The Needles: The Witcher 2 Interview

Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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I'm quite glad their re-doing the combat and opening it up so much! While the original's combat worked, it got a tad dry after awhile.

Being a jaded RPG player I feel I should be offended that they're "simplifying" alchemy, but I'm not. I think it would be nice to make it more interesting as well.
 

Nalgas D. Lemur

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ZippyDSMlee said:
The core of the gamepaly is dungeon crawl basically the same formula as Dungeon siege and Daiblo only with timed clicky click combos(which batman:AA dose better) and some poor dodging mechanics, this "R wut" makes the game a daiblo clone or a Crusader clone if it was more RPG than blowing stuff up.... .
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. The rest of the Internet seems to have settled on a fairly specific definition of what "Diablo clone" means, and The Witcher doesn't even come close to it, despite it involving clicking on things to kill them (and if that's all it takes, then TF2 is also a Diablo clone...).

Diablo, or Titan Quest, or Torchlight, or whatever other game in that genre that you prefer (even Borderlands, to a large extent), pretty much all have no character background/development/depth beyond "you're a guy with a big sword" or "you have improbably good skills with a bow despite also having boobs the size of your head" or something similar. They also tend to not have much plot beyond the standard "there's a ridiculously large monster population in the area which could stand to be made dead", with rather little elaboration. The main motivating factor to progress in the game, and even the way progress is measured sometimes, is pimping out your character through a constant stream of random loot drops. Also, you click on stuff a lot.

The Witcher, on the other hand, is largely plot and character driven, has more back story and depth than enemies since it's based on a series of books (at least if you don't skip over all that stuff and spend your whole time killing stuff, but if that's what you're going to do, you're playing the wrong game and won't have a lot of fun), and is almost completely lacking in the whole "loot whoring" system that's a staple of the "Diablo clone" genre. You get new equipment once every several hours if you're lucky, instead of every 20 seconds, and character development focuses much more on decisions you make and interacting with the world/plot instead of just stabbing things in the face a lot.

That's not to say that I don't like both types of games. The two things I've spent the most time playing lately are probably The Witcher and Titan Quest, actually, both of which I really like for rather different reasons. They do both take place in a fantasy world, and I have a sword in both of them, but there's not a whole lot of similarity between them beyond that (and if you haven't played it, the goal when making Titan Quest was "we want to copy Diablo 2 as closely as possible", which they succeeded at). Clicking on enemies to attack them does not a genre define, or else nearly all games with some form of combat in them that have keyboard and mouse controls would be the same genre, and that's just silly. That's like saying a horse and a table are members of the same family because they both have four legs.
 

Mr. Mike

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Sounds interesting. Maybe I should pick up the first one. Would I miss much on the story going straight into the second?
 

AnnaIME

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I stumbled accidentaly on The Witcher, and I loved it. It had so much depth and story, there were characters you could care about, and the world felt as if people lived there, going about their lives regardless of Geralt. I will most definitely buy the sequel.
 

Andy Chalk

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ElectroJosh said:
The sex in the Witcher was embarrassing but, as there were cards to collect, I felt compelled to get "laid" as much as possible. I'm glad that they are getting rid of the cards and, hopefully, they mean it when they say it?s not as juvenile (doubt it will be handled that maturely though).
The cards were definitely a bit juvenile (awesome) but I thought the sex scenes themselves were handled quite well, at least in comparison to other mainstream videogames that put it front and center as a component of gameplay. Talkin' 'about Bioware here, of course: The Witcher sex got a bit excessive but it was never anywhere near as cringe-worthy as Mass Effect or Dragon Age.
 

tendo82

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Nov 30, 2007
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I mourn the passing of the cards. But as much as I'm bummed about that it's their scrapping of the combat system that's got me really upset. I loved the timing based click system. I hope whatever they come up with is at least that dynamic and engaging. There was something undeniably thrilling about clicking to a rhythm and seeing the swords fly faster. I'd hate to see that slowed down.

Fingers crossed for The Witcher 2's sex and violence revisions.
 

Nikajo

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Mr. Mike said:
Sounds interesting. Maybe I should pick up the first one. Would I miss much on the story going straight into the second?
I think it would be a real shame to miss out on the first one. In terms of storyline I honestly can't say how that will affect your experience of the 2nd game (obviously because I haven't played it). If you have a good enough PC to run the first one you definately should pick it up, you can probably get it quite cheap now.

