Avallac'h is more or less made from this trope. While an antagonist in the books, he actively helps Ciri throughout the game and even manages to win her respect. Which becomes a Broken Pedestal due to Ciri hearing second-hand information from Avallac'h's mistress which may not be true. What's his goal? Is he a racist or not? Does he feel anything for Ciri other than a useful tool? We never learn for sure.
Emperor Emhyr gets his own. We know he wants to protect his daughter and give her the throne but is that for Ciri's good, the Empire's good, or his own legacy? Has he reconsidered his Squick plan? If he manages to win the war against Redania, he also proceeds to continue fighting against the North despite having made a secret treaty to stop fighting if Radovid is assassinated. He does however keep his word to Roche.
Roche gets one in the Reasons of State quest. After you slay Radovid, he reveals he's part of a secret treaty to surrender Temeria to the Nilfgaard Empire in order to have peace—leaving Aedirn and Lyria to their conquest as well. Dikjstra promptly arrives, quoting the Witcher equivalent of Hamlet, and orders him (and Thaler and Ves) killed because he intends to ascend to the Redanian throne and continue the war. Geralt can leave them to their fate or kill Dijsktra to protect them. The decision has been hotly debated with some believing Geralt would never abandon a friend, while others think Roche's actions are a betrayal of The Quisling proportions, which the Witcher would never abide.
Geralt, of all people, gets one from fans in Reasons of State for his uncharacteristic choice of leaving Roche to die if he chooses that option. Since Geralt is not a blank slate, that means it's in character for him to choose to do so. Is it because fans are meta-gaming, because he wants to preserve his neutrality, because it's not his fight, because he hates Nilfgaard, or because of other reasons? Fans have debated many reasons why Geralt would do such and come up with numerous answers.
A popular one is that Geralt believes that Emhyr is a threat to Ciri and the only way to make sure he doesn't become a threat to her in the future is if Nilfgaard loses the war. Given Emhyr gets assassinated in such an event, it's a case of The Extremist Was Right.
Triss is the preferred partner for Geralt for many people, partially because she's been around for the whole trilogy of games, and partially because she comes across as nicer and more heroic than Yennefer. However, book-readers and observant players of the previous games may not be so forgiving, as they will often point out that she has more moral ambiguity going for her, and that she was taking advantage of an amnesiac in the previous games.
Syanna in the Blood and Wine DLC. Is she evil because of the Curse of the Black of the Sun, or did she become evil due to everybody treating her like she already was? There are moments in the game that support both theories. Many of the larger quests in the game center around people being cursed, which demonstrates that curses have a real and tangible effect in the Witcher world. However, listening to Syanna's story shows that she was treated extremely poorly in her childhood and her current behavior could just be a natural response that treatment. Even Geralt is not sure which theory is true.
Anti-Climax Boss: For all of his mocking of Geralt and the drama the game makes about Eredin being such a huge threat, he goes out like a chump to the same basic Quen/Roll spam that almost every basic enemy falls for. His attacks are extremely telegraphed and leave him wide open to multiple strong attacks. Both his generals immediately beforehand are up for a much tougher fight. Fortunately it's still a pretty damn badass fight regardless, even more so if you decide to fight him on the highest difficulty with minimum armor. It's also a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, due to Eredin going on and on about how much superior he is compared to Geralt... then you prove him wrong.
Both Whoreson Junior and Menge are set up as real-threats but end up being nothing more than a combination of Cutscene Boss as well as standard enemy. You catch Whoreson Junior in the bath and Triss can kill Menge without ever fighting him.
Can happen to Dijkstra as well, depending on your choices. Should you play it right, it's entirely possible for him to die by the hand of a random mook.
Of course what connects all these characters is the political power they wield, rather than their physical abilities. Even Eredin, in spite of his fearsome reputation, is a threat more because of the loyalty that the Aen Elle have for him than any personal ability of his. Though to be fair, Eredin is shown to be quite a formidable fighter, managing to kill Crach an Craite in a duel. Too bad he has to fight Geralt.
