UPDATE 06/05/2015: Yesterday's live Witcher 3 gameplay session focused on combat and how different character builds approach it. It gave a real, in-depth look at the game's different sets of perks and how you can customise your Geralt hero to suit your style.

The game's difficulty was also demonstrated, the same monster encounter being played on the game's most difficult setting and then the game's easiest setting. Incidentally, I played the game on a normal difficulty setting earlier this year and it was challenging.

The Witcher 3 doesn't use the 'easy, medium, hard' naming convention, by the way, but opts for "Just the Story, Story and Sword, Blood and Broken Bones, and Death March" instead. Death March makes enemies tougher and hit harder, and it also stops you regenerating health while meditating, and scales down stat bonuses, meaning every slight edge you can get will count.

Towards the end of the video, during the Q&A, level designer Miles Tost talked about the disappearance of the Dice Poker mini-game, which was in the first two Witcher games. It won't, he confirmed, be in The Witcher 3 - instead the game will have a new card game called Gwent (and fist fighting).

"We can say we don't have Dice Poker in the game," Tost said. "Basically we had both of them in the game until a certain point in development. At some point ... Gwent blew up so much we realised the potential of it. It got so big and deep - actually turned out so well - that we had to make a decision here. And we decided to give more room to Gwent and remove Dice Poker from the game.

"That is not to say 'maybe... maybe it will come back'..." he trailed off.

Elsewhere, however, lead quest designer Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz told a slightly different story. He said - towards the end of April on the CD Projekt Red forum (found and translated recently by DualShockers) - that Dice Poker would have needed recreating from scratch and required a lot of work. He didn't say anything about both mini-games being in the game at one point, only that the team wanted both - but ultimately sided with Gwent because it was interesting and new.

And when asked if Dice Poker could make a return he said it was "very unlikely". Incidentally, Eurogamer Poland verified the translation as accurate.

Yesterday's video is below. It's worth a watch.

ORIGINAL STORY 05/05/2015: Two weeks today until The Witcher 3 comes out, and so the marketing crescendo builds. Today there's a new Witcher 3 developer diary released plus a live 45-minute gameplay stream and developer Q&A (both below).

The developer diary gives more information on monsters in The Witcher world, with clips of developers talking as well as gameplay from The Witcher 3. There's a furry red monster towards the end I don't remember ever seeing.

The live stream will be at 7pm BST and be played by Łukasz "LUq" Wnęk from developer CD Projekt Red - he who just happens to also be a popular Counter-Strike 1.6 player apparently. He'll be joined by level designer Miles Tost who will explain the game. And when the demo ends there will be time for a Q&A from the comments oh god.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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