The Witcher 3

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Aleks Vuckovic

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floppypig

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About this mod

This mod can be considered a "light" gameplay overhaul as it doesn't fundamentally change the gameplay mechanics, but still makes enough major changes to be considered more than just gameplay enhancements. Its main purpose is to make the gameplay feel more realistic and lore friendly where preperation is key.

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OVERVIEW
This mod can be considered a "light" gameplay overhaul as it doesn't fundamentally change the gameplay mechanics, but still makes enough major changes to be considered more than just gameplay enhancements. Its main purpose is to make the gameplay feel more realistic and lore friendly where preparation is key. After all, a witcher with no potions is half a witcher. It also attempts to stretch out the levelling elements across both expansions and overhauls the skill system, so you're not wasting skill points after level 30 just to unlock the later skill tiers in the other trees. The changes are of course subjective but I think they make the minute to minute gameplay more interesting.

!!! PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MOD DOES NOT WORK WITH NEW GAME PLUS !!! 

FROM VERSION 2.3 ONWARDS, THIS MOD CAN BE MADE TO WORK WITH VANILLA SAVES WITH SOME CONFIG. SEE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.

PLEASE HAVE A READ OF THE FAQ AT THE BOTTOM OF THE MOD DESCRIPTION BEFORE REPORTING ANY ISSUES


The main changes can likely be summarised as follows:

Combat: Adrenaline is a much more important factor in this tree and can now lead to some very powerful abilities. To balance, it is significantly harder to generate and much easier to lose. A character who invests no points in this tree will find it difficult to generate 3 Adrenaline Points.

Signs: The scaling of sign damage and effects with sign intensity has been modified and some skills have been re-worked/overhauled in light of this. Without investing points into this tree, you will likely find signs to be less useful than in vanilla. Conversely, investing points into this tree will give you very powerful signs.





Alchemy:
 Toxicity has been re-worked significantly to be more in line with the Witcher 2. You can no longer get really high levels of toxicity and just chug potions. You have to tactically and carefully decide which potion to take and when. Considering this, potions on the whole are a lot more powerful and useful. Decoctions have also been re-worked to be less situational and have more impact.

Monsters:
 Stats have been re-worked on most monsters to give an elevated challenge compared to Vanilla. Abilities and Resistances have also been changed on a number of enemies for immersive purposes (i.e. ghouls now poison enemies and fire elementals can't be hurt by fire). 

Vampires:
 As per Witcher Lore, Vampires are now a lot more dangerous. Moon Dust Bombs are now mandatory in dealing with them and you will need to concentrate and prepare for every fight with a vampire. This is especially true of the vampires in the Blood and Wine Expansion who now have a new ability called "Elder Focus". This works a lot like Adrenaline does for Geralt. See below for more details.



Human Enemies: Human enemies are no longer damage sponges but now also inflict a lot more damage. This polarises combat with humans, meaning things can go wrong with the simplest mistake. Human are easier to kill, but there is less room for error. With v1.7+ of the mod, Adapative Human Intelligence is introduced, where human opponents in a group will become better fighters as they observe how their allies are being killed. For example, as you kill humans, the surviving ones will become more defensive and more likely to parry your attacks. 



Skill System: 
All skills now only have 1 level so each time Geralt spends a skill point the changes can be clearly felt. Most skills have also been modified and some have been completely overhauled. Flood of Anger, for example, is no longer sign related, and instead puts Geralt into a battle frenzy mode where each melee attack is an automatic finisher. Very powerful, but also difficult to activate.



There is also:

A new "progressive" sign damage scaling system where a number of monsters now have weaknesses to specific types of magic. 

A new "fatigue" system where Geralt becomes weaker when he gets stunned or overuses Quen. 

An improved "damage over time" resistance system.

Some minor changes which I believe just improve the general experience/immersion in the game.

This mod is exclusively for normal "New Game". It will not work with NG+.


REDUX BASICS
Watch your Fatigue and Drain! Fatigue generates when you overuse Quen and will hinder Geralt's damage output and stamina regeneration. Quen is still a very effective sign, but needs to be used correctly. Quen should be used when you are fighting enemies that can do a large amount of damage to you quickly, and not just for every fight. Later on in the game you will be able to craft alchemy items that can mitigate the effects of fatigue. Drain is caused by critical effects such as Hypnosis or attacks from wraiths and lowers Geralt's Sign Intensity each time it is applied. 

Parry and Counter against human enemies! Parrying and countering human enemies will debuff them, making them easier to kill. Also, when a human is parrying your attacks, move on to a different target instead of constantly hitting the same enemy. The more you are parried, the more your enemies are able to adapt to your fighting style. Dodging is still useful, but if you dodge too much, human enemies will increase their speed to compensate. 

Don't forget about alchemy! Even if you have invested no points in the tree, alchemy is still an integral part of the gameplay. Potions are now much more powerful and could be the difference between winning/losing a fight. Oils can double your damage and lower the enemies' damage resistances. Bombs will stop vampires from regenerating health and can knock flying monsters out of the air permanently. 

Choose your skills wisely! There's only 1 level per skill now and you get less skill points, so make sure you build your character wisely. Think about what skills would play well off of each other. Combat skills are all about scoring critical hits and using Adrenaline to activate very powerful abilities. Sign skills are all about debilitating opponents through critical effects and hindering their ability to fight back. Alchemy skills are all about buffing your stats and debuffing your enemies, allowing Geralt to survive attacks that would kill other builds. 

Explore and find those Places of Power! Places of Power are integral in developing Geralt's abilities and unlocking the later skill tiers, so don't forget about them. They will show up on the map when unlocked by notice boards so you know exactly where they are. 


DESCRIPTIVE LEVELS (OPTIONAL)
A small but effective change which hides all enemy levels and instead replaces them with a descriptive word to give you a general idea of how strong the enemy is. The goal here is to make the world feel less levelled and to give a narrative friendly reason as to why a level 5 Ghoul is so much weaker than a level 25 one. Completely optional change. 

It works by looking at the level bracket of the monster and its type. For example, a level 5 Drowner would be described as "starving", where as a level 30 Drowner would be described as "ferocious". A different set of words is used between the monster types - so Necrophages will have a different list of words to Hybrids. There are some exceptions, where monsters may be considered part of another group since the words sound better. 

This does not effect The Wild Hunt, their minions or any bosses or contract monsters. Basically, if the monster has a "boss health bar" at the top of the screen, no descriptor will be used. 

The word used is solely based on levels for monsters. However, for humans, its a combination of their level and their fighting skills. Hence, its common to see a group of human enemies where humans have different descriptors to each other, where as for monsters a group will all likely have the same descriptor. 

Note that this does not change any gameplay or statistics, its purely cosmetic. See the attached images for in-game examples and a spreadsheet of all the words. Currently supported in EnglishRussian (thanks to user iCake) and Polish (thanks to user damian11880).



GENERAL CHANGES
Thresholds for toxicity showing on Geralt's face have been increased from <25%/<50%/<75%/75%+ to <45%/<65%/<85%/85%+

Witcher Senses Enhancement originally part of the Metamorphosis Mutation [Blood and Wine] is available from the start.

The Cat potion can be toggled on and off by using the parry key [can be customised - see installation instructions below] when not in combat. It will also automatically turn on if you are entering combat in a dark place.

Arbitrary huge stat bonuses/penalties based on level differences removed.Inability to parry or perform critical hits or effects against enemies that are a much higher level than you has been removed.

Followers do more damage, especially Sorceresses.

If their level is lower, bosses will scale to Geralt's level. Specifically, this is only the following enemies:
  • The Whispering Hillock Tree
  • Imerlith
  • Caranthir
  • Eredin
  • The Toad Prince [Hearts of Stone]
  • Olgierd [Hearts of Stone]
  • Dettlaff [Blood and Wine]

Weapons degrade 25% slower.

Almost all silver swords have been removed as loot from random containers and merchants. Silver swords are rare, and should not be appearing as random loot. They will need to be crafted, given as a reward for a quest or found in a specific "set" container. Toussaint, due to its fairy tale nature, is exempt from this. 

Places of Power will show up on the map when unlocked by a notice board. This will persist even if POIs are turned off in the Options menu

Food now heals more Vitality but over a significantly longer period of time (5 minutes real-time).
Drinks now increase Stamina Regeneration but over a significantly longer period of time (5 minutes real-time).

Increased Ciri's Attack Power by 30%-60% during her gameplay segments. 

There is no longer a delay between throwing bombs (buff usually provided by the vanilla Grandmaster Wolf Gear 6/6 bonus)

QUEST LEVEL CHANGES
The following changes have been made to quest levels to better reflect changes this mod introduces to gameplay elements:
  • Contract: Shrieker 8->10: Tough contract, level didn't even really feel right in Vanilla.
  • Cabaret 14->20: Not due to anything in this quest but rather because of the quest that directly follows it. Changed the level here to maintain story pacing between the quests. 
  • Carnal Sins 16->22: Mini-boss of this quest is A LOT tougher with this mod - one of the toughest fights in the game.
  • Cave of Dreams 14->17: Both the ghost enemies and the vision of Eredin are quite tough. 
  • Nameless 14->17: Changed to better reflect the strength of the mini-boss.
  • In Wolf's Clothing 15->18: Changed to better reflect the strength of the mini-boss.
  • The Last Wish 17->19: Mini-boss is tougher.
  • Lord of Undvik 17->19: Boss enemy is tougher.
  • Possession 17->19: Changed to match previous quest as they are somewhat related.
  • Woodland Spirit 22->25: Mini-boss here is a lot tougher.
  • Of Swords and Dumplings 24->15: This quest can easily be completed at lowers levels due to how the mod changes human combat. Reward has also been streamlined to fit a mid-level character (see below).