The storyline to the first one is easily one of the best I've experienced though, so I think you should go for it! If you don't enjoy it you have full persmission to kick me in the e-balls :) ha
 

mexicola

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ZippyDSMlee said:
Stop embarrassing yourself diablo clone is a term used for a specific breed of games, The Witcher can't be fit into the category by any standard. Try googling it perhaps, you might learn something because you obviously don't know what you are implying there.
 

aemroth

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Grampy_bone said:
ZippyDSMlee said:
Grampy_bone said:
ZippyDSMlee said:
I hope they adopt a fable like combat system because I loath point and click systems these days....there is no interaction with the PC you just sit there and click...its mind numbing.....
Did you play the original Witcher? It had a timing-based combat mechanic; fairly simple, but still more involved than "click and wait for them to die" MMO-style combat. The sequel seems to have the same style.
Yes and the "click for moar" thing was one of many things that annoyed me, you got little to no bonus for trying to dodge switching between styles was annoying(Jade empire did it better) and the magic/item stuff just got silly with being over complicated not to mention the menu system sucked.

Its probably the best daiblo clone to date but good god the implementations killed me.

I would die a happy death if they went in the direction of fable IE smooth hits,targeting,blocks, special moves and spells.
Well to be fair, the Fable 1 combat stunk (even Molyneux admitted it) and Fable 2 was pretty much "Mash A to win." In The Witcher there was incentive to switch styles in terms of fast vs. strong enemies, dodging was important for the stronger opponents, and the later combo hits did vastly more damage (once they were unlocked). Calling it a Diablo clone is wrong; it wasn't a roguelike, it didn't have complex stats or equipment, random levels, monster spam, level grinding, etc.

And Jade Empire didn't do anything better.
Can't really talk about Fable 2, since i don't own an Xbox, but i didn't dislike Fable's combat all that much. I overused assassin rush and multi strike, and infernal wrath / divine fury were kinda fun too. Yeah, ok, it got kinda repetitive after a while, but at least it was a bit different from the usual stuff.

tendo82 said:
I mourn the passing of the cards. But as much as I'm bummed about that it's their scrapping of the combat system that's got me really upset. I loved the timing based click system. I hope whatever they come up with is at least that dynamic and engaging. There was something undeniably thrilling about clicking to a rhythm and seeing the swords fly faster. I'd hate to see that slowed down.

Fingers crossed for The Witcher 2's sex and violence revisions.
This. I kinda liked the dynamic component of the combat, at least it wasn't just pressing number keys. If they're dropping it, i hope the alternative is better (it sounds like it, but i'll have to see it before i judge it).

Plus, i too mourn the passing of the cards. This is perhaps my bias as a concept art and digital illustration lover talking, but they were a nice touch, and led me to dig to discover who had illustrated them. They could have done the cutscenes *and* kept the cards, but oh well.

OP: Anyway, it's true that any follow-up to a good game, or any other work of art or entertainment for that matter, that has met critical acclaim or success is always a tricky thing, specially balancing newcomers with old fans. Never gave it much thought, but i always felt that as far as games are concerned the approach they're taking is the best one: keeping the complexity for those who want to dig in deeper, but making it enjoyable for those who do not. It's a tricky thing to pull off though, the equilibrium required to tackle it makes it a more difficult endeavor than it sounds, and it can go horribly wrong, alienating new and old fans alike. Here's to hoping they get it right :)
 

Andy Chalk

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Mr. Mike said:
Sounds interesting. Maybe I should pick up the first one. Would I miss much on the story going straight into the second?
Impossible to say at this point. But if you enjoyed RPGs like the Neverwinter Nights games or Dragon Age, you should definitely check it out. It's a little dense at times and isn't exactly gentle with n00bs, but it's still a great, great RPG.
 

ZippyDSMlee

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Nalgas D. Lemur said:
ZippyDSMlee said:
The core of the gamepaly is dungeon crawl basically the same formula as Dungeon siege and Daiblo only with timed clicky click combos(which batman:AA dose better) and some poor dodging mechanics, this "R wut" makes the game a daiblo clone or a Crusader clone if it was more RPG than blowing stuff up.... .
--snip--
mexicola said:
ZippyDSMlee said:
Stop embarrassing yourself diablo clone is a term used for a specific breed of games, The Witcher can't be fit into the category by any standard. Try googling it perhaps, you might learn something because you obviously don't know what you are implying there.
Mmmmmmm I use Diablo clone for any simple combat dungeon crawling game. If that is wrong then I will have to use simplistic diablo like combat RPG.

MA AHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
:p
 

cieply

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Mr. Mike said:
Sounds interesting. Maybe I should pick up the first one. Would I miss much on the story going straight into the second?
Yup, this game is basically all about the story. Playing it with no story is like playing serious sam with no guns.
 

