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The Witcher 3: What Geralt Wants

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Only about 8 hours to go until preloads are unlocked! Over the weekend, Eurogamer republished a great article about the origins of CD Projekt (Red and Blue... is that why Galaxy is purple? :P): http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-11-06-seeing-red-the-story-of-cd-projekt

 

Also, if you're playing on Xbox One, you might want to read this article about the good and bad of the day 1 patch: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2015-should-you-install-the-witcher-3-day-one-patch

 

  Kirk Hamilton has written an excellent beginner's guide to the Witcher universe, going through lore and major characters before discussing the previous two games (with spoilers, obviously). The first half is useful (containing a minor spoiler for Witcher III in its description of Ciri).http://kotaku.com/a-beginner-s-guide-to-the-world-of-the-witcher-1704506152

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It's unlocking now! A few more minutes and I'll finally be playing it after all this anticipation (which was somewhat damped in the end by the weekend release of the Fury Road)!

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Hmm, I dunno. The first unlocking failed, now I've restarted Steam, deleted some folders, and am trying again. I have Spanish Steam but I don't yet understand everything esp. error messages so I'm not exactly sure what went wrong.

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Ah I was working of gog, maybe steam it's an hour sooner.

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I guess, because I've been playing it for a bit! :) Something seems weird though. Most animations seem speed up, like objects moving in the wind, player animations etc. Feels weird. Looks gorgeous on Ultra settings!

 

[edit] Also the game keeps notifying me that KEYBOARD AND MOUSE DETECTED! CONTROL SCHEME CHANGED!

When I select save game, it pops up a dialog where it says that game saves saved with this version of the game will be incompatible with the previous version! and I have to press ok to confirm that... Then when I entered the game after I used the NVIDIA thingie to "Optimize" settings, it said that it reset all user settings when I went back to the game.

 

Looks like it has some issues...

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Cool as I suspected I cannot run this game unless I want to turn all the settings down to their lowest. Oh well I guess I just won't play it for a few months until I can afford a new video card. And maybe CPU? I have no idea what's bottlenecking me here. Probably both.

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While I did knew that I might won´t work with my current video card (GT 430, I am planning to upgrade anyway), much to my surprise, somehow the game is working and I am able to play it, at low, but still quite pretty and playable.

 

Oh, this might help someone:

 

If you did have the save from the Witcher 2 from GoG (like me) and the Witcher 3 from steam you can import the save, just drop it either on Steam\userdate\{userid}\20920\remote or maybe in the my documents\witcher 2\gamesaves (or something like that).

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I've put a few hours in, and I like what I see so far! I've mostly been tearing round the country side, doing things here and there, rather than out and out storying. I died quite a bit to start with, mostly due to my thinking that parrying works well against animals :P! As a handy hint says, dodging is better for those guys.

 

I love the open hostility and fear shown by the villagers even going by them; it all goes towards making the world seem like a living place (with lots of dying).

 

I have already encountered an enemy that practically impossible to kill just by swinging a sword at it, but reading the beastiary is a huge help. Thinking before slaughtering seems like a good bet to me.

 

Also, I've seen a fair few comments round the interwebs complaining that the visuals have been dumbed down with respect to earlier footage, because of consoles. Well, my i7-4770, 8 GB RAM and GTX 970 struggle with the highest settings, so that's clearly not the case :).

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 Oh man, totally loving it so far. I have had one crash going from cut scene to regular world. I'm playing everything on high on a GTX 970 and the frame rate is amazing and looks great. 


I forget how much I loved learning about enemies, creating and applying oils and kicking ass. I love how fleshed out the side stuff is in Witcher games, everything feels "major".


Just finished up the Griffin quest, looking forward to being let loose in the wider open world. 


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Really excited for this, I just can't justify the purchase with my current back log. It seems to be getting a lot of praise, but these kind of games always do. Tempted to wait to see if there's a backlash after more people actually play it. Dragon Age was similarly praised (although to a lesser extent) and I didn't really enjoy it as much as I expected I would. Plenty of people had the same feeling as me when I was reading about it weeks after release.

 

Just worried about a bunch of fetch quests and tedious filler like DA:I.