GEAR CHANGES
The following gear has been modified to make it more meaningful. The following weapons have had their stats modified to make them feel like actual rewards when they are received. Some have also had their level set to 1 so they will always be able to be equipped:
  • Starting Steel Sword (Optional) - The starting steel sword has been replaced with Caerme (Witcher 2 endgame weapon), and its stats have been set to roughly a level 7-8 weapon so Geralt doesn't feel like a Novice Witcher during the Prologue.
  • Starting Silver Sword (Optional) - The starting silver sword has been replaced with Addan Deith (Witcher 2 endgame weapon), and its stats have been set to roughly a level 7-8 weapon so Geralt doesn't feel like a Novice Witcher during the Prologue.
  • Blade from the Bits - steel sword given to Geralt by Hattori upon completing the quest "Swords and Dumplings". It now rivals the Basic Witcher Gear steel swords. 
  • Fate - silver sword given to Geralt by Crache during "King's Gambit". It now rivals the Enhanced Witcher Gear silver swords.
  • Winter's Blade - steel sword given to Geralt by Crache when getting allies for Kaer Morhen. It now rivals the Superior Witcher Gear steel swords. 
  • Aerondight [Blood and Wine] no longer loses durability, due to its magical nature. 
  • Alzur [Redux] - New craftable level 43 steel sword. Upgrades Iris. Will summon Alzur's Thunder when charged, which will hit all enemies in the area with a chain lightning attack. This attack does shock damage and destroys shields. The crafting diagram can be bought from the Oferi merchant near the Runewright. 
The following Armors have had stat changes:
  • Superior Wolf Jacket [DLC] no longer requires a master armorer (pretty sure this was a bug/oversight). 
  • Mastercrafted Wolf Boots, Gloves and Trousers [DLC] now require a master armorer (pretty sure this was a bug/oversight).
  • Grandmaster Wolf gear [Blood and Wine] now requires the Mastercrafted Wolf gear to craft.
  • Grandmaster Wolf gear [Blood and Wine] 3/6 bonus changed to the vanilla version of the Fixative skill - blade oils don't wear off.
  • Grandmaster Wolf gear [Blood and Wine] 6/6 bonus changed to "unequipped skills still provide their secondary bonuses (Adrenaline Generation, Stamina Regeneration, Potion Duration)".
  • Grandmaster Griffin Gear [Blood and Wine] 6/6 Sign Intensity bonus lowered from 100% to 50% and 20% damage reduction removed.
  • Grandmaster Bear Gear [Blood and Wine] 3/6 Free Quen Shield won't fatigue Geralt when it breaks.
  • Grandmaster Bear Gear [Blood and Wine] 6/6 Quen Damage boost lowered from 200% to 150%.
  • Grandmaster Feline Gear [Blood and Wine] 3/6 Damage Bonus decreased from 10% to 7% per item.
  • Grandmaster Feline Gear [Blood and Wine] 6/6 Damage Boost lowered from 50% to 25%. Stun Duration increased from 3 seconds to 7 seconds.
  • Manticore gear [Blood and Wine] has been changed to a light armor.
  • Grandmaster Gear [Blood and Wine] utility attributes (attack power, sign intensity, adrenaline gain etc...) have been slightly increased.

Viper Armor (Hearts of Stone) has also been modified to have more utility but be slightly less protective compared to vanilla. The armor ratings have been dropped to be at the mastercrafted witcher gear level, but the following buffs have been added:
  • Armor: Increases maximum toxicity by 10 points. 
  • Trousers: Increases sign intensity by 25%. 
  • Boots: Increases maximum toxicity by 5 points. 
  • Gauntlets: Increases maximum toxicity by 5 points. 

The following changes have been made to quest rewards:
  • Ugly Baby & Blood on the Battlefield: Increased the amount of Crowns given by the Emperor from 2000 to 10000 (So, you'll get 5000 when you see him during Ugly Baby and 5000 if you accept the reward when/if you take Ciri to him). 

GAMEPLAY CHANGES
Consumables (food/drink) cannot be used during combat

Sprinting/Jumping outside of combat costs no Stamina

Geralt can parry arrows from the start - no skill required. To balance, arrows deal triple damage.

Both Geralt and human enemies can no longer parry or block attacks if they have 0 stamina. 

Shielded enemies will drop their shield if attacked when only 10% of their stamina is left (or less).

Geralt's base attack power at the start of the game has been increased while the attack power increases he receives in the first 10 levels or so has been decreased. Ultimately, you still get the same net gain of attack power. This was done to smooth out the difficulty and Geralt's progression at the start of the game.

Adrenaline generates 60% slower through melee attacks and drains much quicker when hit or combat is over. Finishers generate 0.1 Adrenaline Points. 

The duration of the base "Bleeding" effect Geralt could cause has been decreased from 10 seconds to 5 seconds. 

Lowered the global damage reduction value of the "Ice Armor" ability from 50% to 25%. With the below changes to damage resistance and oils, this ability needed to be nerfed otherwise it made fighting Ice Trolls extremely tedious. 

Added "Elemental Armor" ability to the following monster variants:
  • Golems
  • Gargoyles
  • Earth Elementals
  • Fire Elementals
  • Leshens
  • Spriggans [Blood and Wine]
This ability has the following effects:
  • Increases damage resistance by 20%
  • Massively increases Armor values to the point where the enemies are immune to fast attacks.
There are multiple ways to get through this defence:
  • Shock Damage (so Yrden and Quen) ignores Armor values. 
  • Strong Attacks ignore Armor values. 
  • Dimeritium Bombs disable this ability while the monster is in the Dimeritium cloud. 

Added a maximum cap of 50% for Geralt's resistances towards the following damage types:
  • Slashing
  • Piercing
  • Bludgeoning
  • Rending (monster damage)
  • Elemental (magical damage)
You don't usually start seeing such high damage resistances until you get Mastecrafted/Grandmaster Armor, but letting you go above 50% basically made Geralt immortal, especially when combined with a Mutation like Mutated Skin. 

Place of Power Sign Intensity boost increased from 20% to 75%.

The stamina delay after casting Quen (basic version) has been increased from 0.5 seconds to 2 seconds. 

Sign Intensity scaling has been re-worked. In general, damage/effects from signs scale in a linear fashion, with +250%  (so, 350% in total) Sign Intensity giving you the max chance to apply effects in most cases. Specifically, from +0% to +250% Sign Intensity:
  • Aard knockdown effect scales from approximately 15% to 100% chance (no cap). This is lower than vanilla. 
  • Basic Igni burn effect scales from approximately 5% to 75% chance (capped at 100%). This is significantly lower than vanilla. 
  • Alternate Igni burn effect scales from approximately 30% to 200% chance (capped at 100%). This is about vanilla level. 
  • Igni Damage scales from approximately 120 to 575 damage (no cap). This is slightly higher than Vanilla
  • Yrden slowdown effect scales from approximately 20% to 50% (capped). This is a slightly larger range than Vanilla.
  • Yrden damage is the same as vanilla.
  • Quen is the same as vanilla.
  • Axii is the same as vanilla.
The idea here was to have signs be less useful with lower sign intensity, and more useful with higher sign intensity, making the third tier sign skills that boost SI more viable. Further more, basic Igni needed to be nerfed, as causing burning was far too easy. This also makes alternate Igni much more useful.

Axii's stun effect has been slightly re-worked. In the vanilla version, once you had stunned/turned a human opponent, there was a relatively high chance of performing an instant finisher kill. This was overpowered, so now an attack against a stunned/turned opponent is an automatic critical hit instead.

Shock damage (Quen and Yrden) sign intensity is increased when it is raining or storming by 25%/50%, respectively.

The quen shield (both basic and alternate) is stronger during storms.

Quen no longer removes the Burning or Bleeding critical effect bus still provides immunity to them.

Aard Sweep (Alternate Aard) removes the burning effect from Geralt. 

White Raffard's Decoction removes Bleeding from Geralt.

During rain/storms, burn chance is lowered by 10/20%, respectively.
During rain/storms, burn damage is increased by 10/20%, respectively.

Base potion overdose threshold has been increased from 75% to 85%.

Hitting a flying monster with a damage dealing bomb will do +50% damage and prevent them from flying again. 

Holding parry after quick throwing the Samum bomb will protect Geralt from the blindness effect if he is in range.

Progressive Sign Damage Scaling
One issue that I've noticed is that monsters that are "susceptible" to signs in the bestiary aren't actually susceptible to their "offensive" attributes in any meaningful way. In the best case scenario they simply have zero or negative resistance to the special effects but don't actually receive any extra damage. Hence, I've created a multi-tier bracket system for fire and shock damage based on sign intensity. Note that this only applies if the following conditions are met:
  • Geralt has more than +100% Sign Intensity.
  • Monster is susceptible to either Igni (fire) or Yrden/Quen (shock) in the bestiary. Note that I've also given Elementals a significant weakness to shock, despite them not having such a weakness specified in the bestiary.
This system work in tiers (kind of like a progressive tax system) with each tier providing a greater damage boost for each extra % of Sign Intensity. Each monster also has a different level of susceptibility based on their type. This is difficult to explain in words, so suffice to say that fire/shock damage will become exponentially more powerful as your Sign Intensity increases, but only once it is over +100%. There is no bonus for +0 to +100% Sign Intensity. For those interested in the exact logic, the Sign Intensity tiers are as follows:
  • Tier 1: +100% - +199%, damage weight = 20%
  • Tier 2: +200% - +299%, damage weight = 30%
  • Tier 3: +300% - +349%, damage weight = 50%
Now, let's say I've made it so that vampires have a 200% weakness to fire. If you have a Geralt with +160% SI, and their base Igni damage is 360, they will do an extra 24% damage to vampires (so, 446). This is because they are within the first tier, so each extra % of SI here gives them extra damage up to 20% of the Vampire's total weakness (so, 20% of 200% is 40%). 

A Geralt with +350% SI and a base damage of 700, would therefore do the full extra 200%, and do a massive 2100 damage with each hit. In other words, the damage bonus from increasing your Sign Intensity from +300% to +350% is the same as increasing it from from +100% to +299%. This means that even getting small percentage boosts when you're in the  higher SI numbers is worth it, giving Sign Builds a good reason to drink those Petri Philtres.. 


DAMAGE OVER TIME RESISTANCES
For some reason, despite the framework being present in the game, none of the monsters have resistances to the actual damage done by DoT effects. Hence, I've added a simple system that decreases the effect of these criticals based on their resistances. For example, if a monster has a 70% resistance to poison, only 30% of the DoT every second will affect the monster. 


Fatigue Critical Effect

Fatigue is a debuff that only affects Geralt and has the following effects:
  • Delays Stamina Regeneration.
  • Increases Geralt's recovery time for stagger and knockdown effects. 
  • Lowers Geralt's melee damage. 
  • Lowers Adrenaline Generation.
Fatigue builds in two ways:
  • Each time Geralt's Quen (basic version) breaks (this excludes the first Quen cast). 
  • Each time Geralt is staggered/knocked down. 
When this occurs, Geralt is afflicted with Fatigue. Fatigue can stack up to 4 times and has the following effects at each level:
  1. 5% Adrenaline Generation decrease. 10% damage decrease with melee attacks. 20% higher recovery time from applied stagger/knockdown effects, 100% longer delay in regenerating stamina.
  2. 10% Adrenaline Generation decrease. 20% damage decrease with melee attacks. 40% higher recovery time from applied stagger/knockdown effects, 200% longer delay in regenerating stamina.
  3. 20% Adrenaline Generation decrease. 40% damage decrease with melee attacks. 80% higher recovery time from applied stagger/knockdown effects, 400% longer delay in regenerating stamina.
  4. 40% Adrenaline Generation decrease. 80% damage decrease with melee attacks. 160% higher recovery time from applied stagger/knockdown effects, 800% longer delay in regenerating stamina.
Fatigue is automatically removed at the end of each combat scenario. It can also be removed and prevented from generating by drinking a superior swallow potion or a Chort Decoction. The goal here was to nerf the tactic of always just recasting Quen when it breaks which basically allowed you to cheese the combat system. It also makes being stunned or knocked down more of an issue, as each time it debuffs Geralt. This also makes enemies that are able to counter your attacks a lot more dangerous. In vanilla, getting countered usually wasn't a problem, since you still recovered quickly enough to dodge the next attack (assuming you weren't surrounded). Now, get countered enough times and you won't be able to dodge the next attack. This means that once you realise an enemy is able to counter you, you need to re-think your strategy in dealing with them. 

You will know Geralt is fatigued when the HUD displays an icon with two hands bound by rope. 



