Witcher 2

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Ravager69, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 15, 2008
    The styles in W1 weren't that great, admit it. Once you get the timing right, all you ended up doing was using group style once you entered a large battle, and then pick off the survivors with specified styles. There wasn't really any interactivity as far as combat-styles go, no defending, no countering, only clicking. Luckily, the signs add a lot to how combat can play out.

    Assassin's Creed did a bit better at making combat interesting, but it didn't do enough. Countering was a good thing to put in, though to make it a one-shot kill was probably too much. The game would really have benefited from more specialized moves.

    The Batman game really did well at making combat absurdly enjoyable; well, as long as you're fighting opponents without guns. One of the few games where combat actually has a flow and sustaining such a flow is rewarded both in effectiveness and combat visuals.

    What I did really like in the Witcher, though, was the way potions were treated. Chucking potions is usually a no-fuss mechanic in other games, where every potion is a gain. Now you actually had to think about what specific pro's you had to use, when, and to what degree. Specializing against a certain enemies, chucking potions in the right moment, and making good use of signs, was basically what the Witcher was all about; the styles were probably not all that interactive because you would've had enough to worry about regarding all the other stuff.
  2. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    You are surely jesting, sir. It has one of the most boring combat systems ever. One-button mashing "combos" get boring fast. Especially after the addition of "press this button to win" move.

    IIRC there was defending in W1. Also, group style in the big battles against knights was utterly useless. I recall having to constantly using the right styles and weapons to get the edge in combat.

    W1 wasn't an action game, and not marketed as such. It was an H&S ARPG. Do you blame Diablo for being not interactive enough? Stats first, correct equipment/potons second, combat interactivity last. It's not Devil May Cry for Christ's sake.
  3. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 15, 2008
    That's why I called the countermove overpowered. But really, how much different is it from what Witcher does? In AC you click the button, timing it so as to create a string of combo's, or timing it so as to counter correctly. The Witcher you...well, you just time and then you only click. I'm only looking at the sword-fighting here, which really isn't that stunning in the Witcher. It's all the other stuff that makes combat interesting, but you surely can't mean that timing your clicks 2-3, or in the end 4 times in a row is the epitome of sword fighting.

    There was no defending. Unless you call the text pop-up once in a while that stated that your character had 'Parry!' of 'Block!' or whatever it was that it showed, or are referring to the hand-to-hand combat which was just seriously simplistic (you block, he swings, you hit opponent, repeat). Most of the sword-combat happens in the background, through number-crunching. And, although the visuals of the standard combo's is pretty good, it hardly shows the full range of what is actually happening.

    You might've switched styles when fighting a group, but how long did that take to figure out? Either you read the monster entry, so you'll know beforehand what to use (that was a really nice touch, to be able to research enemies), or you trial-and-error it out of the next mob you see. As far as fighting systems go, it's not a deep or involving system, and were the game to only involve swordfighting it would get boring incredibly fast, that's all I'm trying to say. The complexity of the Witcher is entirely not in the Styles or in having to choose between different blades (basically only two, all the other weapons hardly did anything).

    Hell yes I blame Diablo for not being interactive enough. The click-fest, especially in the beginning before you get interesting skills, is absolutely horrid. After that, things start to get interesting and playing well becomes an important part of the game, instead of just clicking like an idiot.

    I've just recently started (well, not started, I've just been spelled away from Vizima) on the highest difficulty. Styles are vital to choose well, but once you know what style to use, there's no thinking left anymore, no strategy. It's like a monkey finding out which button to press to get food; that's all you need to know, a conditional response.

    I'm repeating myself here, but oh well. What I was arguing is that, rather than the styles, what made The Witcher interesting in combat was the combination of potions and signs, which account for why the styles were so simple, as you are already busy enough with picking the right potion or the right sign for the right moment.

    Stats might've had a big impact, but you hardly need to choose them in W1. You get enough points to fill out pretty much everything in the end, and apart from preferring a certain sign over another, everybody ends up with the same witcher. Correct equipment? You get to choose two blades, upgrade them two or at most three times throughout the game, and you get your pick out of a total of 5 armors, throughout the entire game.

    Potions, now, that's where the game really get's going. You really need to stress this element more, it's pretty much the defining aspect of the Witcher. Creating the right combination of a swallow with albedo, a willow with rubedo, perhaps a blizzard with nigredo, some Samum bombs to stun enemies, Black Blood against bloodsuckers, the huge variety of oils to coat your weapon in, etc. etc.