The final fights for the Fists of Fury: Skellige and Champion of Champions boxing sidequests are very easy compared to the other fights. The last fight for the former is a bear and the last fight for the latter is a rock troll. Both sound difficult, but they are really just big, slow targets that cannot block or dodge unlike their predecessors.
The big thing that breaks the challenge here is that, unlike every other fistfight, you can use potions to recover or boost your abilities while fighting these enemies. Note that these contenders still can easily one-shot Geralt if he's lower level, but the ability to both recover as well as roll means that they usually won't lay a finger on you.
Hubert Rejk, the murderer in the "Carnal Sins" questline. He's built up as being both incredibly sadistic and Dangerously Genre Savvy, when Geralt starts to get close to finding him, he attempts to pin his crimes on someone else, a ploy that can actually succeed if the player isn't careful. If you see through the ruse and confront him, he's revealed to be a higher vampire, one of the most powerful types of monsters in the setting. But in the actual fight he's not even classified as a boss, and goes down as easily as Mook enemies of the same type.
Broken Base: A mild one formed when the developers announced two planned Expansion Packs, as this departed from their usual "DLC is free" mentality. They regained a lot of ground when they added that said packs would amount to ~30 hours of added content.
A Ship-to-Ship Combat issue over the Triss romance being neglected for far more Yennefer content has caused a minor controversy. The Yennefer romance is far more developed despite the fact that Triss has been Geralt's primary love-interest across two games. Though to be fair, Yennefer's presence is largely justified by the fact that she doesn't tag along primarily for being Geralt's girlfriend, but Ciri's adoptive mother. Philippa Eilhart even lampshades this under the right circumstances.
There's also a surprising amount of Internet Backdraft over the fact that the number of Geralt's love interests has been drastically reduced.
The effects of decisions made in The Witcher 1 are non-existent.
Do the free DLCs demonstrate CD Projekt Red's dedication to their players, or are they a patronizing attempt to look like good guys for extremely small bits of content? Most of the DLCs are purely cosmetic, and even the ones with actual quests are extremely short and shallow even by the game's standard. Critics have pointed out that Witcher 3's DLCs amount to far less than what had already been released for Dragon Age: Inquisitionbefore the 16 DLCs were even announced, without any self-indulgence promotion from BioWare.
This was mitigated somewhat when later DLC included well received quests like "Skellige's Most Wanted" and "Fool's Gold."
Further mitigated by the first major DLC, Hearts of Stone, being longer and more fleshed out than nearly any other game's DLC, including it's direct competitor, Fallout 4.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: While Gwent has four factions (with Blood and Wine adding a fifth) each with their own distinct play styles, most players tend to just stick with the Northern Kingdoms and Nilfgaard due to the prevalence of spies in both decks.
Eredin Breacc Glas, King of The Wild Hunt, is the ultimate villain of the Witcher Saga, the Big Bad of this game, and the Arch-Enemy of Geralt of Rivia. Leader of the Dearg Ruadhri (red riders) cavalry, Eredin has led his armies to the genocide of humans on the Aen Elle elf worlds. Able to cross over into other worlds, Eredin participates in massacres of anyone not sufficiently Aen Elle and takes innocents as slaves, even children, until they are "empty" inside and broken. Eredin murders his king Auberon and attempts to capture Ciri to control her Elder Blood and allow him to invade all the worlds he wishes. Chasing Ciri, the Hunt regularly slaughters all those who might help her. When he encounters Geralt at the end of the third game, Eredin mocks him with how he'll torture Ciri when he no longer needs her. While Eredin wants to escape the coming apocalypse, his sadism, racism, attempted genocide, and cruelty eliminate any sympathy or well intentioned extremism and make Eredin without doubt the most evil monster in the worlds of The Witcher.
