. Anyway, a lot of cards now have become agile which allows for more variety, both defensively and offensively, with the same cards.
Almost all cards have new abilities
This is probably the biggest reason everything feels so different now. Cards that did nothing before have new abilities, cards that had a high strength now have low strength but inherited some of the (removed) faction perks.
Removal of specific strategies
One of the Northern realms’ leaders could promote cards to gold status. Gold status increases a cards point total and makes them immune to cards that can reduce a card’s strength. Combined with cards that could spawn multiple cards, using this particular leader could easily overwhelm other decks. This has been removed as a strategy as the gameplay became too one dimensional.
My favorite deck, had a leader that called back spying cards laid down on the opposing side of the board for huge momentum swings. This no longer exists in the game as a deck “Archetype”.
That’s just a summary of what I think are the biggest changes. Basically, it feels like “early KI season 2 compared to middle/end of season 3”-type of change…
Lastly, the cards have full animation now, just gorgeous. Also, friend matches are still only on PC for now.