So that Witcher 3, eh?

Zhukov

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Heh. I can just imagine those familiar with my opinion on the previous Witcher games cringing at the sight of this topic.

Well good folk, you may uncringe yourselves because I'm actually rather enjoying The Witcher 3.

It feels strange and unnerving to be saying this, but the switch to an open world seems to have been a massive improvement. It allows the setting to breath and establish a bit more of its own feel beyond Premade Fantasy Setting #004c.

Granted, the story pacing suffers somewhat as a result and there's a case to be made for sidequest exhaustion, but that's partly my playstyle to blame. ("Must. Finish. All. The. Sidequests!") And hey, at least in this case there's some justification for the sidequests, since most of them essentially consist of Geralt doing his improbably dramatic day job.

The developers seem to have resisted the urge to shovel bucketloads of "maturity" into every available orifice. The war and genocide and racism and rape and sexism and pogroms and whatnot are all still in there, as they should be given the setting and tone, but it's been toned down to non-ridiculous levels.

Also, there are actually some pretty cool characters along the way. Standouts so far being the Bloody Baron and that one sorceress with history's widest neckline.

Lastly, God help me, I think I'm actually starting to like Geralt, the impassive Mary Sue ************. If nothing else, he comes across as an all round goodhearted fellow, or at least can be played as such.

...

Of course, enjoying a game has never been enough to stop me from whining about every little thing that I didn't like. So let the complaints commence:

- Is it just me or are the movement controls a bit shit? Not total shit, I adapted, but a long way from good. This is one of those games where just running through a doorway might take a few attempts.

- The crafting system is kind of a bloated mess. A relatively unobtrusive bloated mess, thank God, but a bloated mess nonetheless.

- The level scaling. Or lack thereof. I understand why people dislike level scaling, it undermines the feeling of progression. But I don't really see a situation where your success or failure is dictated largely by a number as exactly being an improvement. Granted, you can kill things above your level (I took out some level 20 enemies at level 13) but doing so is a test of patience and your willingness to abuse the shield spell rather than a matter of skill.

- Repeating background chatter. "Is it true northern women bathe but once every three months?" I really wish developers would stop doing this.

- The tracking/investigation sections are a bit... iffy. I mean, I get that they're trying to make what Geralt does seem a bit more involved that just hitting shit with a sword. Sadly, these sections just boil down to holding down the make-everything-of-relevance-glow button, then following the glowing things until you find something to hit with a sword.

- Maybe I'm missing something here, but the Witchers being considered freakish pariahs makes no damn sense. The world is up to it's goddamned ears in monsters. Every single village you go to has got something or other eating their kids the moment they step into the treeline. You'd think in a world like that people who kill the monsters for a living would be incredibly popular. There's something about Witcher mutations and/or training "stripping them of humanity and emotion" or whatnot, but that doesn't jive either since Geralt, inexpressive though he may be, pretty clearly feels emotions and shit. Hell, if nothing else you'd think the haters would keep it to themselves. "Hey, so, see that heavily armed, spell-slinging, sword-swinging, cat-eyed guy over there who represents a guild known entirely for being remorseless killing machines? Yeah, well, imma go spit in his beer. There is no way this could possibly end poorly."

EDIT: Oh. There's already a W3 thread. I swear on my life that wasn't there when I started typing this.
 

tippy2k2

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Zhukov said:
EDIT: Oh. There's already a W3 thread. I swear on my life that wasn't there when I started typing this.
That's OK because this thread is perfect for what I need to ask where the other thread looks like it gets more into story and whatnot, something I don't want to see.

I've made it no secret that I did not care for The Witcher 2. Much like W2, I fully expect that I will get Witcher 3 eventually just because I'm going to hear how awesome it is from everyone who has ever existed and curiosity will eventually kill me. Since you don't go into any spoiler stuff in your thread, I hope you can answer questions for me that the other thread wouldn't be able to (well...they would be able to but I don't want to go in there cause spoilers).

1. Is the combat better? I thought the combat and whatnot was just awful in the W2 and it confused me how people loved it. Geralt would take a year to get his sword out, you had to use potions and whatnot to fight certain creatures but couldn't use them mid-battle and the only way to know what was coming was to get into battle, and much of the fighting was less "badass action sword fight" and more "I walk over, I stab you, then I roll away. Repeat until dead".

2. Will I understand the story without having to read five Bible's worth of material? That's one thing that bugged me with critiquing the W2's story; people said how much it made sense if you read all the stuff and studied up on what was going on. I'm here to play a video game; I'm not interested in reading the history of the land to find out why I should care about this king and that king...some people eat that stuff up; I'm not one of them.