Cyprian "Whoreson Junior" Wily is one of the four crime bosses of the free city of Novigrad and runs the casinos, fighting rings, and brothels, and is widely regarded as the most cruel and sadistic of the city's four crime bosses, and even evokes disgust from these fellow criminals. He has his men dress up as Monster Clowns to torment and intimidate the people of Novigrad, including Ciri, Geralt's adopted daughter. Geralt seeks out Whoreson Junior to get her whereabouts and discovers dark secrets along the way. Cyprian works under the orders of King Radovid to undermine the armistice between the gangs of the city and incite gang wars and mass chaos so that Radovid can invade. Cyprian is paid in prostitutes he can rape and butcher at his leisure. When invading his hideout, Geralt discovers the grizzly remains strewn about in one of the most nightmarish levels in the game. Ultimately, Geralt discovers Whoreson Junior bathing in the blood of his latest victim, and Geralt, normally rational and stoic, brutally beats him as he pitifully begs for his life.
You're... Immortal?, Olgierd von Everec's boss fight, one of the toughest humanoid fights in the game.
Hail to Caranthir, the Boba Fett of the Witcher-verse, no, even better. For at least our Golden Child of the Aen Elle doesn't go out like a punk and his Boss battle with Geralt is accompanied by this awesome track!
Demonic Spiders: All the new enemies in the Hearts of Stone expansion hit like a truck. Any group can cut your health bar to shreds in a second, and the actual giants spiders will jump Geralt and run out range before you can retaliate.
The Arachnomorphs are easily the worst (not to mention the most literal) example, as they constantly flee from Geralt when confronted, but strike him in the back when his back is turned. Going against several in an open space is a nightmare on the highest difficulties.
Scorch would be a card game equivalent to this trope in Gwent. It destroys the strongest card in play, and any that are tied with it will be wiped out as well. A well-played Scorch card will probably be what causes most of your Gwent losses, and after a certain point, it's all but guaranteed that every player you encounter will draw at least one.
The Giant Centipedes in Blood and Wine are a real pain. They parry any attacks that don't land on their soft underbellies, and burrow around underground in unpredictable patterns. Yrden is most effective at stunning them, but doing so is difficult because they never stay surfaced long enough for it to take effect and trying to lay one down right before they surface will just result in Geralt getting whacked hard. Your only choice is to lay down a Yrden sign and hope that a centipede will eventually come out within it.
Draco in Leather Pants: The Nilfgaard get this treatment by many fans, due largely to their contradictory attitudes in this game compared to the books and even prior games.
Ear Worm: All of the Gwent music. Even if you don't happen to like Gwent, it's still frequently heard in inns and from street performers.
The Bloody Baron is an odd one in that the game doesn't hide the fact that he's a terrible person but many reviewers praise him for being exactly that while showing some realism towards his behavior rather than doing it For the Evulz. He and his quest are usually highlighted as one of the best moments of writing in the game.
Vlodimir von Everec from Heart of Stone has a lot of fans due to his boisterous, fun-loving personality and his surprisingly touching attempts to woo Shani. He is the source of some of the most humorous moments in the expansion.
Talking Roach from Blood and Wine is perhaps one of the most memorable characters ever for her humorous banter with Geralt as well as plenty of Self-Deprecation about the horse mechanics in the game. Many players wish they can somehow keep her talking after the associated quest.
Fan-Preferred Couple: The fans of the Witcher video games seem to prefer Triss to Yennefer, which is problematic given the former largely disappears from the game about two-thirds the way through.
Game-Breaking Bug: The Xbox One version suffered from a couple of these with the inability to save your game occurring after too long spent idle plus infinite loading screens. The latter could only be solved by not only restarting your Xbox but physically unplugging it and putting it back in. Other bugs included corrupted saves which could not be loaded without crashing your game. Made much worse by limited save slots (10 on consoles, i.e. not much for a game of this size), which make you juggle your saves like crazy in the fear of them ending up corrupted.
During a horse race, you can easily end up spawning in a wall. Or facing the other way. Or in the middle of the racetrack, forcing you to track back to the very first checkpoint. Either way, it's up for a reload, as it means an almost certain loss either way. Although the 1.0.5 patch fixed it.