Drain Critical Effect
Drain is a debuff that is applied to Geralt and lowers his Sign Intensity with each application. It can be applied the following ways:
  • Melee Attacks from Harpies, Erynias or Foglets (-10% per hit)
  • Any attack from a Specter (-20% per hit)
  • Some special monsters such as the Djinn and the Hym (-20% per hit)
  • The "Supercharged Glyphs" ability in the Yrden tree (-20% per cast)
  • The Blindness Critical Effect (-40%)
  • Summoning Alzur's Thunder (-40%)
  • The Hypnosis Critical Effect (-100%)

You can partially protect yourself from Drain by protecting yourself from the primary effects that cause it. For example, using a Superior Cat Potion gives you immunity to hypnosis which, by extension, gives you protection from Drain caused by hypnosis. Standing inside a Yrden glyph will also protect Geralt from Drain that is caused by either attacks or the blindness effect.

There is no way to remove Drain in battle, so Sign builds need to be very careful with the above foes. It automatically gets removed at the end of every combat scenario.




Burning Critical Effect
The burning critical effect was far too overpowered, both in the Vanilla game and the earlier versions of this mod, so the following changes have been made:
  • DoT burning resistances have been added to a number of monsters and buffed on already existing monsters. 
  • When an enemy is burning, critical hit damage against them is increased by 100%. This gives combat/sign hybrid builds a good incentive to interrupt an enemy's burning animation instead of just letting it play out.
  • Most monsters have been given a "Burning Resistance" ability that is applied each time they are successfully burned.
The "Burning Resistance" ability make it harder for a monster that has already been burned to be burned again. Specifically, it adds the following buffs:
  1. +30% burning DoT resistance. 
  2. +20% burning resistance. 
  3. +10% fire damage resistance.
  4. The "fear" effect from burning (where the enemy just stands there and panics) can no longer be applied. Although the burning effect can still be applied afterwards, the enemy will still attack and not be stunned. 

This ability can stack up to 3 times for each enemy. 

Overall, burning is still extremely effective against certain monsters, such as drowners/water hags and most Hybrids due to their feathers. For example, a full sign build could probably still kill a Griffin with one or two blasts of Igni. However, other monsters have had their resistances increased so that burning can be used as an effective initial debuff but will not solely win the fight for you. 

Poison Critical Effect
The poison critical effect now does a higher percentage of damage to the enemy's health. However, to balance, most monsters will become resistant to poison as it is applied. Specifically, most monsters have been given a "Detoxify" ability which means that each time the poison critical effect is applied, the monster gains a 25% DoT resistance to Poison. This means the effect has diminishing returns within a single fight. 

SKILL CHANGES
The skill system has been majorly re-worked. For one, all skills now only have one level, instead of the usual 3 or 5. This was done to make levelling have greater impact and be less incremental. Each time you receive and use a skill point it should actually have a visible effect on how your Geralt plays. To balance this, skill points are only awarded every 2/3 levels. Specifically, the changes are as follows:
  • 1 Skill Point granted every 2 levels until level 14 (2-14), then every 3 levels until level 50 (17-50). After Level 50, no more skill points are given. This gives you a maximum of 19 skill points from levelling alone. 
  • Skill Tiers 2,3 & 4 are no longer unlocked by spending skill points in the relevant tree, but rather by finding Places of Power. This encourages exploration and allows for a lot more mixing and matching between skills. You no longer have to commit to one tree to unlock the best abilities. 
  • Each tier requires 6 places of power to be unlocked (so, tier 4 skills require 18 places of power to be found in total). After 18 have been found, any new places of power from then on will grant skill points as per vanilla. Tier 1 is unlocked at the beginning of the game. 
  • Hence, including the expansions, you're looking at a maximum of about 32 skill points at level 50 if you find all the places of power and eat the magic acorn. For comparison, each tree has 20 points in it with the change described above. 
  • Based on the locations of the places of power, and assuming you play the game in the normal order (Velen->Novigrad->Skellige), the earliest you can unlock each tier is as follows:  Tier 2 - White Orchard, Tier 3 - Novigrad, Tier 4 - Skellige.
  • Skill slots unlock every 2 levels until level 13 (1-13), then every 3 levels until level 28 (16-28)
  • Mutagen Slots unlock at Levels 1,7,13,22
  • Most skills have been upgraded to their strongest version (i.e the level 3 or 5 version) with some minor exceptions. Some skills have been completely re-designed.
  • Each skill in each relevant tree grants +5% Adrenaline Generation, +2.5/s Stamina Regeneration and +20% Potion Duration, respectively.

Below are the specific skill changes. In case you don't want to read them all, I've color coded them as follows:
Red = Skill completely re-designed/overhauled
Orange = Skill had a minor design change
Green = Skill buffed/debuffed
White = Same as vanilla version

COMBAT SKILLS
Fast Attack
  1. Muscle Memory - +25% Attack Power with fast attacks
  2. Precise Blows - Critical Hit Chance +10%, Critical Hit Damage +50%. Minor nerf.
  3. Whirl - Spinning attack that strikes all foes in the surrounding area. Consumes stamina and stops Adrenaline Generation. This skill no longer uses Adrenaline as its harder to generate now and isn't worth giving up the generated points for.
  4. Crippling Strikes - A 10% chance per Adrenaline Point that a fast attack will cause a bleeding effect that damages 2% of the enemy's MAX Vitality/Essence per second for 5 seconds. The original Crippling Strikes was far too under powered with its low base value bleeding damage effect. 
Strong Attack
  1. Strength Training - +25% Attack Power with strong attacks
  2. Crushing Blows - Critical Hit Chance +10%, Critical Hit Damage +50%. Minor nerf.
  3. Rend - Deals additional damage in proportion to the Stamina consumed. Ignores enemy Defense and increases critical hit chance by 25%. Adrenaline Points increase total damage by 33%. Minor nerf to critical hit chance
  4. Sunder Armor - Reduces enemy damage resistance by 10% per Adrenaline Point. 
Defense
  1. Arrow Deflection - Deflecting an arrow generates 0.3 Adrenaline Points. Geralt can parry arrows without a skill because he's Geralt, and deflecting arrows back at the attacker is just silly
  2. Fleet Footed - An attack after a successful dodge is an automatic critical hit. Dodging is already too easy, making the original version of this skill of limited use. Instead, good dodging is now rewarded with extra damage.
  3. Counterattack - A successful counterattack has a 30% chance per Adrenaline Point of activating an instant finisher. If activated, 1 Adrenaline Point is consumed. This skill felt a bit under powered, so I changed it to make combat with humans a bit more interesting. (see https://gph.is/g/ZWwY28D)
  4. Deadly Precision - When at least 1 Adrenaline Point is available, parrying arrows, countering and will-timed dodging increase your chance of performing an instant kill. The chance bonus is lost once the effect activates or Geralt takes damage. Modified this to make it more related to the Defense tree that it belongs to. 
Marksmanship
  1. Lightning Reflexes - Time is slowed by an additional 45% while aiming the crossbow
  2. Cold Blood - Killing an enemy generates 1 Adrenaline Point. Changed this to give the crossbow a bit more tactical use in generating Adrenaline. It now needs to be timed perfectly so it kills the opponent, but the reward is 1 whole Adrenaline Point. 
  3. Anatomical Knowledge -  +25% Crossbow Critical Hit Chance.
  4. Crippling Shot - Crossbow critical hits disable monster special abilities for 25 seconds.
Battle Trance
  1. Resolve - Adrenaline Point loss upon taking damage is lowered by 50%. Nerfed as full reduction is too useful for a tier 1 skill.
  2. Undying - When Vitality reaches 0, Adrenaline Points will be consumed to heal the player. The original of this was far too overpowered. Now, you must have Adrenaline for the skill to be used at all and only 20% Vitality is healed per Adrenaline Point.
  3. Razor Focus - Instantly gain 1 Adrenaline Point when entering combat. The Adrenaline Points generated by sword blows are increased by 25%
  4. Flood of Anger - 3 Adrenaline Points (if available) and all stamina are consumed for Geralt to enter a "battle trance" mode. In this mode, time is slowed down for a duration based on how many enemies he is facing. Each successful melee attack is an automatic finisher. If the enemy is immune to finishers, double damage is dealt instead. The original version of this ability made no sense to me as it is one of the last abilities in the combat tree but is sign related. Instead, if you manage to get 3 Adrenaline Points (not an easy feat), you are rewarded by going into a quite lore specific "battle frenzy" mode where Geralt deals some real damage. (see https://gph.is/g/ZnK2yJ5)

SIGN SKILLS
Aard
  1. Far-Reaching Aard - Increases Aard's range by 3 yards
  2. Aard Sweep - Aard strikes all opponents in a certain radius
  3. Aard Intensity - Increases Aard Sign Intensity by 50%. Buffed to be more useful. 
  4. Shockwave - Aard now deals 50 stamina damage and stops enemy stamina regeneration for 3 seconds. Original was far too under powered and it never made sense for Aard to start dealing damage, Igni does a much better job of that.
Igni
  1. Melt Armor - Damage dealt by Igni also permanently lowers enemy damage resistance. Effect scales with Sign intensity up to maximum of 15%. Armor is basically a useless stat in the game, so changed this to affect damage resistance instead. 
  2. Firestream - Emits a continuous stream of fire that damages enemies. Significantly higher chance of causing burning. Slight damage buff compared to Vanilla. 
  3. Igni Intensity - Increases Igni Sign Intensity by 50%. Buffed to be more useful
  4. Pyromaniac - Igni deals +100% more damage. Sign Intensity already adequately controls your chance of causing burning, so changed this to give you more damage. 
Yrden
  1. Sustained Glyphs - Increases Sign duration by 10 seconds. Number of alternative mode charges: 9. Number of standard mode traps: 2.
  2. Magic Trap - Damages (shock) and slows enemies within a 14-yard radius. Destroys projectiles passing through this area
  3. Yrden Intensity - Increases Yrden Sign intensity by 50%. Buffed to be more useful
  4. Supercharged Glyphs - Casting any other sign while standing in a Yrden glyph will consume the glyph and supercharge the sign - amplifying its effects. Activating the ability costs 1 Adrenaline Point. If an Adrenaline Point is not available, will inflict Drain on Geralt instead. The amplification here is two fold. It amplifies the base sign and the fourth-tier skill if Geralt has it equipped. The amplifications are as follows:

Aard Base: Aard now also blinds and disorients opponents.
Shockwave Amplification: Stamina Delay increased by 200%.

Igni Base: Burn chance doubled.
Pyromaniac Amplification: +50% further damage boost (so +150% total)

Quen Base: Upon breaking, time slows down for a duration based on Geralt's SI
Quen Discharge Amplification: Will instantly kill + dismember weakened enemies.

