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Default For those of us new to the Witcher

September 23rd, 2008, 11:12
Allrighty, then. I think a thread like this would be a good idea so here goes.
Some people (me included) will be starting the witcher after the release of EE not having any previous experience with the game. Others might give the game a second shot after leaving the non-ee game more or less unplayed for some reason.

No matter how well a game is designed there are always some useful "Do's and Dont's" that are not in the manual - those small things that would've been nice to know before missing out on something or just to maximize the fun and enjoyment of the game. I know there are a lot of experienced witchers here, so please post anything here that you feel might be useful for us newbies.

My Witcher EE Box just popped in my mailbox, and I just put the soundtrack cd in my cd-player (the music is pretty damn cool btw).

What about the shortstory, then? Where does it stand when compared to the other stuff written by this Sapkowski guy?


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September 23rd, 2008, 12:16
Okay, here goes:

* Do play in Hard mode. It's not all that hard, and it makes the fights much more interesting; instead of staring at the screen waiting for the icon to turn yellow, you'll actually be paying attention to what's going on there.
* Don't overdo the alchemy. You need booze as potion bases, and that costs money. Make sure you always have what you want, but don't make big stacks of stuff you won't use.
* Give snacks to little old ladies. It pays off in the long run.
* Buy books only as you need them, not before. Money is very tight early in the game, and if you manage to save up 5000 orens by the time you get to Chapter 2 (or, the closer you get to it the better), you'll appreciate it. Books will suck your bank account dry in no time flat.
* When visiting merchants who buy alchemical ingredients, pay attention to how much they're willing to pay for them. All you care about is the active substance, but the alchemist might be willing to pay 40 orens per unit of one ingredient but only 1 oren for another one that'll work for you just as well.
* Learn to switch combat styles on the fly as early as possible. You'll often be fighting mobs, so you'll need to thin out the crowd first with the group style, then switch to strong or fast style depending on who's left.
* Develop your abilities first, skills second.
* Develop your sword styles evenly, since you'll be needing all of them, but concentrate (first) on one or two signs. I go for Aard and Igni.
* Figure out what the weaknesses of each opponent are. In particular, some of them are vulnerable to one particular sign. Note that Aard works better on wounded opponents — you can often beat a difficult fight by whittling it down to just under half hit-points, then following up with an Aard; this will often knock him down or stun him, letting you finish him off with a coup de grace.
* If playing on Hard, you will need to use both Signs and alchemy to make the best of it. Alchemy is more important early on; Signs later on. You'll have some extremely tough fights if all you can do is swing a sword!

And finally… enjoy the dialog, text, and all the little detail in the game. If you try to blaze through this like a p0w3rG4m3r, you'll probably hate it; the charm in the game is in the unexpected bits of dialog you'll get or overhear, the weird twists many encounters and characters take, and the wry humor. The game may *look* dark and grim, but it's actually funny as hell, and you'll enjoy it most if you approach it that way.
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September 23rd, 2008, 15:00
Just subscribing under all Prime Juntaīs points with extra stress on playing on hard difficulty and taking your time with story and dialogues.
Combat is generally balanced really well on hard so donīt be discouraged by the one and only fight which clearly isnīt. Youīll know which one it is when you get there .
Also, sometimes youīre kicked out of dialogues without having exhausted all available topics so donīt hesitate to reinitiate it immediately afterwards in such cases.
Regarding the alchemy, always keep in mind that more ingredients is required for mixing the potion, the better quality alcohol you need as a base.
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September 23rd, 2008, 15:17
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Regarding the alchemy, always keep in mind that more ingredients is required for mixing the potion, the better quality alcohol you need as a base.
…but you can save money by buying cheap hooch and using your alchemy skills and common ingredients to convert that into White Gull, which is a top-quality potion base.
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September 23rd, 2008, 17:50
I'm liking the game already. The atmosphere, the music, the characters, the dialoque are all top notch, great stuff. Sucked me right in. My kinda game.

Still a bit confused with the character system though, and the combat still feels a bit clunky but I think I'll get the hang of it pretty soon.

Thanks for the info so far, guys.


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September 23rd, 2008, 19:02
The camera control feels very clunky at first; it's like it's spinning around madly with no control. However, I got the hang of it pretty quickly, and a couple of hours into the game I wasn't even noticing it. The combat is all about position and timing — just click on *someone* at the appropriate moment, and you'll chain attacks like there's no tomorrow; also don't forget that double-tapping will let you spin past or leap over enemies to get into a better position.
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September 23rd, 2008, 19:56
I can't stop listening to the soundtrack. It's magnificent.
While the music itself is quite mellow most of the time, it has something…
perhaps some sort of wistfulness and a certain sort of intensity and depth that
appeals to someone like me. There's lots of power and a sense of drama and
something imminent in there, but it's not the standard cheesy-epic-heroic-hollywood type of thing. Wonderful.