Finding your way to a plot-important area by complete accident can completely break the main quest.
Game Breaker: Magic in general is this, including Witcher Signs. Magic is feared in this world for a very good reason, it is incredibly powerful. Even though the Signs are considered watered down spells they still end up being Game Breakers.
Aard is arguably the weakest Sign and still destroys specific types of enemies with ease. It can be spammed for group control and constantly knocks most foes down setting them up for a One-Hit Kill. On humanoid enemies Aard functions as a 360 Instant Death Radius with its alternate fire because of the knockdown/execute.
Magic Trap, the secondary cast-form of Yrden. Instead of a trap circle of dubious use, you place a single powerful rune which hits targets with a lightning bolt about once per second. For one, it forces enemies who use mistforms and tricks to get corporeal, two, the lightning does damage (and quite a lot of it) by itself, three, it interrupts most enemy attacks and charges, four, it acts as a slight knockback and five, your stamina restores faster than the sign expires. Pretty much all contracts and many bosses can be turned extremely breezy, because one can simply cast an Yrden and just wait for it to kill whatever it is we're supposed to kill.
The secondary cast-form of Igni, Firestream, can stunlock an enemy and whittle their health to zero in seconds if you use a Sign focused build and equipment. Although this was seriously nerfed with the 1.0.7 patch.
Quen can make you functionally invulnerable even on the highest difficulty. It's normal effect is a HP% based shield that makes you Immune to Flinching and grants Contractual Boss Immunity to most status effects as well as removing those status effects when cast. The alternate is a completely impenetrable bubble shield that heals you when it gets hit. Quen essentially turns you into The Juggernaut.
Axii is arguably the most overpowered sign of all, despite the story limitations. Fully powered it prevent enemies from even attempting to approach you during the casting, hits two targets, turns enemies against their allies while giving them a huge damage buff, and even if it actually fails it still staggers the targets. On top of this it has a bunch of non-combat uses in dialog.
Interestingly actively defied trope with the use of Axii in a story context. Geralt can, at one point, explain to Lambert why the sign can only be used at certain spots outside of combat: it's a temptation that needs to be avoided. That's right - the character you follow decided it's morally wrong for you to have the game too easy.
Geralt: "[Axii] tempts you to overuse it. Force a merchant to reduce his price. Make an arrogant noble drink from a gutter. Teach someone to show you respect. That can become hard to resist."
Deliberately invoked during the final portion of the game, as Ciri demonstrates precisely how powerful she is.
The Ekhidna Concoction gives you health every time you use stamina, whether by using Signs or parrying. Using it makes all other methods of healing meaningless and can make almost any fight a walk in the park.
Archers. They can go down easily enough when you close the distance, but they always fight in conjunction with a crowd of melee attackers. Failing to avoid their arrows on top of all the other attacks coming your way will make short work of you.
Sirens, Erynias, and harpies are all over Skellige and make exploring a chore. They come in swarms, and they are usually flying, so it takes forever to shoot them down one by one with the crossbow and finish them off with your sword. You get an item later that stuns several sirens and Erynias at once, but it doesn't kill them, does not work on harpies, and if you are sailing they fall into the ocean and immediately recover.
If you spared Síle in the second game Letho tells you that it was no mercy to leave her to the hands of Redania's witch hunters like that. You will eventually find her in a dungeon in Oxenfurt, brutally tortured to an inch of her life and begging for a Mercy Kill.
At the end of the second game, Geralt dismissed Letho's plan, saying that "the North could be united like never before." He turns out to be correct, but while Radovid does indeed unite the North and halts Nilfgaard's invasion, he ends up becoming a more cruel tyrant than Emhyr. And if Radovid isn't killed, then things will go From Bad to Worse.
Ho Yay: A purely optional mission with Letho the Kingslayer can have this option. Geralt can easily drop everything he's doing to help the man who (accidentally) framed him for murdering King Foltest. He can then go to elaborate lengths to get him out of trouble and invite him to live at Geralt's home of Kaer Morhen. Obviously, this is purely optional and Letho may even be dead depending on whether or not they chose to kill him in The Witcher 2.