3. Speaking of story, will I know what's going on without the other two games? I never played the first one (console gamer FTW) and as I have implied, I hated the second one and did not get all that far before I stopped playing.

I thank you in advance for your help....unless you ignore me in which case I'll be over here in the fetal position crying.
 

Casual Shinji

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I'm experiencing these same unfamiliar feelings. 'This game is actually... good?! Geralt is actually... charming?!'

And kudos to the developers for putting so much work into the side quests. I must've played this game for 20 hours or so, and have not come across two side quests that were the same. Take note here Bioware.

Also, this world is just freaking gorgeous. It doesn't just look amazing, there's an organic feel to it that is unprecedented. You can smell the the dank trees and moist grass. And cities genuinely feel like cities, not "game cities".

tippy2k2 said:
1. Is the combat better? I thought the combat and whatnot was just awful in the W2 and it confused me how people loved it. Geralt would take a year to get his sword out, you had to use potions and whatnot to fight certain creatures but couldn't use them mid-battle and the only way to know what was coming was to get into battle, and much of the fighting was less "badass action sword fight" and more "I walk over, I stab you, then I roll away. Repeat until dead".
I can't remember much of the combat of The Witcher 2 except that I fucking hated it. The combat in W3 works fine. I don't know how it stacks up on harder difficulties, but on Normal or lower it's perfectly manageable. There's a dodge and a parry button which work great. You can also put potions and healing items on a hotkey so you can use during a fight.

2. Will I understand the story without having to read five Bible's worth of material? That's one thing that bugged me with critiquing the W2's story; people said how much it made sense if you read all the stuff and studied up on what was going on. I'm here to play a video game; I'm not interested in reading the history of the land to find out why I should care about this king and that king...some people eat that stuff up; I'm not one of them.

3. Speaking of story, will I know what's going on without the other two games? I never played the first one (console gamer FTW) and as I have implied, I hated the second one and did not get all that far before I stopped playing.

I thank you in advance for your help....unless you ignore me in which case I'll be over here in the fetal position crying.
I'm not too well known with the story of the previous games either, but the story in W3 doesn't seem to have too many connections apart from some things going on in the world. It's all about Geralt tracking down his surrogate daughter. There's obviously some things that'll go right by you, but I'm finding that most of my enjoyment comes from all the little side stories, like the one of the Bloody Baron.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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They've really improved Geralt's character. I love his sarcastic remarks the most. His voice actor finally makes complete sense now. I never hated Geralt or his voice actor, I just thought that it could be better. And finally it is. Much better.

As for moving around, just do what I do. Keep the walking toggled and just sprint around if you need to get somewhere faster without a horse. It's how I play most of the games these days and it works the best. There's no point in more than two levels of movement speed in most games.
So movement isn't really an issue when you figure out that it's the extra option that is making things harder. Movement is IMO a lot better than in most open world games in the recent history. Nothing is contextual like in Assassin's Creed for example, and you can freely climb, jump over or vault over everything that looks reachable. Freedom of movement is incredible in this game.

tippy2k2 said:
1. Is the combat better? I thought the combat and whatnot was just awful in the W2 and it confused me how people loved it. Geralt would take a year to get his sword out, you had to use potions and whatnot to fight certain creatures but couldn't use them mid-battle and the only way to know what was coming was to get into battle, and much of the fighting was less "badass action sword fight" and more "I walk over, I stab you, then I roll away. Repeat until dead".
Problem with The Witcher 2 combat was input lag, or lack of control responsiveness. That was fixed with one of the patches and even further with a mod made by one of the developers. But even if you played the patched game and hated the combat, fear not. It's immensely improved in this game.

I can't really explain all the little details and tweaks that make the combat better, but one of the biggest changes is the fact that you don't have to roll around anymore. You can if you want to. They didn't remove that option. But now you also have a dodge button that works really well. Everything just feels better, more fleshed out and refined.

You can use potions mid-battle now, and you only have to craft them once. Once you craft a potion or a bomb they will be replenished after you meditate, provided that you have strong alcohol (alcholest and dwarwen spirit). And you will because it's everywhere. Some people thought that this was a bad idea but it turns out that it works really well and it makes things easier in a way that doesn't dumb the game down. It just prevents boring grinding.

tippy2k2 said:
2. Will I understand the story without having to read five Bible's worth of material? That's one thing that bugged me with critiquing the W2's story; people said how much it made sense if you read all the stuff and studied up on what was going on. I'm here to play a video game; I'm not interested in reading the history of the land to find out why I should care about this king and that king...some people eat that stuff up; I'm not one of them.

