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December 7th, 2008, 05:16
Okay, I finally finished the game last week. Really the best game I've probably ever played - or at least on par with Gothic and Gothic II. Anyway, I want to start one of those constructive criticism threads - what would you change about the game if you could… Or… what would you like to see different in the sequel?

I know we'll get a few haters on here, but hopefully we can keep it fairly realistic.

My list:

1) For god's sake, if I want to keep my weapon out, let me keep my weapon out!!! Don't sheath it for me every 5 seconds and/or when I stop to pluck a flower petal.

2) More cutscenes for non-critical moments to increase narrative impact - What I mean is, there were some great moments in the game that were sort of neutralized by keeping it within the actual playing engine Example:
Spoiler – Spoiler:
That's just an example, but there were plenty of other moments that would have raised the bar in the storytelling even more if they had created it more like a movie. I know some people complained about the game being too linear as it is, but they can just go play Mount & Blade.

3) More variation of character models. Yeah, the EE gave them more color choices, whoop-de-doo

4) More contextual appearances for the main characters - Example
Spoiler – Mild Spoiler:
Such is a very minor thing, but would be a little more realistic that way, which in turns fleshes out the storytelling that much more. Same for Triss and others - You're telling me that the wealthiest sorcerer in Vizima only has two outfits?

5) More weapons variatons - One thing I loved about the Gothic series was the endless assortment of weapons to choose from, and they were cool looking. There really weren't many choices in TW. There were two or three special swords available but they didn't 'fit' Geralt's look, e.g.the scimitar that is made available near the end of the game. I ended up using my heavily upgraded Witcher's sword throughout.

6) Fewer enemies in some locations. The swamp cemetery was just crawling with drowners - you couldn't possibly kill all of them and it got old really quick. Plus when you were tired of fighting them and simply wanted to get questing done, you couldn't because the game wouldn't let you enter another location until combat mode switches off. That was really annoying.

7) Get rid of the spooky beastie and critter sound effects in human controlled areas (like refugee caves and the like). The growling and grunting and heartbeat sound effects are great for a monster infested crypt, but it just doesn't fit in EVERY cave or crypt.

8) Is there any building in the Northern Kingdoms that doesn't have a 20' high ceiling? How is that even possible after looking like such a small hut on the outside?

9) More sensible and varied house layouts. Every house you enter leaves you the option of either going up or down. Incidentally, why do so many people have unused, monster infested basements?

10) Constantly being kicked out of dialogue, or having to wait until an NPC finished their animation before being able to talk again.

Those are my biggest complaints, and every one of those is pretty minor when you consider the overall product. So what does everyone else think?….

..& so they take the fiction all out of the Jabberwock & I recognize & accept him as a fact. - Mark Twain, May 30, 1880
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December 8th, 2008, 01:22
I agree with the points above except point no. 10. I don't remember the problem you specified, especially of being constantly kicked out of dialogue. As far as i know you could escape a dialogue and cut off or finish early a line of dialogue of particular character with a simple right mouse click.

Other things i would preferred:

1) The game HUD could be improved; less distracting border art around every interface objects, including the character inventory and alchemy making screens. They could use some more streamlining.

2) Adding a interesting and recruit-able companion(s) with different skills and personalities. I think it's not easy to implement and probably effect the currently state of gameplay too much. Valve did well with incoporating the Alyx character into plot and various aspects of gameplay.

3) Reduce the amount of different alchemy potions, if not, re-balance or redesign them as currently i almost use only swallow, cat and couple other potions, the rest are pretty useless.

4) Spells; same as in 3) above = Reduce/re-balance or redesign the types of spells. I think the wind and fire spells are more useful, and you could ignoring all other types of spells.

5) Add interactive options during sex scene…
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December 8th, 2008, 06:34
Yes, I think the potion problem is that the game simply wasn't hard enough to force a player to use them, even on difficult setting.

Personally I kept avoiding the use of the less common potions, thinking I would save them up for 'when I really needed them.' Unfortunately that time never came, and by the game end more than 3/4 of my inventory was unused potions, bombs, and oils.

