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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Witcher 3 - Preview Roundup #3

Default Witcher 3 - Preview Roundup #3

June 17th, 2013, 02:45
Hopefully this is the last roundup of news from E3 for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. First we have a full audio presentation from E3 from gamertagradio.

Now here are the previews.

RPGFan
After speaking with a jarl, the demo took Geralt to the seas, where he passed a raiding party's ship (the rowers' song reaching across the water). We then saw the fast travel option, which is quite appreciated in a game of this size. The game, which can occupy a thorough player for over 100 hours, is 35 times larger than The Witcher 2. Yes, it's also larger than Skyrim, although comparing the two misses a few points. Allegedly it takes Geralt 40 minutes to pass from one end of the world to the other. On a horse. The developers actually have tools to develop realistic geography. They have one tool, for example, with a single purpose: to measure where rain would gather on terrain and allow a forest to grow.

I later interviewed Jonas Mattsson, an environment artist, and he explained the construction of the world as "organic," a term I commonly use when critiquing level design and world building. He assured me that the player would encounter something interesting every two to five minutes, and I believe it. From a single vantage point, we could see a house on a little island cliff, a fallen ruin, roads leading away, farmhouses, mountains, a forest, and probably more things I missed. That I couldn't take control of Geralt and explore almost killed me. There are sure to be side quests, caves, monsters, and treasure along all these routes, and some of the quests randomly pop up, although none are randomly generated. The entire game is handcrafted, which gives it a feeling of immense authenticity.

When Geralt headed to some ruins, he discovered a Fiend eating a corpse on the ground. A Fiend is a hulking three-eyed antlered beast of terrifying composure — you can spot it in the E3 trailer. It immediately attacked and an intense battle unfolded. The Fiend unleashed its special attack: using its third eye to hypnotize Geralt, causing his vision to darken and blur. The effect was horrifying, exciting, and unique — probably the coolest single thing I saw at E3.
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Littering the landscape are mobs of creatures and monsters, small and large, as well as bandits, mercenaries, and other humanoid opponents. Like any good open world action game, whether or not you engage your opponent is entirely up to you. If you see bandits attempting to ransack a house you can, if you desire, keep on walking and let them go about their business. Or you can intervene. Doing so might give you access to secrets and lore about the world around you, fleshing out Wild Hunt‘s narrative, or may even open up an entirely new side quest story. Either way, if you do chose to engage opponents you find Wild Hunt has changed up the combat in a few ways from Assassin’s of Kings. Enemies are generally a lot tougher and methodical to take down, Geralt’s sword play faster, and sign powers like Igni easier to chain into battle (like incinerating your enemies). CDPR have also noted the negative reception from fans in regards to Assassin’s of Kings quick time events, removing all such things from Wild Hunt‘s combat.
International Digital Times
Graphically speaking, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt captures those little details beautifully. Although we were reminded that we weren't seeing a final version of the game, the graphics were simply stunning. One sequence showed Geralt meditating for hours, and as the sun moved around him and day turned to night and night turned to day, the complex weather system and dynamic landscape of The Witcher 3 really came to life. Rippling grasses, wispy clouds and impressive lighting effects looked as good as anything I've seen at E3 and the team at CD Projekt RED should be (and is) proud of their product. But it's more than just a pretty game. Mattsson reaffirmed the company message that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is about bringing an intense, gripping story to the open world genre.

"Story can be lost in the open world," said Mattsson. "We want it to make sense. There is no 'collect ten flowers' or 'take this package over there' type questing. We are eager to prove that we made an open world with a strong story."

"It's quite simple my word is the law around here, and failure to comply means termination."