Nalgas D. Lemur

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ZippyDSMlee said:
Mmmmmmm I use Diablo clone for any simple combat dungeon crawling game. If that is wrong then I will have to use simplistic diablo like combat RPG.
Well, I have better things to do than argue with you, like finish the actual game itself, so we'll have to agree to disagree. By "we" I mean "the entire rest of the Internet", and by "disagree" I mean "accept that you're determined to be wrong". Heh.

As far as people asking whether they should play the game or not: If you've ever played a BioWare game and liked it, you absolutely should, no question. It's the same general structure as they are, but with a different take on it in a darker, more ambiguous world. Tons of good story stuff going on, lots of optional stuff and side quests and decisions to be made so you do have some say in how the game progresses compared to most JRPGs, but still overall mostly linear on a large scale and not a completely open sandbox like some western RPGs. So, pretty much a BioWare game made by some guys in Poland and set in a darker world, where your moral choices are generally between things that both/all have good and bad sides, instead of the traditional BioWare options of being either Jesus or a serial killer.
 

Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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Andy Chalk said:
ElectroJosh said:
The sex in the Witcher was embarrassing but, as there were cards to collect, I felt compelled to get "laid" as much as possible. I'm glad that they are getting rid of the cards and, hopefully, they mean it when they say it?s not as juvenile (doubt it will be handled that maturely though).
The cards were definitely a bit juvenile (awesome) but I thought the sex scenes themselves were handled quite well, at least in comparison to other mainstream videogames that put it front and center as a component of gameplay. Talkin' 'about Bioware here, of course: The Witcher sex got a bit excessive but it was never anywhere near as cringe-worthy as Mass Effect or Dragon Age.
I thought the cards were really funny. To me it was like the pokemon card game, gotta catch 'em all! The sex scenes were a lot better than Bioware's, which I like to equate to robots having sex. That's something Bioware needs to work on in general though; their characters are always so stiff.

Mr. Mike said:
Sounds interesting. Maybe I should pick up the first one. Would I miss much on the story going straight into the second?
I recommend it. It's $20 on steam if you use steam.
 

ZippyDSMlee

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Nalgas D. Lemur said:
ZippyDSMlee said:
Mmmmmmm I use Diablo clone for any simple combat dungeon crawling game. If that is wrong then I will have to use simplistic diablo like combat RPG.
Well, I have better things to do than argue with you, like finish the actual game itself, so we'll have to agree to disagree. By "we" I mean "the entire rest of the Internet", and by "disagree" I mean "accept that you're determined to be wrong". Heh.

As far as people asking whether they should play the game or not: If you've ever played a BioWare game and liked it, you absolutely should, no question. It's the same general structure as they are, but with a different take on it in a darker, more ambiguous world. Tons of good story stuff going on, lots of optional stuff and side quests and decisions to be made so you do have some say in how the game progresses compared to most JRPGs, but still overall mostly linear on a large scale and not a completely open sandbox like some western RPGs. So, pretty much a BioWare game made by some guys in Poland and set in a darker world, where your moral choices are generally between things that both/all have good and bad sides, instead of the traditional BioWare options of being either Jesus or a serial killer.
I dunno Dragon age and Mass effect 2 and to a lesser extent KOTOR and ME felt like half a game due to poor or unfinished implementations, story is nice but it dose not make up for annoying or lacking game play and yes I am looking at you bioshock and you fallout 3 as well......

Also biowares tree dailog system needs to be overhauled and made less shallow its been stagnate since KOTOR really....
 

Dectilon

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I've just recently noticed that if you switch to strong style during a light style combo it's much more likely to actually connect, and once you do you'll never drop the strong style combo. While I'm glad they're switching combat system, what I REALLY want is a better inventory. While they definitely improved it for EE I'd still like to have all my potions in one bag, all my books in one etc. Also, possibly make the potions a bit more distinct, even if it risks getting a bit cartoony, because as it is now I sometimes accidentally drink a Cat outside...

Anyway, I'd recommend this game to anyone who likes RPGs. It has its fair share of issues, but more atmosphere than three BioWare-games put together and if you think the combat seems a bit tedious, just switch to Easy. In some RPGs I rush past the quest elements so I can get to the combat, but in The Witcher I play on Easy so I can quickly get to the next quest after a fight.
 

ElectroJosh

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As I said earlier. The sex was embarrassing but, by God, I collected every card I could because they were there.

