Witcher 3 DLC: Hearts Of Stone Release Date This Week; That Level Requirement Stinks

The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone
The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone Photo: CD Projekt Red

This week, on Oct. 13, The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone comes out on all platforms that Witcher 3 is available on. It’s the first piece of paid DLC for the game, so this is your chance to buy that Season Pass, if you haven’t already, because the DLC is supposed to be pretty great. After a host of amazing free DLC, expectations are high, but it looks like CD Projekt Red is going to deliver again. There’s just one problem… not everyone will be able to play the DLC, because the level requirement is so high. And I both respect that and find it irksome.

 

 

The Witcher 3: Hearts Of Stone DLC Release Date And Level Requirement

 

The Hearts of Stone release date is Oct. 13, better known in the common parlance as Tuesday. I will be buying it day one, but I won’t play it. Not for quite some time. First off, whatever your intentions, do remember that it is worth buying right away… at least if you want the physical version, which costs $10 more but comes up with actual, physical Gwent cards. That’s pretty exciting, isn’t it? They won’t last long, so make sure you get them ASAP. And then install Hearts of Stone.

And then discover that it requires you to be level 30. Level freaking 30! That’s endgame in Witcher 3, dozens if not hundreds of hours into the game. I am in the deep dozens and am only level 21 or so, but I admit… sometimes life intervenes and one just has to play Minecraft instead. And that’s okay. But I think it’s interesting that Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone has such a high level requirement—one explicitly geared toward the late endgame.

On the one hand, it makes sense. The people who play DLC are mostly people who are really into Witcher 3, and have probably finished it already, or who plan to (as I do). They want more endgame content. On the other hand, the high level requirement automatically limits the game’s accessibility. And while I find that somewhat annoying because it means I can’t even so much as review the game, since I’m not level 30, I also respect it.

CD Projekt Red doesn’t cut corners or bow down before a mass-market audience. They are saying: Yes, Hearts of Stone requires you to basically have finished Witcher 3 already. If you did, it’ll be awesome. If not, it’ll be there for you when you’re ready. That’s an admirable position in an era of trying to give games mass-appeal. It’s old-school. Skyrim didn’t do that with its DLC, since the game’s difficulty scaled with you. Witcher, for better or for worse (I’m still not sure), doesn’t do that.

So if you want to play Hearts of Stone and aren’t level 30 yet… get to it. You still have three days. Chop chop (those monsters to bits)!

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