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Last edited by Couchpotato; June 17th, 2013 at 05:18.
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June 17th, 2013, 02:45
Graphically speaking, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt captures those little details beautifully. Although we were reminded that we weren't seeing a final version of the game, the graphics were simply stunning. One sequence showed Geralt meditating for hours, and as the sun moved around him and day turned to night and night turned to day, the complex weather system and dynamic landscape of The Witcher 3 really came to life. Rippling grasses, wispy clouds and impressive lighting effects looked as good as anything I've seen at E3 and the team at CD Projekt RED should be (and is) proud of their product. But it's more than just a pretty game. Mattsson reaffirmed the company message that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is about bringing an intense, gripping story to the open world genre.
It feels so good reading this about RPG and not some FPS clone braindead monkey can randomly click to win.

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June 17th, 2013, 05:12
I had the opposite reaction. Whenever a reviewer is instantly wowed by graphics, it seems that's all they see. I can no longer trust anything that reviewer writes. Everybody these days focuses so much on the pretty pictures, mechanics are quickly, and happily, forgotten. I can't even begin to count the number of crappy games I've played that reviewers gushed over because it looked good.
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June 17th, 2013, 09:46
The developers actually have tools to develop realistic geography. They have one tool, for example, with a single purpose: to measure where rain would gather on terrain and allow a forest to grow.
Now that's just cool.


Oh.. and so is this..

CDPR have also noted the negative reception from fans in regards to Assassin’s of Kings quick time events, removing all such things from Wild Hunt‘s combat.
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June 17th, 2013, 10:35
I am really hopeful for this, although I rather disliked their self-deferential promo video that we saw last week. It will be interesting to see their take on an open world game.
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June 17th, 2013, 11:23
No QTEs, fantastic!
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June 17th, 2013, 12:04
I hope this will be as good as it sounds, if they've fixed the combat, and the limited feel of being stuck in one "region" and can maintain the rest, this might be the RPG!!! I doubt they'll manage to pull of the same amount of C&C as in TW2 though… with such a large world!
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June 17th, 2013, 14:13
Anyone else concerned with there only being 100 hours for a thorough play through? If the witcher 2 took about 35 hours to beat and the witcher 3 game area is 35 times larger, 100 hours seems really low.

I hope that doesn't mean that we are going to have a bunch of large empty areas with nothing to do in them. The witcher series has never had rewarding exploration. Sure there's areas to explore but generally there's not much to see or find in these areas. The constant back and forth through large relatively empty areas was my main gripe with the witcher 1.

To me the reason skyrims world works so well is because even though it has some large areas, it never seems like I can go to long without finding something interesting to do. After almost 400 hours I'm still finding things to do or see that I haven't done or seen. Skyrim isn't just big it's loaded with content, I hope the witcher 3 can manage the same. At only 100 hours for a thorough play through I fear that might not be the case.
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June 17th, 2013, 14:35
Skyrim… Is endless mobrespawns game.
That new content you're finding after 400 hours is because you've wasted 400 hours on beating the same ol' mob over and over.

100 hours of stoppable respawns doesn't seem "too short" in my case.

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June 17th, 2013, 14:43
It doesn't say it's only 100 hours. It says "over" 100 hours which could mean anything.

Regardless, I'd rather have 100 hours of hand-made content than 300+ hours of "Radiant questing".
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June 17th, 2013, 16:00
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Regardless, I'd rather have 100 hours of hand-made content than 300+ hours of "Radiant questing".
I agree 100%. For me, 100 hours is more than enough.

I had fun exploring in Skyrim but at one point I got really fed up with all the generic ruins/buildings that continuously appeared. One side of me said "Hey, let's see what possible wonders I may find in there" whereas another voice said "why bother, it'll be filled with the same old psychopath bandits and/or mages that will kill anything on sight".

I actually prefer a vast landscape that is significantly less populated but where everything is unique and more fleshed out.
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June 17th, 2013, 16:08
Agree with all the above. Fallout:NV is smaller in size compared to Fallout 3 as I understand, but is full of rpg and story goodness. Same with Vampire: tMBL, where you have small areas that are full of brilliant stories and characters with massive replay value.

I don't mind hiking simulators, but not with poor combat mechanics (i.e. Skyrim)!
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June 17th, 2013, 20:43
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Skyrim… Is endless mobrespawns game.
That new content you're finding after 400 hours is because you've wasted 400 hours on beating the same ol' mob over and over.