Axii Base: Duration increased by 100%.
Domination Amplification: If an enemy under an amplified axii dies, the effect transfers to all enemies in range

Quen
  1. Exploding Shield - Quen shield pushes opponents back and deals damage when it breaks, with a chance for knock-down. Now deals shock damage instead of physical damage. Damage also significantly increased.
  2. Active Shield - Creates an active shield. Maintaining it and blocking attacks drains Stamina. Damage absorbed by the shield restores player Vitality. The strength of the shield no longer gets weaker as stamina is drained. However, the amount of stamina you have when hit controls how much of the damage heals Geralt's Vitality. Overall, the shield is generally weaker than in Vanilla but, if timed correctly, will heal Geralt. It shouldn't be used against enemies that hit hard, but rather against group enemies to provide secondary healing in a tight spot.
  3. Quen Intensity - Increases Quen Sign intensity by 50%. Buffed to be more useful
  4. Quen Discharge - Reflects 30% absorbed damage back to the attacker. Slightly buffed. 
Axii
  1. Delusion - Target does not move towards Geralt while he is casting Axii. Increases the effectiveness of Axii in dialogues. Reduces Axii casting time.
  2. Puppet - Targeted enemy briefly becomes an ally and deals 60% more damage.
  3. Axii Intensity - Increases Axii Sign intensity by 50%. Buffed to be more useful
  4. Domination - Two opponents can be influenced by Axii at the same time.

ALCHEMY SKILLS
Brewing
  1. Heightened Tolerance - Increases potion overdose threshold by 15%.
  2. Refreshment - Each potion dose imbibed heals 25% of maximum Vitality.
  3. Delayed Recovery - Potion effects don't wear off until potion Toxicity falls to 80% of the maximum level. Minor nerf.
  4. Side Effects - Imbibing a potion gives a 100% chance of activating the effects of another randomly-selected potion, without additional Toxicity cost. Removed "Killer Whale" Potion from the random potions pool.
Oil Preparation
  1. Poisoned Blades - Oils applied to blades lower the enemy's resistances to bleeding, burning and poison up to an upper limit of 50%. The higher the level of oil used, the greater the effect. Changed this to give sign/alchemy hybrid builds more utility in the alchemy tree. Can use this skill to lower enemy critical effect defenses and then take advantage of this using signs.
  2. Protective Coating - Adds 20% protection against attacks from the monster type the oil targets. Minor nerf.
  3. Fixative - Lowers damage resistance by 10% for monsters the oil targets. The original ability wasn't really all that useful for a third tier skill and was too much of a "convenience skill"
  4. Hunter Instinct - When Adrenaline Points are at their maximum, critical hit damage against the targeted enemy type is increased by 100%. Vanilla bug with this skill resolved.
Bomb Creation
  1. Steady Aim -  Time is slowed a further 45% while aiming bombs.
  2. Pyrotechnics - Bombs that inflict damage now deal +50% more damage. The original effect here was severely under powered with the constant base value increase, so I changed it so damage-dealing bombs are more lethal.
  3. Efficiency - Increases the maximum number of bombs in each slot by 3. Minor nerf.
  4. Cluster Bombs - Upon detonation bombs separate into 4 explosive fragments. Minor nerf.
Mutation
  1. Acquired Tolerance - Every known alchemy formula increases maximum Toxicity by 0.4. This effectively changes the way potions are handled as chugging potions is now not possible. 
  2. Tissue Transmutation - Mutagens provide extra secondary bonuses based on color. The greater the mutagen, the greater the bonus. Specific buffs applied are:  Lesser Red = +10% Bleeding Resistance, +2% Damage Resistance. Lesser Blue = +10% Burning Resistances, +5% Fire Resistance. Lesser Green = +10% Poison Resistance, +3 Maximum Toxicity. Normal and greater mutagens multiply these values by 2 and 3, respectively. 
  3. Synergy - Increases primary bonus for mutagen placed in mutagen slot by 50%. Doesn't affect secondary bonuses from "Tissue Transmutation".
  4. Adaptation - Lowers toxicity offset of all decoctions by 15. Changed this as decoction duration is already long enough, and this skill needed buffing. 
Trial of the Grasses
  1. Frenzy - If potion Toxicity is above 0, time automatically slows when an enemy is about to perform a counterattack.
  2. Endure Pain - Increases maximum Vitality by 50% when Toxicity exceeds the safe threshold.
  3. Fast Metabolism - Toxicity drops 1 point per second faster. Significantly nerfed as it was far too overpowered.
  4. Killing Spree - If Toxicity is above 0, each opponent killed increases critical hit chance by 50% for the duration of that fight.

GENERAL SKILLS
  1. Survival Instinct: Buffed Vitality boost to 1000
  2. Advanced Pyrotechnics: Buffed bomb Adrenaline Generation to 0.2 points
  3. Metabolic Control: Lowered Toxicity gain to 25 points
  4. Strong Back: Increased inventory weight bonus to 100
  5. Cat School Techniques: Lowered critical damage boost from 25%/per item to 10%/per item. Critical Hits are too easy to get, so this skill was way overpowered. It was also a lot more powerful than its griffin and bear counterparts. 
  6. Battle Frenzy: Critical hit chance buffed from 8% to 12% per Adrenaline Point.
  7. Attack is the Best Defense: Lowered Adrenaline boosts to: Parry 0.1, Dodge 0.2, Counter 0.3. Removed Roll. Increased cooldown from 5 to 10 seconds.

ALCHEMY ITEM CHANGES
Potions/Bombs/Decoctions/Oils have been changed to be more useful. I found that some of the decoctions especially were far too situational and unclear in their effect (what exactly IS cloudy weather?), so I've updated the stats on most of them and overhauled a few.

POTIONS
In general, potions are a lot more useful - especially the upgraded versions - but also more toxic. This means strategic potion usage is essential.
Black Blood
  • Basic: Increased damage returned from 15% to 30%. Toxicity increased from 15 to 30. Duration increased from 30 to 45 seconds. 
  • Enhanced: Increased damage returned from 20% to 60%. Toxicity increased from 15 to 30. Duration increased from 45 to 60 seconds. 
  • Superior: Increased damaged returned from 30% to 100%. Toxicity increased from 15 to 40. Duration increased from 60 to 90 seconds.
Blizzard
  • Basic: Duration increased from 15 to 20 seconds. 
  • Enhanced: Duration increased from 20 to 25 seconds.
  • Superior: Slightly increased the slow motion effect. Stamina will not be depleted if Geralt has 3 Adrenaline Points, regardless of whether the blizzard slow motion effect is currently active (this is how it was before it was patched out). 
Cat
  • Basic: Duration increased from 60 to 180 seconds. Ammo increased from 3 to 4.
  • Enhanced: Duration increased from 120 to 300 seconds. Ammo increased from 4 to 6.
  • Superior: Duration increased from 180 to 540 seconds. Ammo increased from 5 to 8. 
Full Moon
  • Basic: Increased the Vitality boost from 300 to 1000. Toxicity increased from 25 to 30. 
  • Enhanced: Increased the Vitality boost from 650 to 3000. Toxicity increased from 25 to 30. 
  • Superior: Increased the Vitality boost from 1000 to 6000. Toxicity increased from 25 to 30. 
Golden Oriole
  • Basic: Toxicity increased from 20 to 25
  • Enhanced: Toxicity increased from 20 to 25. 
  • Superior: Toxicity increased from 20 to 25. Duration increased from 180 to 210 seconds.
Maribor Forest
  • Basic: Increased the adrenaline gain boost from 15% to 20%. Toxicity increased from 20 to 35. 
  • Enhanced: Increased the adrenaline gain boost from 15% to 30%. Toxicity increased from 20 to 35. Duration decreased from 60 to 45 seconds. 
  • Superior: Increased the adrenaline gain boost from 15% to 60%. Toxicity increased from 20 to 40. Duration decreased from 90 to 60 seconds. 
Petri Philtre
  • Basic: Increased the sign intensity bonus from 15% to 30%. Toxicity increased from 25 to 30. Duration increased from 30 to 45 seconds.
  • Enhanced: Increased the sign intensity bonus from 20% to 50%. Toxicity increased from 25 to 30. Duration increased from 60 to 90 seconds.
  • Superior: Increased the sign intensity bonus from 25% to 80%. Toxicity increased from 25 to 40. Duration increased from 90 to 120 seconds. 100% chance of sign special effect removed as it was far too powerful and basically makes upgrading your sign intensity useless. Added +25% chance to all sign special effects instead.
Swallow
  • Basic: Toxicity increased from 20 to 25. Duration increased from 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Enhanced: Toxicity increased from 20 to 25. Duration increased from 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Superior: Increased vitality regen from 80/s to 90/s. Toxicity increased from 20 to 25. Duration increased from 20 to 30 seconds. Also removes the effects of fatigue and prevents it from generating. 
Tawny Owl
  • Basic: Toxicity increased from 20 to 25.
  • Enhanced: Toxicity increased from 20 to 25.
  • Superior: Increased the Stamina Regen boost from 10 to 15. Toxicity increased from 20 to 25. 
Thunderbolt
  • Basic: Toxicity increased from 25 to 30. 
  • Enhanced: Attack Power boost increased from 30% to 45%. Toxicity increased from 25 to 30.
  • Superior: Attack Power boost increased from 35% to 80%. Toxicity increased from 25 to 40. Storm effect removed, reliable +10% critical chance added.
Killer Whale
  • Toxicity increased from 10 to 15.
Pops Mold Antidote:
  • Toxicity decreased from 30 to 1. This potion is not toxic to normal humans, so it shouldn't be toxic to Geralt. 

BOMBS
In most cases, bomb damage has been buffed, but ammo count lowered for the basic bombs. Hence, upgrading the bombs and investing in bomb skills will give you a lethal ranged build.
Dancing Star
  • Basic: Damage increased from 100 to 150. Ammo count lowered from 2 to 1.
  • Enhanced: Damage increased from 100 to 250.
  • Superior: Damage increased from 100 to 500. Ammo count increased from 4 to 5.
Devil's Puffball
  • Basic: Base damage decreased from 100 to 50. Ammo count lowered from 2 to 1. 
  • Enhanced: Base damage decreased from 100 to 50. Poison damage per second increased from 1.6% to 3%. Poison Cloud Linger Duration lowered from 30 seconds to 10 seconds. 
  • Superior: Base damage decreased from 100 to 50. Ammo count increased from 4 to 5. Poison damage per second increased from 1.6% to 4%. Poison Cloud Linger Duration lowered from 30 seconds to 10 seconds. 
Dragon's Dream
  • Basic: Damage increased from 300 to 400.
  • Enhanced: Damage increased from 400 to 500.
  • Superior: Damage increased from 400 to 800. Explosion damage increased from 20 to 80.
Dimeritium
  • Basic: Blocks Gargoyle "Jump" attack, Leshen "Wolf Summon" and "Elemental Armor".
  • Enhanced: Blocks Gargoyle "Jump" attack, Leshen "Wolf Summon" and "Elemental Armor".
  • Superior: Blocks Gargoyle "Jump" attack, Leshen "Wolf Summon" and "Elemental Armor". Increased ammo count from 4 to 5.
Grapeshot
  • Basic: Decreased physical damage from 350 to 200. Increased silver damage from 350 to 400. Lowered ammo count from 2 to 1.
  • Enhanced: Decreased physical damage from 600 to 300. Increased silver damage from 600 to 800. Decreased ammo count from 3 to 2.
  • Superior: Increased silver damage from 600 to 1800. Decreased ammo count from 4 to 3.
Samum/Northern Wind
  • Enhanced: Increased ammo count from 3 to 4.
  • Superior: Increased ammo count from 4 to 6.
Moon Dust
  • Basic: Increased duration from 20 to 30 seconds. 
  • Enhanced: Increased duration from 40 to 45 seconds. Increased ammo count from 3 to 4.
  • Superior: Increased ammo count from 4 to 6. 

