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Default Witcher 3 - Designed As Standalone Game

July 18th, 2014, 19:28
Gamerant's Andrew Dyce is back again with another article for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and talks about the game being designed as a "Standalone Game’ For New Players".

Speaking with CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski at E3 2014, he explained that The Witcher 2 didn’t just bring the studio more attention, but lessons as well. Those will have a serious impact on the structure of The Witcher 3‘s campaign, meaning that although the game is closing a trilogy, it won’t be throwing players into the deep end from the start:

“The Witcher 2 starts… maybe it’s too intense? The very first part of [The Witcher 3] is very slow-paced, you don’t need to know the characters. We provide some details about Witchers, about the crucial elements of who ‘The Witcher’ is, what is the meaning of monster-hunting, and then some small portions of the storyline… of course you can expect some epic moments, but you need time to be sucked into the story.”

We previously explained how Game Director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz feels that Geralt of Rivia is as well-established as Batman at this point, making it possible for each game to truly stand as a separate chapter. Despite promising “an epic ending” to the trilogy with Wild Hunt , the developers claim that not only will the game be playable for newcomers, but may be the entry in the series best designed to welcome in the unfamiliar:

“It’s true, actually, we are sure of that. We want newcomers to the series, that’s why we made it in a way that it’s a standalone game. So all newcomers can enjoy this game right from the beginning. Even more, I think it may be be the best game to start with. We want people to enter the game, and we made it quite smooth. There’s no wall of…’pure-blood-ish’ RPGs straight at the beginning.”

“We’ll see in the end how you judge it, but I’m expecting that people will enjoy being a real Witcher, and they will be able to do whatever they want, because this is role-playing. On the other hand, they will know what they want to do because that’s important as well. We don’t want to just throw people somewhere into a huge war.”
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July 18th, 2014, 19:28
This sounds great to me. I know I rag on W2 all the time. But the real problem was being thrown into something that I was supposed to CARE ABOUT, but it was a boring, confusing mess of a beginning.
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July 18th, 2014, 21:56
And it was such a traumatic experience that you have never tried Enhanced Edition to give this game another chance?
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July 18th, 2014, 21:57
And here I thought TW2 had a fantastic beginning….
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July 18th, 2014, 21:58
Fantastic if you enjoy long cut scenes about characters and places you don't care about.
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July 19th, 2014, 07:50
It was a frigging tutorial part which was meant to teach you how to play the game and tell you about the background story.
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July 19th, 2014, 09:54
They forced endangered royalty and oppressed elves down your throat way too early. I think their assumption that Geralt is as well-developed as Batman is to blame.

They didn't treat the role the player had as vitally as they should. Everyone took Geralt for granted, and while he did everything of importance, this was all assumed of him. Doesn't make the player feel very special, or very attached to their role, if the narrative focus it is all about huge bunches of virtual egos and their problems, while giving token gratitude to the player for solving every problem under the sun.
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July 19th, 2014, 10:15
And the title of "Assassins of Kings" didn't give you a clue that "endangered royalty" just might be involved? Oppressed elves were also a part of Witcher's world from the first game. And, for those who liked Sapkowski's books, Geralt was indeed as well developed as Batman.
As for not feeling/being treated like saviour of the universe? That' IMO, was the strength and not the weakness. There are plenty of other games that will massage your ego to the bursting point.
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July 19th, 2014, 10:22
How about we let people enjoy what they enjoy and forget about it?

If they feel the need to underline their dislike in every thread, so what? It's their need - and it's hardly a big problem. Game was a success and it seems to me quite respected by most fans of serious and mature stories in RPGs.

I certainly think it was fantastic - even if the tutorial section could have been handled differently. That said, it certainly set the tone in a big way - and the ending of the tutorial was more moving than a dozen stories of an average RPG.

If I sat down and watched The Two Towers without Fellowship of the Ring, I'd probably be a bit confused as well. Then again, I'm the sort of person who likes to do things in order - so I'd watch the first film and decide if it's worth my time. I'd never expect a sequel to go out of its way to explain the past and history - as it's…. a sequel.

Then again, I'm from Europe and we have another kind of tradition when it comes to storytelling. It's not often about pure profit and our stories aren't necessarily products from a huge factory. EU movies rarely focus on getting everyone in the seats. We tend to dislike being hand-held and treated like morons as an audience - which might be why some of our stuff can be hard to get into, if you don't bother to invest.

Certainly, the first Witcher game is very quirky and expects a lot from the audience. I had quite some difficulty getting into some of it - and the sequel was a huge improvement, actually. But it's still got that EU flavor where you have to think a bit about stuff.

You know?
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July 19th, 2014, 10:27
I don't have a problem when somebody says that they disliked Witcher games. It's the spurious arguments they are using to try and justify their opinion that I have problem with.
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July 19th, 2014, 10:33
In Poland, Geralt is probably bigger than Batman. Outside of Poland, if you played the first game, you had a clue as to what was going on and who you were.

If you have an inherent respect for the divine rule of kings, you may automatically care that someone is assassinating royalty. Otherwise, they need to build up the significance to the player through their narrative. I don't think they did a good job of this. You either played the first game, or had no reason at all to care about Foltest or this conflict going on.

