So far after the new patch I'm getting substantially better performance with hairowrks on. The only visual mods I think that are really needed and can't be covered in the ini are:
1) Better looking water. Is it me or does the water look like absolute crap unless its a small puddle or a raging storm?
2) Alternate animations for windy weather blowing the vegitation. The animation they have is fine but its looped and its obvious, they needed alternate loops to be played at random or a much longer animation.
3) Better grass. The problem isn't the textures but rather the hideous mesh design. The mesh uses the most inefficient coverage technique on a scale large enough that it becomes obvious. We needed grass meshes shaped like a V so less grass covered more area (thus meaning better performance or equal perfromance with more grass) which also happened to reduce the surface area where the mesh clipped with the ground. Instead we got liiliiil shaped grass.
4) More diverse weather. I get it, the region is stormy but this isn't tornado valley and there isn't a storm every 2 seconds. Calm weather in appropriate areas would be nice as would be crazy, crazy storms along the coast.
5) Hairworks enabled on goats and other critters that don't have it. If Far Cry 4 can pull it off so can Witcher 3.
6) And as a personal touch which I know not everyone would like: 1st person camera that rotates with the character head and has free movement to loop up and down. If done right think of it as Dying Light except instead of zombies its horrific monsters and instead of not being very hard you'll have to have crazy situational awareness since you don't have an overpowered grapling hook. It could potentially support VR (can you say motion sickness?).
Still loving the game though I'm horribly underleveled right now I decided to play through as much gwent content as possible asap so at level 4 I was in Nilfy contemplating going into the high stakes tourney. I decided not to, I want better cards before I do that though I could probably do it now. I rarely lose. I'll share my build. There is room for improvement, I'll mark the cards I intent to replace. Most of the cards listed are availible early and it tends to brute force its way through situations and gains pretty good draw advantage.
Leader: Foltest The Siegemaster (commander's horn on siege, doesn't stack with commander's horn)
Commander's Horn x2 (doubles the points of units
Blue Stripes Commando x3 (4 points, melee, double points for all Blue Stripes Commando if another Blue Stripes Commando is present )
Cinfrid Reavers Dragon Hunters x2 (5 points, ranged, double points for all Cinfrid Reavers Dragon Hunters is another Cinfrid Reavers Dragon Hunters is present)
Catapult x2 (8 points, siege, double points for all Catapult is another Catapult is present)
Yennefer x1 (7 points, ranged, hero, selects a units card in your discard pile and places it on your side of the field)
Dun Banner Medic x1 (5 points, siege, selects a units card in your discard pile and places it on your side of the field)
Price Stannis x1 (5 points, melee, when this card would be placed on your side of the board, even by the effect of Yennefer and Dun Banner, it is placed on your opponent's side of the board and you draw 2 cards)
Sigismund Dijktra x1 (4 points, melee, when this card would be placed on your side of the board, even by the effect of Yennefer and Dun Banner, it is placed on your opponent's side of the board and you draw 2 cards)
Vernon Rouche x1 (10 points, melee, hero)
Trebuchet x2 (6 points, siege)
Ballista x1 (6 points, siege)
Siege Tower x1 (6 points, siege)
Vesemir x1 (6 points, melee)
Dethmold x1 (6 points, ranged)
Emiel x1 (5 points, melee, replacable)
Ves x1 (5 points, melee, replacable)
Sigfied x1 (5 points, melee, replacable)
Keira x1 (5 points, ranged, replacable)
24 cards, 22 are units. This ensures that by probability you don't end up with a crap hand. In theory every card in the deck should be a hero or have abilities. Don't be silly and cram both into decks. Hero cards may have high stats and be immune to other cards but other cards in combination produce higher stats therefore a deck based on them is best suited to abuse the crap out of weather cards).