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I started this on the PS4 and the UI text is uncomfortably small (and this on the "Large" setting). My TV isn't huge, but it's not tiny, either, and I'm not sitting that far from it (and my glasses prescription is up to date). I get that QA dungeons consist of a bunch of people sitting at desks with their faces in their displays, but geez, c'mon.

 

I mean, CD Projekt is obviously a PC-centric developer, so I can cut them some slack, but this isn't their first rodeo.

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I started this on the PS4 and the UI text is uncomfortably small (and this on the "Large" setting). My TV isn't huge, but it's not tiny, either, and I'm not sitting that far from it (and my glasses prescription is up to date). I get that QA dungeons consist of a bunch of people sitting at desks with their faces in their displays, but geez, c'mon.

 

I mean, CD Projekt is obviously a PC-centric developer, so I can cut them some slack, but this isn't their first rodeo.

 

Glad I am not the only one, was trying to play on my 42" in my living room on my PC. I know my left eye is a little blurry but everything seems way too small to read, I wish you were able to scale the UI up manually. 

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I started this on the PS4 and the UI text is uncomfortably small (and this on the "Large" setting). My TV isn't huge, but it's not tiny, either, and I'm not sitting that far from it (and my glasses prescription is up to date). I get that QA dungeons consist of a bunch of people sitting at desks with their faces in their displays, but geez, c'mon.

 

I mean, CD Projekt is obviously a PC-centric developer, so I can cut them some slack, but this isn't their first rodeo.

 

I've noticed this is a semi-frequent issue with games these days. Dead Rising was stupid hard on the eyes on an SD set. Hitman HD Trilogy (at least Contracts) has miniscule text. Hopefully by the time I get to starting on Witcher 3 after picking it up tonight, they address this.

 

Also weird that I don't recall this being an issue with Witcher 2.

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Anyone else having problems with the mouse and keyboard controls? Left shift and right click for heavy blows just isn't working for me. Geralt just standing looking bewildered before whatever he is trying to hit eats him.....

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The Witcher 2 PC controls were such a miserable experience to me that I went straight to the gamepad for this game.

 

So far I'm super impressed with everything. I never finished the 2nd game because I found the interface too fiddly, and if I stepped away from the game for a bit I would basically forget everything. This time around everything feels much more intuitive and easier to handle. My only real complaint is sometimes you'll see the button indicating that you can interact with something or pick something up, but you're not actually standing in the right spot to do that so you have to walk around a bit like a drunk idiot before you can actually perform the action.

 

But so far at least this is like exactly what I want out of a RPG, and the open world environment is really lovely.

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If any PC users are having troubles configuring gamma, be aware that there are some bugs with fullscreen vs borderless windowed and the gamma slider.

I posted some details here.

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 I'm playing everything on high on a GTX 970 and the frame rate is amazing and looks great. 

 

Really? I'm on a 970 too and have things spread between medium and high, and I'm still getting these fairly regular drops of 5-10FPS for a second or so when moving around in the world. I'm not sure whether it's a streaming issue or what. The actual stable framerate is good, but then like I said I get these brief sudden drops for no reason.

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I turned everything to Ultra with GTX 970 and it's mostly fine, although I guess the framerate could be better at times -- I haven't measured.

 

I seem to be the only one who is finding that some animations have weird speed? For example the branches/leaves in the main menu, and in-game. Seem to be just animating too fast*, like there was a constant ridiculous storm. Similarly, I find the movement during combat to be a bit faster than I like -- I guess they updated it from previous game similar to what the unofficial patch did (which I didn't like).

 

* At first I thought this was a bug affecting my PC, but I looked at some youtube videos and it's the same there.

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So I picked this up last night because I have no self control. It seems pretty good, I suck at the combat. The block/parry doesn't work against monsters, and the dodging time is really off. Coming from Bloodborne, where you press dodge at the very last moment, it gives you i-frames and happens the moment you press the button, makes the Witcher's dodging feel sluggish. 

I just get wrecked by monsters because the dodge seems to take so long.

 

It seems like a fun game, I just find the combat rather frustrating. Is there a "way to play" the combat? 