    And for some reason you don't even mention signs. They allow for some really nice strategic ways of killing mobs. I wouldn't have survived without signs on the highest difficulty.

    What comes first in the Witcher might be stats. But after that it's potions, then signs, followed by styles, followed by equipment. The blade-combat only happens with the styles, and that part is really not very fleshed out. You're right that interactivity in that part is probably not needed, but they've already entered some interactivity by making you time your attacks correctly. Couldn't have hurt had they given you some form of blocking manually, or perhaps a countermove (one that isn't an instant-kill). All I'm saying is, combat with a blade is not very interesting, nor deep, nor is it what makes the Witcher the Witcher. The game would surely have benefited from a more complex swordfighting system that involves more than just timing your clicks.
  4. Arr0nax

    Arr0nax A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 30, 2009
    I think we could safely say that Prince of Persia 2 is the "epitome of sword fighting". Never been equalled since then.

    Feel free to burn me.
  5. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 15, 2008
    Well, I haven't played it, and I can't really burn stuff I don't know.

    Some other games that did well at sword fighting, but in a completely different way, are Mount & Blade and the Gothic series. The damage you do still depends largely on how skilled your character is (stat-wise) and how good your weapon is; but the player can make such an enormous difference that it becomes a goal in itself to practice and become good. And once you do so, a game should reward you as well. It is absurd how much fun good swordplay or archery in Mount & Blade can become. Gothic did something like this as well, but had a keyboard layout and controls imported from hell. Compared to what amounts to sword fighting in The Witcher, both M&B and Gothic surpass it in complexity. The Witcher's saving graces (and very good ones at that) are potions and signs.

    Solely looking for enjoyable combat, I'd have to go with the Batman Arkham Asylum game. It is insane how fluid, rewarding, enjoyable and involving combat can be, especially as long as it remains hand-to-hand. But in the end, that's all the game is. Well, that and scavenger hunts for trophies, extra info, and so forth.

    Now, I've a bit uncertain about whether The Witcher should've had more involving combat. It would've definitely improved the first parts of the game, where solely clicking a button soon becomes quite boring. But in later parts, I fear that a more complex and involving combat system might burden the player with too much stuff at one and the same time. I might be wrong though, and it might've been an excellent idea to add real freestyle sword-combo's, manual dodging, manual blocking, etc. to The Witcher (still stat-dependent, of course). But I guess we'll never know.

    Oh, another game that I just remembered: Severance: Blade of Darkness. Old, but by God, that was one hell of a combat system. A bit clunky perhaps, but I really enjoyed it.
  6. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Uhm guys I think you should not confuse so much things. The Witcher offers not very much interaction like other games but that doesnt mean its combat is useless or bad. Its not perfect for sure but letz not go in to that cause then you can just simply argue that no combat is perfect.

    But complaining about the lack of interactivity in the Witcher combat is like complaining you cant control the sword of your fighter in a D&D based game. Not that I say such things happen here but I see a lot of people disslike PNP games ... well cause they are PNP games ... and demand changes, changes, changes till it suits their style and preference like what we seen with Fallout 3 ... (awesome I hate chocolate cause it tastes like chocolate, thus I want it to taste lika vanila but to still look and feel like chocolate ... eh ?)

    There are some RPGs offer a lot of interactivity certain Gothic games or Risen and also lot of the games I dont think are RPGs (like Prince of persia, assasins creed or what ?).

    Thing is if you go to much in to the "I want to control everything of my character" you might end with a game that is as interactive like Oblivion when it comes to combat ... and that is probably one of the worst systems.

    Obviously combat in Witcher could be improved to make it more interesting or a biger challange. But at least you had a great use of potions for combat which can not be simply ignored and when you played the game somewhat on medium/hard settings they have been quite often needed for certain fights like fighting 5 ghosts and a wrath.

    If you criticise the Witcher for issues or something you think could be improved is fine. But dont bash it simply cause it has no interactivity like Prince of persia or Assasins Creed which are not even remotely RPGs.
  7. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    I still think you're bashing Witcher for what it's not, Monseigneur Dantes. Blaming it (or Diablo) for bad swordplay or lack of interactivity is equivalent to bashing FO1 for having unrealistic gunplay - all you do is click Attack, no aiming, no anything! It's a bad FPS!

