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Default RPGWatch Feature: Hands-On With The Witcher 2

May 12th, 2011, 15:02
Originally Posted by kurtw View Post
Thx! Your preview is possibly the first honest one. You address some issues one actually may find a nuisance, which is what you really want to know before you buy a game.
You wrote:
I played the preview code on a laptop and the performance was passable on High and very good on Medium
Could you divulge the specs? Or at least CPU/GPU?
Check if this helps about expected performance in-game:


Test systems (@1080p):
C2D E6750 (2 cores, 2.6Ghz) + 4870 = low end system
X4 955 (4 cores, 3.2Ghz) + 6580 = mid range system
i7 2600k (4 cores, 3.4Ghz) + GTX 570 = high end system

Results:
C2D E6750 + 4870 = Play on low, or reduce to 720p on medium
X4 955 + 6850 = no difficulty @ High, Ultra a bit jerkier.
i7 2600k + GTX 570 = completely smooth @ Ultra, beyond all doubt
??? + 6970 = completely smooth @ Ultra, beyond all doubt

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/…6&postcount=92
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May 12th, 2011, 16:21
Pre-ordered, this is the type of company we need to support!

Thanks for the preview!
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May 12th, 2011, 22:05
My only reservation was the action-y combat. Divinity II DKS really impressed with its quests and story, but the combat was too much kiting and spamming (also insanely long mana regeneration) so gave up somewhere in the Broken Valley. Hopefully this won't happen on TW2. And anyway all the other elements seem to be pointing towards an exceptionally good RPG. Pre-ordered on GOG - would be great if enough people do this to show that DRM is an issue for honest gamers and we respond positively to developers who get rid of this pointless nuisance. Anyone who pirates this game after such an act of trust and sensibility should rot in hell.
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May 13th, 2011, 01:36
Originally Posted by kurtw View Post
Thx! Your preview is possibly the first honest one. You address some issues one actually may find a nuisance, which is what you really want to know before you buy a game.
You wrote:
I played the preview code on a laptop and the performance was passable on High and very good on Medium
Could you divulge the specs? Or at least CPU/GPU?
I have an ASUS G73 with i740, Geforce 460M, 8Gb RAM and Win 7. I ran it at 1920x1080 and got 15-20 fps on High and around 30-35 on Medium - I know some people will argue what acceptable framerates are but I found it playable on High and very smooth on Medium - no real hitches or lags, the streaming seemed to work well and so on. For a laptop, I find this pretty good.

CDPR specifically said the code hadn't yet been optimised for Win 7, so hopefully it will improve further.

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May 13th, 2011, 09:23
Has there been any information on the mechanism of transferring first game decisions over to the second game? I can't remember there being a final save type thing.
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May 13th, 2011, 09:31
in the past i've played many games far under the 20fps threshold and found the gameplay more than acceptable, though it really does depend as their are some games that would not work all…the ocassional "lag" though to me is more than enough to warrant high vs. medium settings in most cases. thankfully despite have a 3 year old pc and 2 year old 260 i still haven't been humbled yet to even have to worry about not playing on high or lag. skyrim is probably the most probable game to get me to cave for a new card, that and the fact that for a while, with the exception of two worlds 2, there's no benefit of having a dx10 card its all about dx11 features which i am lacking.

good question kalniel i was just thinking that last night. i'll have to go hunting on whether i put those saves to disc or a backup drive if thats the case.

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May 13th, 2011, 09:45
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
Has there been any information on the mechanism of transferring first game decisions over to the second game? I can't remember there being a final save type thing.

From the FAQ on GOG…

Can I import save games from The Witcher 1? If so, how?

You can import save from the prequel, but of course this isn't mandatory. To make sure the save games get imported properly, have the original Witcher game installed on your computer - The Witcher 2 will locate it and import the saves automatically.
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May 13th, 2011, 09:52
Also in a preview it was mentioned that the game asks you which savegame to import when you start a new game, IIRC.
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May 13th, 2011, 09:57
Thanks, I'll have to check again, but as I mentioned, I don't remember seeing a final save. So I presume they'll just be hoping to find a late enough save that has the relevant decisions made.

This is important for the likes of autosaves - if you finish the game then start a new one, the autosaves might be overwritten.
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May 13th, 2011, 10:26
It does ask you about saves. I had my saves on another machine and, to be honest, I figured I wouldn't remember all the details of my old TW1 decisions, so I decided to forgo it and just play the "default position.

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May 13th, 2011, 12:33
I doubt the saved game stuff is very meaningful. They have said the Order ending of the original is non-canon and obviously you are with Triss in TW2 no matter who you chose in TW1.

I'll probably just play default as well. Even though I am super focused on choice and consequence I kind of like starting a game in the default game world as designed by the developers.
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May 13th, 2011, 15:03
Off-topic alert!

