How Witcher 3 Breaks all the Rules

Joccaren

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Errickfoxy said:
Serious talk then.. what does The Witcher 3 do wrong? Anything? Nothing is perfect so it must have flaws of some sort. Is it.. is it Gwent? Is Gwent the flaw?

(I really don't get into Gwent, anyway)
Gwent is fine. Some people just don't like it because they're completionists but also don't want to play a card game to complete everything, more of a self-imposed dislike than the fact its actually bad. Its 100% optional in game even.

Combat in the game is also rather simple and lacking depth, mostly due to balance issues more than anything. Using the shield and then fighting normally allows you to overcome all enemies in game with ease, even if they're twice your level.
There's also just so much stuff its fairly easy to get fatigued. Some interface elements are also clunky, as is the horse, and certain design mistakes, some of which have been fixed like the no stash to store your stuff, made playing painful at times.

Otherwise, by and large most things it does right, and more right than other companies. Its why its so acclaimed. Doesn't mean it is the sort of game everyone will enjoy, but what it does it does damn well.

K12 said:
I'd be fascinated to see what CD projekt RED's secret is if they can manage to do all these things so much better than other AAA develops can.


Good communication? Longer pre-production? A genius project manager? Slave labour? Selling their souls to the devil?
For one, true passion for their work. They are probably treated quite well by the company, and The Witcher series is part of Polish Heritage in a way, so it is something they are probably fairly invested in, and want to bring to the world.
Some other Developers have this, however what I feel also contributes to separating CD PR from the rest of the games market is the combination of AAA backing and experience, with the understanding and goal of creating a niche product, rather than a flavour-of-the-month product that most AAA studios try to push out.
This allows them to focus on making a polished, cohesive experience, and gives them to desire to do so. Companies like Bioware have had the passion before, and at times have wanted to either make a niche game but lacked AAA backing, or had AAA backing but no longer wanted to make a niche game. Additionally, technology marches ever forward, and what we know about game design, and the tools game designers have and gamers have to play these games on are far more advanced than what was around when, say, Baldur's Gate or Mass Effect were made.

Tiamat666 said:
That is true only if you limit "choice" to the branching possibilities of the plot. Overall, the Witcher 3 has considerably less choice than your typical Bethesda game.

I love the Witcher 3 and think it's an absolutely stunning masterpiece. There is no question that CDPR has created an incredible game of truly epic proportions. But from a technical standpoint it's important to realize that the game is extremely and very well focused on just two features: the fluid combat system and the plot, as conveyed through the cutscenes and dialogue. These two extremely well made things are what 80% of the game is about.

For comparison, a typical Bethesda game, like Skyrim, has many more systems, like detailed crafting, deeper interaction with the world, such as sitting and sleeping, buying property, faction systems, detailed NPC stats and inventories, every item being a real object in the world, real and more complex NPC schedules, a leveling system, more varied magic and equipment systems, player customization, etc. From a technical standpoint, a Bethesda game is a much more complex beast, and the much broader spectrum of systems make them less focused and not as flawlessly executed as the two main features in the Witcher 3. So I think its not entirely fair to directly compare the two and ask Bethesda why they can't do something on the same level of awesome.

For me, the Witcher 3 is an amazing adventure game. But its not very good to roleplay in, as you are stuck in your Geralt role and there isn't really much you can do in the world besides going on with the plot and completing contracts. For the freedom of roleplay, nothing beats a Bethesda game.
I wish the Witcher 3 were a better roleplaying game. Then it would be simply mind-blowing.
Eh, had this sort of discussion before and I think we'll have to agree to disagree, but Bethesda games suck for Role Playing. They're great for sandbox, like an actual sandbox is, but as good for roleplaying as an empty sandbox all alone as well.

In Bethesda games, there's no feedback. There's no opportunities to allow you to really define your character, or have the world at all recognise who your character is. It is much like playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons where the DM refuses to acknowledge your character's existence. You can kill all the goblins you want, but that's about it. You can boast to the guard and try and be a really arrogant prick, he'll still just say "I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow to the knee".
Games like Witcher or Bioware allow you more roleplaying in that you get to actually define your character somewhat, and the world will react to it. Decide to be a highly pragmatic Shepard? You'll be faced with choices as to whether you save the Council or not, whether to kill the terrorist or save civilians - ect. I allows you to express your character, rather than just imagine them. In the Witcher you can define who Geralt is as a person. Is he merciless and cruel like Witchers supposedly are, is he more human and cares more. Where does he draw the line. There are times when you are given the chance to show this, and even though he is a pre-made character, you can still role-play him well, as roleplay doesn't mean to just imagine something happening, it means to put yourself in the shoes of a character - maybe you made them up, maybe you didn't - and take on their role, making their decisions as them, not yourself.