    Except that FO1 is no FPS and Witcher is no action game. W1 has emphasized roleplaying, story and number-crunching from the start, so your critique is misplaced.

    That's also the reason why I'm skeptical about the new combat system, because I'm afraid that we'll end up with something as boring as AC. It's not just the matter of Counter being overpowered, it's a matter of a whole thing being completely dumbed down. It had no stats and relied a lot more on the action, but frankly the action was crappy as hell. Though not quite as bad as the sneaking system.

    My favourite classical swordplay is from Knights of the Temple, a great and fairly interactive combat system that only gets more fun as the game progresses (until the very end where it gets boring). I'm thinking bows would be a nice thing to add to Witcher, too.

    But, you know, asking the devs to do everything (a top-notch realistic stat-dependent combat simulator, all wrapped into a book-quality story with cutting-edge visuals) is just unrealistic, there need to be priorities. As far as I'm concerned, the RPG part of the game is a lot more important than combat.

    Severance combat was too clunky for me to enjoy.
  8. 13pm

    13pm Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 10, 2007
    So, as for the dialogue, it seems, they've screwed it up turning into the masseffectish meh:

    "The cinematic feel of the game has been further enhanced by the addition of fully immersive dialogue and cutscene system, which (unlike all current RPGs) uses in-game settings and real-time events instead of time-freeze dialogue windows. In fact, dialogues can be joined or left by people who're talking, camera doesn't stand still, and some of the dialogue options require swift reactions (since people won't just stand there and wait for you to decide what to say)."

    Link: http://witchervault.ign.com/

    Also, there's a good unofficial FAQ: http://www.thewitcher.com/forum/index.php?topic=28407.msg5402080
  9. Hamenaglar

    Hamenaglar It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 2, 2009
    This dialogue thing has really dissapointed me.

    I don't think I'll be buying the sequel.

  10. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    The Witcher was an action game though. There is no doubt about that you also played a strong story but the emphasis was just as much on "pure" dramatical action. Not that its a bad thing but The Witcher is not Planescape ;)
  11. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 15, 2008
    It's mainly the first thing I wish to do. On page 2 of this topic there was some talk about the style system disappearing. Basically, I wish for a more complex system, preferably involving more input from the player. Imagine playing any RPG nowadays with a major sword-fighting component in it, and then imagine such a game to only have three weapon attacks corresponding to three types of enemies. This is basically what the swordplay boils down to in The Witcher, and I doubt anyone could support the claim that this, abstracted from the rest of the game, is a complex, deep and fulfilling game mechanic.

    Yeah, I notice I might be arguing against what people might see as the grain of the game. A penguin isn't supposed to fly, it's supposed to swim. But what I'd argue is that The Witcher was a duck to begin with; it had both RPG and action elements (as, it seems, Crni Vuk agrees with).

    Now, if I were to criticize a duck, I'd say it would be valid to criticize it both for its ability to fly as well as swim/float. Styles add to the game, but not that much. We're actually a lot closer to each other's points than might appear. I simply have more... well, call it faith, that the devs might improve the combat more by losing the style concept and going with new ideas. If they, ultimately, dumb it down instead, than I would've certainly wished for them to hold on to the style system.

    AC was probably not a very good example to give. I remember how utterly bored I got when having to fight another group, again, and again, and again. But with the way The Witcher was hiding the stats to begin with, it shouldn't be much of a problem to add some player-created combo's, instead of just clicking three-four times at the right moments. The core of the game, the numbers, can still click away in the background, determining whether what you do is evaded/blocked or hits for so and so much damage. A nice touch, for example, would be to allow player combo's for precision strikes, added critical chance, effects like de-shielding an enemy, or throwing someone off-balance. Combo's don't need to become an overwhelming force like they did in AC; but they can certainly richen your experience of a game's combat.

    This does change the game somewhat to a more action oriented style, but I'd rather have a learning curve and some skills that I, as the player, would have to learn to master the game, instead of merely letting the character I have created wreck havoc based on stats alone. I'm afraid that, were a game to rely too much on these RPG elements, that all the player in the end does is press a button and see how it all turns out (and thát is what Oblivion did, absolutely horrible). Dumbing down can go either way; you can make a failed action oriented combat system, too simplistic and repetitive to be enjoyable, or you can rely too much on stats, making the player almost redundant. The player in The Witcher mainly played a role through signs and potions, the two elements I have been praising most. The sword-combat just wasn't up to par to these other elements.