I did occasionally make use of Swallow, Cat, Tawny Owl, Wolverine, Willow, Maribor Forest, and Petri's Philter, but they simply made what could have been a hard battle really easy. - I'm not complaining too much about that - it's nice to have a challenge, but being injured to near death on every encounter is not that fun either. Plus it IS the White Wolf after all… he shouldn't be getting beat up all the time anyway!

..& so they take the fiction all out of the Jabberwock & I recognize & accept him as a fact. - Mark Twain, May 30, 1880
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December 8th, 2008, 10:49
Not a bad list; I'll sign on to most of your points.

Some differences of opinion, though: I wasn't bothered by the lack of variety in weapons, since the variety in combat styles, potions, oils, bombs, and signs made up for it. More weapons (which would have had to be swords) wouldn't really have added much variety to the game; they'd just have made for a different look. And I never was a huge fan of cutscenes. I very much agree about the silly nighties, and not only in the scene you mentioned. Lucky there's a mod out there to address this very problem (by getting rid of said nighties altogether).

But I agree with you about the other points, more or less, although I wasn't quite as bothered about the auto-sheathe behavior as you were.

Sooo, things I would change:
* Make it harder. I played it on "Hard," and it was pretty easy really. "Hard" should have been "Normal," and there should have been a mode above "Hard."
* More alternative approaches to quests. Most of the quests were pretty straightforward, with the interesting parts in those famous "story decisions" that would have repercussions later. However, this is no reason not to have good ol' traditional Fallout-style variety — as in, "bash the door in and fight your way through/steal a key and sneak in/talk to someone to let you in" and so on. There was some of this, for sure, but there was scope for a lot more, and it would have made for better replayability.
* A more coherent Chapter 2. There was just too damn much going on there at once, and doing it in the "wrong" order led to some pretty bizarre situations, with either Geralt being shocked to discover things he'd already discovered way earlier, or talking with authority about stuff he didn't know yet. This was confusing; I lost the thread of the story entirely on my first play-through, and only figured it out properly on play-throughs 2 and 3.
* Better camera control. I did tame it reasonably quickly, but the initial impression is of wild gyrations, and in especially dialog cutscenes the camera is occasionally all over the place.
* Better development on some of the sidequests. The House of the Night one, for example, felt like an embryo of a story, but it ended up having very limited consequences. It established some very interesting characters, and it's a shame they had no role to play further down the line.
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December 8th, 2008, 11:03
Agreed with a lot of points, though not so much on the "interactive options in sex scenes" part because, c'mon, the sex cards are embarrassing as it is. Ugggh. Don't think recruitable companions would be a good idea, either, because it'd not gel with the style of the game or the character, and I don't think you need an adventuring party in order to have a good story.

I was really intrigued by the House of the Night, especially at the idea of that blue-eyed girl purposely becoming a vampire prostitute to escape her obligations. The mistress of the brothel could have been interesting, although it was annoying that she looked like a streetside hooker.
  • Respawning monsters. They work in slash-and-loot games for obvious reasons, but here they're just a nuisance. A big one, especially when the monsters in question are trivial (see drowners). Even the repelling talismans don't really help. The swamp and swamp cemetery were damn unpleasant to trek through.
  • The original English script wasn't properly restored. I'm still hung up on the fact that even with the EE, I couldn't have Geralt tell Adda he prefers dwarven lovers. Male dwarven lovers.
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December 8th, 2008, 12:11
The "interactive options during sex scene" part was a joke.

And as an addition to the previous post on things i liked to change:

1) Better game saving and loading implementation; i'm impressed with those implementation in Fallout 3, very fast.
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December 8th, 2008, 15:24
Yes, PJ, I would also agree with most of your list. However I personally didn't have a problem with the story thread in Chapter II (I assume you are talking about the investigation). Maybe I did everything in the proper order (the developer intended order), as one of my praises for the game was how complex certain quests were and yet how coherent they stayed.