Perhaps the fact that the country of origin is Poland has something to do with this?

I'm very happy I got the EE box thingie.

I paid 34,99 euros and got a truck load of stuff and a great game.
Wish it was always like this. You can't P2P a box like this.

Edit: BTW.. in the soundtrack.. there's this cool strange-souding instrument that keeps coming back from track to track. Anyone know what it is ?


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September 23rd, 2008, 20:06
This is probably a bit on the redundant side, but regarding the camera, there is a mod which enables first person view as a part of the OTS.
I always go with 1st person view whenever possible, so I was glad this was made for Witcher too. Iīm in the middle of the chapter 1 in enhanced edition and so far the mod seems to be working well.
Two downsides are:
1) Everytime Geralt enters a new location or save is loaded, heīs looking to the ground, but thatīs no big deal since one mouse move solves it.
2) Fighting in the 1st person view means that you donīt see all the cool moves Geralt does, but the view is easily adjustable by mousewheel, so itīs easy to zoom out whenever combatīs coming. I use it all the time though, since I find the combat to be more immersive that way.

Iīm sure most people wouldnīt use it, but for those interested, hereīs the link to the mod: http://www.thewitcher.com/forum/index.php?topic=9696.0

Installing the mod means dropping one directory into data folder, uninstalling it means just deleting that folder, so trying it out shouldnīt be much of a hassle .
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September 23rd, 2008, 21:55
I would just have to agree with everything that's been said already and just stress the fact to take your time. I've been through this game two times already with the vanilla version and am into Chapter 1 with the EE right now and just love everything about it, from atmosphere, to music, to conversation, to graphics, this is what an RPG should be, so take your time, explore, and enjoy it the way the developers wanted you to.

I'll be running through the two adventures soon enough when I can pull myself away from the campaign and I'll also be trying out the Deception mod that was recently released and brought up on this site.
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September 23rd, 2008, 23:06
When you near the end of chapter 1, fill up on potions, get spectre oil, and save before you leave the cave. I hope this isn't too spoilerish, but this will help you get past the only potentially truly frustrating encounter in the game.
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September 23rd, 2008, 23:30
There's also a pretty interesting spoiler about it on Page 19 of the Game Guide. I wasn't aware of it; had I been, I would have used a different strategy — and I'm fairly certain the fight would have been much easier. So, if stuck, check there…
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September 24th, 2008, 03:22
I remember having a heck of a time with that fight, largely because I didn't really understand the battle. Checking a game guide helped me out a ton.

You should experiment with all of the camera modes in the game. I remember having a very hard time with battles at first, mostly because I didn't know exactly where to click. Experiment a bit and you'll do fine.

Also, check your save game directory every couple of nights. This game makes a LOT of auto-save files and, after several hours of play, the save files get huge. They can fill up your hard drive fast.

Edit: Oh yeah, and the in-game music IS great! I especially liked the music at the docks. If you have Irfanview with all its plug-ins, you can play that music back any time.

Does anyone actually use those secondary weapons? When I went through the game (on medium difficulty), I never used them.
Last edited by Zloth; September 24th, 2008 at 03:26. Reason: music
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September 24th, 2008, 04:22
Nope, never used any secondary weapons. That's like a Jedi deciding to use a club when a perfectly good light saber is handy. It just never made sense to me to switch to an inferior weapon and lose the advantage of the Witcher sword skills.

@ Zakhary: PJ pretty much hit everything you really need to know. One thing I will add is about combat. Remember that in whatever view mode you are in, clicking on an enemy initiates an attack. You can do this extremely far away so try to be paitient with clicking the mouse button. When I was beginning I would click on an enemy 2-3 times before Geralt even got close enough to swing, and it would disrupt his attack rhythm. The one click combo fighting takes a while to get used to, but once I started getting the feel for it it's simply superb. Try fighting in OTS camera mode and resist pausing during combat for an exciting challenge. Some encounters with multiple enemies may require switching to Isometric view though.

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September 24th, 2008, 07:26
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
When you near the end of chapter 1, fill up on potions, get spectre oil, and save before you leave the cave. I hope this isn't too spoilerish, but this will help you get past the only potentially truly frustrating encounter in the game.
No, that's not too spoilerish. I'll try to remember and do that

Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Edit: Oh yeah, and the in-game music IS great! I especially liked the music at the docks. If you have Irfanview with all its plug-ins, you can play that music back any time.
Yeah, well, the EE box came with the game soundtrack on audio cd and the "Music inspired by the witcher" cd - which I haven't even listened to yet.

Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
@ Zakhary: PJ pretty much hit everything you really need to know. One thing I will add is about combat. Remember that in whatever view mode you are in, clicking on an enemy initiates an attack. You can do this extremely far away so try to be paitient with clicking the mouse button. When I was beginning I would click on an enemy 2-3 times before Geralt even got close enough to swing, and it would disrupt his attack rhythm. The one click combo fighting takes a while to get used to, but once I started getting the feel for it it's simply superb. Try fighting in OTS camera mode and resist pausing during combat for an exciting challenge. Some encounters with multiple enemies may require switching to Isometric view though.
The OTS mode felt much better for some reason… Which is kinda strange cause usually I loathe 3rd person.. but in this case it really seems to work.


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September 24th, 2008, 09:55
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
Nope, never used any secondary weapons. That's like a Jedi deciding to use a club when a perfectly good light saber is handy. It just never made sense to me to switch to an inferior weapon and lose the advantage of the Witcher sword skills.
There are certain enemies that are particularly sensitive to fire. Fighting them with a torch… works. You can also keep a secondary sword with a different oil on it than your main one, in case you want to vary effects. That can be useful before you get your silver sword.

But generally, it doesn't make much sense to mess with secondary weapons. The best use for the slots is that most weapons sell for around 40 orens, so you can make an easy extra 80 orens or so every once in a while by picking them up and selling them whenever you pass by a suitable merchant. It adds up.
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September 24th, 2008, 11:14
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Also, check your save game directory every couple of nights. This game makes a LOT of auto-save files and, after several hours of play, the save files get huge. They can fill up your hard drive fast.
The auto-save feature only takes up 4 save slots that it continuously re-uses. What can fill up you hard drive is making lots of quicksaves, those just create new save slots every time.

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September 24th, 2008, 16:18
I heard there is a new harder mode than hard in the EE. Is that right? in that case I reccomend playing on this mode.

If you play the game on hard, you can ignore almost everything, and you never need to buy anything, I had tons of money since there is no need to shop ever.

The three things you need to easily complete the game on hard.

1. The swallow potion. If you ever encounter a hard enemy you can run around until your health is full again.

2. The aard sign to stun enemies after that you can kill them by one click most of the time.

3. If you encounter hard enemies choose fast mode and complete all the combat combos, they'll not have any chance to hit you.

That's how I played through the entire game, the combat was boring as heck, way way way too easy, and luckily there was no need to use the horrible inventory system. Except the horrible gameplay especially the combat but also the meaningless easy poker dice which can give you unlimited money. I loved the setting, dialogue and story.

A shame it has such a awful gameplay or it might have been a favourite.
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September 24th, 2008, 16:36
They fixed dice poker for the EE — it's no longer an automatic moneygram, and there are easier as well as more interesting ways to make money now, for example hunting certain types of monsters for components for which Kalkstein is ready to pay 15-40 orens a pop.

Specifically, the opponents no longer roll like complete morons; previously they would throw away already winning hands, or throw dice that could not possibly lead to a winning hand. They don't do that any more.

It's still possible to have a winning betting strategy, but making serious money from dice poker now takes hours rather than minutes. I've only used it on one or two occasions to make a couple of hundred oren I need for some particular purpose; trying to make, say, 1000 oren would be tedious as hell. That actually makes a surprising amount of difference to the game balance — instead of spending hours rolling dice, you spend the same time hunting for monsters, which is what being a witcher is supposed to be all about, right?

Also, I disagree about the combat being "awful." It does seem to divide people, though — some people hate it, others love it.
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September 24th, 2008, 16:56
Some people might think it is fun, but we can all agree it is greatly flawed. Especially the entire combo thing, it is completely pointless there is only one chain of moves and if you are not completely inept you can get the complete series of moves everytime so it is just about clicking and watching. If you could choose different kinds of combos by clicking in different ways, and there'd acctuaclly be physics to determine if you hit the enemies. It would be something completely different.
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September 24th, 2008, 17:04
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Some people might think it is fun, but we can all agree it is greatly flawed.
No, we can't. I for one disagree.

Especially the entire combo thing, it is completely pointless there is only one chain of moves and if you are not completely inept you can get the complete series of moves everytime so it is just about clicking and watching. If you could choose different kinds of combos by clicking in different ways, and there'd acctuaclly be physics to determine if you hit the enemies. It would be something completely different.
You can. Change styles on the fly. You can even change styles in mid-combo. Works great — for example, if you've caused Pain with the fast style (to an enemy who normally blocks the Strong one), you can switch to the strong style to cause more damage and Bleeding. Perhaps you just didn't fully master the intricacies of the system…?
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