Originally Posted by Gaxkang View Post
My only reservation was the action-y combat. Divinity II DKS really impressed with its quests and story, but the combat was too much kiting and spamming (also insanely long mana regeneration) so gave up somewhere in the Broken Valley.
A pity you stopped early - the beginning is relatively harsh and kiting is quite often a must, but once you build your character a bit and acquire better gear, combat becomes a lot more even, need for kiting becomes rare, mana regenerates fast, etc. You do have to specialize to some degree though.
Upgraded abilities and gear make a lot of difference in this game.

Some games may be struggle in their beginning stages combat-wise, but if you enjoy the other aspects, usually itīs worth struggling for some time, chances are a plateau where you break through awaits you on the next level up .
In the case of DKS this would be somewhere around levels 9 - 12.

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Last edited by DeepO; May 13th, 2011 at 15:29.
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May 13th, 2011, 16:21
Since Dhruin hasn't responded I'll pitch in…
Yes, I think you mentioned block, roll, light hit, heavy hit? and targeting?
Yes. Targeting is basically mouse-based, you turn mouse to another enemy and Geralt automatically chooses that foe. Rolling can be done by double tapping the direction keys, OR by pressing a roll key + direction key simultaneously. Double-tap sensitivity can be adjusted (in preview copy via .ini file, presumably in full game as an option). Block drains Vigor if you're hit, so it's only useful if you have it developed and used a proper potion that increases Vigor. There's also a skill that reduces amount of Vigor lost while parrying, perfect for melee-only Witchers. Vigor is used BOTH for Signs AND for blocking btw.

Also that you could get a skills to attack from a far like throwing daggers? how does that work?
Throwing daggers is much easier than throwing bombs, but still requires a pretty long pause while Geralt readies the throw and selects target (by mouse; there's also a key to lock onto the enemy, didn't use that though). You enter a "sniper" mode like with bombs (view from Geralt's shoulder) only there's no glowing target reticle, and as soon as you release he throws the knife. Knifes are unretrievable as far as I can tell, but you get some fairly early on and the skill is very easy to obtain. Also, daggers deal a lot of damage, and a bonus damage to humanoids.

Also there is a free-form mode and a targeting mode?in the free-form one you could hit anything your sword/throwing daggers collides with?
Well, to be honest there's no necessity. Mouse targeting works well except if you're diagonally across the enemy and there's some obstacle nearby; then the game weirds out and you can waste a few hits, they go in air. So I assume, free-form as such is not there. BUT, there's a skill that makes Sword attacks all AOE/hitting several enemies at once. This one will probably make sword strikes more free-form.

Can you jump in the combat?
No. Supposedly there's a way to dodge OVER an enemy, sorta roll over his head if he's kneeling, but haven't been able to activate that even once hehe. There's a roll with a piercing attack though, that's nice.

what happens if you try to run-away from enemies?
Sentient ones will follow you everywhere, even into houses or into the city/out of the city. Monsters give up chase almost immediately. Didn't notice the health regen, but I assume you can't just weaken them — heal up — return.

What does it cost to use skills? does hp, mana etc auto-regenerate very fast?
Hp autoregen is the most valuable part here, since you can't drink potions in combat. Armors and runes can add vitality regen. There're two expendable pools: health and Vigor. As stated above, Vigor is used for blocking, countering and casting Signs. Health is quite obvious. Health and Vigor have in-combat regeneration (low and based on items or potions, with Health/Vitality being hard to come by and sought after) and out-of-combat regeneration values. Many potions affect both regens, some at the cost of overall pool available (see which here). Sheathing sword doesn't mean you're out of combat, you really have to be away from enemies. Skills are for the most part passive tweaks that change existing possibilities. The only activatable skills come at the end of 3 trees; those are related to Adrenaline, a third variable "pool". Depending on your skill tree, Adrenaline can be generated by sword strikes, overtime when poisoned (by means of potion toxicity), or by Signs use. After filling the Adrenaline bar, you can "cast" its related ability (also derived from skill trees) using "X" button. There're three such abilities/skills:
-Whirlwind (swordsmanship tree) increases substantially resistances and chance of critting the enemies (while its predecessor ability, Combat Acumen also allows to perform group finishers when adrenaline bar is filled),
-Amplification (alchemy tree) which increases overall resistance and damage, provided you're under the toxicity effect from potions with its predecessor, Mutant granting Berserk ability (activated by X when adrenaline filled) that increases damage and resistances, and
-Control over the Power (Signs tree) which substantially increases power of Signs and grants biggest resistance bonus, plus its predecessor, Magical Sense grants another new Sign, Heliotrope, which presumably allows entering the "radial menu slow-down" on demand in combat (i.e., slows down the passage of time; also only after filling the adrenaline bar).