Of course, it can be interpreted as keeping an eye on Letho, or even trolling him, as Geralt's "help" neatly prevents Letho from reaching his true goal of faking his own death. If Geralt DOESN'T help in just the right way, Letho's plan fails, though, and he dies for real.
Ciri acts very friendly to a waitress named Bea, hugging her, saying how great it is to see her again, and buying her a gift so Bea will have something to remember Ciri by. Even Geralt picks up on the subtext and lightly teases her about it.
Hype Backlash: The graphical downgrade from the 2013 trailers and signs that the PC version of the game is a console port has soured the game in the eyes of some, particularly fans of CD Projekt RED, who were primarily a PC developer before this game. This has gone a bit crazy in some respects, with various user reviews giving the game a zerobecause the developers "lied" about it.
The sixteen free DLCs that were announced drew plenty of appreciation and praise, but now that they've come out, many have criticized them for individually being extremely sparse in terms of actual content, most amounting to purely-cosmetic additions. Some consider it a patronizing attempt from the developers to garner good will from gamers.
Iron Woobie: Ciri has spent the past seven years being hunted like an animal by an implacable army who have driven her across dozens of worlds. She's survived nearly being beaten, eaten, murdered, and raped on numerous occasions (and not the nearly part for some of those if you're a book reader). However, she still manages to keep a reasonably upbeat idealistic manner and kicks more ass than Geralt.
Jerkass Woobie: The Bloody Baron is a spouse abuser, a traitor to Temeria, a drunkard, and a man who exerts no control over his thuggish army. I dare you, however, not to feel at least a little bit sorry for him during "The Family Matters" quest.
Geralt's witcher comrade Lambert is a vitriolic piece of work who tends to be tactless at best and sometimes outright cruel at worst with his snide insults. It turns out that he finds his "fate" as a witcher a one big joke because he was promised as a reward to a witcher who saved the life of his brutally abusive father whose death he and his mother prayed every night.
Magnificent Bastard: When the war began and Temeria and Aedirn fell, King Radovid of Redania moved his armies not towards Nilfgaard, but into Kaedwen, conquering it, killing Henselt if he didn't die in the previous game, and leaving Nilfgaard with one powerful enemy rather than two relatively weak ones, which has helped him hold the line so far. It's Subverted when you finally meet Radovid and discover the pressures of managing a war against a vastly superior foe plus his own neuroses have left him a gibbering wreck. Double Subverted if you don't kill him, as he indeed succeeds in defeating Nilfgaard, a feat no other Northern King could've done.
Sigi Reuven a.k.a. Sigismund Dijkstra and the King of Beggars have developed a masterful strategy for keeping Novigrad neutral from the war. Both sides want the city's wealth and great fleet of ships, but the two underworld figures have let it be widely known that if the city is ever attacked or sieged, there will be riots on the streets during which the docked ships will be liable to catch fire and the city's coffers looted bare, making any assault a pointless waste of resources.
If Radovid holding a pogrom of all magic-users due to the actions of one doesn't make you hate him, then his attempt to kill Geralt simply because he doesn't like the Witcher will show you precisely why he needs to die.
Dettlaff crosses this in Blood and Wine when he leads a vampiric assault on the city of Beauclair with the intention to kill thousands of people who've done nothing wrong to him simply because the woman he loved wounded his pride.
The mini-cutscenes shown while loading which are supposed to help you remind yourself where are you in the main story. They also play during map changing. They cannot be skipped until they're almost over. They grow very irritating should you decide to abandon main plot to go sidequesting for a while, since you keep seeing the same one over and over and over and over again.
Patch 2.21 made it so that cats hate Geralt. So now every time you so much as stroll past one, you have to put up with its incessant hisses and growling mewls.
One-Scene Wonder: In the Blood and Wine expansion during a quest, Geralt is under the influence of a potion that allows him to talk to his horse Roach. The banter between Geralt and his mare makes it hilarious from the start.