3. Speaking of story, will I know what's going on without the other two games? I never played the first one (console gamer FTW) and as I have implied, I hated the second one and did not get all that far before I stopped playing.
You'll understand enough to enjoy it. And even if that weren't the case you can always check out YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiqMr0OvQog
 

Staskala

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Also hijacking this thread for a quick question: Is it necessary to play the other games first? I played W2 for a bit, couldn't get into it and promptly quit. I checked out W3 and the combat etc. seems much better, so I want to try it.
Will you be completely lost as to what's going on without knowing at least the cliff notes version of the story? Or can you reasonably pick it up at the 3rd part of the story?
 

Staskala

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Halyah said:
So far it seems they are going for a sort of Fallout 1, 2 and New Vegas style of continuation. Meaning the previous game would certainly let you recognize a fair bit of elements and help inform the setting, but are by no means required. At least I've yet to see anything that really required me to have played W2 in order to understand or follow it. Mind you I haven't gotten very far so I could simply not have gotten to the point where having played the older games(and read the books) would've been required.
Sounds good to me, I will give it a try then. Thanks.
 

tippy2k2

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Adam Jensen said:
Problem with The Witcher 2 combat was input lag, or lack of control responsiveness. That was fixed with one of the patches and even further with a mod made by one of the developers. But even if you played the patched game and hated the combat, fear not. It's immensely improved in this game.
Casual Shinji said:
I'm experiencing these same unfamiliar feelings. 'This game is actually... good?! Geralt is actually... charming?!'
That sounds about right Adam Jensen. That's a big reason why I thought the "Roll slash Roll" tactic was the only thing that worked; Geralt felt like he was fighting in a pool of pudding.

The fact that the combat sounds much better as described by both of you makes me much happier about the game. It seemed like the kind of game I should have been able to really get into but the combat mixed with the lackluster story (for those of us who didn't read the five Bibles) killed it quickly. I especially like the potions thing for that seemed awfully stupid to me; "use potions to make fighting easier! But you can't use them when you need them so I hope you enjoy the quick save/quick load function!". It's still going to be some time before I get it (360/PS3 FTW!) but it's nice to know that when I finally bite that bullet and get a new system that I'll have at least one game to look forward to...

Charcharo said:
*Also, why is reading 8 extremely good books that happened before the games something bad? IMHO, you ought do it anyway if you are a fantasy fan...
Because I'm here to play a video game, not read a book. If I wanted to read a book, I would go buy a book.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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tippy2k2 said:
Because I'm here to play a video game, not read a book. If I wanted to read a book, I would go buy a book.
Well, you should :p
When fellow gamers recommend you a book, you buy the book. Just read "The Last Wish". It's a collection of short Witcher stories. If that doesn't get you interested in The Witcher lore you can forget the rest of the books.
 

tippy2k2

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Adam Jensen said:
tippy2k2 said:
Because I'm here to play a video game, not read a book. If I wanted to read a book, I would go buy a book.
Well, you should :p
When fellow gamers recommend you a book, you buy the book. Just read "The Last Wish". It's a collection of short Witcher stories. If that doesn't get you interested in The Witcher lore you can forget the rest of the books.
Charcharo said:
I am only recommending them. For your own good. The Witcher games were originally (and still are) made for Book fans BY book fans.
If it were the opposite... well I would have already had my way with CDPR...

If I had the power to force people to do what I want... well we would all be playing STALKER 3 or something...

Respect for the elder art form mate :p
I see where you're going with this....I should skip Witcher 3 and play STALKER! :D

Alright, back on topic. I didn't mean for that to sound quite so defensive or accusing or anything like that (flashbacks from Witcher 2 fanboys getting prickly about myself not getting into the story maybe?). I actually do intend to check those books out eventually for I am a heavy reader; generally I read a book every one to two weeks depending on the size.

What I was trying (and failing) to say was that I shouldn't have to read a book in order to understand the story in your game. The game should be able to tell the story on it's own and if you are required to have an encyclopedia with you to understand what's going on, your game didn't do story well. You can have those options (like the Mass Effect Codex; it can expand and give you more info but I can play Mass Effect without ever opening The Codex up) but your game shouldn't have to rely on them to make the story work.