100 hours of stoppable respawns doesn't seem "too short" in my case.
It's an open world game. What do you want them to do not respawn and after 20 hours you can walk through an empty world? Skyrim respawns every 3 game days which is plenty of time to clear a dungeon or move on to another area. I never really notice the respawns. Also there's several mods to change respawn rate. I know you don't use mods as it might take something away for you to bitch about.

Besides the witcher has respawns. You can walk around killing downers forever if you wish. You spend endless time going back and forth through the swamp to do quests, killing the same swamp monsters over and over.

Also, it's hardly wasted time if I enjoy it.
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June 17th, 2013, 20:52
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
It doesn't say it's only 100 hours. It says "over" 100 hours which could mean anything.

Regardless, I'd rather have 100 hours of hand-made content than 300+ hours of "Radiant questing".
Yes, my fault I missed the "over" part.

I agree with you and I'm not saying 100 hours is too short for a game but I'm wondering if 100 hours would be to short for a game 35 times the size of the witcher 2. To the point that the world might feel empty or lacking things to do but they did say OVER 100 hours so it may be a moot point.

I would be surprised if they have all handcrafted content for a game of this size. I think they would need to come up with some kind of dynamic quest system to avoid running out of content.

I love CDPR and will give them the benefit of the doubt but I can't help but wonder if they are biting off more than they can chew. I have a feeling I'll be waiting for the witcher 3- enhanced edition before giving it a serious play through.
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June 17th, 2013, 20:54
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
IAlso there's several mods to change respawn rate. I know you don't use mods as it might take something away for you to bitch about.
There is no mod that stops respawning. There is a difference between words "stop" and "rate". Oh and norespawn mod for FO:FNV doesn't work in case one's want to try it, I did but didn't work - but for whatever reason I didn't see so many annoying respawns in FNV for some reason.

Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Besides the witcher has respawns. You can walk around killing downers forever if you wish. You spend endless time going back and forth through the swamp to do quests, killing the same swamp monsters over and over.
Yes that's true. However:
1. You can completely ignore them as their presence is just a decoration, they can't hurt you badly unlike endless bosslike draugr in Skyrim that don't disappear when you run through them but continue are chasing you all over the place
2. Of if respawns do afflict a significant damage, there is a method to stop them from respawning (for example burning corpses) without any need for mods, cheats and hacks

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June 17th, 2013, 21:07
This is sounding better and better, but I think it'll be a significant challenge for CDP to outdo Bethesda, though. They seem to have far fewer resources. I too am guessing it'll be a bug fest or delayed….

Also found some new screenshots (new for me, at least) that look fantastic!

http://www.pcgamer.com/gallery/the-witcher-3-screenshots/
Last edited by Thrasher; June 17th, 2013 at 21:20.
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June 17th, 2013, 22:31
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
This is sounding better and better, but I think it'll be a significant challenge for CDP to outdo Bethesda,
Not as a rpg (and Bethesda and Skyrim were outdone before in this genre by others in the past), but maybe Bethesda and Skyrim outdo CDPR as a hiking simulator with poor choices and consequences and terrible combat.
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June 17th, 2013, 22:44
Skyrim combat already beat the Witcher 2 rollfest and quicktime events.
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June 17th, 2013, 23:08
I found vanilla skyrim combat a bit bland but found it to be quite good with mods.

Also found combat to be much better when I stopped dual wielding, that area could use some help.
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June 18th, 2013, 12:05
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Skyrim combat already beat the Witcher 2 rollfest and quicktime events.
I am sure that Skyrim system is very popular (accessible, dumped down, easy) because of its always win, let the computer choose your next animation one button clickfest.

The Witcher 2 combat is strategic and rolling/dodging gives the combat a varied and additional dimension to the clickfest/hit-detection-miss-fest of Skyrim.

Bethesda only needed to look at Dark Messiah, Dark Souls and the likes for a decent combat system.
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