Rooting for the Empire: Nilfgaard, due to completely going against the canon of the books and the previous games, gets this treatment for their prettied-up representation. One of the best outcomes in the ending involves them succeeding at their conquest, leading them to treat their conquered people completely contrary to how lore established their attitudes. Nilfgaard in the books engages in genocide, slavery, and apartheid treatment of their conquered subjects. They also use state-sanctioned terror tactics in order to subdue those countries under their command. Or, The Sword of Destiny anthology puts it:
Dandelion: "Not this war, Geralt. After this war, no-one returns. There will be nothing to return to. Nilfgaard leaves behind it only rubble; its armies advance like lava from which no-one escapes. The roads are strewn, for miles, with gallows and pyres; the sky is cut with columns of smoke as long as the horizon. Since the beginning of the world, in fact, nothing of this sort has happened before. Since the world is our world... You must understand that the Nilfgaardians have descended from their mountains to destroy this world."
Justified though, as during the two previous wars the fear of the subjugation by the Nilfgaard was what allowed the kingdoms of the North, who would normally be going at each other's throats, to band together in an Enemy Mine situation and fight the invaders off. The Emperor, being a Manipulative Bastard, is trying a different approach.
The Scrappy: Duchess Anne Maria and Syanna from Blood and Wine. The former for spending nearly the entire main quest as The Load whose attempts to help Geralt actively make things worse throughout the story and becomes a hateful, unreasonable Ungrateful Bastard if she survives but Syanna doesn't, the latter for causing the whole mess to begin with, the attempts to garner sympathy for her only end up making her seen petty and cruel, and the fact that the "best" ending of the expansion has her being a complete Karma Houdini and getting away completely with her crimes.
Scrappy Mechanic: While brawling has arguably been greatly improved from the previous game when it comes to fighting contests, it makes little sense outside the context of arranged fights. Geralt suddenly becomes unable to draw his weapons just because the enemies attack with their fists instead of swords. And since it's quite tough to block and parry multiple opponents at once without a weapon, these fistfights against common thugs end up being more challenging than swordfights with high level monsters.
Inventory management is one of the most frequent complaints about the game. Certain tabs tend to get far more cluttered than others over time, particularly the Useable Items tab which contains potions, bombs, oils, food, and books/notes, making finding specific items a chore.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: The Triss/Geralt romance was dramatically downplayed in the game due to the presence of Yennefer. A breakup is implied to have happened before the game and Triss reacts with a sadness about the whole thing the entire way through. Triss also has a lot less time with Geralt in the game versus Yennefer.
Take That, Scrappy!: Many fans think that the "bad" endings for the Blood and Wine DLC where either Syanna or both Anna and Syanna die are the better endings solely because Syanna and Anna both display very unlikable traits.
The racist half-elf from the high-stakes Gwent tournament quest manages to be more difficult than most of the storyline bosses thanks to being a forced fistfight in a crowded arena against a very talented opponent. Infuriatingly losing to him will give Geralt a game over as well, despite there being zero logical justification and almost every other fight simply penalizing him some crowns for losing. That a quest ostensibly about playing cards has an oddly high suggested level provides the only warning of what the player is in for.
The Werewolf in Velen is considered very difficult considering that you face him at a relatively low level, he's fast, he's good at dodging your attacks, and he regenerates health quickly.
Imlerith is widely considered to be the hardest enemy in the base game, tougher than even the final boss. He hits hard and shrugs off whatever blows you deliver when he's not blocking with his shield. And when he ditches that, he becomes a lot more aggressive and constantly teleports around the battlefield, becoming a full-on Lightning Bruiser who you just cannot get a safe distance from.