DECOCTIONS
All Decoctions have had their toxicity offset lowered from 70 to 60. Stats have been buffed on most, debuffed on some overpowered ones and some have been re-designed entirely to be less situational. 

Red = Decoction completely re-designed/overhauled
Orange = Decoction had a minor design change
Green = Decoction buffed/debuffed

  • Katakan: Increased Critical Hit Chance from 5% to 20%. 
  • Ekimmara: Increased Life Drain effect from 10% to 15%. 
  • Ekhidna: Stamina usage will only regenerate Vitality during combat.
  • Arachas: Lowered Damage Resistance cap from 20% to 15%.
  • Archgriffin: Increased Vitality drain from 5% to 10% of enemy's MAX Vitality/Essence, but you must have maximum stamina and 1 Adrenaline Point (which will be consumed) to activate the ability.
  • Chort: Also prevents Fatigue from generating.
  • Water Hag: Increased damage bonus from 50% to 75%. 
  • Foglet: A version of the vanilla "Flood of Anger" ability. 2 Adrenaline Points (if available) will be consumed to upgrade a sign to its full power. Still buggy like the vanilla version.
  • Noonwraith: Increases Sign Intensity by 1% for each enemy killed until Decoction wears off.
  • Nightwraith: Increased Vitality bonus from 50/per kill to 100/per kill.
  • Cockatrice: Each active potion reduces the stamina cost of casting signs by 10% up to a maximum cap of 50%.
  • Wyvern: Taking damage increases toxicity before it depletes Vitality.
  • Troll: Lowered Vitality regen effect from 100/s to 30/s out of combat and from 20/s to 10/s during combat.
  • Succubus: Attack Power bonus increased from 1% to 3%, to a maximum cap of 90%. 
  • Alghoul: Adrenaline gain increased from 50% to 70%.
  • Fiend: Encumbrance bonus increased from 20 to 80.
  • Forktail: Attack Power/Sign Intensity bonus increased from 50% to 100%.
  • Grave Hag: Vitality Regen effect increased from 5/s to 10/s.
  • Earth Elemental:  Geralt's strong attacks cannot be parried by most enemies.
  • Ancient Leshen: Draining Stamina completely will increase Stamina Regeneration for the rest of the fight. Stamina Regen increased from +2/s to +5/s. Added a maximum cap of +75/s. This works better as it removes the ability to stack on stamina regen indefinitely using Aard Sweep (since it doesn't drain all your stamina) and resolves a design flaw where sometimes signs wouldn't trigger the regen ability. 
  • Leshen: Yrden slowdown effect is increased by 10% (able to break the set cap)
  • Griffin: Each successful counter raises damage resistance by 5% for the remainder of the fight, up to a maximum cap of 20%. 
  • Basilisk: Increases bomb damage by 100%.
  • Werewolf:  Geralt's damage increases the lower his Vitality is.

OILS
Monster Oil (all oils except Beast and Hanged Man's Venom) Attack Power bonus has been increased from 10%/25%/50% to 25%/50%/100%. Enhanced/Superior monster oils now also lower the enemy's physical resistance by 10%/20%, respectively. This means applying oils is now a lot more important. To balance, they can no longer be applied during combat, so proper preparation is key.

ALCHEMY CRAFTING CHANGES
Since all the alchemy items are a lot more powerful now, the superior versions of them are also more difficult to craft. Three new alchemy items have been added to the game:
  • Black Gull: Replaces White Gull as a crafting component for all superior potions.
  • Dragon Blood: Required to craft all superior oils (excluding Hanged Man's Venom and Beast)
  • Black Powder: Required to craft all superior bombs. 

These alchemy items cannot be crafted in the game and can only be acquired from Gremist on Skellige as part of the "Practicum in Advanced Alchemy" quest and bought from him afterwards. Note that White Gull is still an important component as it is needed to craft the advanced alchemy bases such as rebis. Note that these alchemy items are very expensive. Alchemists in Toussaint [Blood and Wine] will also sell these ingredients. 

Big thank you to FrangoestoOz for designing new icons for the new alchemy ingredients. 

The following changes have also been made to dismantling:
  • Monster Feathers dismantle into Feathers (2)

The amount of herbs cultivated in Corvo Bianco's garden [Blood and Wine] has been increased from 1 to 2. 

MONSTER CHANGES
A few tweaks have been made to monster statistics as per below to improve overall balance. Also, most monsters that are encountered solo (so not in groups) have had their damage resistance increased. This is to balance the change to enhanced/superior oils which now lower targeted monster's damage resistance. One thing to note is that, as per witcher lore,  vampires are now drastically stronger than vanilla. Fighting a vampire around your level is always a challenge, fighting a vampire well above your level is likely suicide. There is an optional file called "LessRegen" for people who find the change to vampires too difficult.

BASE CHANGES
These are changes to the base stats of the monsters. This means all monsters of this type are affected. Vitality is red health, Essence is silver health. Note that the expansion versions of monster types are changes on top of their base game counterparts. 
  • Wolves/Dogs: -20-30% Vitality.
  • Black/Grizzly Bears: +30% Attack Power.
  • White Bears: +60% Attack Power, +30% Vitality.
  • Berserkers: +90% Attack Power, +60% Essence. 
  • Drowners/Water Hags: Increased Resistance to burning. However, if burning is initiated, burning damage is higher. 
  • Ghouls: Now also deal a small amount of poison damage and have immunity to Poison. 
  • Wraiths: +20% Attack Power.
  • Noonwraiths/Nightwraiths/Plague Maidens: +15% Attack Power.
  • Griffins: +15% Essence, +10% Attack Power.
  • Archgriffins: +300% Essence, +150% Attack Power. Increased chance to dodge fast and strong attacks.
  • Sirens: +30% Attack Power.
  • Wyverns: +30% Essence, +50% Attack Power.
  • Forktails: +30% Essence, +60% Attack Power. Increased chance of dodging light and heavy attacks. 
  • Cockatrice: +40% Essence, +40% Attack Power.
  • Basilisks: +50% Essence, +80% Attack Power.
  • Arachas: +40% Essence, +100% Attack Power. Added more physical damage since they did a lot of poison damage but this is easy to counter with Golden Oriole. 
  • Rock/Ice Trolls: +30% Essence.
  • Cyclops: +100% Essence, +90% Attack Power.
  • Ice Giants: +100% Essence, +90% Attack Power.
  • Fiends: +40% Essence, +60% Attack Power. Essence regen ability at 0.2% of max Essence per second.
  • Chorts: +50% Essence, +40% Attack Power. Essence regen ability at 0.5% of max Essence per second.
  • Leshen: +90% Essence, +80% Attack Power. Root attack now scales with level and does a lot more damage.
  • Ancient Leshen: +150% Essence, +80% Attack Power. Root attack now scales with level and does a lot more damage.
  • Hyms: +90% Essence, +80% Attack Power. Immunity to Poison. 
  • Summoned Leshen Wolves: +30% Essence, +60% Attack Power.
  • Golems/Elementals: +50% Essence, +70% Attack Power. 
  • Gargoyles: +50% Essence, +40% Attack Power.  
  • Ifryts: +80% Essence, +80% Attack Power.
  • Dopplers: +40% Attack Power.
  • Werewolves: +60% Essence, +70% Attack Power. Changed "essence regen" ability to be 2% of max Essence instead of base value. Increased chance of dodging light attacks. 
  • Ulfhedinn: +100% Essence, +80% Attack Power. Changed "essence regen" ability to be 5% of max Essence instead of base value. Increased chance of dodging light attacks. 
  • Ekimmara: +50% Essence, +60% Attack Power. Essence regen ability at 10% of max Essence per second. This means that they will regenerate essence faster than you can bring it down if you don't bring a Moon Dust bomb. Increased chance of dodging light attacks.
  • Katakans: +150% Essence, +150% Attack Power. Essence regen ability at 15% of max Essence per second. Increased chance of dodging light attacks. Good luck. 
  • Higher Vampires/Large Katakans [Carnal Sins Quest]: +250% Essence, +210% Attack Power. Essence regen ability at 20% of max Essence per second. Increased chance of dodging light attacks. Seriously, good luck. (NB: Despite being a base change there is only one type of this monster in-game).
  • The Wild Hunt: +50% Essence, +70% Attack Power, increased Poison and Burning resistances. Added immunity to regular critical hits. 
  • Nekkers [Hearts of Stone]: -50% Essence, +80% Attack Power.
  • Wraiths [Hearts of Stone]: -70% Essence, +30% Attack Power.
  • Wolves [Hearts of Stone]: -70% Essence, +30% Attack Power.
  • Boars [Hearts of Stone]: -35% Vitality, +50% Attack Power.
  • Bears [Hearts of Stone]: -25% Vitality, +50% Attack Power.
  • Drowners [Hearts of Stone]: -60% Essence, +50% Attack Power.
  • Ghouls [Hearts of Stone]: -20% Essence, +30% Attack Power.
  • Wyverns [Hearts of Stone]: -30% Essence. 
  • Arachnamorphs [Hearts of Stone]: -10% Essence, +40% Attack Power. Added weakness to shock damage. 
  • Large Arachnamorphs [Hearts of Stone]: +30% Essence, +50% Attack Power. Added weakness to shock damage. 
  • Olgierd's Ghost Relatives [Hearts of Stone]: +100% Essence, +50% Attack Power. Slightly increased physical resistances. 
  • Oxenfurt Witch Hunters [Hearts of Stone]: -30% Essence, +40% Attack Power. Increased burning/posioning/bleeding DoT resistances. Increased chance of countering, dodging and parrying attacks. 
  • Knight Giants (Golyat) [Blood and Wine]: +40% Attack Power. 
  • Shaelmaars [Blood and Wine]:  +40% Essence, +80% Attack Power. Increased physical, burning and burning DoT resistances. 
  • Fleders [Blood and Wine]: +160% Attack Power, increased physical, frost and burning resistances. Essence Regen at 5% of MAX Essence. Able to generate Elder Adrenaline. See below for more details. 
  • Garkains [Blood and Wine]: +500% Essence, +90% Attack Power, increased physical, frost and burning resistances. Essence Regen at 15% of MAX Essence. Able to generate Vampire Adrenaline. See "Blood and Wine Vampires" for more details. 
  • Alps [Blood and Wine]: -75% Essence, -70% Attack Power, increased fire, frost, shock and burning resistances. Essence Regen at 25% of MAX Essence. Able to generate Vampire Adrenaline. See "Blood and Wine Vampires" for more details. 
  • Bruxae [Blood and Wine]: -70% Essence, -70% Attack Power, increased fire, frost, shock, bleeding and burning resistances. Essence Regen at 33% of MAX Essence. Able to generate Vampire Adrenaline.  See "Blood and Wine Vampires" for more details.
  • Endregas [Blood and Wine]: +70% Attack Power. 
  • Panthers [Blood and Wine]: +25% Attack Power.
  • Giant Centipedes [Blood and WIne]: +30% Essence, +30% Attack Power, increased physical, fire, burning and bleeding resistances. Removed minor shock resistance and added weakness to shock. Added resistance to burning DoT effect. 
  • Archespores [Blood and Wine]: +50% Essence, +50% Attack Power, increased physical and bleeding resistances. Added weakness to fire. 
  • Barghests [Blood and Wine]: +30% Essence, +100% Attack Power. Added immunity to poison and bleeding.
  • Kikimore Worker [Blood and Wine]: +20% Attack power. 
  • Kikimore Warrior [Blood and Wine]: +20% Essence, +30% Attack Power. 
  • Wights [Blood and Wine]: Slightly increased physical resistances. 
  • Slyzards [Blood and Wine]: +30% Essence, +30% Attack Power. Increased physical and fire damage resistances. Added immunity to burning. Added weakness to shock. 
  • Spriggans [Blood and Wine]: +70% Essence, +70% Attack Power. Increased physical, bleeding and frost resistances. Lowered burning resistance and added weakness to fire. Added immunity to poison.