Maybe this time we'll get some cut-scenes or something so explicit only the Japanese will approve (which means that content will be blocked in my country). All in all I am interested in another Witcher Game. I enjoyed the first one and played through it twice (maybe I'll fire it up again after this discussion).
 
Mar 24, 2010
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The dual approach philosophy Tomas Gop talks about (plus everything behind the 'hidden' message they left in their last video) is all the reason I need to buy this thing come opening day. Even if the game doesnt manage to improve the first one I feel it's vital for us to promote this way of thinking.
 

Andy Chalk

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ZippyDSMlee said:
I dunno Dragon age and Mass effect 2 and to a lesser extent KOTOR and ME felt like half a game due to poor or unfinished implementations, story is nice but it dose not make up for annoying or lacking game play and yes I am looking at you bioshock and you fallout 3 as well......
Zippy, old son, you sound like a hard man to please.

Dragon Age didn't really work for me either, but Mass Effect was great - although I'd argue all day long that Mass Effect 2 doesn't really belong in the list because it's a shooter, not an RPG. But then we get into the same argument about Fallout 3, which I think is still on the RPG side of the line, and it all goes downhill from there.

Did you play the original release of the Witcher or the final Enhanced Edition with the reworked dialog and other goodies?
 

ZippyDSMlee

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Andy Chalk said:
ZippyDSMlee said:
I dunno Dragon age and Mass effect 2 and to a lesser extent KOTOR and ME felt like half a game due to poor or unfinished implementations, story is nice but it dose not make up for annoying or lacking game play and yes I am looking at you bioshock and you fallout 3 as well......
Zippy, old son, you sound like a hard man to please.

Dragon Age didn't really work for me either, but Mass Effect was great - although I'd argue all day long that Mass Effect 2 doesn't really belong in the list because it's a shooter, not an RPG. But then we get into the same argument about Fallout 3, which I think is still on the RPG side of the line, and it all goes downhill from there.

Did you play the original release of the Witcher or the final Enhanced Edition with the reworked dialog and other goodies?
I know I know I am a SOB game nazi but I want "more" form gaming than lulzy short lived content.

I put 50 hours in FO3 and came away with afoul taste of cheap designs and overly simplistic content(equipment,items,skills) in my mouth I put 15 hours into bioshock trying to find the good in it I still yet to have gotten over the piss poor AI lack of death mechanic and horrible item pacing.

Now I might whine about DA but all its really missing is a proper enhancement system (its missing half of the skills,stats and weapons and armor to enchant),a better laid out skills and better 2nd class system(I mean come on half the skills are weak and just blah and the 2nd class feels more like a achievement unlock than anything real) and a overworld, I do not care for the limited on the rails feel of it. I mean fable 2 has a overworld kinda sure its small but you can warp anyplace you been if you hate walking that much. I like to have some control over my grinding...... DA while like bioshock from a visual and story perspective its great even more so its not as shallow as BS's story but you know..... its a game and to me there is a good bit of it missing.

Now for ME 1 is combat came down to hide,cover and shoot I did not care for that....other wise a few pacing issues a few story issues but all in all it kicks ass mostly because I OD'd on tweaking and modifying weapons and armor...I have ME2 sitting here and I can not start it because they took away the 2 things I loved about ME weaopn tweaking and the mako...I guess I will get to it sooner or later.

I am a gamer who clings to he old ways if mechanics are fun and or balanced I enjoy it (Unreal,Quake 1-2,RTCW,Arcanum,Morrowind,Zelda00t-WW even if I get sea sick,Dark messhia,Arx fatalis,Burtal legend which I love even if its to short and could use more content.....)


I have both versions of the witcher here somewhere I dunno if I will start it up anytime soon playing fable 2 mostly right now have the end bit of Overlord to finished...damn cheap boss is cheap..... I miss cheap bosses and quick save LOL
I'll be finishing off bullet witch here sooner or later I do like what they were trying to do even if they failed to do it, I need to start up iverlord 2 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R....last time I played the PC heavily befor Batman stole my soul I was finishing up Cryostaisis and Necrovission both I found enjoyable titles. Cryostaisis is more a adventure FPS like Call of cuthullu but with a nightmare hellraiser vibe you spend equal parts exploring, keeping from freezing and killing things. Necrosvision is a lulz fest with horrible dailog love the above level designs(IE they hide stuff) and the weapons are fun all in all its probably on the same level of the newer wolfenstine, a flawed mess that may can be enjoyed.

I dunno I find new game design styles to be to clean, to simple kinda like modern pop/rock/country LOL