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LTTP: The Witcher 3 Finished Heart of Stone and moving into Blood & Wine.

Feb 8, 2011
4,026
603
920
Melbourne, Australia
Hey folks. You may remember that I built the first of the Witcher 3 OP’s here.

I want to put this first because it’s important but I’m only just starting Blood & Wine so please mark any spoilers. :goog_censored:

As such a huge fan of the Witcher and CDPR you would expect I would have played the DLC that everybody raves about before now but nope. It’s taken me this long to get back to it.

When I played the Witcher 3 I played it on my current gaming PC. I haven’t upgraded since then and it’s still not bad for 1080p gaming but times have moved on and so has my monitor which is a 4K monitor. I have always been considering that I would hold the DLC play through until I upgraded my computer with a 1080ti and then a 2080ti when they arrived. Well in a series of circumstances that are not so great, my brother is away at the moment for three months and at the start of the year he purchased a beast gaming rig with a 3900x and 2080ti on a MP600 PCi-E 4.0 SSD 🤯which I’m using to finally play the DLC on his LG E8 OLED (my gaming TV is still my old Panasonic 1080p 45” that is still going strong).

But with all of that false ’not bragging‘ :messenger_halo: out of the way let’s talk about the game dang it!

First things first. I load up my game and it’s been years since I played. Nothing is quite familiar to start with but it comes back fast. You must remember I played this game on the release version of the game. No Stash, I was constantly getting weighed down because I was carrying all four armour types with me.

I was level 34 and I had completely absolutely everything in the first game. Max upgrade all armour and weapons, all quests, contracts and even finished all mystery locations (except a few question marks out to sea in skellige they added fast travel anywhere when on water so I might go and finish those cause my coin is starting to get hit hard). So it’s really cool to see some new things become available.

I do know that this game install has the HD texture mod installed as well as a few other small graphical things. Boy does it look good. I really wasn’t expecting this game it look THIS good. With the HD textures it’s just wow to get captivated by the armour and clothes of characters while they’re talking. Really the only thing that lets this game down from a modern graphics stand point is the lighting and GI. I wonder if in years to come as Ray Tracing gets more and more powerful if we will see a full Ray Tracing mod built for this game. I will save the New Game + play through for that I think.

Everything I heard from my brother about why I should play the damn DLC already had been kicking me to want to play for a while now and I haven’t had a game I’ve really wanted to get stuck into since Spider-Man PS4 (I did play Jedi Fallen order but only for about 4 days and it wasn’t like this). He said that Blood and Wine is better than the main game and this is a common sentiment I have heard from friends and in the Internet. So of course to warm up I thought I would tackle Heart of Stone to completion first and then go into Blood and Wine later.

Heart of Stone. Well I really enjoyed it. It sucked me back into the game super fast and in a big way. I’m so pulled into this game at the moment that I pretty much can’t think about anything else. I have some painting I should be doing since we’re locked in but I can’t seem to find the motivation to pull away from this wonderful world. Heart of Stone hasn’t been much of a challenge so far. I wonder if I‘m just too high level for all this stuff. By the end of HoS I was level 40. I’ve unlocked some new abilities but haven’t changed my level abilities at all yet. I’m going for unlocking Delusion the top AXII thing at the moment so I can use it in dialogue. Does anyone know if you have to have it equipped to use it in dialogue?

Spoiler warning. There will be unmarked Heart of Stone spoilers after this point you have been warned. However I would ask you to please keep the B&W spoilers to a minimum.

I finished HoS yesterday and got a few hours into B&W. Overall I would put HoS in a solid about as good as the main game, maybe a little less cause I didn’t feel the characters as much as the main characters. Olgeird I feel for. He’s a real arsehole but honestly I don’t know if I blame him too much he didnt make such an unreasonable wish in the first place. I ended up saving him. I feel like Master Mirror is a real asshole and I didn’t want to agree to him helping me right from the start I knew it would be bad but they didn’t give me the choice. One thing I also felt a bit missing from HoS was choice consequence. But it’s strange I kinda forget how the main game ended but I’m sure I chose Yen and settled down with her and Ciri became a Witcher if I remember correctly, so I felt a little guilty for romancing Shani but i did it anyway.

I really liked the new Olfiery stuff. Just got a thing for curved swords at the moment. Used to be a straigh up bastard sword man but i seem to be flowing more into the Scimitar / Sabre weapon type and I completely blame Forged in Fire for that. Enjoyed the enchanting guy and keen to get to see the new mutations and other upgrades in B&W. I’ve only just started and met the Queen who gave me a vineyard! I had no idea about owning a house. A house in the Witcher ooooo boy! RPG of forever right here.

