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Default The Witcher - Preview @ Shacknews

August 23rd, 2007, 07:20
Shacknews has a Witcher preview from GenCon Indy:
"Most role playing games, if you give more money for one option and less money for another one, people won't think about what is actually right and wrong, they just go for bigger rewards," explained lead designer Michal Madej. "In normal life, if you have to make a decision, you have to think about the consequences of that decision. In a game, you can save the game just before making a choice, and then see what's happening, load your game, and see what will happen with [the] different options. So actually, it's not making a decision, it's more like testing what is best for your character.
"We realized that this saving-loading possibility in role playing games just destroys the idea of making a choice, so we separated your choice and the results of your choice with a quite long time."
More information.
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August 23rd, 2007, 07:20
We realized that this saving-loading possibility in role playing games just destroys the idea of making a choice, so we separated your choice and the results of your choice with a quite long time

Opps, looks like they discovered our secret. I hope that long time that they speak is substantial. I normally ignore Witcher pre game hype, but this one game play element will be a welcome change even though I am a save game abuser . . . . and proud of it
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August 23rd, 2007, 12:51
I really hate that. I don't want to feel like I'm missing out on content. I want to see it all without playing through the entire game four times. Some people like to do that, but I can never get myself to even finish all my games, let alone play through games multiple times. So if I can see multiple endings or some cool consequences by abusing save games, I'm cool with that.
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August 23rd, 2007, 13:43
I'll be more interested if they really get a dynamic with the world working with this game. If decisions make a poltical difference to your experience.

There is a distinct lack of meaningful diversity in games atm.
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August 23rd, 2007, 13:53
I see what you're saying, but at the same time it makes you think more before you act. Truly 'role play'.

— Mike
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August 23rd, 2007, 16:38
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
I really hate that. I don't want to feel like I'm missing out on content. I want to see it all without playing through the entire game four times. Some people like to do that, but I can never get myself to even finish all my games, let alone play through games multiple times. So if I can see multiple endings or some cool consequences by abusing save games, I'm cool with that.
I think you'll still be able to to some extent. Just not as conveniently, and you'll have to do it before you make a dialogue choice, and the consequences of the choice won't be instant and immediate. You'll just have to go further back in the game if you're unhappy with the way it turns out instead of insta-reload.

I think there's always a primary way you really are going to go anyway if you're role playing. I don't finish a lot of games either, but whenever I do replay a game, I tend to go the same route with my characters even as I say to myself "This time I'm really going to take the Evil Path.." For instance, I don't know how many times I've tried to restart Arcanum as a techie, but I always seem to end up making a half-elf magic user…

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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August 23rd, 2007, 20:20
I on the contrary only play 5-6 games a year and I like my games to have High
replayability since I love replaying my favorites (i.e the Gothics or vampire or
Arcanum etc). I also take my time when playing, to better savor the game
(and because my gaming time is pitifully small these last few years).

Making choises that cut you out from some of the available future options not
only enhances replayability but makes your actions in the game all that more
meaningfull and memorable (not counting out that it increases realim and
immersion).

Arent we all griping around here for the lack of Consequences and actual impact of the player's actions on rpgs ? Does it mean just a different end video to
people, I wonder ?

Anyway let me add my wishes again that they get this right, not only because
this is about the only game I am looking forward to in the immediate future but
after reading (and loving) the Last Wish I am thinking that a success of the PC
game might help bring the Books to English audiences with more speed (sorry,
but reading is my main passtime).
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August 23rd, 2007, 20:44
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I see what you're saying, but at the same time it makes you think more before you act. Truly 'role play'.
I agree, but that can be done by a save game abuser as well. When presented with an important branch, I will sometimes save, choose my personal real role playing branch, try all the others, then go my characters real branch. Or sometimes I'll wait till I finish the game to try alternate paths, if I'm immersed in the game and don't want to damage that. But really I only do these things to see the minor immediate changes. If I have to play more than 15 minutes on a "false" route, I just don't bother.