...I hope I've explained it better.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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I am also a disliker of Witcher 2 for mostly similar reasons already stated (i wanted to like it, and I tried but couldnt force myself to play anymore after reaching the dwarven encampment). Also have been won over by this final instalment. Brilliant for the developers to make the final game so all round loved and talked about. They must really listen and take to heart the criticisms from previous games.
One thing I have noticed on my travels through the wilderness which I absolutely adore, is that the sky, weather and time of day combinations have so many wonderful moods and colours. More than any game i've seen. There are oranges with storms and deep purples with reddish pinks flickering through windy woodlands. Light green dusks. Each one unique, unexpected and just gives a completely different vibe to each moment. Whereas most games just keep to the norm of weather effects. I would not hesitate to say this is currently my favourite world to aimlessly trek in so far.
The combat is a special bonus. When it clicks, it feels really great. There is an art to it that can get you in a flow or rhythm when you find your groove. The extra dodge button will be a highly appreciated feature for bloodborne players too. Maybe it's because I chose hard difficulty (maker knows why), but the enemies can easily tear you down if you aren't always on guard. There will be dying and learning. Though the load times can be a drag for a tricky bit. Great game. Go...get...You deny yourselves of a very pleasant experience that could cleanse many cynical palates.
 

ForumSafari

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Zhukov said:
most of them essentially consist of Geralt doing his improbably dramatic day job.
So far my experiencve of the sidequests has been either that of relative ease and amusement (the goat one, most of the retrieval stuff) or that of sheer pant-pissing terror when I get all the way to the 'defeat the X' stage of the quest and find out the X just shits all over me and I end up galloping out of town as fast as I can.

I'm loving it so far.

EDIT: As for why they're hated there are a few reasons for that.
Firstly is that witchers have no political allegiance so they make the nobles nervous.
Secondly they're very violent and tend towards pump 'n' dump activities which means they can stir up shit in villages very quickly.
Thirdly they do kill monsters but they mostly only do it if you can pay so if you're a poor village you're sol.
Fourthly they look weird, which is a surprisingly provocative thing in real life.
Finally there was a book written in universe called the Monstrum which heavily smears them.
 

Leon Royce

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I played the Witcher Enhanced edition four years ago, and loved it, though I can't remember why. It was probably the narrative, the combat was terrible.

The Witcher 2 was by far the weakest. There was way too little exploration and gameplay to counterbalance the amount of time spent in cutscenes, listening to boring NPC's talk about people you didn't know doing things in places you'd never see and didn't care about. I quite after getting to Act III. And in a game where the best you can hope for is to get level 25, you had to spend 10 points to unlock basic fighting abilities. And the difficulty was all over the place.

The Witcher 3 is fantastic. The combat feels great once you master the short dodge. With the keyboard, holding off multiple enemies is a blast, though the signs could be a little faster to cast and the blocking could work a little better. They sometimes feel unresponsive. The world is huge, and you can just ride from village to village for hours killing monsters.

Gold is balanced. 25 hours into the game I still have to manage my money. Buying the best saddle for my horse (expanding inventory space) will cost me a quarter of what I've got so far. New armor would cost me an eight. So you have to manage your resources. You have to buy herbs to upgrade your potions, and you have to fix your weapons and armor.

Difficulty is well balanced too. At level 20 you can still be overwhelmed by weaker monsters, so you have to remain focused, make sure not to be surrounded.

And yes, Geralt is now likeable. Even lovable. All they did was give him a subtle confident smile rather than a robot look like in the Witcher 2 and voila. That, and some sarcasm.

The best part though, are the quests peppered with little moral decisions. Everything is grey. You can make a good decision and end up causing a huge number of deaths because of the way others characters respond. It's given me great food for thought on questions of morality. No paragon/ renegade BS here.

The game is fantastic. The expansion pass is a day one purchase.
 

jim1398

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Zhukov said:
- Maybe I'm missing something here, but the Witchers being considered freakish pariahs makes no damn sense.
This is explained more in the books (both the actual books and the ones in game). The main reasons they are hated are,

- They aren't considered human. Humans in this setting aren't generally that tolerant of non-humans.
- Propaganda.'Monstrum' is a popular book that is extremely anti-Witcher. People have a habit of believing what they read.
- Misunderstanding about what they do. Many people believe Witchers to be nothing more than hired killers.
- The whole 'taking a child and subjecting it to mutation' thing isn't likely to help either.
 

The Madman

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Great, now all that's required is for that Moonlight Butterfly (I think that was their name) poster to come back and say they like Witcher 3 and I'm pretty sure it's a sign of the apocalypse.

Way to go bringing the doom of mankind upon us all.
 

Elfgore

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Tis' alright. Animations are really poopy and the auto-save is near Bethesda level's of hair-pulling. I've played around six hours or so and it still hasen't really grabbed me. I just reached Velen and have wandered around for a bit, did a few side-quest. So hopefully the game does get me soon.