INDIVIDUAL CHANGES
These are changes made to individual monsters, usually specific contract or side quest monsters. Note that the monsters listed here will have the below changes on top of any "base changes" of their monster type described above.
  • Werewolf [Ciri's Story: King of Wolves Quest]: -60% Essence. Significantly lowered essence regen ability as Ciri has no moon dust bombs so otherwise Werewolf is too difficult to beat. 
  • Werewolf [Wild At Heart Quest]: -80% Essence, -60% Attack Power. Re-balanced due to werewolves being buffed significantly and this being an early game quest. 
  • Werewolf [Whispering Hillock Quest]: -60% Essence, -70% Attack Power, -50% Essence Regen. Re-balanced due to werewolves being buffed significantly and this being an early game quest.
  • Shrieker [Cockatrice Contract]: -40% Essence, -40% Attack Power. Debuffs applied to even out the buffs given to Cockatrices in general. For some reason, the Shrieker was already given a massive Essence boost in vanilla, despite being an early game monster hunt. 
  • Nithral [Wild Hunt minion in "Wandering in the Dark" Quest]: +150% Essence, +100% Attack Power. Re-balanced as Kiera does more damage now. 
  • Keira Metz [Hostile Version in the "Advancement for Learning" Quest]: -40% Vitality, +80% Attack Power, +80% Spellpower. Sorceresses are very dangerous, one hit from Keira should basically kill you. 
  • The White Lady [Noonwraith Contract]: +30% Essence, +40% Attack Power.
  • Sarasti (Ekimmara) [The Mystery of the Byways Murders Quest]: +100% Essence, +110% Attack Power.
  • Abaya (Water Hag) [Muire D'yaeblen Contract]: +30% Essence, +40% Attack Power
  • Kernun (Leshen) [Contract: Lord of the Wood Quest]: +20% Attack Power.
  • Lord of Undvik (Ice Giant): +40% Essence, +20% Attack Power. Increased Poison Resistance.
  • Melusine (Siren/Ehkidna) [Contract: Here Comes the Groom Quest]: +300% Essence.
  • Morkvarg (Werewolf) [In Wolf's Clothing Quest]: +150% Essence, +120% Attack Power. Essence Regen ability at 5% of max Essence. Increased chance of dodging fast attacks. 
  • Hagubman (Nekker Warrior) [Contract: Strange Beast]: +40% Attack Power.
  • Gael (Katakan) [Contract: The Oxenfurt Drunk]: +80% Essence, +40% Attack Power. Important Note: During the first phase of this fight, you're not able to use bombs for whatever reason, they're blocked by the quest. This makes the fight impossible since you can't get the Katakan's health down due to its really high regeneration rate. To get past this issue, I had to unlock all bomb throws that are blocked by quests. This may have unintended consequences. 
  • Frysdal Dragon (Forktail) [Contract: The Dragon of Frysdal Quest]: +40% Attack Power.
  • Morkvudd (Fiend) [Contract: Missing Son Quest]: +40% Essence, +60% Attack Power. Increased essence regen to 0.8% per second. +30% Bleeding DoT resistance.
  • Gatekeeper (Sylvan) [Bald Mountain Quest]: +300% Essence, +100% Attack Power. 
  • Imlerith: +120% Essence. Immune to frost magic. Very high DoT resistances to poisoning and bleeding.
  • Wild Hunt Ghosts [The Sunstone Quest]: +40% Attack Power. 
  • Caranthir: +180% Essence, +70% Attack Power. Immune to frost magic and poisoning. Very high resistance to regular critical hits. Increased DoT resistance to bleeding. 
  • Eredin: +180% Essence, +100% Attack Power. Immune to frost magic and poisoning. Very high resistance to regular critical hits. Increased DoT resistance to bleeding. 
  • Toad Prince [Hearts of Stone]: +30% Attack Power, Added High Resistance to fire damage and causing burning. However, if caught alight, burning damage is higher. Removed 88% critical hit damage reduction. If a critical hit is struck, will do full damage. Slightly lowered chance of scoring regular critical hit. 
  • Caretaker [Hearts of Stone]: +50% Essence, +70% Attack Power. Slightly increased physical resistances. Removed 80% critical hit damage reduction. Added high resistance to regular critical hits. Removed minuscule and pointless slight weakness to fire damage. Added weakness to shock. Significantly increased the amount of Essence his shovel heals on "Blood and Broken Bones" and "Death March" difficulties. 
  • Iris [Hearts of Stone]: +60% Essence, +90% Attack Power. Removed random weakness to fire and burning that isn't present on any other nightwraiths in the game. Added shock weakness. Increased essence regen ability on "Death March" difficulty. Removed 70% critical hit damage reduction. Added significant resistance to regular critical hits. Lowered the amount of time you have before Iris is sucked into a painting and completely rejuvenated on "Blood and Broken Bones" and "Death March" difficulties. 
  • Innkeep's Daughter (Bruxa) [Blood and Wine - The Beast of Toussaint Quest]: -70% Essence, -30% Attack Power. Bruxae are very difficult with the new "Elder Adrenaline" gameplay changes, so removed most of the buffs given to this "quest bruxa".
  • Tournament Shaeelmaar [Blood and Wine - The Beast of Toussaint Quest]: -20% Attack Power, removed extra burning resistance as added some to all Shaelmaars.  
  • Hermit [Blood and Wine - There Can Be Only One Quest]: +40% Vitality.
  • Tesha Mutna Monsters [Blood and Wine - La Cage au Fou Quest]: +60% Essence, +70% Attack Power on "Blood and Broken Bones" difficulty and below.  +120% Essence, +110% Attack Power on "Death March" difficulty. Good luck. 
  • Daphne [Blood and Wine - Tree Lady]: +80% Essence, +60% Attack Power. 
  • Silver Basilisk [Blood and Wine]: +60% Attack Power. Removed resistance to DoT Burning and added weakness to fire. It's made clear in the conversations that the beast is very weak to fire. 
  • Statue Mages [Blood and Wine - Extreme Cosplay]: -30% Attack Power so you don't die as soon as combat begins. 
  • Vampire Horde [Blood and Wine - Night of the Long Fangs Quest]: Removed extra damage/essence given to vampires in this quest. They're tough enough alredy with the general changes made to Vampires with this mod. 
  • Fairytale Witch [Blood and Wine - Lands of A Thousand Fables]: +50% Essence, +80% Attack Power. Increased physical, fire, burning and burning DoT resistances. Increased chance of dodging projectiles and strong attacks. 
  • Fairytale Bear [Blood and Wine - Lands of A Thousand Fables]: +150% Essence, +50% Attack Power.
  • Fairytale Wolves [Blood and Wine - Lands of A Thousand Fables]: +40% Attack Power. 
  • Fairytale Pixies [Blood and Wine - Lands of A Thousand Fables]: +30% Essence, +100% Attack Power. Added immunity to burning, bleeding, poison and frost. 
  • Fairytale Werewolf [Blood and Wine - Lands of A Thousand Fables]: +100% Essence, +150% Attack Power. Decreased resistance to burning DoT. Added resistance to burning. 
  • Fairytale Giant [Blood and Wine - Lands of A Thousand Fables]: +100% Essence, +60% Attack Power. Added substantial shock resistance. 
  • Dettlaff: Vampire Form [Blood and Wine]: +300% Essence, +70% Attack Power, increased bleeding, burning and fire damage resistances. Immunity to frost and poison. Essence Regen at constant 1500 per second. Immune to regular critical hits. Able to generate Vampire Adrenaline. See "Blood and Wine Vampires" for more details. 
  • Dettlaff: Monster/Bat Form [Blood and Wine]: +560% Essence. Increased shock damage resistance. Added physical, bleeding and poison resistances. Added DoT resistances to burning, bleeding and poison. Added immunity to frost. Essence Regen at 5% of Max Essence per second. Added massive weakness to fire. Immune to the Archgriffin Decoction. Able to generate Vampire Adrenaline. See "Blood and Wine Vampires" for more details. May God have mercy on your soul. 
  • Dettlaff: Nightmare Forms [Blood and Wine]: +30% Attack Power. Health dependant on difficulty. Increased chance of dodging strong attacks. See "Blood and Wine Vampires" for more details. 


HUMAN ENEMY CHANGES
Human enemy statistics have been modified significantly. Fighting humans should be quick - it will either go your way or it won't. Where as monsters come in many varieties, a human is a human. One may be more skilled than another, but a good (or lucky) sword hit will bring them down. Despite Geralt's mutations, those who recall how the books end know that this includes him. So, my goal for modifying human combat was as follows:
  • Make it less about statistics and more about player skill
  • A hit from a sword should be more lethal, both against enemies and yourself
  • More immersive/realistic - a peasant with a small blackjack should not be parrying Geralt nor surviving 5 hits from Geralt's steel sword, despite his level.
With that in the mind, the following changes have been made:
  • Vitality for human enemies decreased by about 50% across the board - including the amount of extra Vitality each level brings. 
  • Attack Power of human enemies increased by about 50% across the board, including the amount each extra level brings.
  • Range of abilities/skills modified across human enemy ranks. For example, random thugs/peasants you meet in Velen are now a lot more useless at blocking Geralt's attacks, as it should be. Conversely, soldiers and elite fighters are now more likely to learn and adapt to Geralt. Compared to vanilla, you will likely find human enemies to be easier in the early game, and harder in the late game.
  • How difficult a human enemy is is more based on their gear than stats now. A general rule of thumb, the more armored a human enemy looks, the more trouble they likely are.
  • Poison resistance increased for human enemies across the board. This was done so a whole room of enemies couldn't be cleared by Devil's Puffball. From an in-game perspective, I'd like to think that some of the more skilled fighters would be smart enough to hold their breath when they see green mist. 
  • Critical hits are significantly more difficult to get against human enemies. For the highly skilled opponents, its completely impossible without the use of a skill, bomb or sign like Fleet Footed, Samum or Axii.
There were also some specific stat changes as below:
  • Rosa var Attre: -50% Vitality
  • Order of the Wild Rose Knights [Hearts of Stone]: -30% Vitality, +40% Attack Power, increased chance of parrying, dodging and countering. For some reason, all the human enemies in HoS were turned into damage sponges. I've instead turned them into more capable fighters. 
  • Oferi Soldiers [Hearts of Stone]: -10% Vitality, +50% Attack Power. 
  • Oferi Mage [Hearts of Stone]: -30% Vitality. -25% Attack Power. Significantly higher resistance to frost magic (Northern Wind Bombs). Removed 50% critical hit damage reduction. 
  • Olgierd [Hearts of Stone]: -30% Vitality, +50% Attack Power. Significantly lowered resistances. Removed 85% critical hit damage reduction. Added immunity to regular critical hits. 
  • Loth Halfbreed [Blood and Wine - Hansa Boss]: +200% Vitality, increased burning DoT resistance. I wanted to increase his combat skills but for some reason the game won't let me. Once you disarm him of his shield, he becomes a cake walk, no matter how i mess with his stats. 
  • The Big Knight [Blood and Wine - Capture the Castle Quest]: +300% Vitality, +60% Attack Power. 