I'm also not sure what you meant about the camera - speaking of actual playing or dialogue scenes, or both? I noticed that the camera moved WAY too fast on default settings with OTS mode, but that's easily corrected in the options. The ISO camera also rotated too slowly for my taste, so I played almost exclusively in OTS. (I actually just thought of something… does the mouse sensitivity setting affect both modes? - making OTS the right speed actually slows down isometric too much? Maybe that's the problem…) Anyway, the dialogue scenes were messed up sometimes by the random camera placement, it's true.

..& so they take the fiction all out of the Jabberwock & I recognize & accept him as a fact. - Mark Twain, May 30, 1880
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December 10th, 2008, 16:34
The gameplay.
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December 11th, 2008, 02:37
I'm sorry that you missed out on a great game, GothicGothicness.

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December 18th, 2008, 18:34
I disagree with the "more" points, typical youth illusions, they believe they have more time than they have really. Think better not bigger, think quality instead of quantity.

About that, my main wishes would be:
  • An improved fighting system. The current one is cool only if you give up just focusing on chaining hits and it's a real problem that chaining hits is most often the best tactic.
  • To have a better freedom (LOL quote how vicious I am!) but not too much I don't want another boring empty sandbox.
  • Better management between cut scene and difficult fights to avoid stuff like where failed most newbies with the first boss.
  • Replace many random fights by non random but better designed fights.
  • No more empty boring houses.
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December 21st, 2008, 06:05
New combat system. Instead of clicking wildly, this game tediously makes you look at the sword and then you click… real breakthrough guys.

MORE CHARACTER MODELS!!!!!!!! I even added more exclamation marks to show that this is serious stuff. I go and save Abigail only to see like 6 of them in the upstairs of the tavern in Act 3.

Either make the sex in the game less like a 13 year old boy's fantasy or just eliminate it. It's a bad gimmick akin to collecting bobble heads in FO3 or something.

Better dialogue please. At least in the EE I could sort of follow.

I think that's enough of my expert opinion for now… if anyone needs me, I'll be in my office being important.
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December 22nd, 2008, 21:21
Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
New combat system. Instead of clicking wildly, this game tediously makes you look at the sword and then you click… real breakthrough guys.
I agree but there's a trick to minimize a lot this problem. Play in hard difficulty so the visual effect is more tiny and then take care of sounds if you want chain hits then you can look freely anywhere else.

Another trick is try something else that just chaining hits. With training mixing moving and swording plus a bit of signs make fights much more fun.

For your sex quote I have to disagree, yes it's not mature, it's just funny. I'm not sure that make it more mature will work. If you make a full romance, that turn easily into stupid in games. If you make it pornographic well just take a porn movie instead. :-)
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December 23rd, 2008, 08:49
Agreed with most points.

Personally, Iīd like to see more "verticality".
The environment was rather flat in that regard which is probably tied to the fact that Geralt isnīt able to jump, swim or climb. Since the game did so much things so well, I didnīt mind it after a while but in the beginning it was rather ridiculous not being able to jump over a stupid fence, especially after seeing the intro movie which was full of vertical antics.
I guess it would probably be too much hassle to implement it properly for the first game, but if sequel will be made, Iīd like to see these things in.
Also, not being able to walk in OTS view was rather weird (Iīve played most of the game in first person view so personally I didnīt mind).

Regarding the story, one aspect that felt rather unfinished, and in the end borderline disappointing, was the resolution of Geraltīs relationship with Shani/ Triss. Iīd like to see it adressed more prominently in the epilogue, since it was a pretty important part of the story.
I guess this would be eventually adressed in the sequel, but at least one dialogue with the chosen woman before the last one with Dandelion wouldīve been nice.
Last edited by DeepO; December 23rd, 2008 at 10:29.
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December 25th, 2008, 21:49
I believed that there was a walk key, even in OTS. Have you tried keep shift pressed to walk? But perhaps that's another key.
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December 26th, 2008, 00:19
If there is a 'walk' key I sure didn't find it. It's not shift, I know that.