It's cool now though, they appear to be Skyrimming this game. Let you wander a bit, develop your own identity, and pick your path before really driving a story home.
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July 19th, 2014, 11:09
Originally Posted by Burress View Post
In Poland, Geralt is probably bigger than Batman. Outside of Poland, if you played the first game, you had a clue as to what was going on and who you were.

If you have an inherent respect for the divine rule of kings, you may automatically care that someone is assassinating royalty. Otherwise, they need to build up the significance to the player through their narrative. I don't think they did a good job of this. You either played the first game, or had no reason at all to care about Foltest or this conflict going on.

It's cool now though, they appear to be Skyrimming this game. Let you wander a bit, develop your own identity, and pick your path before really driving a story home.
The player doesn't have to care about "divine rule" - he just needs to be able to put himself in the situation Geralt finds himself in. In that world, it's a big deal to have a relationship with a king - and you don't really want to be accused of killing them.

Also, believe it or not - kings are human beings, and when you watch them slaughtered in front of their children, you kinda respond if you have some empathy.

Well, I'm not saying you necessarily have empathy - but most people do.

If you can't spend an hour to invest yourself in another world and the characters inhabiting it, that's fine. But don't expect a game to perform miracles and give you a reason to care until it's done setting things up.

Again, it's not your average RPG or Hollywood story - and you sometimes have to decide for yourself what to think and feel about what's going on. It's a bit like in real life - where you don't know everyone around, and you have to sort of develop a relationship with events before you can form a useful opinion about them.

I know that's unusual in games - as you typically get a sign pointing to the bad guy within 5 minutes, but it can pay off to invest yourself all the same.

If you don't think so, there's always Bioware games.
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July 19th, 2014, 11:10
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
I don't have a problem when somebody says that they disliked Witcher games. It's the spurious arguments they are using to try and justify their opinion that I have problem with.
Nah, I think you have a problem with both
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July 19th, 2014, 11:16
I don't think it's very difficult to get into the series as they've used the old but always effective amnesia trick.
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July 19th, 2014, 12:03
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The player doesn't have to care about "divine rule" - he just needs to be able to put himself in the situation Geralt finds himself in. In that world, it's a big deal to have a relationship with a king - and you don't really want to be accused of killing them.

Also, believe it or not - kings are human beings, and when you watch them slaughtered in front of their children, you kinda respond if you have some empathy.

Well, I'm not saying you necessarily have empathy - but most people do.

If you can't spend an hour to invest yourself in another world and the characters inhabiting it, that's fine. But don't expect a game to perform miracles and give you a reason to care until it's done setting things up.

Again, it's not your average RPG or Hollywood story - and you sometimes have to decide for yourself what to think and feel about what's going on. It's a bit like in real life - where you don't know everyone around, and you have to sort of develop a relationship with events before you can form a useful opinion about them.

I know that's unusual in games - as you typically get a sign pointing to the bad guy within 5 minutes, but it can pay off to invest yourself all the same.

If you don't think so, there's always Bioware games.
CDPR is apparently trying to "perform miracles", because they were criticizing their own approach in the article above. Too fast, too much assumed, too much about a big war the player might not care about.

It worked for you though. I saw a pompous guy ordering a bunch of people slaughtered in this war I was by default participating in, with my character immediately snarky to Triss about how petty the conflict was. So he gets killed, and that is what the game is about. Children or not, he wasn't much to care about.

It makes me optimistic about the W3 that CDPR found fault with many of the same things I did in the Witcher 2. That must trouble you about the upcoming game, because you defend these things vigorously.
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July 19th, 2014, 13:56
Originally Posted by Burress View Post
CDPR is apparently trying to "perform miracles", because they were criticizing their own approach in the article above. Too fast, too much assumed, too much about a big war the player might not care about.
Yes, their budget is bigger now - and they have to dumb it down a bit so you can enjoy it along with people who don't mind investing themselves in a good yarn.

TW1 and TW2 definitely did many things wrong when it comes to mainstream appeal.

But, you see, I don't think doing things for mainstream appeal is necessarily best for a game. But then, I don't have to concern myself with budgets.

I'm glad you think it's a good thing for the game, though - and maybe they'll find a nice balance.

It worked for you though. I saw a pompous guy ordering a bunch of people slaughtered in this war I was by default participating in, with my character immediately snarky to Triss about how petty the conflict was. So he gets killed, and that is what the game is about. Children or not, he wasn't much to care about.
Who told you to care about the character? Foltest didn't appeal to me that much either, but Geralt appeals to me - and I was moved by the little girl watching her father get his throat cut. It was well done for a game.

Also, a king being arrogant and ordering people around? That's unheard of

It makes me optimistic about the W3 that CDPR found fault with many of the same things I did in the Witcher 2. That must trouble you about the upcoming game, because you defend these things vigorously.
It depends on the execution. I'm mostly a gameplay guy - and if they dumb everything down to include people like you who don't enjoy investing, then I won't like it.

That said, they're probably just talking about the introduction - and I don't mind if the rest of the story is as deep and compelling as in TW2. I already know the story, so I don't mind a bit of handholding for the casuals.

But they better not go all Hollywood on it!
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