So, since I loved the **** out of my time with The Witcher 3, I sprung for the season pass (when it was on sale for 20% off). Today is the day that the first expansion, "Hearts of Stone", drops. I haven't had much time to spend with it yet, but so far it's a solid piece of new content. It's geared towards players that are level 30+, so it you haven't gotten that far yet, there's not much point in buying it.
I'm level 35 with the full set of Wolf School gear, so I'm probably a bit stronger than recommended, but the very first fight I was in was noticeably more challenging than what I'm used to. I was fighting a group of well equipped level 33 soldiers. They seemed to hit a bit harder than I'm used to, and they seemed to work together a bit better. Sticking together, attacking when my guard was down, etc. It may just be that I'm used to being so much stronger than the typical grunts, but it was a nice change of pace to actually have to pay attention to combat again.
Anyway, the first thing you'll notice when you start up the game and check out the map is that there is a huge chunk of new real estate up in the North East corner of Velen. It's probably about two and half to three times as large as the Kaer Morhen map, or maybe a little bit more than twice the size of White Orchard. There's a couple of large estates, and small towns, as well as what looks like a larger town spread out around a lake about half the size of Oxenfurt. Along with new areas are a bunch of new mobs. Some of which have some interesting attacks that forcing me to alter my usual tactics a bit.
One of the new features in the game is a new character called a Runewright. Once you finish his quest (which takes a large pile of Orens and some fetching) he can take runes and glyphs and combine them on any item with three slots to create new effects. He can also add extra slots to equipment that doesn't already have the necessary three available. I really wasn't too terribly impressed with the extra effects though. They don't really fit my play style, but I'm sure others will see some benefit to it. I honestly found much more use by the addition of two extra potion slots. I usually keep Swallow and Thunderbolt slotted and mostly ignore the rest, now I've got some extra space for a couple of decotions too.
I haven't gotten very far into the story yet, but the devs claim that it should take about ten hours or so. Then there's exploring all the new areas and side quests to push the number a bit further. For ten dollars, I'd say it's worth it.
Edit: Yep, fights are definitely harder now. I actually almost died a couple of times, something that didn't even happen during the final boss of the main story. My usual plan of wade in, attack fast, dodge, and abuse the **** out of Quen to get free healing doesn't seem to work as well against the new mini boss fights. That coupled with a the change to Swallow that slows the healing down significantly has made things much more interesting. I might have to take a closer look at my ability tree and see what I can come up with.
Edited, Oct 13th 2015 8:22am by Turin