Adaptive Human Intelligence (AHI)
This is a new mechanic introduced with v1.7 of the mod, and is made to make human enemies smarter. As they fight you, they will learn Geralt's combat maneuvers and will become more capable warriors as the fight progresses. Specifically, buffs are applied:
  • Each time an enemy parries Geralt's sword strike.
  • Any allies of the enemy that parried Geralt's attack also have buffs applied, though to a lesser extent. 
  • Each time an enemy is killed, the remaining humans will become more defensive. 

When enemies parry Geralt's attacks, the specific buffs that are applied are as follows:
  • Increased chance to parry Geralt's attacks
  • Decreased chance to lower their guard
  • Decreased chance to stand and taunt Geralt
  • Increased chance to dodge fast and strong attacks
  • Increased chance to counter Geralt

These buffs are not applied to any enemies affected by critical effects such as stun, stagger or knockdown. 

It is also possible to debuff the enemies through effective fighting. Specifically, the following will partially remove these buffs:
  • Parrying enemy attacks. 
  • Countering enemy attacks. This will debuff the enemy more than just parrying. 
  • Using Axii to stun enemies. The magnitude of the debuff effect here is based on Geralt's Sign Intensity. 

Furthermore, each time Geralt dodges an attack, the enemy will compensate for this by picking up their speed. This buff can be removed by either:
  • Successfully countering the enemy
  • Using Axii on the enemy

Lastly, the following now permanently disorient human enemies, meaning any AHI buffs are removed and prevented for being reapplied:
  • Samum Bombs. 
  • Supercharged Aard.

I've found that this makes the combat with humans more engaging, as you'll find they become more dangerous as they realise Geralt is not someone to be trifled with. It also makes parrying a more viable option than just dodging. Furthermore, it discourages consistently attacking the same opponent until they lower their guard. In Vanilla, you would simply spam attack against a single opponent until he was dead. Doing so now may be helpful in the short run, but each time the enemy parries you, the group ends up getting smarter. Hence, switching opponents between attacks becomes more tempting, despite being more risky.

RUNEWORD CHANGES [HEARTS OF STONE]
I've left most of the runeword stuff alone, with just the following five changes:
  • Deflection: Deflects arrows back at the attacker. 
  • Preservation: Name changed to Augmentation. Will now apply the armorer table and grindstone bonuses each time combat is initiated and then remove them afterwards. This works around the vanilla bug where certain cutscenes would remove the buffs and players would have to find another table/grindstone to reapply them.
  • Elation: Fatal blows always generate 0.2 Adrenaline Points. 
  • Retribution: Gives a 15% chance per Adrenaline Point that all incoming damage is blocked and reflected back at the attacker.
  • Severance: Whirl now uses Adrenaline as well as Stamina, but is also able to generate Adrenaline if used properly. The goal is to deal damage quicker and therefore generate Adrenaline faster than you are losing Adrenaline - turning this into a "high risk, high reward" attack. 


MUTATION CHANGES [BLOOD AND WINE]
The mutation system is cool but, for the most part, severely overpowered. Hence, I've made some changes to give them buffs/nerfs where needed and bring them in line with the new skill point system.
  • Deadly Counter: Costs 0 Skill Points. Finisher trigger increased from 25% to 50%.   
  • Magic Sensibilities: Costs 0 Skill Points. Significantly nerfed both the chance of a sign critical hit activating and the damage it does. 
  • Toxic Blood: Costs 0 Skill Points.  Lowered damage dealt per point of Toxicity from 1.5% to 0.6%.
  • Bloodbath: Costs 1 Skill Point. Attack Power bonus increased to 10%. Max Cap decreased to 200%. 
  • Piercing Cold: Costs 1 Skill Point. Freeze chance now scales with sign intensity and multiplies with the amount of Adrenaline Points you have. Removed the extra damage. 
  • Euphoria: Costs 1 Skill Point. Decreased bonus from 0.75% to 0.5% per toxicity points. 
  • Adrenaline Rush: Costs 1 Skill Point. Increased duration to 45 seconds. Decreased attack power bonus to 25%. Increased debuff cap to 80%.
  • Cat Eyes: Costs 1 Skill Point.
  • Conductors of Magic: Costs 1 Skill Point.
  • Mutated Skin: Costs 1 Skill Point. Lowered damage reduction per Adrenaline Point from 15% to 10%. 
  • Second Life: Costs 2 Skill Points. Decreased cooldown to 90 seconds. 
  • Metamorphosis: Costs 2 Skill Points. Completely re-designed - First Decoction drank has no toxicity cost and either a significantly increased effect or duration (see below for details, can also be found in game in the decoction descriptions/tooltips).
Metamorphosis
  • Alghoul Decoction: Adrenaline Point gain remains even after attacked
  • Ancient Leshen Decoction: Duration tripled
  • Arachas Decoction: Resist bonus doubled
  • Archgriffin Decoction: No longer drains Stamina. 
  • Basilisk Decoction: Damage bonus doubled
  • Chort Decoction: Duration tripled
  • Cockatrice Decoction: Cap increased to 100%.
  • Doppler Decoction: Critical Hit Damage bonus doubled
  • Earth Elemental Decoction: Duration tripled
  • Ekhidna Decoction: Vitality restore doubled
  • Ekimmara Decoction: Vitality restore doubled
  • Fiend Decoction: Duration tripled
  • Foglet Decoction: Only costs 1 Adrenaline Point to cast
  • Forktail Decoction: Bonus lasts for entire combat scenario when activated once
  • Grave Hag Decoction: Duration tripled
  • Griffin Decoction: Resist Cap doubled to 40%
  • Katakan Decoction: Critical Hit Chance doubled
  • Leshen Decoction: Duration tripled
  • Nekker Warrior Decoction: Damage doubled
  • Nightwraith Decoction: Duration tripled
  • Noonwraith Decoction: Duration tripled
  • Reliever's Decoction: Bonuses doubled
  • Succubus Decoction: Cap doubled to 120%
  • Troll Decoction: Duration tripled
  • Water Hag Decoction: Duration tripled
  • Werewolf Decoction: Damage doubled
  • Wraith Decoction: Quen shield activates at 1/6 Vitality loss
  • Wyvern Decoction: Toxicity increase halved


BLOOD AND WINE VAMPIRES
Due to the close proximity to the elder vampire, the vampires of Toussaint have special mutations that their cousins from the North lack. Specifically, this translates to an ability called "Elder Focus" which makes the Vampires of Toussaint extremely dangerous. However, like all powerful abilities, it also opens them up to some very specific weaknesses. This ability is only used by following vampire variants:
  • Fleders/Protofleders
  • Garkains
  • Bruxa/Alps
  • Dettlaff

This ability allows vampires to generate Adrenaline like Geralt. However, unlike Geralt, vampires generate it not by delivering blows, but rather by receiving them. The following attacks will generate adrenaline for enemy vampires:

  • Fast Attacks/Offensive Signs (excluding Yrden): +2% Adrenaline. 
  • Strong Attacks: +5% Adrenaline. 
  • Rend: +10% Adrenaline. 

This goes up to a maximum of 100% Adrenaline. 

Adrenaline has the following effects on the vampire:
  • Increases Damage Ouput. 
  • Increases Speed. 
  • Decreases Damage Resistance. 

Hence, the more Adrenaline a vampire has, the more dangerous they become, but also the more damage they are able to receive. Furthermore, Superior Black Blood potions have an extremely corrosive and reactive effect with vampire adrenaline. If a vampire who has adrenaline attacks a Geralt who has the potion in his blood, it will have devastating effects on the Vampire's biology. The exact effect is dependant on the vampire (see below for more details). It will also deplete the Vampire of all of their Adrenaline. This has the following effects:

  • Returns the Vampire's damage output to their base value. 
  • Returns the Vampire's speed to their base value. 
  • The Loss in Damage Resistance will persist and does not return to its base value.
  • As some of the vampire Adrenaline has gotten into Geralt's blood, it will partially increase Geralt's Adrenaline. 

This change opens up a whole new gameplay dynamic in dealing with vampires in Blood and Wine and makes the gameplay a lot more interesting (in my opinion).

VAMPIRE TACTICS
Below are details on these vampires and their new powers and how Black Blood affects Adrenaline. I've covered the "Tactics" part so it isn't immediately visible in case people want to figure it out on their own. If you want to see it, just highlight it. 

Key:
Red = Vampire strengths
Green = Vampire weaknesses
Black = Effects of Superior Black Blood

Vampiresses [Bruxa & Alps]
+Extremely high regen powers that cannot be stopped by using Moon Dust Bombs. 
+Immune to frost.
+Near immunity to fire and shock damage and burning.
+Extremely fast and only get faster as their Adrenaline increases. 
+Able to easily inflict knockdown and fatigue Geralt.
+Extremely high parry, evade and counter scores. 
+Invisibility. 


-Comparatively low damage. However, this will increase with their Adrenaline.
-Medium damage resistances. 
-Very low health. 
-No critical hit resistances. 
-No bleeding or poisoning resistances. 


Black Blood applies the following debuffs. The more adrenaline that is lost, the higher the debuff. The debuff can be applied multiple times:
  • Lowers parry, evade and counter scores. 
  • Lowers bleeding , poison, knockdown and burning resistances. 
  • Lowers fire and shock damage resistances.
  • Lowers Regen powers. 

Do note that as they regenerate Adrenaline, it will counteract these debuffs and eventually remove them entirely. Bruxa also have a bite attack that if performed on a Geralt with Black Blood will permanently stop their regen abilities. 

TACTICS: One's first instinct may be to drink Black Blood at the beginning of the fight. This will work, the problem is that each hit you land will also generate Adrenaline for the vampire and counteract the black blood debuffs. Hence, this tactic is only advised if you're very good at dodging the Bruxa's attacks and won't get hit.
The key here is to fight them for as long as possible without using Black Blood and getting just one or two hits in where possible. Yes, this means they get faster and stronger as they build Adrenaline. However, drinking a Black Blood at the right moment will then apply so many debuffs that the vampire will be greatly weakened and Geralt can close in for a quick kill. Moon Dust is also helpful here to put a damper on their invisibility so they are easier to keep track of.


Fleders/Protofleders
+Very High Damage Output that only increases with their Adrenaline. 
+High physical resistances. 
+Significant resistance to critical hits. 
+Significant resistance to frost magic. 
+Can easily fatigue Geralt. 