Synergies between last two talents in each tree provide best bang-for-the-buck as then Geralt can just stay in high-Adrenaline mode almost all the time, and occasionally "drain it" (by pressing "X") to activate those special abilities. Not sure how long they last though. I presume that talents are limited in amount so that you can't just have all three at once, but who knows…

If there are beasts and humans do you need to keep switching between normal swords and silver swords in the battle?
Yes. However, if you use some oils you can still use Silver sword quite effectively against humanoids. Brown oil, for instance, makes almost all sword strikes open wounds (DOT) so even if damage dealt is negligible, DOTs will finish humanoids off in time. You can also use species-specific oils as in Witcher 1 on steel swords AFAIK, but not sure what results that would produce.

What kind of things can you equip? sword, armour ? anything else?
-Swords or other melee weapons (lots! I was running with a shovel for a long while, also tried giant Spoon. FUN!)
-Bombs/Daggers/Traps (pockets, you see one pocket by default in HUD, there're 5 total available in the inventory that can be filled, you then select which of the pockets will be under hotkey with the "active slowdown" radial menu).
-Chestpiece
-Gloves
-Boots
-Trousers
-Trophy

Hope it helps
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May 13th, 2011, 18:22
so, where did you get all that info? preview copy or a separate written preview?
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May 13th, 2011, 19:28
Preview copy. But I got it for database purposes mostly, cba to write a full preview when there's so much more to find out about the game. Plus I doubt a site with "Witcher" in its name would be a trustworthy source for a preview anyway
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May 14th, 2011, 04:04
Originally Posted by Propheet View Post
Well, to be honest there's no necessity. Mouse targeting works well except if you're diagonally across the enemy and there's some obstacle nearby; then the game weirds out and you can waste a few hits, they go in air. So I assume, free-form as such is not there. BUT, there's a skill that makes Sword attacks all AOE/hitting several enemies at once. This one will probably make sword strikes more free-form.
This scares me.

So all your sword strikes are auto-targeted? That's definitely not something I wanted to hear. Does this mean it's impossible to miss your foe as long as you're facing him/her/it?
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May 14th, 2011, 06:28
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I figured I wouldn't remember all the details of my old TW1 decisions
Dhruin, you DON'T remember your TW1 decisions?! Were you in a coma or something last three years?
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May 14th, 2011, 07:09
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
This scares me.

So all your sword strikes are auto-targeted? That's definitely not something I wanted to hear. Does this mean it's impossible to miss your foe as long as you're facing him/her/it?
I didn't have that impression from what he said. I think you move towards an enemy and will strike, but parry/dodge checks must be included right? Divinity 2 worked how you're describing I believe. Gothic 3 more or less worked that way as well. You just sorta lock on the closest mob you are facing.
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May 14th, 2011, 10:35
Thanks Dhruin and Propheet. My only question is about the camera. Is it always a fixed distance away from Geralt? Or does it automatically pan in or out? Or adjustable with mouse wheel or -/+?

Now I just have to wait another week for my copy to arrive, damn living on the other side of the world.
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May 15th, 2011, 00:05
Camera doesn't seem to be adjustable, and it only pans out in directed sequences, to give you a better view or — in case of some QTEs and "special" sequences — to provide a necessary perspective while performing some task. I should stress out that current TPP camera works really well, and only occassionally hides the view in some cramped spots. It's nothing gamebreaking. Panning out via +/- wasn't there in the preview code, perhaps it's something they will include in retail version.

As far as hitting/missing goes, almost every enemy can block. Some do it most effectively (like shieldbearers), some enter sorta "huddled" mode (giant enemies). It's directional, so if you manage to run and attack from behind while they're covering their, umm, "family jewels", you can deal extremely high damage. If you also combine that with traps or Aard/Igni, you can break enemy's defensive posture even when facing them. Shieldbearers can also be fatigued by blocking or multiple hits and go into crouch; in this position, it's fairly easy to circle around them and deal a very potent blow, often knocking them down as well. Or another Aard, to stun them; this is a prelude to spectacular finisher moves.

There's a lot of combat mechanics going on there under the hood for position and hit/miss in combat, and although I've not really noticed actual misses, combat log DID often say "X dealt minimal damage", which signifies glancing hits as I understand it. This is visible most often if you're not facing the enemy, or if the enemy runs away. And yeah, you can hit air if you wish, or you can hit into the spot enemy will just move in; however, Geralt often moves while swinging so as to reduce distance, thus making free-form attacks viable, if not based on actual "collision-based hit/miss" (I'm guessing here). Oh and that "attack from the back thing"? Enemies can do that to Geralt too. In fact, one of the skills specifically reduces the backstabbing damage, which by default amounts to 200% regular damage. So even if you haven't learned advanced parrying (which allows to block and parry hits from behind), you can still use skill investments to aid your positioning (the skill is actually called "Position").
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