To me its the difference between lying in bed imagining you're someone else and doing things, and playing a game of D&D where the DM will throw things at your character that force you to make a decision, and then have the others in the game react to what you did. Of course, D&D is great because it has the perfect freedom of a sandbox, like Bethesda games, as well as the depth and ability to respond to your characters, like Bioware/Witcher. All in all though, both games only have one side of this in full, so I don't really think you can call out Bethesda as being the better Role Playing Games, or offering more choice. Neither really gives the full role playing experience, which half of it you prefer is more to personal tastes than an objective measure.

On the systems side of things, I'd say Witcher's crafting is more detailed than, say, Skyrim. Neither of them are especially deep or complex to be quite honest.
Sleeping is in Witcher in the form of Meditation.
Witcher in my experience has as much of a faction system as Skyrim, which is to say next to none.
Both have real and complex NPC schedules, I would not at all call Skyrim's better in this regard.
Both have a levelling system, Witcher's IMO contains more depth due to the inclusion of Mutagens and how you use them.
Equipment system is not more varied in Skyrim, it is more varied in Witcher 3.

There are a couple of extra systems in the likes of Skyrim, but there are also some systems Witcher has that Skyrim doesn't - such as Witcher senses, or Gwent. On the technical side of things, I'd have to say Witcher is probably the more complex technically, as in addition to its extra gameplay systems, the extra graphics systems in play also would take a lot of complexity to make. The big reason Bethesda aren't able to do something like Witcher is 1. No-one at Bethesda can write dialogue at an at all respectable level, and 2. They refuse to leave the Gamebryo engine, even if they do update and rebrand it every now and then, which has been showing its limitations for a decade, without doing a ton of work to update it, and 3. Even when they do update it, their programmers are a bunch of apes, and as a company they're renowned for how buggy their releases are.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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I hope their upcoming cyberpunk game is just as fully fleshed out and nuanced as Witcher 3 is. They have set themselves a pretty high bar with their last game.
 

Kingjackl

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I think we're past the point where voice acting has a significant negative impact on story-driven games any more. The Witcher 3 is the most triumphant example of this, but it's far from the first. In fact, I'd say most non-Bethesda RPGs and sandboxes have been able to get away with it. I never found the voice acting to be a problem in Bioware RPGs or the GTA games for example, which both feature a fairly large pool of voice-acted extras, if not to the degree of Witcher.

If anything, I think it's good that the limitations of VA encourages developers to cut down on words and map size, since it can potentially stop them going overboard with sheer quantity.
 

Goliath100

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Errickfoxy said:
Serious talk then.. what does The Witcher 3 do wrong? Anything?
It needs a lot more Agatha Christie and the possibility of failure even if we got all the clues. And more Witcher Contracts.
 

CyanCat47_v1legacy

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i think the thing where one voice actor has a lot of roles has a slightly odd charm to it. it was quite funny to walk around a post apocalyptic mojave desert that was 40% inhabited by Sasuke Uchiha (or in the case of the brotherhood of steel closer to 50% sasuke uchiha)
 

MisterColeman

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008Zulu said:
I hope their upcoming cyberpunk game is just as fully fleshed out and nuanced as Witcher 3 is. They have set themselves a pretty high bar with their last game.
If it is the world may never see me again.
 

sXeth

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I did do my own checking, and apparently it did make a 75%(ish) profit, so my original theory was off.

I'm guessing marketing (which I don't really recall much of, certainly not the announcement/pre-release/live action/gameplay/release/tv spot/etc trailer spam over years), and solid project management would account for most of it. Being confined to one country probably helps too, as much as AAA companies like to spread out all over the world to sound impressive, you're losing time sending your stuff all over like that, and probably money in exchange rates.

Possibly other small subtleties as well. In a contrasting case, Destiny, for instance, apparently takes hours to load a single map for a design to work on, which a)is insanely slow, b)means you're paying the map design guy to play Angry Birds on his phone or something while it loads. Streamlining your tools can do a lot for you.
 

Spushkin

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Charcharo said:
Sure it is shite compared to the books but then again all video games are.
Not sure what books you've been reading, but for me the game script is the superior one. Might be the problem of translation, but apart from The Last Wish, everything else just felt underwhelming. It's great at some individual scenes, but as a whole it just doesn't give me that warm and fuzzy feeling.
 

Scow2

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Errickfoxy said:
Serious talk then.. what does The Witcher 3 do wrong? Anything? Nothing is perfect so it must have flaws of some sort. Is it.. is it Gwent? Is Gwent the flaw?

(I really don't get into Gwent, anyway)
The protagonist is Geralt, instead of something fun like a naked demon-killing catgirl.
 

Arnoxthe1

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Tiamat666 said:
That is true only if you limit "choice" to the branching possibilities of the plot. Overall, the Witcher 3 has considerably less choice than your typical Bethesda game.