As I just said I’ve just reached B&W. I can already tell this seems to be almost a different game. Rather than a DLC it’s kind of like a half sequel. The graphics are improved, there is something blurry or I should say soft about the visuals that I really like. It kinda feels like CDPR took the ‘it’s all ugly and brown‘ feedback about the base game to heart because this place is really full of colour! I liked the brown I felt it suited Velen well but it’s good to have different places. I can’t be 100% sure but I feel like the choices are going to have a much bigger impact on the game. I told some kids that virtue is good and they shat on me and I felt stupid for not being honest which I usually alway do choose to be honest.

So long story short I’m absolutely loving the hell out of this. So much so that I needed to talk to my mates at GAF about it since I have no one else around I can really talk to about it. I was going to paint this weekend but I’ve decided I’m going to play and see if I can’t put a good 12 - 16 hour dent into Blood and Wine. So often when I tell people to try a game or a movie or a TV show I really love I say ‘god I wish I could be playing that for the first time again‘ well I’m playing B&W for the first time in 2020 on an ultimate gaming rig and an OLED screen. Not a chance I could afford any of this stuff these days so its kinda almost like trying out the best stuff available and I’m having a blast and finding it a great distraction and escape from the reality of being locked inside and from the uncertainty and worry about family and the world right now.

That’ll do for me. I’ll be surprised if many people read that whole wall of text but I’ve had fun just typing it out. It’s 7am in Aus here right now and I have been typing for a good half an hour on a mobile device. Makes me think I should have just gone to the keyboard and I would have been done in 5 minutes but this ended up being much longer than I expected. I always ramble on way more than I need to go get my point across.
 
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DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
Nov 13, 2013
7,567
15,981
1,335
Blood and Wine has a full $60 worth of game content in its own, it's amazing. There's a town in there that may be bigger than Novigrad, do there's a lot to explore and discover. It's amazing, enjoy.
 

Captain Hero

The Spoiler Soldier
May 11, 2015
2,102
6,412
955
Shadow Moses
Nice talk .. well I’ve played both DLC and HOS is slightly better than B&W imo , when it comes to story .. I really like HOS and the story is really heartbreaking at some point ..
I did kill that son of bitch master of mirror I hate him from the start

But B&W not bad at all the music and the place is something else .. have fun there
 
S

Steve.1981

Unconfirmed Member
Wow that's a long time it's taken you to get around to the expansions! They are more than worth the wait though.

For me, Hearts of Stone is the better of the two. Just wonderful writing and characters (Olgierd, O'Dimm, Shani). So memorable. But it's an eternal question and they are both so good that you can't go wrong either way.

Enjoy hunting those vampires!
 

RPSleon

Member
Apr 3, 2015
377
488
595
I felt so appreciative of cdprs work on Blood and Wine while playing. It felt like it had an incredible amount of care poured in to it; im concerned that it may have left me in a position to be let down slightly by cyberpunk, if it isnt of the same quality.

"I felt a little guilty for romancing Shani but i did it anyway"

Lol same.
 
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Fake

Member
Dec 20, 2018
12,295
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915
Rio de Janeiro
All plat. Witcher 3 is a great game is terrible combat mechanics. The Hearst of Stone really don't add much for me, besides the DLC really make the weapons better by doing slot/enchants.
Blood and Wine was amazing from both story, place and new level up/mutagene skill tree.

For me:

Witcher 3 Bloody Baron Arc + 3 witchers of the swamp > Blood and Wine > Heart of Stone > Rest of the Witcher 3.
 
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JLB

Member
Dec 6, 2018
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Ha! Im actually on the other way around, finishing Blood and wine, and going for HoF Next.
B and W is fantástico.
 
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Fake

Member
Dec 20, 2018
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Finish 100% Blood and Wine is really worthy unlike 100% the base game. You get the strong weapon of the entire game.
 
Sep 19, 2017
1,541
1,862
565
France
Better late to the party than never. Thanks OP for sharing your experience with one of the best extension ever created. I remember how i was obsessed with this game, the characters, the story, the environments, the music. I always wanted to go on fight to upgrade Gérald.

I only played it on PS4 pro.... and now i want to replay the game in 4k with all the HD packs.
 
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GymWolf

Member
Jun 11, 2019
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All plat. Witcher 3 is a great game is terrible combat mechanics. The Hearst of Stone really don't add much for me, besides the DLC really make the weapons better by doing slot/enchants.
Blood and Wine was amazing from both story, place and new level up/mutagene skill tree.

For me:

Witcher 3 Bloody Baron Arc + 3 witchers of the swamp > Blood and Wine > Heart of Stone > Rest of the Witcher 3.
HOS story and villain are top notch and far better then vanilla game to me.