Fans of “The Witcher” franchise have been eagerly awaiting the release of the next expansion “Blood and Wine” ever since “Heart of Stone” was released. Now they can finally set a reminder for the release date, which is set for May 31, 2016. The release will of course be part of the season pass that is still available for the game.
More details on the Blood and Wine expansion were confirmed today by Kacper Niepokólczycki, the Environment Artist from CD Projekt Red. This will be the final expansion for the game, so a bittersweet release for fans of the series. Niepokólczycki told fans on the Playstation Blog, “I’m really excited for this opportunity to talk more about creating it,” discussing more details on the upcoming expansion.
This expansion pack is an old-school add on with 20 hours of new adventures, where players will travel to the land of Toussaint. Witcher fans who are familiar with the books written by Andrzej Sapkowski have probably heard of this region and have waited for a long time to explore it,” Niepokólczycki explained.
The new expansion will take players to the lands of Toussaint, which is a big departure from the rest of the game because the area has not been ravaged by war. The land is still pristine and gorgeous, and as you can tell from the title, a hub for the wine industry. Niepokólczycki called it, “a fantasy land straight out of a fairytale,” and it’s easy to see why by watching the teaser trailer released today from the developers (shown below).
“The Slavic mythos lands we were all so accustomed to had to make room for something new — the mood and tone of southern Italy and France. We quickly fell in love with the architecture, colors, warm sun, and beautiful vistas filled with vineyards and wineries,” Niepokólczycki explained.
Niepokólczycki went on to talk about Toussaint stating, “The most important part of this new realm is the city of Beauclair, the capital of Toussaint, and the palace where the local duchess resides.” Niepokólczycki went on to say, “We had several main focuses when creating these places, and one of the biggest ones was providing players with breathtaking sightseeing opportunities. At the same time, Beauclair had to be different than another epic place in the game: Novigrad.”
The new lands will have mountainous regions, filled with caves and secret areas. The vineyards and towns will be full of life (unless monsters are there of course) and many unique districts. There are distinct landmarks as well, including the city itself.
“When the concept of the city was done, we started to work on the terrain around it. We plotted routes leading in and out of the city, placed roads and connected these roads to the myriad of points of Interest the expansion offers,” Niepokólczycki added. “With every iteration, we ended up with more and more content. Concept artists were a huge part of the process providing us us with conceptual art of locations, both small and big, we later used to saturate the realm with really mysterious and dangerous spots Geralt could visit.”
The developers tease the new Blood and Wine expansion stating, “Welcome to the land of summer, a remote valley untouched by war. The land of wandering knights, noble ladies and magnificent wineries.” They add, “What better time to visit than now, when this kingdom of virtue is torn apart by a series of savage massacres! Geralt of Rivia, a legendary monster slayer, takes on his last great contract. Blood and Wine offers over 30 hours of adventure, where beauty clashes with horror, and love dances with deceit.”
“Blood and Wine makes The Witcher 3 complete – it’s Geralt’s final mission. Containing more than 90 new quests, and over thirty hours of brand new adventures, it’s something that I think gamers will remember for a long time,” said Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, Game Director, CD PROJEKT RED. “There’s also a massive amount of features we’re giving gamers with this expansion like a dynamic Point of Interest system, a new Gwent deck, new endgame mutation mechanics, and even a place Geralt can call home…. And it’s all happening in a new region as big as No Man’s Land in the base game,” Tomaszkiewicz adds.