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Special: 5 tips for The Witcher: Hearts of Stone

CD Projekt RED’s masterpiece ‘The Witcher 3’ just got its first expansion in the form of Hearts of Stone. The expansion promises to bring us a total of ten new Witcher filled hours. We’re currently playing it a lot and our review will be up very soon. Until that time it’s important to prepare yourself for this expansion. These are our 5 tips to survive Hearts of Stone.

 

  1. Learn the ropes again

Oh boy, the controls of The Witcher 3 sure aren’t easy to learn. If you’ve been away from the mythical lands of The Witcher 3, it might be smart to master the controls once again. There’s a lot going on in the Witcher 3 when it comes to controls. Geralt of Rivia is a skilled swordsman but the gamer needs to remember his moves in order to make Geralt the sword fighter he needs to be. Battling with two swords and magic isn’t that easy, mastering the controls takes time. We suggest you take down some easy to kill monsters before you jump into the action. You’ll need to get used to dodging and attacking again before you start battling the new enemies.

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Aside of that, even the horse and walking controls need a little getting used to. Spending some time with them is necessary if you’ve been away too long. Don’t make the same mistake as us, we dropped to our death in the sewers thanks to the controls and lost a lot of progress doing so. Take your time, Hearts of Stone isn’t going anywhere and you better be prepared!

  1. Level up your Geralt

The second tip we can give you is to level up your Geralt. The monsters of Hearts of Stone are nothing like the ones you faced in the core game. Each monster is hard to beat and needs a lot of skills to kill. Your Geralt must be somewhere between level 30 and 32 to really stand a chance of survival. The monsters are a lot smarter and stronger than everything you faced before so you’ll really need to get some good weapons and gear to survive. The endgame gear of Wild Hunt is a good start but there’s better gear hidden in Hearts of Stone. Spend your ability points on clever abilities, pimp up your gear and prepare for a true challenge!

Didn’t finish Wild Hunt? CD Projekt RED made it possible to play Hearts of Stone as a standalone game, automatically giving you a level 30ish Geralt with great gear. It’s a great option for new players but these need to get to know their Geralt before they can start the missions.

  1. Explore the world

The story of Hearts of Stone is different from the story found in Wild Hunt. It doesn’t really have a connection to the original story other than it’s told in the same world. Since the world is the same, a lot of gamers might think not much has changed, don’t make this mistake! The developers filled the world map with new markers, leading to difficult monsters and epic loot. Take your time to explore these new markers and prepare to see things you’ve never seen before on familiar locations.

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Besides this, it’s also worth to discover the new side-quests that were added. We won’t spoil them for you but the storylines found in those are genius. Don’t rush your Hearts of Stone experience but absorb the world once more. 

  1. Prepare to talk a lot 

Hearts of Stone is an interesting expansion. It doesn’t lean on combat that much but offers a new way of getting to know the Witcher and other characters. There’s a lot of dialogue in this expansion and reading it is something you really should do. Some gamers tend to skip the conversations, especially when they’re too plenty but it’s worth reading in Hearts of Stone. The cut scenes and dialogues are filled with jokes and references to previous Witcher games. There’s a lot of text and cut scenes in this expansion but we strongly advance to watch and read those if you want to learn more about the interesting world of Geralt.

  1. Learn how to play Gwent

Gwent, the popular in-game card game became a huge success. Players liked playing virtually but in real life as well. The physical copy of the Hearts of Stone expansion comes packed with two Gwent decks so you can go all out with your friends during the weekends. Wondering how you play the game? Try to find the characters in the game willing to play the game with you. Don’t find any players? Play it in real life, we tried once but we need more practice for sure:

It’s also interesting to know that new Gwent cards were added in Hearts of Stone so you’ll get to use some entirely new ones in-game. The new patch also made it possible to change the level of difficulty of these virtual card games. Hearts of Stone is a true paradise for the Gwent players!

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.