So I read through the updated chapter 1 from the special edition book and it wasn’t changed as drastically as I thought it would. Biggest differences are the characters reach level two as soon as they reach the keep instead of the end of the chapter, Governor Nighthill gives them 4 potions of healing after the dragon attack, and the number of kobolds has been changed in many places (often with more guards or acolytes added instead).
How do you all think this will change the difficulty of chapter 1? Hitting level 2 early will for sure give the players more to work with, and fewer kobolds taking advantage of pack tactics will result in fewer hits which is also hugely beneficial.
Started running HotDQ for my cousin and his wife. Interestingly, they hit level 2 by xp rules when they reached the keep, and I had them find potions just before that (among the rubble of burning buildings) since one was down to 2 HP and the other was already below half.
I'm not sure how these changes will effect the campaign if you have 5 characters or more, though.