Replayability really means little to me in the short term. I _never_ want to replay a game until at least 5 years have passed. And then, I must admit, I do the same thing as magerette. I tell myself I'll play a different kind of character, but I always end up playing the style of character that I feel I'll enjoy role playing the most. The only time I ever actually play an evil character is when that's the only route in a game. If I'm given a choice, I always am a goodie goodie. Although it is that choice that makes being a goodie goodie meaningful. Games where you have to be the hero mean much less to me than those where I have to sacrifice for my choices. Because of this I completely disagree with the statement:
Most role playing games, if you give more money for one option and less money for another one, people won't think about what is actually right and wrong, they just go for bigger rewards
I chose the route that best fits my character. And if I diverge a little, I only do so if I can rationalize it within the role I'm playing. It bothers me a bit that they hold their players in such low regard. But that doesn't make them wrong.

However, I'll gladly take this over more draconian forms of anti-save-game-abuse, like the inability to save anywhere! Some exceptional games have been damaged by lack of save games. Call of Cthulhu-DCotE was like that. The authors made all these grand pretenses to how they are preventing gamers from ruining the experience. Well, that should be my choice. I find playing through the same annoying sequence over and over more of a jarring loss of immersion than a cheesy reload.

So while I agree with concerns over this choice in The Witcher, I guess I accept them knowing they could do much worse. I'll be interested to see how it works out. I probably can't form a really informed decision on whether I like this idea until I've played through the game.

(Yikes, sorry for the long post!)
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August 23rd, 2007, 20:57
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
Making choises that cut you out from some of the available future options not
only enhances replayability but makes your actions in the game all that more
meaningfull and memorable (not counting out that it increases realim and
immersion).
That's true but the concerns that people (including myself) are having with The Witcher is that the developers have said that there will be very subtle, non-obvious events that require you to make totally meaningless choices and later on you'll find out that it was in reality a very important event. I have nothing against "meaningful and memorable" options and actions as long as the consequences are at least somewhat immediate or foreseeable. But to have a really minor seeming choice at the 3-hour mark (clear the cellar of rats? yes/no) bite you majorly in the ass at the 37-hour mark (you went 'no' and the rats have eaten up all the corn reserves causing a famine and killing every NPC in the game = game over) would be… not so nice .
That's the concern. We are hoping that they got the balance right and that there won't be too many really small and simple choices that will screw you in the rear later on.
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August 23rd, 2007, 22:48
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
That's the concern. We are hoping that they got the balance right and that there won't be too many really small and simple choices that will screw you in the rear later on.
That is a valid concern I guess, especially for people that dont like to replay.

Personally if the reasoning (or cause effect relation) is not too lame and
immersion breaking I dont mind terribly. This would not harm realism i.e I think
(shit happens in rl and sometimes little details and a lot of bad luck make all the
difference).

The example they have given in an earlier presentation was either killing
or not a prisoner with bandit connections (bear in mind that I may remember
the details wrong but the gist of it is here). The cruel and inhuman choise
(executing the poor snivelling bastard) results of the bandits lacking information
to kill a fellow witcher that will provide some added muscle in the endgame. On
the other hand it will lead to the end of a female friend which could provide a
possibly romantic sidepart of the story.Not killing him would mean that your Witcher friend dies but your female friend lives.

So, a deeply moral choise for either added muscle or interesting sidestory with
perhaps roleplaying (and xp ?) possibilities in the trade of. I am ok with that
if they remain true to that example's philosophy (comes from an early video
preview possibly last years E3 with Madej narrating).
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August 24th, 2007, 00:23
I like what Michael Madej is trying to achieve with this but can see the concern too. Generally speaking, I don't like it when choices I thought were clear turn out all wrong. What's the fun in that? If I'm going to decide something significant, I'd like to have a chance to realize that and consider my decision carefully.