    True; I'm generally quite demanding of my games. I really (really) liked The Witcher though, especially on higher difficulties where the mesh between potions, signs, and some of the high level abilities during combat really starts to shine. But regardless of combat, if they screw up conversations, choice and consequence, and morality, I certainly wouldn't play the game for combat alone (actually, if they add a morality meter in any kind of form, the game fails).

    ARGH! I can't write short responses. Kill me. I need to be reading philosophy, not writing half a book on a forum.
  12. maximaz

    maximaz Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 2, 2006
    Agrees with Dantes. Just because Witcher is a story-driven RPG, it doesn't mean the combat has to be dull, especially considering how much of it there was in the game. After a few fights, it became a repetitive chore that required no real attention from the player. I hated parts of the game with a lot of combat because I knew exactly the series of morse code mouse clicks I would have to execute in order to get through them. There was no unpredictability to the fights at all.

    It's not that it wasn't full real time, it's that it stopped being involving fast while battles became more and more frequent in the game. In something like Fallout, the combat was strategic more or less for the duration of the entire game. Fallout was also a full on RPG, while Witcher was definitely an Action/RPG.

    Diablo's system worked because the game was all about grinding the exp and looting. If the combat was any more complex, it wouldn't be as fast (most of it lasts for one click of a button) and would slow those two things down. It was more about getting exp fast and what the foes could drop rather than the process of making them drop it.
  13. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    the combat was extremly repetitive thats something I can agree with. And I have to agree that the more I played the game (beat it twice) and the closer you get to the end the less you really care about the combat element. Even in the last boss fight.
  14. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    Well, and aside from a few story-driven battles, a big chunk of Witcher combat reminded me of Monster Hunter. Go kill this type of monster, collect ingredients etc etc.
  15. maximaz

    maximaz Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 2, 2006
    Point being?
  16. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    Same comment as what you said about Diablo may apply:

    Although, thankfully, to a much lesser degree.
  17. maximaz

    maximaz Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 2, 2006
    Well, that can apply to any RPG if you stretch it. The main point of Diablo the game was to beef up the PC, thus anything more than the one-click combat would just slow things down. That is not the case in the Witcher. Sure that element is in there (or any RPG) to a degree but it's a story driven, action adventure RPG. The focus is completely different, the combat actually takes awhile and you wouldn't go out of your way to look for random groups of enemies to kill, unless you needed something for a quest or it was a part of a quest. Witcher can't get away with Diablo's combat system but I often wished that it would because of how annoying its own system was. I actually avoided all those swamp creatures as best I could.
  18. Ravager69

    Ravager69 Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 21, 2007
    Isn't Geralt a geneticaly-engineered monster-hunter?
  19. 13pm

    13pm Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 10, 2007
    So, now there's a lot to look at and discuss.

    Gameplay video:


    They've fucked up the dialogue system to be Mass Effectish. I can see the point they are coming from: you don't want to read and hear the same things in a fully voiced game. But I just don't like it. Remembering Mass Effect this system is getting screwed even more when it comes to translation.

    Stealth doesn't bother me a lot when it's not necessary. It seems it's not. But it's quite shitty according to this video.

    Combat is quite messy, but must be tweaked. I don't know why they call hand-to-hand combat "more dynamic", cause it looks slooooow.

    The environment looks awesome. But, well, it seems the Witcher is turning into yet another random fantasy action RPG. The boss monster looks like it came straight from Dragon Age. The interface elements look too smooth and web 2.0. They also changed the visual style for logo, loading screens etc. It's sad, 'cause TW had a nice athmosphere and style. And now it is being turned into quite generic one.

    They also said that the music is only partly written by the same composer (in TW it was great) and the other part is made by the new one. Maybe it won't be bad, but if the music in the first gameplay video which was shown couple of months ago is ingame, then it will even more turn the mood of the game into the generic fantasy.

    And, overall, the game looks being developed for consoles too.

    Well, the game needs to be sold. And now CDPR is targeting for a much wider audience.
  20. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    Wow, underwhelming...

    Combat & camera angles look even worse than the original.