-Comparatively low regen powers. 
-Regen powers that can be stopped by Moon Dust Bombs.
-A very high weakness to fire. 
-No critical effect resistances. 


Black Blood reacts very violently with the Adrenaline in Fleder blood, dealing a large amount of damage to the Fleder. The higher the Fleder's adrenaline, the more the reflected damage back is multiplied. If its high enough, it can even kill the Fleder outright. 


TACTICS: Fleders are the easiest of the new vampire breeds to deal with. The biggest issue is that they deal large amounts of damage and have a high physical resistance. If you have a lot of skills/alchemy items that can lower resistance, then it is completely possible to deal with them the conventional way. Throw a moon dust bomb and wittle them down. 
Alternatively, if you feel like you can handle the extra damage (Superior Full Moon helps) and speed (Yrden to slow them down), then allowing them to build adrenaline for a time will allow you to deal a very large amount of damage back using Black Blood. Just ensure you throw a Moon Dust bomb beforehand to ensure they don't start regenerating. 


Garkains
+Extremely high level of health. 
+Extremely high physical damage resistances.
+Significant resistance to frost magic. 
+Moderately high damage output that will increase with their Adrenaline. 
+Moderate regen powers. 
+Can easily fatigue Geralt.


-Regen powers than can be stopped my Moon Dust Bombs. 
-High weakness to fire. 
-No critical effect resistances. 
-No critical hit resistances. 


Black Blood is highly poisonous to Garkains that have adrenaline in their blood. The higher the amount of Adrenaline that is lost, the longer the poison effect lasts. 

TACTICS: The biggest issue with Garkains is their extremely high health and resistances. Although fighting them conventionally is possible, it will take a lot of time and will require a build that is able to deal very high amounts of damage. 
Alternatively, if you're able to withstand fighting them at full strength for a short time, A black blood potion will then poison them and lower their damage resistances signficantly, making them go down quicker.


Dettlaff - Vampire Form
+High Health Regen (1500 Health/per second) that can't be stopped by Moon Dust Bombs.
+Very High Health. 
+High Attack Power that increases as he generates Adrenaline. 
+Very high speed which increases as he generates Adrenaline. 
+Life Drain Ability - Each attack he lands heals 5% of his MAX Health. 
+Immunity to frost and poison. 
+High resistances to knock-down/stagger and bleeding.
+Low Resistances to burning and shock damage. 
+Immune to regular critical hits. 


-Countering him will temporarily put him in a weakened state. 
-Moon Dust Bombs will temporarily put him in a weakened state. 
-Significant weakness to fire damage. 


Black Blood applies the following debuffs. The debuff is higher the more Adrenaline that is lost. It can be applied multiple times:
  • Lowers Regen Powers. 
  • Blocks his Life Drain Ability. 

Note that as he regenerates Adrenaline, it will counteract the Black Blood Debuffs and eventually remove it completely. 

TACTICS: Dettlaff was already really tough in the vanilla game and now he's even tougher. His biggest advantage is his health regen, which you will need to counteract before you can start dealing damage. This can be done in two ways:

Countering his jump attack will pause his regen for 8 seconds. 
Black Blood and him losing adrenaline will decrease his regen powers. 


The key is to weaken him with a counter, get a number of hits in and then back off. You want to get his adrenaline relatively high so when you drink the Black Blood you take his regen abilities down. Don't worry if you lose the first fight with him, you're not expected to win. It is just to give you an idea of how he fights so you're ready the next time. 


Vanilla bug: During the first fight against Dettlaff, a cutscene is supposed to trigger if he gets close to killing you. This won't happen if you drink a Superior Full Moon. For some reason, boosting your health like this will block the cutscene and you will get a "Game Over" screen if you lose. 




Dettlaff - Monster/Bat Form
+Extremely High Health
+Moderate Health Regen (5% per second)
+High Damage output (especially the bat swarm attack) that increases with his Adrenaline
+High Physical Damage Resistance
+Immunity to Frost
+Immunity to the Archgriffin Decoction
+High Resistances to shock damage and bleeding
+High DoT Resistances
+Will remove the effects of Black Blood with each hit. If Geralt doesn't have black blood in his system, will remove Moon Dust instead, there by restarting his regen.
+Easily Fatigues Geralt


-Massive weakness to fire
-Regen can be stopped by Moon Dust Bombs
-No Critical Hit resistances


As this is Dettlaff's most powerful form, Black Blood has limited effect here. It doesn't even block his Adrenaline Generation. This means he can't be stopped from increasing his speed and damage. You need to make sure every hit you land is doing large amounts of damage. However, Black Blood is still important as if he hits you without it active, he will restart his regen - making him virtually impossible to beat. 

TACTICS: This is an extremely tough battle. Superior Full Moon is almost mandatory to survive. It is very important to avoid his Bat Swarm attack as it could be an instant kill. The best advantage you can have is to throw a bomb at him during the short pause he does as he dives towards you. This will give you a decent window to do as much damage as possible to him. Also, keep in mind that each strike he lands will remove Black Blood from your system, so you need to keep some toxicity spare in case this happens. 


Dettlaff - Nightmare Forms

The nightmare blob things are interesting because unlike other enemies in the game, they don't actually have a working health bar. In Vanilla, all the Dettlaff clones that attack you in the nightmare phase require 5 hits to kill. It doesn't matter how much damage you do, if it is a strong or fast attack or a sign (though there is a cooldown on the signs so you can't just spam them). I've increased the number of hits to 8 on "Blood and Broken Bones" difficulty, and to 12 on "Death March" difficulty. Furthermore, if they land an attack on Geralt who does not have Superior Black Blood, they will be healed by one hit. 

DIFFICULTY
I would say the mod makes the game somewhat more difficult than vanilla. If you prepare properly before entering a fight, you should be fine. The only exception are vampires, they have intentionally been made to be a lot more difficult. Ultimately, whatever difficulty level you were comfortable with for vanilla should be fine here as well if you don't mind a slightly elevated challenge. 

INSTALLATION (FRESH NEW GAME)
  1. Place "modRedux" in your "mods" folder. Create a "mods" folder if there isn't one in your installation directory. 
  2. If you're running any other mods, you'll almost definitely need to run ScriptMerger.
  3. I can confirm that the following popular mods are compatible with Redux: Friendly Meditation and All Quest Objectives on Map.
  4. To get the "Toggle Cat" enhancement working, you'll need to either replace your input.settings file (usually under C:/Users/[User]/Documents/The Witcher 3) with the one I've attached or add the input lines yourself. If you replace it, you're going to get all my personalised settings, which you probably don't want, so I suggest adding it manually yourself. All you need to do is add the line "IK_F=(Action=ToggleCat)" under headings "Boat", "BoatPassenger", "Diving", "Exploration", "Horse" and "Swimming". Note that you don't have to use F (my parry key), you can use any key you wish. If you're not using keyboard and mouse, you'll need to change the controller settings. I haven't looked into that, but it shouldn't be too difficult. 
  5. Chances are this mod is not compatible with any other gameplay overhaul mods. 
  6. Once again, this mod does not work with NG+. Follow the further instructions below if you are using an existing vanilla save. 

INSTALLATION (VANILLA SAVE)
Follow all the installation instructions for Fresh New Game, and then also do the following:

Before you start, you will need the following:
  1. A vanilla save from v1.31+ of the game where you have not unlocked the Blood and WIne Mutation System. 
  2. Version 2.3+ of the Redux mod. 
  3. Knowledge of how many Places of Power you have visited and drawn from. 
  4. Knowledge of how many skill points you should have at your current level + 1 based on Redux's levelling system. There is an image attached that shows you what your total skill points should be at each level. 
  5. Access to the Debug Console.

To make a vanilla save work, do the following steps in the exact order specified:
  1. Remove all skills and mutagens. 
  2. Drink a Clearance Potion to return all points to the pool. If you don't have one, you can add one by running additem('Clearing Potion', 1) in the debug console.
  3. Open up Debug Console, type rebuildskilltree() and press Enter. Your skills should now all have only one level.
  4. Open up the Debug Console, type levelfix() and press Enter. You now may notice that you have a negative number of experience points. Don't worry, we'll solve that in a second. 
  5. Open up the Debug Console, type levelup() and press Enter. Levelling up should fix your experience issue, as well as unlock any skill slots you should have unlocked for your level. If levelling up gave you a skill point, run removeskillpoints(1) to remove the point so the math we do later is easier. 
  6. Open up Debug Console, type addskillpoints(x) where X is the number of skill points you should have up to this point with Redux. For example, a level 6 should have 3 skill points. A level 19 should have 8. 
  7. Open up Debug Console, type addshrinepoints(x) where X is the number of places of power you have drawn from. Once this is done, you should see yourself getting closer or having unlocked the later skill tiers. Note that if you have found over 18 places of power, only run addshrinepoints(18). Any places of power you've found after 18 you should add as skill points. For example, if you've found 20 places of power, you'd run addshrinepoints(18) and then addskillpoints(2)

Your vanilla save should now function as a proper Redux Save. However, there is only so much testing I can do, so let me know if you run into any issues. You should be able to follow the same process to change it back to a vanilla save if you want, but I haven't tested that, so no idea. 

FAQ
I'm getting the following error during installation: 
Error [modredux]game\types.ws(52): Enum 'EAreaName' already defined.
Error [modredux]game\types.ws(68): Enum 'EDlcAreaName' already defined.

This is a version issue, please ensure you're using v1.31 NOT v1.32 of the game. Also, if you're not using the GOTY version or if you're running other mods, you will need the unification/community patch. 

If you're using the GOG version, don't download the v1.32 patch. It's bad and stops most mods from working. 

If you're using the Steam version of the game, it will automatically update you to v1.32. Use the following mod to patch the game back to v1.31 if the unification/community patch alone doesn't fix things:
https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/3374?tab=files

If you still keep getting the error, you can try the following:
Open Types.ws with an editor and comment out line 52 to line 128 (at the beginning of line 52 type "/*" at the end of line 128 type "*/")

The skill system still has more than one level per skill and some of the changes don't seem to be working (i.e Places of Power are not unlocking skills, game is freezing up sometimes during slowdown segments...). 

This either means you have attempted to load a vanilla or non-Redux save with this mod without following the vanilla specific installation instructions above or are running multiple mods and haven't merged them correctly. If you're running multiple mods, please use Script Merger to ensure they're all able to function together. You may also need to play around with the load order.

Werewolves/Vampires regenerate health way too fast! They're impossible!
This is by design. Vampires especially are not beatable without Moon Dust Bombs, which stops their regeneration. Note that, unlike the superior version, the basic and enhanced versions have a limited duration, so you need to keep a mental note of how long the enemy has been under Moon Dust and throw another bomb to ensure regen doesn't restart. Devil's Puffballs are also very useful in counteracting the regen. If you find this game mechanic to be too difficult, there is an optional file called "LessRegen". This puts a cap on enemy regen abilities so Moon Dust Bombs are no longer required to beat them.

I'm currently playing the mod on an earlier version. Can I update to the latest version and still continue with my save?
Yes, saves are compatible across different versions of the mod.