..& so they take the fiction all out of the Jabberwock & I recognize & accept him as a fact. - Mark Twain, May 30, 1880
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December 26th, 2008, 00:33
Ooops that's right I wonder from what i remember this. There's even a mod that has been made to add walk in OTS, it is include in this mod:
http://www.thewitcher.com/forum/index.php?topic=17884.0

Other than that I agree that walk and even toggle walk would be a cool improvement.
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January 6th, 2009, 10:39
How about some inconveniences, which waste time such as inventory management? Also, to be honest, I missed fast-travel in Oblivion (Yes, you are free to regard it blasphemy). Related with this, I didn't like quite a number of Fedex quests. I don't think moving around maps is good game-play. In fact, it took me almost a year to finish the game – it was nice that EE worked with my old saves. As a side note, although the dialogues definitely make much sense in the Enhanced Edition, the silly dialogue loops still exist in it.
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March 23rd, 2009, 18:32
I'm with Dusk. Fast-travel is good.

Replaying the game I do find that there are a few time-sinks that bug me.

- Introduce more fast-travel options.
- Reduce the number of containers with mediocre loot. They reminded me of the NWN1 OC.
- Unlimited inventory for non-weapons (to cut down on time spent backtracking to stores).
- Reduce the frequency of fights against very weak enemies (killing drowners in chapter V doesnt add all that much to gameplay), either through some sort of level scaling or by making monsters of much lower level than Geralt passive.
- Provide (slightly) better descriptions of what the various effects do, either in the manual or in-game. Giving D&D style numbercrunching data would be too much and detrimental to the atmosphere of the game, but a one-sentence qualitative explanation of what "pain" and similar such effects actually do would be nice.
- Give some warning when approaching points of no return. As the game does this at times I suspect the "missed" times simply are oversights. The end of chapter one comes to mind.

Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Personally, Iīd like to see more "verticality".
….
Agree, it is very annoying when cutscenes show a behaviour that the game engine doesnt allow you to come anywhere near. This is mainly a fault of the engine, but I dont see why CDPR couldnt have put in an animation to climb over low fences and the like (see Arcanum for an illustration). Having to trek around a fence in the fields in chapter 4 is an annoyance, if a minor one.
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March 24th, 2009, 13:20
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
I'm with Dusk. Fast-travel is good.

Replaying the game I do find that there are a few time-sinks that bug me.

- Introduce more fast-travel options.

- Reduce the frequency of fights against very weak enemies (killing drowners in chapter V doesnt add all that much to gameplay), either through some sort of level scaling or by making monsters of much lower level than Geralt passive.

- Give some warning when approaching points of no return. As the game does this at times I suspect the "missed" times simply are oversights. The end of chapter one comes to mind.


Agree, it is very annoying when cutscenes show a behaviour that the game engine doesnt allow you to come anywhere near. This is mainly a fault of the engine, but I dont see why CDPR couldnt have put in an animation to climb over low fences and the like (see Arcanum for an illustration). Having to trek around a fence in the fields in chapter 4 is an annoyance, if a minor one.

I'm not sure I get the fast travel options complaint? The maps (levels) are not that large, and you are usually confined to only one at a time. To me having some teleport gateway or whatever it is you have in mind on such a small map, in every map, would just look silly and break immersion. What exactly did you have in mind?

Your complaint about too many drowners to kill is definitely on target, but believe it or not you can easily fix this by purchasing a drowner repelling talisman in-game.

As for the last point, that is just too much hand-holding and cuts down on replay factor tremendously, but that's just my opinion.

Everything else you mentioned I completely agree with!

..& so they take the fiction all out of the Jabberwock & I recognize & accept him as a fact. - Mark Twain, May 30, 1880
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March 24th, 2009, 13:37
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
Your complaint about too many drowners to kill is definitely on target, but believe it or not you can easily fix this by purchasing a drowner repelling talisman in-game.
Yeah, but you still stay in "battle mode" when they're around, which means you can't pick up stuff. Gathering herbs, monster parts and loot is kinda important, so you'll often end up having to kill the drowners anyway, and that's just so much easier when they're not running away from you… Nice idea from CDP, but poorly realized.
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