The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has finally received its first “premium” expansions, which means you’ll have to pay a small fee in order to play it. Before Hearts of Stone launched, anyway, 16 free downloadable contents have been (and currently are) at players’ disposal, so there’s really nothing to blame when it comes to the relationship between gamers and CD Projekt RED.
Anyway, now it’s time for Hearts of Stone to be protagonist and bring back to the game some of the players who might have left the Novigrad streets in favor of other, more recent titles. Will it manage to do that? We’ll see when sales data come out, if they ever will, but in the meantime it’s good to have a look at some of the best tips for you to learn before enjoying the latest add-on.
HOW TO GET THE EXPANSION CONTENTS
You will have to search for the expansion contents before embarking on the latest Geralt of Rivia’s quest. In order to do that, you will have to visit the Seven Cats Inn and read the noticeboard to get started: the two quest lines available there will take you on a tour of most of the new locations and also introduce you to new enemies.
You can easily differentiate Hearts of Stone contents from standard The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt quests by checking your quest journal: the new missions are marked with a bright, pale blue exclamation mark, the standard missions are listed with a yellow one.
RELEARN THE CONTROLS
You’ve been away at least for a couple of months now – why don’t you take your time to learn the controls all over again? This will help you throughout the first hours of Hearts of Stone, as the main game controls are not that simple to be dominated.
Parry humanoids, dodge monsters. Roll to gain distance from everything. Archers go down first. Remember how to use your quickslots, signs and bombs as well as oils and potions.
BE READY FOR THE FIGHT
Hearts of Stone clearly requires players to be at least at level 30 to deal properly with the enemies, both new and old, appearing along the road. Also having a good set of gear will probably save your life one or two times per session, so consider buying it before embarking on the quest, if you have not already.
In case you’re not at level 30 but want to play the expansion anyway, you still can, it’s not impossible neither there is a block coming from CD Projekt RED, but you’ll have to be even more careful then usual while fighting against new enemies. Moreover, you’ll get loads of XP points in the first missions of the expansions, so that might work things out.
TWO SIDEQUESTS TO DO BEFORE STARTING
Before you start with the main storyline of Hearts of Stone, there are two sidequests we highly suggest you to play. Those are Enchanting: Start Up Costs and From Ofier’s Distant Shores.
The first starts at the Seven Cats Inn, on the board where you’ll find word of an Ofieri runecrafter in the area. He will give you the quest – you’ll need 5,000 gold to do the first steps – which will lead to a series of missions culminating in very powerful upgrades for your gear.
From Ofier’s Distant Shores is available at any time but the earlier you get it, the better it is simply because you’ll find many pieces of it in terms of story throughout the main quests.
A FAST WAY TO GET VIPER SCHOOL GEAR
Differently from the main game, Viper School gear is now pretty easy to get. Since all the pieces are in the Hearts of Stone expansion, you will find some diagrams in treasure chests in main storyline dungeons, but mostly all will also be on sale during the Open Sesame mission.
Speak with Vivaldi’s Countess friend and ask to see what she’s selling. Bring about 500 gold and you should be fine, at least unless you don’t want to participate to the auction. In that case you’ll need some more coins.