I love the Witcher 3 and think it's an absolutely stunning masterpiece. There is no question that CDPR has created an incredible game of truly epic proportions. But from a technical standpoint it's important to realize that the game is extremely and very well focused on just two features: the fluid combat system and the plot, as conveyed through the cutscenes and dialogue. These two extremely well made things are what 80% of the game is about.

For comparison, a typical Bethesda game, like Skyrim, has many more systems, like detailed crafting, deeper interaction with the world, such as sitting and sleeping, buying property, faction systems, detailed NPC stats and inventories, every item being a real object in the world, real and more complex NPC schedules, a leveling system, more varied magic and equipment systems, player customization, etc. From a technical standpoint, a Bethesda game is a much more complex beast, and the much broader spectrum of systems make them less focused and not as flawlessly executed as the two main features in the Witcher 3. So I think its not entirely fair to directly compare the two and ask Bethesda why they can't do something on the same level of awesome.
THANK YOU! I've seen way too much Bethesda-bashing around here and it's really just unfair. Witcher is a much more focused experience than TES. That's all there is to it. And it gains some things and loses some from doing so but either way, comparing TES to the Witcher is just ridiculous. Two RPG's with very different goals.
 

Blackbird71

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Baresark said:
FoolKiller said:
But then to save money they will just give you a digital manual instead of a real one with the physical purchase.

Actually, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt not only gives you a manual. There's a thank you card and stickers etc.

But then they must make up that money by nickel and diming you with microtransactions.

Actually, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt gives you over a dozen pieces of DLC for free that, while small, would be charged for by other companies

Well then to protect their investment the PC version must be loaded with always online DRM and such.

Actually, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt can be purchased from CDProjekt Red's digital platform, GOG, which provides DRM-free versions of the game.
The Steam version is actually DRM free as well. All you have to do is go to the directory and access the exe. It should just start right up.
Honest question because I actually don't know the answer, but can you get the installation files from Steam, and then install and run the game on a computer that doesn't even have Steam installed, or doesn't even have an internet connection? If not, then it's not DRM free.
 

Spushkin

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Charcharo said:
The difference is gigantic. CDPR can not even come close when it comes down to thematic coherence, focus, characters and plotline. It is good fan fiction at best.
I disagree, but never ye mind. The important thing is that I agree everyone who likes the game should read the books. As it happens, the books are much more accessible if you've played the games, and I don't think I can claim the same in the other direction, but that goes for every book vs film vs game ever :)
 

Baresark

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Blackbird71 said:
Baresark said:
FoolKiller said:
But then to save money they will just give you a digital manual instead of a real one with the physical purchase.

Actually, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt not only gives you a manual. There's a thank you card and stickers etc.

But then they must make up that money by nickel and diming you with microtransactions.

Actually, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt gives you over a dozen pieces of DLC for free that, while small, would be charged for by other companies

Well then to protect their investment the PC version must be loaded with always online DRM and such.

Actually, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt can be purchased from CDProjekt Red's digital platform, GOG, which provides DRM-free versions of the game.
The Steam version is actually DRM free as well. All you have to do is go to the directory and access the exe. It should just start right up.
Honest question because I actually don't know the answer, but can you get the installation files from Steam, and then install and run the game on a computer that doesn't even have Steam installed, or doesn't even have an internet connection? If not, then it's not DRM free.
I don't think you can get the install files from Steam. You should be able to copy the installed files and play them on any computer though, which will come with some weirdness of course.
 

grigjd3

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When I get a weekend without my wife and daughter (not going to happen), I need to go back and play that game.
 

Chaos Isaac

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Man. I keep being surprised by how people like the buggy, contrived mess that is Witcher 3 so much.
Oh man, and the choices, when I kill someone off and they come back later anyways, what meaning!

Seriously, i'm super salty about this game.

Not bad though.
 

Chaos Isaac

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Charcharo said:
Chaos Isaac said:
Man. I keep being surprised by how people like the buggy, contrived mess that is Witcher 3 so much.
Oh man, and the choices, when I kill someone off and they come back later anyways, what meaning!

Seriously, i'm super salty about this game.

Not bad though.
Well it is much less buggy than most other gigantic Open World games nowadays. Hell those games from experienced studios like Bethesda (whose Fallout 4 was their fifth gigantic open world game on the same engine)... were much buggier, ran much worse, looked much worse, lacked PC options even I can program into a game...

Only MGS V had a good showing in this genre. And even it had other problems... missing a third of the game basically...
My experience with Witcher 3 is more buggy and messy then any Bethesda game. (From Oblivion to Fallout 4. New Vegas was about glitchier, but, what wasn't per say Bethesda.)

I had a really sour experience with the Witcher 3. Especially when I kept running into literally invincible enemies, and Ves returned from the dead later on in the game.