But RPGs really should be challenging, and their worlds should seem genuine and alive. Instead of being driven solely by answers to multiple-choice questions, they should react, somehow, to the decisions the player makes throughout the game and the way he carries them out. That might change the player’s approach from thinking in terms of beating the game to thinking in terms of the role he’s playing and the potential impact of that.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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August 24th, 2007, 00:38
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I see what you're saying, but at the same time it makes you think more before you act. Truly 'role play'.
Or not, because the consequences often don't have a logical relationship to the choice. It's like a choose your own adventure - do you want to go left up the ravine or cross right. Then some time later finding out that going left kills you for no apparent reason while going left was ok.. there's nothing to help you make an informed choice, hence there really is no choice.

However it's not always that bad, sometimes you can think about it.
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August 24th, 2007, 00:54
Well, if things follow their normal form, by the end of the first week after release, someone will have posted a complete spoiler list of all the choices and consequences!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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August 24th, 2007, 01:08
I love this stuff. More the merrier if you ask me! The beauty is that you shouldn't always be able to predict the outcome or importance of your actions beforehand. It makes the world feel more alive and dynamic. Not so player-centered like in most rpgs.
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August 24th, 2007, 02:20
I've interviewed them a couple of times and while they may well have "hyped" the game, Michal was clear with me that there are no "wrong" choices. Something different happens - but it isn't "wrong".

The example I was given nearly two years ago was taking a shorter or longer period of time to come to a key character's aid - getting there faster saved the character and generated certain quests while getting there later meant that character had already been killed but you meet someone else, and a different chain of events are set in motion.

You may have a personal preference whether that particular NPC lives or dies but they promise you won't be dead-ended or ripped of - it will just be different.

Sounds fantastic to me. They may stuff it up - obviously - but I'd much rather they try something different than just tread the standard path.

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August 24th, 2007, 03:32
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I've interviewed them a couple of times and while they may well have "hyped" the game, Michal was clear with me that there are no "wrong" choices. Something different happens - but it isn't "wrong".


You may have a personal preference whether that particular NPC lives or dies…
Personal preference. Exactly. They can not possibly dictate to me or anyone what is "right" or "wrong". It's completely subjective what someone considers as the "right" or the "wrong" turn of events. People will be pissed off if they have to start over or replay the last 20 hours to change an event that seemed minor but exploded in their face later on. It is almost inevitable with the approach that they are taking that people will be pissed off at certain times. One can only hope that they got the balancing right.
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August 24th, 2007, 05:04
Sure, my point is that "wrong" is a matter of personal perception of the story progression, as opposed to one choice advances the game while the other gets you killed and you have to go back and replay, or you miss out on the loot, or miss getting some cool skills or whatever.

A traditional scripted approach might have killed that NPC you liked for the sake of the story, anyway (noone gave me a choice on Imoen getting kidknapped - and noone gave me the choice of letting her rot), so I still think it's a positive thing.

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August 24th, 2007, 16:42
This approach appeals to me because I think you'll have a lot more stake in things, in figuring out what best to do and where best to go—rather than being propelled along a linear path of the scripter's choice.

As long as the player isn't penalized for making a different choice by actually losing some outcome necessary to complete the path, I don't think it will be too frustrating. The challenge of figuring out how to live with your choices is a level of involvement most games don't have. As an incentive to play well, to sharpen skills and maximize opportunities, I think it will add to the game, not detract.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; August 24th, 2007 at 21:05. Reason: spelling & grammar
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August 24th, 2007, 19:02
Check out this great gameplay video

http://www.nl-team.nl/nuke/modules.p…ticle&sid=3604
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August 24th, 2007, 20:35
Originally Posted by Dark Savant View Post
Check out this great gameplay video
Thanks for the Link Dark Savant.

The game looks great, generally speaking.

Two things I didnt like though (at all !) Quest Markers and the fact that the NPC
Geralt was escorting seemed to have been invisible (No monsters attacked him,
he didnt react to them and even the igni sign didnt affect him), I wonder whats
up with that ?!
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