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I also have no self control(I even complained to Tegan my lack of it). See, I hated Witcher 1 and 2. Awful writing, awful gameplay, awful seemingly everything. Even with the mods on the second one to fix the completely asinine difficulty issues, it was still a bad caricature of fantasy political storytelling that seemed more concerned with looking legit than actually telling a good story, or having any understanding of political motivations. Childish, I guess.

 

Here however, it seems like they've just learned so much. The actual political storylines going on here are smart, well done- they show how a political personality is formed, and how it fails: Traditionally, a poltical personality is perfect, it's the ideal- but as humans, maintaining that position is obviously impossible, especially considering the history and burdens involved. The Bloody Baron, for example, ends up being a genuinely interesting, complex character. Trigger warnings about in the spoiler below, but it's The Witcher so you should expect it at this point.

 

Having come to power years after deserting the military, he ends up with power primarily because of a vacuum. Taking responsibility, finally, he turns out to be an able military commander, if particularly passionate- and as a result, often takes a hold-no-prisoners attitude toward his battles.

 

But as he gets more comfortable, he relaxes. He becomes a more capable ruler, and finds compassion even toward his foes. However, his earlier desertion, cruelty, and failures leads him to drink. In this time, he manages to marry, and have a daughter- but his passions flare once again when he drinks, and he lets his anger overtake him, manifesting in physically abusing his wife.

 

When you come in, everyone still views him as a great leader- he genuinely cares for his people, works hard to both give them everything they require and protect them, similarly. The only negatives that seem to be held to him is his anger, and considering the nickname he's earned(which ironically, was from a moment of compassion in a battle, not from malice), it's no wonder the fear of him at his angriest is so strong.

 

As you progress, he seems to start out genuinely more interested in keeping up appearances and maintaining his status. But as you discover what he's done to his wife and child, he breaks down further and further until finally he attempts to kill you with his fists alone(btw, turns out everyone had good reason to fear him in a fight- motherfucker's got a mean hook). But in the aftermath, you force him to acknowledge his imperfections, and though still reluctant, he seems to genuinely attempt at fixing his mistakes at his family.

 

Throughout, he seems to waver between his political and personal selves, at times wanting them back with him despite his abuses, and at others seemingly accepting that he won't see them again. You, also, are given multiple opportunities to change attitudes towards him, and the game seems to nimbly accept that your opinion is changing- just because you treat him like the dog he is after learning of his abuses, doesn't mean you can't be more sympathetic with him after he more rightfully buries the miscarriage he caused. And even at the end of it all, his soldiers notice the difference in his attitude, and the way he goes about his day- yet because the news doesn't come out, they still revere him rather well.

 

This post is already way too long in the tooth, so I'll stop there, and say "Also this game is easily the prettiest game I've ever played in my life, good God."

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Really? I'm on a 970 too and have things spread between medium and high, and I'm still getting these fairly regular drops of 5-10FPS for a second or so when moving around in the world. I'm not sure whether it's a streaming issue or what. The actual stable framerate is good, but then like I said I get these brief sudden drops for no reason.

 

Yeah i did turn off the hair non-sense though!

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So I picked this up last night because I have no self control. It seems pretty good, I suck at the combat. The block/parry doesn't work against monsters, and the dodging time is really off. Coming from Bloodborne, where you press dodge at the very last moment, it gives you i-frames and happens the moment you press the button, makes the Witcher's dodging feel sluggish. 

I just get wrecked by monsters because the dodge seems to take so long.

 

It seems like a fun game, I just find the combat rather frustrating. Is there a "way to play" the combat? 

 

Well, first, you are not supposed to parry against monsters; I believe there is even a line in the tutorial to that effect. (Though maybe it was a loading screen tip? Can't remember)

Second, I think the dodging just takes some getting used to. I have sunk a ton of time in to the Souls games, and I find the combat here pretty comparable, just a bit less responsive. The lack of an instant response seems more like a design decision than a bug or limitation, (it's very similar to how Geralt has a few extra frames at the end of a run after you let go of the stick) and once you've sunk a few hours in it starts to feel pretty natural. (At least to me) The timing is just different here, and it takes a while to get rid of the preconceptions you come in with if you're used to the Souls style games. 

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