Even more so with the Combat Rebalance Mod a few from the dev team worked on. Especially on higher difficulties you NEED to use all the game has to offer, including Alchemy, to really succeed. The Witcher 2 combat really is as challenging as the player dares it to be, which I love.
I bet there will be, though obviously, that may depend on savegames. We've got no real confirmation on either Iorveth or Vernon Roche yet, though.
I'm hyped for Ciri, personally. The Lion Cub of Cintra's looking great in the trailer, and I can't wait to see her skill with that blade. She underwent partial Witcher training, without the mutagens, y'know.
Her story is quite interesting, and especially her bond with Geralt. Should definitely read the books for that!
When a witcher saves a man's life and the man says, "In gratitude, I will give whatever you desire," the witcher then answers, "You will grant me whatever unexpected thing you encounter when you return home." In rare instances, the surprise proves to be an infant, born during its father's absence. Based on the Law of Surprise, the child belongs to the witcher, becoming the Unexpected Child to whom the witcher is bound by Destiny. Many Unexpected Children were brought to Kaer Morhen, where they were then raised and trained to be witchers.
Ciri is alluded to a few times throughout the games (most notably during flashbacks), but even an innkeeper in The Witcher 1 tells of her story to Geralt, who has amnesia.