That One Sidequest: The Gwent tournament in Toussaint. Not only do you have to win four consecutive games of Gwent without saving in between, but you can only use the Skellige deck. Because the Skellige faction has no Spies to give you extra cards, the whole thing becomes something of a Luck-Based Mission, since one bad hand is all it will take to spell doom for you.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Many are of this opinion concerning Eredin. Despite being the Big Bad of the game and the Greater Scope Villain for much of the entire franchise, he has precious little screentime and only a few lines of dialogue. He's also described from secondhand sources as having some fairly complex motivations, but he just acts like a typical Evil Overlord whenever he's onscreen. Perhaps the worst part is that he had more interactions with Geralt in the first game.
The An Craite's, at least in regards to Ciri. In spite of being family eager to see Ciri again they don't get a moment together or any recognition from her, even when they're a stone's throw away.
The Botchling. It's a hideous Fetus Terrible with a huge maw and More Teeth than the Osmond Family, but its large eyes and childlike cheerfulness about being held in its father's hands do make it look it oddly innocent. Played even more straight if she's turned into a much more benign Lubberkin.
Rock trolls look like their faces were smacked around with an ugly stick. But their occasional simpleminded friendliness makes them endearing.
Uma, the ugliest man alive, also has some weird cuteness factor to himself.
Uncanny Valley: The halflings in the game are oddly creepy-looking due to their oversized heads, facial features that seem oddly stretched and with some rodent-like qualities to them, and their oversized hands and feet.
The Aen Elle elves are a deliberate example, as they tend to be skeletally gaunt with pale eyes and some of them are enormously tall, rising head and shoulders above normal humanoids while retaining otherwise normal proportions, lending them a decidedly otherworldly look.
The Untwist: Anyone who's played the second game will likely know that Zoltan's pet owl is really Philippa.
Visual Effects of Awesome: While it may be something minor in the main scheme of things, Geralt's beard will dynamically grow as the game progresses. Even with the "Beard and Haircut" DLC installed, it'll keep growing if you get a clean shave or grow/trim it to his fourth beard stage. All of the special styles are static.
If you have the Nvidia Hairworks effects on, they are amazing, with the hair of everything it affects moving and reacting to environmental stimuli in a realistic manner. Geralt's hair will even clump together and get stringy when it's wet◊.
If Geralt's toxin level is high enough, his face gets even paler and the skin around his eyes and the major blood vessels in his face will turn dark.
The weather effects are truly a sight to behold. The trees wave in the wind, the waves ripple to the shores, and the clouds and the sun are just amazingly beautiful. And lets not even begin to talk about the thunderstorms.
In the "A Night to Remember" trailer, not only is the creaking wood a clue as to where the monster is, watch the cracks in the roof allowing moonlight in shift as she (invisibly) passes by, or the dust below the rafters falling down. That is attention to detail.
The areas that you visit during the quest Through Time and Space ranges from a desert with a giant moon in the blue sky background, a swamp like area with tall rocks and eye catching red plants everywhere, the aftermath of the White Frost covering the world, and the city of Aen Elle. They all look BEAUTIFUL.
The Woobie: Skjall. He saved Ciri's life and led the Wild Hunt away from his village. And in return he was branded a coward, killed by a werewolf when he tried to redeem his name, and then his corpse was painfully reanimated by Yennifer so that she could get information on Ciri's whereabouts. As a harmless, shy young man who has never even kissed a girl, he definitely doesn't deserve all of the bad stuff that happens to him.
In the Heart of Stone expansion, Iris von Everec definitely qualifies; she married Olgierd for love against her family's wishes, and then had to watch her husband's feelings for her wither as he became more obsessed with evading the bargain he struck to win her in the first place. When she finally decides the man she married is long gone and tries to divorce him with the support of her father, Olgierd swears he will never allow her to leave him, kills her father right in front of her and then feeds his body to the dogs. After years of imprisonment by the man she once loved, she becomes so dead inside she's not sure whether she still hates him or not, and when he finally does leave and release her, she is so paralysed by all her grief that she just withers away in her bed, and then gets to relive all her worst memories for eternity as a ghost. The real kicker? When her ghost briefly returns to sanity, she can't even decide whether she wants to be laid to rest or not, because she's too scared by what might come after.